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Rugged computer’s ready to set sail

Nov 29, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Moxa announced a rugged computer compliant with ECDIS, IEC 60945, DNV, and IACS-E10 industrial marine standards. The MC-5150 is equipped with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 520E processor, 2GB of pre-installed DDR3 SDRAM, internal and removable SATA storage trays, plus optional NMEA ports along with more usual gigabit Ethernet, VGA, DVD-I, USB, and serial offerings.

Most marine-focused computers we've covered are panel PCs with sealed touchscreens, but the Moxa MC-5150 is instead designed to be tucked away in a sealed compartment where it drives external displays via its VGA and DVI-I ports.

Considering its support for industrial marine standards including IEC 60945, DNV, and IACS-E10, as well as its claimed temperature, shock, and vibration resistance, the MC-5150 appears to be aimed at larger vessels destined for the high seas. Moxa notes that the computer is "particularly well-suited for bridge systems in marine applications." The MC-5150 is also compliant with the marine-oriented Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) standard, says Moxa.

Rear-panel views of the MC-5150-DC-CP (left) and MC-5150-AC/DC, with the latter showing NMEA ports on bottom

The MC-5150 is available in three models: a DC-CP version running on DC power, as well as two larger AC and DC models, which add 12 NMEA-compliant isolated serial ports. Moxa does not detail which of the National Marine Electronics Association standards it complies with, but says the ports, which are visible in the photo above, use Phoenix 3.81mm compatible connectors.

The AC/DC NMEA versions also add considerably to the weight (15.1 vs. 8.27 pounds) and the size. Moxa lists both models at 11.30 x 9.84 x 2.75 inches, but that would appear to be the size of the AC/DC models only, as the photos show a clear size difference.

MC-5150-AC/DC model

(Click to enlarge)

Beyond that, all three MC-5150 models appear to be identical. They all use a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 520E processor from the 2010 generation of Core CPUs, featuring a 35 Watt TDP. Maximum power consumption for the computer itself is said to be 100 Watts.

The computer features 2GB of pre-installed DDR3 SDRAM, with no mention of upgrade potential. The systems offer both an internal SATA tray and a removable SATA tray, according to Moxa.


(Click to enlarge)

The MC-5150 is further equipped with dual magnetic-isolated gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as six USB host ports, says company. In addition to the dozen NMEA serial ports offered on the AC and DC models, all the variants are said to provide four serial ports, with two of them configured as RS-232/422/485 ports.

Additional I/O includes the aforementioned VGA and DVD-I ports, plus PS/2 ports and audio I/O, says the company. The MC-5150 computers are fanless, and offer an operating range of 5 to 131 deg. F, as well as 1G anti-vibration and 5G anti-shock features.

Cited user-installable operating systems include Windows XP Embedded, XP Professional, or Windows 7, but we see no reason why Linux could not be made to pilot the computer, as well.

Features and specifications listed for the Moxa MC-5150 include:

  • Processor — Intel Core i5 520E (BGA CPU package), 2.4GHz processor
  • Chipset — Intel QM57 Express
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 SDRAM pre-installed
  • Storage — internal SATA tray for SSD/HDD; removable SATA tray
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet with magnetic isolation
  • Other I/O:
    • 6 x USB 2.0 (2 x front-facing)
    • VGA port (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels)
    • DVI-I interface (29-pin connector)
    • 2 x RS-232
    • 2 x RS-232/422/485 (software selectable)
    • 12 x NMEA serial ports on MC-5150-AC/DC models only (Phoenix 3.81 mm compatible connector)
    • PS/2 keyboard and mouse
    • audio line-in, line-out
  • Other features — wall mounting; storage and power LEDs
  • Power (DC models) — 24 VDC (with tolerance from 18 to 30 VDC); 2-pin terminal block
  • Power (AC model) — 100 to 240 VAC
  • Power consumption — less than 100 W, 2.5 A @ 24 VDC
  • Ruggedization:
    • operating temperature — 5 to 131 deg. F (-15 to 55 deg. C) 
    • vibration — 0.7 g, sine wave, 2-100 Hz, 1 Oct./min., 1.5 hr per axis; 1 grms, random wave, 3-100 Hz, 2.5 hr per axis; 2.1 g, sine wave, 2-50 Hz, 1 Oct./min., 1.5 hr per axis
    • shock — 50 g @ IEC 60068-2-27, half sine wave, 11ms
    • safety compliance — UL 60950-1, DNV 2.4 (pending), IEC 60945, 4th (pending), IACS-E10 (pending)
    • EMC compliance — EN 55022 Class B, EN 55024-4-2, EN 55024-4-3, EN 55024-4-4, FCC Part 15 Subpart B Class B
    • marine compliance — IEC 60945, 4th; IACS-E10; DNV, ECDIS (navigation system)
  • Dimensions (AC/DC models) — 11.30 x 9.84 x 2.75 inches (287 x 250 x 70mm)
  • Weight (AC/DC models) — 15.1 lbs (6.85 k)
  • Weight (DC/CP model) — 8.27 lbs (3.75 k)


No pricing or availability information was provided for the MC-5150 Series. More information may be found at Moxa's MC-5150-DC-CP product page, as well as its MC-5150-AC/DC page.

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