I just ordered the PC which will become the heart of our navigation
systems--the Aleutia P1 Marine PC
I have probably spent 4 the equivalent of four full days mostly late at
night looking into fanless PCs that either designed to be run on 12V DC
power or happen to be powered as such but come with an AC-DC converter.
PCs in that secondary category might work fine hooked directly up to the
ship’s 12V power, but really should be run on a DC to DC regulator that
essentially guarantees the PC is seeing 12V consistently or if it’s a
19V PC (lots of options out there for that) then it could handle that as
well. I would look at the Carnetix Regulators if
you decide to go that route.
I decided on the Aleutia because I felt it was the most hardware for the
right price. I’m not saying it was the cheapest! However it is a very
cable power sipping PC that can do the work I need. It also has the
advantage of already being able to accept a wide input of DC power
(6V-32V DC) which means I won’t need the regulator for the PC (I might
still need one for a monitor TBD). Here’s a quick list of the specs of
the unit I selected:
Processor Intel ATOM D510 1.66GHz (The lower power slower of the two choices)
RAM 4GB (Upgraded from 2GB)
System Cooling Fanless
Power Input 6V – 12V DC
Power Draw 19W * Let’s discuss this below
Solid State Drive (SSD HD) I will supply
OS I will supply
Bulkhead Mountable YES
Tested in Nigeria YES – No really…
Wi-Fi No * (Optional)
I didn’t include a Solid State Drive because their options for SSD HD
were limited and I can slide in a better larger drive than their
I didn’t buy Windows 7 64 bit from them because I have a better deal
I didn’t include Wi-Fi because this PC is going to be
mounted less than a foot from the wireless access point.
I will cable it directly instead.
As for the power draw, the PC is designed to be very efficient, but if I
go buy a crappy SSD which is a power hog then this will all be for
naught. When I select my SSD I need to be very conscious of that!
Aleutia’s options were for a 32GB or a 64GB Corsair Nova SSD which draw
0.5W (0.04A @ 12VDC) at idle and 2.0W (0.16A @ 12VDC) max. If I bought
Corsairs most high performance SSD it would draw 0.2A at idle 0.5A Max.
Not as much as other things on the boat, but I want this PC to stay on
24x7 so I need to watch every little bit I can. I’ll probably go with
the Corsair Force F120 120GB SSD
because it is larger, has better perf and the same power draw as the NOVA series
which Aleutia has spec’d and tested. I might be able to find an even more
miserly SSD but I’ve not looked yet.
The next step is making a decision about the Monitor…. but that is
another post for another day.