Ideal marine electronics, Mac Mini version

MacMini Sabre1

I think I had a pretty good idea yesterday, encouraging you all to submit your visions of ideal gear set-ups, but I made it much too complicated. Now you’ll see below that I’ve simplified the categories into classic “good, better, best” terms, and also started (crude) Web pages for system descriptions that come via email. These could become valuable resources not only for my writing projects, but for anyone trying to think through a nav/comms system of their own. Isn’t it interesting, for instance, that the first two submissions in the “better” category represent two quite different approaches and brand choices (both reasonable, I think)? Richard’s came with these photos of his Mac Mini install, and his “Thanks to GPSnavX for giving me the privilege to not have to run Windows for navigation!”, which makes the second time this week that he’s gotten raves here.

MacMini Sabre2

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

6 Responses

  1. Eliboat says:

    Ben,
    Thanks for this Ideal marine electronics forum. I often think about what would be “ideal” for me and for others as well, and I am amazed at how many different arrangements I can conjure up for any given environment. It will be quite interesting to see what folks come up with, and I think that this could become a really valuable resource in general. Bravo.

  2. mrgnstrn says:

    Ben,
    Thanks for the informative blog.
    One suggestion on something to cover in the future: power supplies for non-marine equipment. Especial *efficient* power supplies. Right now I am thinking about the Mac Mini installed in the above nav station. How is it powered? Is it a clunky DC->AC inverter, then into the Mini’s power supply to switch it back to DC? How in-efficient! And that is a big deal to us sailboat guys who don’t run the engines all the time.
    But, thanks a ton!

  3. jt says:

    The Mini is powered (at the moment) by a 300 watt pure sine inverter. I’ve looked into a DC to DC ‘intelligent’ regulator from Carnetix: http://www.carnetix.com/CNXP1900.htm They make a nice cabling solution for the mini as well. However, I’d still need the inverter for the 21″ LCD monitor. I also don’t think I’d really see much difference in power draw from the inverter to the regulator. The mac without monitor draws about 2.5 amps but with the monitor we’re taking 7. That’s what the powersave mode it for though right?

  4. Todd Blanchard says:

    I’m thinking of doing something similar. Which ShipModul model did you use? My local guy has: http://www.capjack.com/category/Marine-Electronics/Multiplexors/Miniplex-NM41-USB.cfm
    Which has usb interface. Does this work OK with the Mac or did you go for mux->serial port adaptor?

  5. jt says:

    I used the NM41-USB although I may switch to the new one that works with the Raymarine now that I’ve added an E80. I still have to figure that one out.
    r

  6. GPSNavX says:

    The Shipmodul Multiplexers are compatible with Mac. All work great with MacENC. We have developed an OS X configuration tool for the Miniplex 41/42 models.

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