New Navstation Computer?

I’ve used small netbooks previously (look at the EeePc line for one low-power solution). These have worked well, but this year It looks like we will have a different configuration: The EeeBox and a small 14-inch USB-connected display:


The display burns 5W or less, and with keyboard and mouse plugged in, and the EeeBox powered with a 12V/18V adaptor, the whole mess draws under 2A @ 12V. When I plug a quad RS232/USB adaptor, and an Iridium satphone into the remaining USB ports the current drain is under 2.5A @ 12V.

Hint: To use only the USB monitor, you need to have a “dummy VGA plug” plugged into the EeeBox VGA connector. Otherwise the EeeBox never completes the startup sequence and the USB display remains blank. I spent a few hours figuring this out!

This particular USB monitor has LED backlights, and there is a button on the back that lets you adjust the screen brightness. The lowest setting is completely appropriate for use on a dark night. I haven’t tried the display in sunlight, but that’s not where I will be using it. I’m looking for a software method to control the backlight, but haven’t found one yet. The brightness button is pretty easy to reach. This monitor and computer are both light enough that you could secure them with velcro if you wanted.

The EeeBox runs Windows 7 (64-bit), and so far all the programs I need are working fine.

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