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Old 10-21-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
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Cheap Tablet Computer for VMSpc Display

Here's what I'm using for the VMSpc screen layout on a Fijutsu LT C-500 tablet computer.

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I've just begun using the Fujitsu LT C-500 tablet computer dedicated for VMSpc use. This was recommended to me several years ago by another RV'r, but I delayed for a while before buying one. It's what is displayed in the picture above. It is just the right size to sit next to the windshield corner post on the dash. I've tried various full size laptops and they don't work too well on my dash layout. I've recently started using a Garmin 760 for the GPS, and it fits well on the other side of the instrument panel so I didn't need the full size laptop screen anymore for displaying VMSpc and Delorme mapping software at the same time.

The specs of the Fujitsu LT C-500 can be found at the link below:

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These are older tablet computers, and can be found sometimes on E-bay. I got mine from E-bay for $123.75 including shipping. You need the computer and the docking station, as only the docking station has the serial port (that I needed for VMSpc). The first picture above has the tablet computer sitting in the docking station. VMSpc now has interfaces for serial and usb, but mine was the serial type. I had mixed results using the serial to usb adapter.

My tablet is running Windows 2000, but you'll find some on E-bay still running Windows 98. VMSpc does have a program that works on Windows 98, but I don't have any experience with that.

The tablet computer came with a 120 volt charging adapter. I already had a small inverter, so I've just combined the two devices to power the unit.

I placed VMSpc in the start menu of the computer so that it automatically begins running VMSpc when powered up.

I managed to run the power cable and the serial cable through a gap where the dashboard meets the windshield corner post.

I hope this info helps others with their VMSpc display.

Fred
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #2
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looks good, i have been thinking about buying one of those new Netbooks with 10 inch screen, they are selling for about $250 in most stores. 160G Hard drive and 1G RAM, and will work with VMSpc software
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Fred..... Do you know if there is a Windows 2000 USB driver available for VMSPC's new USB interface?
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:38 AM   #4
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I also considered one of the new netbooks, but I never found one with a serial port. My vmspc drives a serial port and the serial to usb adapter had to be hooked up after everything else loaded on the laptop to prevent lockup problems. Also the tablet computer was 1/2 the cost of the netbook and we already have good full size laptops for use. I wanted something that could remain connected in the motorhome. Now I turn on the inverter, power up the tablet computer and it all works.

Regarding the USB driver for windows 2000....it is already in the operating system. The tablet computer docking station has one USB port, and I used an external usb drive for moving the VMSpc software/files to the tablet computer. It is the same external USB drive I use for backup purposes with a windows vista laptop.

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Old 11-24-2009, 05:26 AM   #5
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Thanks to Fred Cooper's advice, I found the solution to a GPS situation I have been looking for. I have 2 GPS devices and I don't like either one, primarily because it is difficult or impossible to see the entire route, and the lack of input on the route displayed. I have MS Streets and Trips with GPS but my laptop is too big for use while underway.

I just bought a Fujitsu Stylistic LT C-500 off Ebay for only $110 and with MS Streets and Trips installed it is the solution I have been looking for. I don't think an 8 inch screen can be found in a standard GPS for less than $800 - $900, and the Fujitsu Stylistic LT C-500 is a full fledged computer with wifi capability. It even came with Windows XP installed and that makes program and driver installation a snap.

Thanks Fred.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:17 AM   #6
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I did the same, and I just purchased the Garmin mapping software with GPS for the Fujitsu. Not a bad deal. I can install the VMSPc and the GPS on one device. And if fits in the corner pretty well. If this does not work, I will end up using the 10 inch Netbook. Thanks for the idea Fred. Now when i get the MH back from the dealer, i can install it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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I'm happy that my suggestion helped others.

I've just completed several trips using the Fujitsu as a VMSpc monitor. It has worked great. I have discovered that the screen brightness adjustment will lower the screen intensity low enough that I'm comfortable having it on during night driving. This was not possible with my laptop.

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Old 11-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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Fred,

how do you have it powered? do you have a 12V adapter or what?

thanks

bob
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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Bob (majfrizz) said:
how do you have it powered? do you have a 12V adapter or what?

I already had a small 12 volt inverter and use that to give the unit 120 volts.

There is an accessory for the unit that will allow it to run on 12 volts, but I don't have one.

Fred
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