Sailing @ METS 2015: Anemomind, Astra, LCJ Capteurs, Garmin, Harken & Edson

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 24, 2015

METS2015_Anemomind_cPanbo.jpgXavier Righetti and Julien Pilet pose in their first METS stand with the three tangible elements of Anemomind. The white box contains a fast GPS receiver plus barometric pressure and 9-axis inertial motion sensors, as well as NMEA 0183/2000 ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, and lots of computing power. The connected app delivers wind, boat speed, and percentage of target speed attained, and it also passes the data along with notes and photos to the Anemomind cloud for near realtime race analysis. That's all good, but the special sauce is less tangible...

Continue Reading

FLIBS 2015: Telemar superyacht helm, Hatteland 55-inch Chart Table, and Triton luxury submarines

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 12, 2015

Hatteland_Series_X_55_inch_chart_table_cPanbo.jpgImagine running Coastal Explorer, or your favorite charting program, on a 55-inch multitouch display with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution -- also known as UHD or 4K -- secured to a sturdy base with pushbutton up/down and tilt controls. I've never so enjoyed tapping out a route, and the Hatteland 4K Chart Table is way sexier than that...

Continue Reading

Seapilot Vector Compact GNSS Compass, sweet deal that usually works well

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 10, 2015

Seapilot_Compact_GNSS_Compass_cPanbo.jpgThere's lot to report from the Fort Lauderdale Show, but the calendar dictates that I first write about this Seapilot satellite compass. That's because a startling 50% show discount is still available this week, so you can buy the Vector Compact-N NMEA 2000 model seen above for $500 simply by applying the code "FLIBS2015" in the shopping cart. The Compact seemed like a relatively good value at twice the price when I first discussed its features last November, and since then I've seen it perform pretty well on Gizmo...

Continue Reading

Garmin 2016: Quickdraw sonar charting, smaller Panoptix, Striker, and lots of CHIRP

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 4, 2015

Garmin_Quickdraw_aPanbo.jpgGarmin put up a Marine 2016 site this morning and one thing many current Garmin owners will be excited about is the Quickdraw Contours sonar charting that will come to many current Garmin displays in January. Yup, you're going to be able to easily collect soundings as you cruise, sail or fish and, if you want, you can watch the resulting high def sonar chart materialize in your wake, as suggested above. Quickdraw is no surprise given the tussle over Navionics SonarCharts for Garmin, but naturally Garmin added some special sauce...

Continue Reading

TBF: FLIBS, dAISy, YDVR, G-Metrix OBD2, and DAME nominees

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 30, 2015

FLIBS_transit_map_n_app_aPanbo.jpgWith Panbo's first TBF now a week old, how about some more acronym madness? This marine electronics TidBits Friday can't include any of the tasty stuff being served at next week's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), but there certainly will be some, and I've been studying the transportation options for making the most of my four days at this huge event. The MyBoatShow app has not achieved perfection, but it's better and may help. Come if you can or come by here for some TBL, and in the meantime...

Continue Reading

iKommunicate from Digital Yacht, Signal K gets kickstarted

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 26, 2015

iKommunicate Signal K proof of concept aPanbo.jpgSorry for the fuzzy photo, but it makes sense as the iKommunicate Signal K Gateway isn't a real product yet, and the real product may look quite different from the "Proof of Concept" prototype above if it actually materializes early next year. Why so vague? What's happening here is a techy chicken and egg thing. Digital Yacht was understandably hesitant about developing a gateway for Signal K apps and services that hardly exist yet, but the Signal K universal boat data concept -- open source, entirely free, and created by unfunded volunteers -- needs a commercial level NMEA gateway so that third party developers can easily show us what the potential apps and services can do. That's my understanding of why DY launched the iKommunicate Kickstarter campaign and also why I'm hoping that fellow boat geeks and related companies will join me in backing the project and thus helping Signal K become real...

Continue Reading

TBF: NV Cuba, YB3 free, Furuno GP1x70F steals, BT VHF, and Sailing A

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 23, 2015

TBF_logo_Panbo.jpgApologies in advance to Panbo readers who've complained about too many acronyms, because I'm adding a new one. The idea of Tidbit Friday (TBF) is to create an entry type where I can share some of the juicy morsels I often come across as I indulge my endless appetite for marine electronics and the wider world of boating. You won't see one every Friday, but when I started listing possible recent subjects, it sure got long in a hurry. There's lots I can do with one image and a paragraph...

Continue Reading

NMEA 2015: FLIR, Shakespeare, Humminbird, Lumishore, Intellian, Nobeltec & more

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 20, 2015

NMEA_2015_Signal_K_cPanbo.jpgWhile the big manufacturers showed off some great stuff at the NMEA 2015 Conference, there was also a lot to get excited about in the seminars and expo hall. Discussion of the open source Signal K marine data protocol, for instance, was not just a NMEA first but drew a standing-room-only crowd, twice. Soon I hope to list some of the interesting small and medium-size developers who are adopting SK and also share some good news about how interested boaters can get involved in the first public gateway project. In the meantime, here are some of my Conference highlights...

Continue Reading

Veethree Engine Gateway/Monitor is powerful, coming EGM 800 is wow

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 12, 2015

VeeThree_EGM_kit_cPanbo.jpgVeethree is a serious instrumentation company with significant engineering and manufacturing facilities in Florida and India (impressive corporate video here). The vast majority of their business is OEM, so while the ruggedly-built Engine Gateway Monitor (EGM) above is packaged as a retail product, you're not apt to see one at a marine store and it's even hard to find at Veethree (go to the bottom of this marine page). But my testing suggests that it could be useful on many boats, especially with a few of the firmware features coming to its big brother, the 800 EGM...

Continue Reading

NMEA Conference 2015, back-to-back good times with the Big Four

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 6, 2015

NMEA Conference Schedule 9-27-15 cPanbo.jpgThose early morning Google Calender notifications above indicate my awesome Wednesday schedule during last week's 2015 NMEA Conference. It's tempting to presume that the back-to-back demo trips around Baltimore Harbor with the Big Four manufacturers mark peak intensity for my career as a marine electronics pundit, but actually the whole industry seems to be in good shape with the pace of innovation quickening...

Continue Reading