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Old 05-28-2015, 07:37 AM   #1
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Laptop, not Phone

I want to use all of the useful aps (Active Captain, USCG, etc etc) but I don't want to use a phone to do it. I would like to find a suitable laptop that I can also integrate into my Garmin chartplotter, etc and use it for navigation. Any ideas/recommendations? And no, I don't want to debate phone v laptop, I just want the best laptop for the job.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:41 AM   #2
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iPad, get a iPad. It will allow to use all the wonderful marine related apps in the App Store. Garmin currently doesn't make a program to directly interface with they're plotters.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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Any cheap laptop will do.

I have 2 $400 Dells. One is dedicated to the nav station.

I have a $39 GPS puck attached and run free OpenCPN naming with free NOAA charts.

I am thinking of adding AIS input with a $50 USB/NEMA cable but no rush as they are on my chartplotter.

I much prefer the laptop for plotting with the bigger screen and easy to use OpenCPN.

Have both Active Captain and the offline app on it as well as Coast Pilots. Also run spreadsheets with maintenance logs and other vessel info too.

Windows 7 works great with all.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:00 AM   #4
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PSneeld, the Dells dedicated to Navigation sound good, that's the idea I'm looking for. Then, you got too techie for me...what is a "GPS puck"? and "open CPN"? I will also connect my future AIS into the system if that's possible. One more thing. Is Windows 7 still available? Current computers (the one I'm using now included) come with Windows 8 and then were upgraded to 8.1. For WIFI, I have a Verizon Jetpack, so, if I'm in cell phone range, I'll have WIFI.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:10 AM   #5
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WYOboater

Thanks for the thread, looking for the same info. Yes a little to "TECHIE" for me also. Old Slow But Willing
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:27 AM   #6
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Amazon.com: GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS Receiver: GPS & Navigation

Something like that ....just make sure it is USB and Windows 8 compatible

OpenCPN | Official OpenCPN Homepage

OpenCPN charting

The wifi is really only needed for the internet version of Active Captain which is nice for planning but the app version is great for quick info checks. The app run on a phone or tablet will warn in advance of hazards...the cheapest tablet will probably work as long as the tablet works.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4712 View Post
iPad, get a iPad. It will allow to use all the wonderful marine related apps in the App Store...
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Any cheap laptop will do...
Yes and yes. Why not both?

We have been using PC based navigation for 15 plus years with the last 5 using OpenCPN. A good program. A few weeks ago we had a friend showed us an area in the Bahamas that he recommended on his IPad using a Garmin app and charts. I think he said the charts were $30. The detail was the best. I looked for the same charts and couldn't find them for a PC or Android. We will be buying an IPad to supplement our PC. One device doesn't do it all but the IPad and the apps available looks like a good compliment to a PC or any chart plotter.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:40 AM   #8
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Thanks, PSNEELD: I just ordered the GPS puck, now all I need is to get a dedicated puter. I don't really do tablets well, so I'll begin looking for the laptop in the next couple days.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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We'll see how necessary the IPAD is after I've gotten the laptop all hooked up and working, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:02 AM   #10
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I have switched to using nettops - which are stripped down desk units selling for around $229-$250 US. Require 110/220 current and a separate monitor. I plug a GPS puck (no battery no screen, just GPS info), and run two different chartplotter programs. That is all I put on the navigation computer. Oh, the only other program is for the Keyspan adapters for my AIS connection.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:14 AM   #11
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I have switched to using nettops - which are stripped down desk units selling for around $229-$250 US. Require 110/220 current and a separate monitor. I plug a GPS puck (no battery no screen, just GPS info), and run two different chartplotter programs. That is all I put on the navigation computer. Oh, the only other program is for the Keyspan adapters for my AIS connection.
might be my next move if/when laptop dies... depends where tablets get to in a few years...
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:25 AM   #12
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I just recently got a app called Isailor and have been messing around with it. Been happy with it so far, my AIS has its own wifi connection that repeats data on the N2k bus and AIS. So I'm getting better heading and position from my sat compass and ais from the ais along with depth. It can have multiple connections so I have been also using a notebook with windows 8 and CE. It's cool because I can walk around the boat with it and not have wires connected as its all via the wifi.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:27 AM   #13
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The ipad is almost a computer so why not get a cheap laptop that has all the features of a real computer?


I sold my ipad because it was just too awkward to use as a web or email device. As a display it is good.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:35 AM   #14
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Bayview, my sentiments exactly. I don't do tablets well. Oliver, my next purchase/decision besides the laptop is an AIS that transmits and receives...I like knowing where everyone is, and like even more them knowing where I am. Kinda leaning towards the one I can put in stealth mode for when I'm moored somewhere or away from the boat. Even considering a motion detecting webcam I can use for monitoring while I'm away.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #15
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Bayview, my sentiments exactly. I don't do tablets well. Oliver, my next purchase/decision besides the laptop is an AIS that transmits and receives...I like knowing where everyone is, and like even more them knowing where I am. Kinda leaning towards the one I can put in stealth mode for when I'm moored somewhere or away from the boat. Even considering a motion detecting webcam I can use for monitoring while I'm away.
Almost all AIS' have silent switch options, most of the time you have to install them which is as easy as a couple of wires and a SPST switch.

Iv'e been happy with my Vesper XB-8000, its chocked full'o features, has usb and wifi connectivity that'll repeat any data it receives (most data but not all data). Haven't connected the silent switch but the wires are there if i want to.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:47 AM   #16
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Garmin currently doesn't make a program to directly interface with they're plotters.
Not exactly my understanding. The Garmin Helm app will interfacce with their 8000 and 7600 series plotters.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:50 AM   #17
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Boats are rough places stuff happens.

Some lap tops are hardened against spills and falls.

As nothing in a nav program or GPS is near state of the art , a used hardened unit might last longest.

Rugged Laptop Review 2015 | Best Durable Laptops ...

rugged-laptop-review.toptenreviews.com/


Compare the best rugged laptops with side-by-side feature comparisons. Read in-depth ... each other. Rugged Laptop Review will help you choose which water resistant laptop or rugged laptop will be right for you. ... Hard Drive. 250GB.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:55 AM   #18
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Boats are rough places stuff happens.

Some lap tops are hardened against spills and falls.

As nothing in a nav program or GPS is near state of the art , a used hardened unit might last longest.

Rugged Laptop Review 2015 | Best Durable Laptops ...

rugged-laptop-review.toptenreviews.com/


Compare the best rugged laptops with side-by-side feature comparisons. Read in-depth ... each other. Rugged Laptop Review will help you choose which water resistant laptop or rugged laptop will be right for you. ... Hard Drive. 250GB.
Bought a Survivor cover for my iPad. Makes it real easy to grip, somewhat drop proof and allegedly water proof. But sadly, it still won't float....sigh.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:58 AM   #19
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Laptop, not Phone

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Not exactly my understanding. The Garmin Helm app will interfacce with their 8000 and 7600 series plotters.

That's just To repeat the display not a NAV program. Two different things.

For example Furuno's NAV program is Nobletec. Or AKA Maxsea.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:03 AM   #20
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That's just To repeat the display not a NAV program. Two different things.

For example Furuno's NAV program is Nobletec. Or AKA Maxsea.
The description on the App Store says it will view and control the chart plotter. I have no firsthand experience with it as I haven't bought the 7600 chart plotter yet.
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