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11/13/2015 5:47 am  #1


Wireless On-Deck Screens with reflective technology wanted

I have long been using the Panasonic CF-VDW07 wireless screen. Unfortunately the required "meiwds" driver has not been rewritten for any Windows version after XP. So I am still looking for a decent replacement. Many people use an IPAD running Splashtop remote desktop software. I don't like this solution as the IPAd needs a proper case such as the Lifeproof and might not be readable in bright sunshine. Also the battery cannot be swapped easily and the power consumption is high due to the transmissive technology of the LCD.
My trials with the Android based Panasonic Toughpads were quite ambilvalent as well. The 7" JT-B1 model was tedious to use as it had no digitizer pen to properly navigate in a remote desktop. The 10" FZ-A1 seems to be much better in this regard, but battery replacement is not that easy and you can't dim down the backlight to nearly zero during darkness. Also both lack the reflective LCD technology, which would save so much power. So here my question to you guys: Is there a waterproof, wireless remote screen that has reflective LCD and easy to swap batteries?     
Cheers, Chriggel

Last edited by Chriggel (11/13/2015 5:48 am)

 

11/13/2015 10:02 am  #2


Re: Wireless On-Deck Screens with reflective technology wanted

Chriggel,
I recently went through a similar challenge to find a wireless screen that would function like a 20/20 and occasionally with the navigation software. Is your use of the tablet only as a navigation software repeater or do you want to display NMEA/Expedition type data as well? Are you only interfacing with a PC based navigation computer or is an MFD involved?
What I found in my research is that outside the marine specific devices there are consumer based products that you wrap in some protective case. Many of these devices typically have built in batteries or the case makes it more difficult to change the battery if so designed and it seems you discovered this as well. From there I noticed that products quickly jump over to the industrial consumer side such as your experience with the Panasonic systems. The upside is that many have the IP ratings (waterproof) baked into the device, have typically brighter screens, and battery swapping may be easier since no external case gets in the way.
I strongly considered the following products, Panasonic FZ-B2, Explore XSLATE D10, DT Research DT39 Series.
Since my use favored the 20/20 display for my team and less of a navigation repeater, I ultimately selected iPad’s in LifeProof cases running Ventus Pro connected to RAM Mounts. What I found was that what the iPad gives up in brightness (compared to the industrial products), the contrast ratio of what was being displayed was just as important. Our team does not have issues viewing the displays under most conditions. This still left the battery issue, which, because of the lower price of one gen old iPads allowed me to buy two, one that is mounted down below charging (and is used as a secondary display for the navigator) and the second above deck. I find that I “hot swap” them about every 8 hours.
Pro:
Gained redundancy with two displays
iOS has been a stable platform for my use
Entry price was low enough I’m not stressed if one gets damaged or upgrades become attractive
Was able to gain a secondary display at the navigation station
Lowest total system cost, hardware, software, mounting
Cons:
Brightness and contrast ratio of iPad is not as good as industrial products
Cannot swap or hot swap batteries
Limited to functionality of software since not running remote desktop (this has not personally been a problem for me)
 
Best of luck.
Jason

 

11/16/2015 12:34 am  #3


Re: Wireless On-Deck Screens with reflective technology wanted

I Have been experimenting for a while using cheap android e readers as deck displays for Ventus.

The advantages are:
Low power consumption. I have one on charge and other in use. 
Cheap. They are that cheap I have a few spares at home.
Ultimate in daylight and night visibility.

Disadvantages:
Mono screen - net a problem with Ventus.
The cheap ones are a bit flunky
No water resistance at all.
They do not like being in direct sun for a long period isn a case that does not breath, They can overheat and freeze or even worse just give up.
You have to root the device to use Google Play in order to load Ventus.

Tried using them as 20/20s but charging can be strange also.

The one I tried is a Boyue T61 which I think is the cheapest of them all. There are others that are better. 

I have found a waterproof pouch which fits nicely and I am thinking of cutting the back out and installing a Goretech patch to let it breath.


 

 

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