Raspberry Pi Chartplotter Performance

There have been quite a few people interested in running OpenCPN forums (such as CruisersForum) and email lists. However a common criticism is that the performance is too slow.

I don’t find the Raspberry Pi to be frustratingly slow, but it is definitely slower than a modern PC. I compare it favorably to a low-end grayscale chartplotter/fishfinder currently on the market, but with a much larger full color screen. Everyone has a different tolerance for “slow” electronics,  so to that end I thought it would be worthwhile to create a video showing exactly what kind of performance can be expected.

I simply pointed my webcam at the screen to create the video below. There is no sound, and the camera had some difficulty with autofocus. It shows 5 minutes of OpenCPN running on my Raspberry Pi – from boot (power applied), through auto-launching OpenCPN, through GPS data acquisition. While waiting, I moved the chart around, zoomed in an out, and opened some other windows in the application. After letting the device sit for a few minutes, the utilization stabilized at around 10%. Hopefully, this can give everyone a good idea of what this low-powered and inexpensive device can do.

3 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Chartplotter Performance”

  1. Have you been able to test this on the water, I am wondering how quickly the chart will update as your boat moves through the water?
    I like the idea of a low power boat computer that can play movies in the evening but also act as a chartplotter during the day.

    1. As a straight chartplotter it totally sufficient, to me. Once running, it updates consistently and effectively.

      But I’m on a trawler moving at 7kts. If you are running on plane, you may want to do some tests/checking before completely trusting it.

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