Originally Posted by mvweebles
If you have a few minutes, I have a few questions (some were also posed to your blog, which I also enjoyed - thanks):
1. LiteMax shows VGA/Serial input, which I assume is why you are limited to three monitors on your NUC. Would you have preferred HDMI interfaces? Looks like some of the NUCs have 4x HDMI. Obviously, compromises, but what was your best thinking for your application?
2. Touch-screen. Looks like an option on LiteMax. Also looks like the LiteMax has a wheel/knob input which I strongly prefer. Have you tested the knob input device? Does it work similar to a knob on an MFD with zoom, perhaps press-to-input, etc?
3. Data Storage. Since you're running two systems, how are you synchronizing storage?
4. NMEA Interface - NEMO? Other? How do you feed external sensor data such as GPS, Engine, Wind, Depth, etc?
Thanks for being so open with your decision-making and what works for your usage. Very helpful.
Hey Peter - Up front, I need to say that we don't have any of this set up in the boat yet, so we don't have any real time data to offer. The wiring in the boat isn't complete yet, and since most everything runs off 24V, we haven't tested it yet. I'm sharing our decisions because exchanges like this with you are ways we can learn and maybe get some new ideas. Later, I'll share our actual experience when we get things up and running.
So, on to your questions:
1. Actually, the LiteMax monitors also have DVI ports. You can get cables for DVI to HDMI and DVI to DisplayPort, etc. We will have to use different options according to the available ports on the computers. On the one I built, we have 2 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, and one USB-C. If I remember correctly, the little NUC computer I'm looking at has a DP, a USB-C and an HDMI. As to the number of monitors, that is a function of the power of the CPU. According to Intel, the Maximum Monitors (Using CPU Integrated Graphics) for the i7 9th gen and 8th gen is 3. However, claims are made for the 9th gen being able to handle 4. If all you are doing is showing video, that is different too. With the additional graphics card, I hope that we can connect 4 monitors to the big computer.
2. As I said above, we have not been able to fire up the LiteMax monitors yet. We have all the batteries on a pallet and all the equipment, but we don't want to interfere with the guys working on installing the wiring right now. As far as I know, the LiteMax marine monitors come with touch whether you want it or not. We will also have a wireless keyboard and a wireless trackball on the dash. In addition, we'll have a MCU004
which we have been told is essentially a USB connected device and will work on our monitors as well as it does on an MFD. We shall see. Generally, we have found that we do use touch at anchor, but we don't so much at sea.
3. For the most part, we don't intend to synchronize storage. We do have an 8TB Synology NAS for backing up everything and for our music and movie collections, but we won't connect the NUC to that. Each computer will run independently. However, we do have the issue of charts. You know how expensive they are. As we understand it, when you purchase charts for Furuno MFDs, those licenses will also work on multiple MFDs and on TimeZero. I've not seen it written anywhere that it will also extend to multiple copies of TZ, but I hope so. We have had Bluewater Books in Fort Lauderdale download all the charts onto our storage and we can then just purchase the unlock codes when in a remote area and not have to download all the charts.
4. We do have a Rose Point NEMO box which we bought mostly for any NMEA 0183 stuff, but we also have a Maretron USB100 N2K to PC interface and an Actisense NGT-1 which is also a USB to N2K interface. We want both computers being fed the N2K data, and we will have the Actisense device plugged into the network at Wayne's office desk for troubleshooting network issues with his laptop. We also have a T connector there for the Maretron diagnostic meter to plug in. We also have an Maretron IPG100 Internet Protocol Gateway to assist with getting AIS and radar info onto the wifi network for iPads and onto the Maretron Cloud Service so we can check N2K View remotely.