Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-25-2008, 05:39 AM   #1
Keith's Avatar
Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
Your backup navigation computer

Right before* I left on my latest cruise, the nav computer developed a
problem. Haven't fixed it yet, but it appears to be a bad serial card.
However, that's not the topic. I used my backup laptop for navigation and it
worked fine, after a little tweaking.

As you've heard me say before, if you have spares on board, install them.
This goes for the backup nav computer as well. You'll:
A. Know how to do it
B. Know it works
C. Know what you need to install it

My first "almost" problem was the length of the serial cable. I* made it up
to run to the nav computer, but didn't leave much extra length. I hadn't
thought to make it long enough to reach somewhere else, e.g. the backup
laptop. Luckily, it reached, but just barely.

I have Nobeltec on both machines, and they were almost in sync. I had to
make one route on the backup, and modify a couple of others, but hadn't
transferred the data to the backup recently. Also, the new data I put in the
backup now needs to be synced up with the old nav computer, once it's up and
running again. Make sure you keep these in sync with some sort of plan.

Little things like alarm settings, tones, screen display types, etc. also
need to be kept in sync. For instance, every time I'd hit a waypoint I'd get
two alarms...the "trash can cymbal" from Nobeltec and the Windows "ding".
None of these are major, but it's something to distract you once you get

I was lucky my laptop screen was bright enough to be seen in the daylight.
The first day I hooked it up to the daylight viewable monitor that the nav
computer usually uses, but the resolution was low compared to the laptop.
After that I just unhooked it and used the laptop monitor. I also brought a
mouse from home to hook up to the laptop. I could have used the one from the
nav computer, but it would require unbundling all the wires I had so neatly
in place. The mouse allowed me to use the laptop from farther away than if
I'd have had to use the touchpad every time.

So again, I'd recommend hooking up your backups occasionally just so they're
ready to go when you need them!

Keith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
Chris Foster's Avatar
City: Anacortes, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Juz-B-Cuz
Vessel Model: 38' Rawson Trawler
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 278
RE: Your backup navigation computer

Keith -

Don't know for sure about how they build the marinized computers, but the "serial card" has pretty much gone the way of the dodo for quite a while.* Most of the serial ports are integrated into the motherboard chip sets these days.

If it really has crapped out, most of the m-boards have a couple of serial ports available, and you may be able to swap to the other.

You can still get add-on serial boards, of course, and even if you do have motherboard serial ports, you can add a serial card to replace a failed m-board port.

And I do try my backup nav computer fairly frequently.* In fact, I have a bunch of them folded up in a drawer, and I take them out and use them a lot.* Of course, using them didn't keep me from going aground the other week, did it??

Chris Foster is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Backup Depth Sounder dekedekay Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 16 12-01-2011 09:34 AM
Backup Cameras Geordie MacRae General Discussion 17 05-10-2011 11:40 AM
Is it just me and my computer??? Carey How To Use The Forum, Site News & Account Concerns 10 04-02-2011 09:59 PM
Waterproof computer Keith Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 5 06-27-2009 01:07 PM
Nav computer problems Keith Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 2 10-17-2008 07:29 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012