Post off topic threads here.
#69894 by Ted B
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:02 pm
I've been looking at sailboats this summer with the idea of buying one and doing some 2-3 week stints living aboard next year, but still doing some office work. I work from home anyway; so why not sail in the daytime, and then put in a few billable hours in the evenings or on days when it's raining? With cellphones and WiFi I'm still "at the office" if need-be.

Most DC-to-AC marine power-inverters don't generate a clean-enough AC-sine wave to safely power electronics power-bricks and chargers. So I'm wondering why not just use DC directly, since most bricks make DC anyway for the internal power-supplies. Plus, it should be more "efficient" use of my batteries' amp-hours reserves without the power-losses of the inverter and the power-bricks. Auxiliary gas or diesel-powered AC Marine alternators typically generate square-wave AC and the frequencies and voltages are all over the place as the loads shift, they are death-on sophisticated electronics ...And even when tied-up at a marina, dock-side "Mains" electrical power is notoriously "dirty" and the voltage inconsistent.

Anyone know if you can get power-bricks or power-supplies that run off 12volts-dc? Most marine electronics are designed to run on 12vdc, but land-based office equipment like printers, routers and PC's are designed for 60-Hz 115vac. And with a ruggedized computer on-board I can configure it as the boat's CPU for the electronic charts and navigation. Laptops are handy but I rather have a tower-PC hardwired-in, networked, and with WiFi as the central hub. With laptops you still have the problem of safely charging them.

For less than what a decent 2-bedroom condo and fees would cost I can get a nice, used largish sailboat and still afford the marina charges.
#69895 by joshhuggins
Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:36 pm
Google DC-DC PC power supplies. I was leaning that way for a truck PC project a couple years ago but that ended up moot when I went to a raspberry pi setup. There are also instructions on converting your own, but I'd find an actual DC-DC unit. Other things you might want to look into is a DC battery UPS for PC use or some sort of line filter to help with the clean power & a quality MB with a hardy power system onboard.
#69896 by Ted B
Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:49 am
From talking to people dock-side at the Boat Show, anecdotally the key to "consumer" electronics on a boat -- smartphones, laptops, Ipads -- is "clean" electrical power or you kill the power-bricks and chargers. At-least with a laptop, you have the laptop's own battery acting as a power-filter, and you just have a spare power-brick or two.

Typically larger cruising sailboats have 4-6 deep-cycle 6v golf-cart batteries with solar panels and/or wind-generators -- plus the alternator on the diesel engine, and maybe a small diesel or gas-powered auxiliary generator -- so there's lots of variations in power input. And lights, navigation system, autopilot, refrigeration, etc... on the power draw-side. Typically you have to run the engine or a little 2-3kw Honda auxiliary-generator to run the reverse-osmosis water-maker or the A/C...or on some boats the refig/freezer unit. This usually means running the main diesel or the aux. generator for an hour once or twice a day for the freezer and the watermaker. On lots of boats if you want A/C at night, you have to run the auxiliary-generator all night. Living aboard for a week or two when not-tied-up at a marina or sitting at a mooring-ball becomes a contest of power management and battery health.

They make pure sine-wave inverters for dedicated AC onboard, but they're expensive and inefficient. You make AC or bring in shore-power dock-side on the power-cable -- convert it using the built-in charger to DC for the "house-batteries" -- and then back through the inverter for pure-sine 115VAC 60Hz for the wall-plugs -- to the power-brick and back to DC again for the computer and peripherals. Each-step losing power efficiency. The "snowbirds" in their bus-sized RV's must have similar issues...

There's an ant crawling around INSIDE my flat-screen display -- under the plastic cover on the screen.
I'm losing my mind... **Argh !!**
#69897 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:35 am
A lot of folks at use what is generically called a picoPSU power supply - the have a 12V DC input, typically from a brick power supply.

#69903 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:40 pm
You would be surprised - before I added the nVidia 1070 card to my system, it consumed ~85W while running Folding@Home, which is a pretty heavy duty 3D protein folding program. It is a i5 overclocked to 4gHz, with 16GB of RAM and an SSD and 7200RPM hard drive. It flies running DataCAD!

And that 85W is at the wall - it includes the loss in the power supply; which is about 8-9% since I have a very efficient power supply. The picoPSU is very efficient - and you can run 2 of them - one for the computer, and another for the video card. My 1070 card is the 2nd most powerful video card at the moment, and it consumes ~140W, so it still would be fine with 165W continuous.
#69907 by joshhuggins
Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:25 pm
You're part right Neil ;) I forget most people don't have a gaming/rendering class card in their rig and the new gen CPS are pretty dang power efficient and one could build a box w/ CPU w/ onboard video that would run Datacad fine on 165W power supply. That said, for your i5 box with the 1070, no way on a pair of those. 330W max, normal like 260-280? Unless it's a industrial non-consumer switching PS and/or you are doing throttling to try to protect from under voltage, it would not end well. You want that overhead for those quick peak loads so you don't pop something and so you don't overwork your PS overtime to a short lived life. If you are running less than a 450W PS with normal PC components & actually gaming on it, I'd bet it won't last too long. Seen too many shortlived PS's pushed too hard by a video card while under load and then take out other components when the go.

