Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Raspberry PI Navigation Computer?

Today I got caught up looking over a bunch of Raspberry PI stuff and it got me thinking.  This might be a wonderful base for a low cost, high performance, open source Navigation computer / system.

Previously I talked about the Nav Computer used on Viking Star, a Windows based system using SeaClear:

and it continues to work well for us.

Pie anyone?

Raspberry PI?

But here is this new Raspberry PI environment that for $35 gives an incredible amount of power: http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

Launched over last summer, and to be honest just now getting on its feet,  this effort is along the lines of the Ardunio except that it focuses more on visual interfaces and hosts Linux.

Just thinking:

Could use the USB Hockey puck GPS receiver or the 4-port serial cable to connect to an existing GPS receiver.  (I likely would do the latter and download waypoints into the GPS in parallel with the chartplotter).

Add a Bluetooth Mouse if you did not want to be Touching the Screen all the time.

Add some power supply stuff and for $100 looks like you could have a VERY competent  navigation computer, with a complete touch-display system coming in under $300 - $400

Note:  Links just given for reference  likely can find better deals with some searching...

A very quick Google turned up a few folks that have started to play with this:

Seems there are still some issues, and you had best be well versed in tech (as with almost any Linux deployment).  And not sure if I would ever be happy with the rather sluggish response time of openCPN (See my 1st post linked above) while it updates the display.  But  IF I was starting our nav computer today this would be high on my look-at list.

UPDATE  August 2013 -

I did a quick google search, and found a few links of folks who seem to be making progress.  Here are a couple:





  1. This thing looks pretty cool. I like that it can run off a micro USB and basically just take any old phone plug. Thats cool stuff there.

  2. Note: Comment by Jonathan Ibera was removed due to blatant SPAM and embedded hyperlinks.

    Thank you for the kind words though,

    "July 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM
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