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CruisingWiki

Laptop on board

I wanted to use the Raymarine C120 as the primary means of electronic chartplotting while on board – it is interfaced to all the instruments as well as the the DSC radio, radar, and AIS.

DSC00011s

But while onshore, at home, at anchor or in a marina it is often more convenient to use a laptop. It is now so easy to download grib files, look up weather forecasts, email, browse the web, and forums and so on.

I thought I would use the laptop for two main additional purposes.

a) Chartplotting using the software I already had before installing the Raymarine kit on board ie. Garmin’s Map source software which uses the Bluechart charts – all proprietory to Garmin.

b) Interface to the Target SSB radio so that I could get Navtex, RTTY and Weatherfax transmissions and store them on the laptop for reference while on passage.

c) Transfer data to / from the laptop / C120 and the RC400 using a 1Gb Sandisk Compact Flash Card

 

DSC00008I have been able to achieve all of this but I must admit that using the SSB is a lot more tricky than I anticipated. The picture here shows the audio cable from the SSB radio into the MIC input of the laptop….

 

The laptop is an ACER Aspire 5020WLMi and is – in hindsight – probably way over specified now that I have experience of using it in action..it has a built in card reader (very useful) 1Gb of RAM and a 100Gb HDD – but at least it will cope with advances in nav software which like all PC software is destined to bloat and bloat..

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2 comments to Laptop on board

  • wackyracer

    Many of the forums note that only the 64Mb sandisk card will work – how did you get to use a 1Gb disk ! ?

  • Russ

    Yes I have seen those comments too – but by the time I discovered them I had already bought the IGb card – anyway it turns out the card worked – so I dont know what these negative comments were about – I did not even have to format the card – I just put it in and used it. I even used it on the C120 to do the software upgrade so that the display would show AIS data.

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2 comments to Laptop on board

  • wackyracer

    Many of the forums note that only the 64Mb sandisk card will work – how did you get to use a 1Gb disk ! ?

  • Russ

    Yes I have seen those comments too – but by the time I discovered them I had already bought the IGb card – anyway it turns out the card worked – so I dont know what these negative comments were about – I did not even have to format the card – I just put it in and used it. I even used it on the C120 to do the software upgrade so that the display would show AIS data.

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<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>