And the 1070 is the 3rd fastest ;) Those new shiny Titans X's are out :twisted: I'm still stuck on my 770's. I keep trying to save my pennies for a 1070 or 1080 but the dang bills keep coming in. :cry:
#69913 by Dave
Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:34 am
This will run dual screens and datacad on 65w and at 4.5" square x 2" will fit on a yacht no probs.

My brother has a Gigabyte version with a i7 and high spec graphics running 2 x 27" 4k monitors.

Processor Intel Core i7-5557U 3.1GHz Dual Core (Up to 3.4GHz, 4MB Cache)
Memory 16GB Installed
Dual-channel DDR3L SODIMMS
1.35V, 1333/1600 MHz, 16GB Maximum
Graphics Iris graphics 6100
1x mini HDMI 1.4a
1x mini DisplayPort 1.2
Audio Up to 7.1 surround audio via mini HDMI & Mini DisplayPort
Headphone & Microphone jack on front panel
Peripheral Connectivity 2x USB 3.0 on back
2x USB 3.0 on front
2x Internal USB 2.0 via header
Storage 512GB SSD Installed
Internal support for M.2 SSD card
Internal SATA3 support for 2.5" HDD/SSD
Networking Intel Pro 10/100/1000Mbps Network connection
Intel Wireless-AC 7265 M.2 soldered down, wireless antennas(IEE 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel Wireless Display)
Power Adapter 19V, 65W wall-mount AC/DC Power Adapter
Additional Features Support for user-replaceable third-party lids
NFC and AUX_PWR headers
OS certs: Windows 7 & 8.1 Logo
OS compatibility: Linux
VESA mount bracket and mounting hole support
Low-acoustics active cooling design
Kensington Lock Support
Integration Guide
12-19V DC Power Input
Power sensing circuit for protection against over-power shutdowns
Dimensions (mm) 115 x 111 x 48.7

#69914 by Neil Blanchard
Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:47 am
Right, the onboard Intel video GPU in these modern systems is pretty sweet for everything except high end gaming. It has a display port and supports my 34" 3440x1440 monitor; which is a 2K resolution.My motherboard has two video slots, and it is ironic that I don't need them for regular DataCAD work. For 3D modeling, working on big models, then a 1060 or the equivalent AMD video card would be fine. The current nVidia cards though, are much faster at any given power consumption level.

My son's games run very well on my 1070 - he plays basically ALL of the latest FPS games. I play No Man's Sky (which is CPU centered, but they have held back somewhat because of console versions). He had a 980ti - that consumed about TWICE as much power as mine does, and it is basically the same for all his games. He has an i5 that is several generations older, and his system is limited by the CPU on some games.

My i5 6600K CPU is overclocked to 4gHz and it isn't even breaking a sweat. It is overvolted a little bit, but there is still lots of headroom - and it is maxing out under 86W - at the wall. Take away the SSD and that might add a couple of watts - I do have a 7200RPM 2TB hard drive but it doesn't always spin.
#69928 by Ted B
Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:08 pm
A tower-equivalent PC that's 4.5-inches-square by 2-inches, ...WOW!! Now if they could only do something about the massive cabling-tangle....Hehheheh. Actually, that's amazing and cable-management is easier with 'custom' equipment anyway. It helps to hard-wire BEFORE installing the equipment.

It's absolutely-appalling how-much memory they can put in a memory-stick. Just the idea of a 512 GB SD chip is mind-boggling to an old pro who used dual144kb floppies, and even older 8" floppies. When I was in college you stored programs on IBM cards and data on paper punch-tapes...
#69929 by Dave
Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:21 pm
Ted B wrote:A tower-equivalent PC that's 4.5-inches-square by 2-inches, ...WOW!! Now if they could only do something about the massive cabling-tangle....Hehheheh. Actually, that's amazing and cable-management is easier with 'custom' equipment anyway. It helps to hard-wire BEFORE installing the equipment.

The Gigabyte units came with a Vesa mount that screwed to the back of a monitor, with a monitor of the same voltage you can run 1 power cable with a Y splitter, a short HDMI cable, wireless KB and mouse.

#70140 by Ted B
Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:30 pm
In digging further I found they actually have routers, modems and WiFi hotspot transceivers just for Marine-duty applications in 12vdc and 24vdc. Some are waterproof and shock-resistant, even a few 12vdc flat-screen TV/monitors with surprising low ampere-draws.

One recent idea is to use USB ports through the boat for low-draw 12vdc distribution for lights, recharging phones and tablets, etc..., it also allows for interconnectivity.

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