Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

Navigation tools including maps, compass, GPS, computers, software, and other forms of navigation.
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Chazz Layne
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Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#1

Post by Chazz Layne » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:24 pm

Geeks.com has some the older 1.4 GHz 13.3" touchscreen units available for about $350, perfect for building an in-vehicle nav setup: http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=619

Those are likely CF-29 Mark 2 toughbooks (Win XP operating system)- excellent workhorses, especially in the vehicle or on the trail. Usually the biggest limitation is the relatively small harddrive if you want to store a lot of maps - 40GB. That is easily upgraded. Also, they have only one USB port, but they do have an actual 9-pin serial port, which is easier for interfacing TNCs or external GPSs for APRS...
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Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#2

Post by DaveK » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:23 pm

Chazz:

The used ruggedized notebook market is a great place to start working up your in-vehicle navigation system. I started out with a used Toughbook and it served me well. Things to consider when buying used:

1. If it is offered, consider an extended warranty. They can be a cheap assurance that you will not end up buying a piece of junk.

2. Make sure that the computer either has enough memory to run the programs that you want to run or can be upgraded, at a reasonable cost.

3. Usually, used machines don't come with the most current OS, and that can be a very good thing. Many of the programs that you will want to run were most compatible with MS XP, as it was around for a relatively long period of time. There is a great deal of angst among software developers scrambling to make their programs work with Microsofts current offering. Many of the issues have been resolved but many still exist.

4. If you have a choice, opt for a computer with a serial port (or even better, 2).

Please post up on how this works.
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ssc
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Re: Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#3

Post by ssc » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:28 pm

Computers in the rig? I just go where the voices tell me. 8-)

Thanks for the heads-up. I might look into these.

Regards, Steve
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Chazz Layne
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Re: Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#4

Post by Chazz Layne » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:29 pm

They are a great vendor too, I have done business with them off and on for about 8 years now.
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Re: Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#5

Post by cruiserlarry » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 pm

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 has a maximum of 1.2GB ram. They come with 236mb on board, and a 256Mb chip, which can be changed out for a 1Gb chip. The hard drive is a 40Gb, but can be upgraded to an 80gb with OE drives, or up to 160gb with faster aftermarket drives (but they use more power). Windows XP Pro is the operating system of choice on these machines. The 1.6ghz CF-29 mark 5 model had 2 usb ports and one 9-pin serial (and a SD card reader); all the earlier models had one of each (and no reader). The touchscreen models have brighter screens than the non-touchscreen models - so even if you don't care about the touchscreen, you'll want the brighter daylight-readable screen for vehicle / field use.

Another consideration are the condition of all the port and cover seals - these units are water / weather resistant, but many that have been in service for a while have missing or damaged seals / covers for the ports. These are expensive to pick up from Panasonic (although all parts are still available).

I know many people using the CF-29s in trail vehicles for mapping programs without issue.
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Re: Found some Panasonic Toughbooks

#6

Post by SteveS » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:31 pm

That’s what I run for my on-board computer. Not the best deal for someone looking for a new laptop, but GREAT choice for those just running map/truck software. Very stable and no cooling vent to suck in dust. The serial port came in handy for my Agent Data Tracker.

I run Ozi Explorer for mapping, and I just put a states worth of maps on a memory stick. Then load all the maps I need for an area and surrounding areas (just in case) as needed. All my USGS 7.5 maps for So Cal fit fine, but a bigger HD would be nice.

It also has a PC card slot, which I use for a Kyocera Cell card for internet along the interstate.

I got my CF-29 about a year ago, and I recall it was less than $300, but no matter, I think I got a good deal. :D :D

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