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Old 01-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
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Computer on a fly bridge?

Cannot see my laptop when on the flybridge...too bright. Any ideas out there?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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Move below?
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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I use my laptop on the bridge all the time. What I did with mine was make a small marine board tray for it and attached a swivel ball mount to the bottom which is bolted to my dash. Depending on the sun I just loosen the knob and swivel the computer so the suns off the screen. For times sun is on your back, I also made up a hood for it out of a foil auto windshield sun protector. Simple cut to size and tape together. Fasten to comp with velcro.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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Sunshade out of corrugated cardboard spray painted flat black...when you get the right size and shape you want...you can use lexan or aluminum, etc for lasting use...

I made dozens of the cardboard ones back in the day for clients who bought chartplotters from us before screen brightness came to where it is now...some re probably still being used.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Try one of these or make your own like psneeld suggests above.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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Get a sunlight viewable chartplotter and use the computer at the lower station. Chuck
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancora View Post
Cannot see my laptop when on the flybridge...too bright. Any ideas out there?
Well, if you leave the laptop down in the saloon.......or worse, at home........

As others have mentioned, a screen of some sort, either home made or a store bought type should suffice. I like the swivel platform as mentioned earlier, sounds like a +. There may also be some anti glare mats that cover the screen and cut down on glare from the sun or other light sources. Check with the computer stores and see what they offer. Much cheaper than buying a new laptop.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:03 AM   #9
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Get a sunlight viewable chartplotter and use the computer at the lower station. Chuck
I've got to agree. Chartplotters are built for the outdoors. Laptops belong inside. Plus this gives you redundancy.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:38 AM   #10
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I have a networked Furuno Blackbox VX2 system. I have used a standard 19" Acer 300cmd brightness monitor on my FB for almost 6 years now. It has a matte screen, is mounted on a very adjustable RAM mount. It folds down into a custom compartment where the electronics are mounted, and gets some "shade" courtesy of a polarized tinted hatch that covers that compartment when closed and shades the screen some when open. By adjusting it as noted above, I can see it just fine from the helm seat 99% of the time. Here's a not very good picture, this can be swiveled 90 degrees+ to face the helm, works great:



I need to replace it sometime as I spilled a Coke on it a few years ago and a black spot has expanded across a non-vital area of the screen. Only about $150, if that, though I am tempted to get a 19" marinized "pilot house' monitor from Comark, also 300 nits, which goes for $1000. According to them a lot of their commercial customers use them on exposed decks.

The modern glossy screens, such as that on my MacBook Pro, are virtually worthless up there on a sunny day, even with a cave around them. You can get a 3M anti glare film product which helps.

Just FYI since i have that album open here is what the lower helm looks like, three Acer 17" monitors, from left to right one for the upstairs Furuno, one for a computer to hook into, one for the downstairs Furuno. Great set up that allows full screen radar on one screen and full screen plotter on another, wonderful to have when running purely on instruments.

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
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Dedicated chart plotters are OK if you like being held for ransom for the various ridiculously priced proprietary charts they use : ) The crooks who make them could easily build the plotters to run both vector & raster charts but don't because raster charts are free in the USA. Being a bit old school, or perhaps cheap, I prefer and trust raster charts so I need a laptop at both helms. I also like the big screen compared to most plotters, the unlimited storage for marina pics and routes, using entire paragraphs to describe a waypoint if I wish and the very important fact that the US government keeps all my charts regularly updated for free. I have the boat hard wired so I can move the laptop in seconds from the nav station to the bridge or lower helm as I need. I have been using laptops on my boat for well over a decade with no problem and used ones are so cheap now you could throw one overboard every year and still come out ahead. I do keep a completely set up spare on board and the laptops are strictly used for navigation only with all non essential software stripped off them.

FINE PRINT: I confess however I did have one get soaked and knocked off the dash in a severe storm and was forced to revert to a hand held until the laptop dried out. It fired up fine however, these things are pretty rugged themselves as they are built to be carted around.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #12
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I'm going to build a "shield" for my lap top. I am not confined to using it at the helm as my wife does the steering and I do the navigating on a log race. Yes, we are now allowing the use of chart plotters and computers provided they do show cross track error, distance to waypoint, bearings and times. This calls for a judicious use of masking tape.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancora View Post
Cannot see my laptop when on the flybridge...too bright. Any ideas out there?
Easy. Sail only at night.



I use a laptop on my flybridge with little trouble from most sun angles. This is mostly under a bimini top. Available info is a backup to, and better than, what I usually get on my built-in Raymarine RL70CRC.
Here is a for real tip. I see the screen better when I push my sunglasses up to check it.
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