Panbo

March 2004 Archives

Waterproof Wrap-Radio

Mar 30, 2004

Arriva's Wrap-Radio looks a bit weird, but I guess it's a better, and more waterproof, solution than the CapRadio I wrote about before.

"No exposed wires increase durability. Flexibility allows for abusive use and storage without adverse damage. Best of all, the weave design fits any size head comfortably and securely. The "WRAP-RADIO" will NOT fall off. The design accommodates different "ear buds" and color specifications per your requirements. The headset can even be waterproof and is designed for use with a Cassette, CD or MP3 player when used with the stereo cord."

Yme Bosma | Permalink | Comments (0)

Multipurpose GPS Unit

Mar 30, 2004

If you would like to use your GPS unit when sailing, driving, but also when flying, have a look at Garmin's new multipurpose model.

"Garmin realizes that pilots are also motorists and many are active mariners, so the GPSMAP 296 is designed to move seamlessly between an aircraft, vehicle or boat. At the press of a button, pilots have access to the unit's Automotive and Marine modes."

"On the water, the GPSMAP 296 offers a worldwide marine database and U.S. tide data. When coupled with the optional Marine Kit (64-MB data card and MapSource BlueChart´┐Ż CD), the unit displays such information as depth contours, inter-tidal zones, spot soundings, wrecks, navaids, port plans, restricted areas, cable areas, anchorages and much more."

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And This Is Why We Need Rugged PCs

Mar 29, 2004

Cheyenne's record attempt is nearing a successful end, but this quote from one of the crew shows us why it is important to have the right equipment.

"For now the rain pours down, and we are happy to be maintaining 10kts of boatspeed. Any hour, the sky should clear, the north-easter fill, and the boat begin to pound into trade wind swells. The crew has profited from the downpour to shower and wash clothes between sail changes. Unfortunately, the humidity has killed the crew correspondence computer. Efforts are underway to resuscitate it, but I suspect a soggy motherboard."

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Marine Satellite Radio

Mar 29, 2004

If real offshore sailing is not your thing, than satellite radio should be a consideration for on-board entertainment. Prospec has introduced a new Sirius-ready radio.

"Extending the range of its receivers, Prospec Electronics will be offering Sirius-ready JBL radios to OEMs for the 2005 model year. Boaters won't believe their ears as crystal clear, commercial-free streaming satellite radio pours out of the speakers wherever the tide takes them. Sirius, headquartered in New York, offers over 100 streams of digital quality radio transmitted across the continental US from three high-tech satellites. Along with offering a full spectrum of music genres, users can also listen to popular news, entertainment and sports channels."

Yme Bosma | Permalink | Comments (0)

Red Wine And Solar Cells

Mar 29, 2004

I have discussed the increasing efficiency of solar cells before, but here is great way to deal with the negative effects of bad spots. Just make sure you don't use your most expensive bottle...

"Solar cell efficiencies range from about seven percent for low-cost thin film materials to about 24 percent for high-quality silicon crystal. The University of Toledo method boosts the efficiency of the low-cost photovoltaic materials, which promises to make generating electricity from sunlight more cost-effective. Amorphous silicon solar cells are made by spreading a thin film of silicon on a surface. Some polycrystalline semiconductor materials can also be made into thin films. Such cells have bad spots because it's nearly impossible to uniformly manufacture such large areas -typically a square meter- of the material. The researchers fixed the problem by using red wine to cause electrochemical reactions where the currents are drawn to the bad spots that blocked those spots. A mixture of an acid, water and aniline also works, according to the researchers."

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Hardened Laptops

Mar 25, 2004

Although there has been a lot of writing around Panasonics' Toughbook, there is another big player, Itronix, when it comes to deploying 'ruggedized' notebooks in the difficult military environment. It is also preferred choice for many boaters.

"The worst test (those with a sensitive disposition may want to skip this part) was to load up a Barney game on the machine and deploy them to kids at a pool. The tots actually played the program underwater and surprisingly the Itronix survived even though there were other (unnamed) notebooks in the test apparently that didn't."

Yme Bosma | Permalink | Comments (1)

Stylish Galley Greenhouse

Mar 25, 2004

For you liveaboards, this is the way to make sure you have fresh herbs all the time...

"Just when you think there is nothing more to invent for the kitchen you find out you are totally wrong. The Italian (where else) kitchen brand Smeg designed this inhouse, computer controlled, greenhouse for your kitchen. Which is quite handy, if you prefer fresh herbs."

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What's On Board: 118 WallyPower

Mar 23, 2004

The 118 WallyPower is one of the most amazing designs I have ever seen for a motor yacht. recently it has won the MYDA, the Millenium Yacht Design Award dedicated to the "layout of the Third Millennium, a design that remarkably contributed to the development of the concept of the yacht layout." The cruising speed of the 118 WallyPower is 60 knots... Interesting to see what kind of electronics are on board this ship. Some of the highlights:

2x 33KW Kohler generators
Frigomar air conditioning
C-PLath Navipilot V-HSC autopliot
Furuno GP-80 GPS
Inmarsat-C Sailor satcom
Sea Tel TV
B&G instruments
Furuno FM-2721 VHF
Pathfinder Radome 48 Raymarine radar
3x 15'' & 3x 20'' Panasoci LCD TV
Linn hi-fi

Yme Bosma | Permalink | Comments (2)

Diving Without (Many) Hassles

Mar 23, 2004

For those of who love diving, but don't like all the hassle that usually comes with it, take a look at SurfaceDive's 12volt diving system. Also saves a lot of space on smaller boats, but still let's you explore great diving spots.

"There are reasons why this new system has gotten to be more popular, but also many reasons why it has not changed diving completely. One of the most obvious reasons is the depth limitation to using this type of "above-surface" diving equipment. The Powerdive's depth limitation is 26-33 ft, which loses to the true scuba equipment that can go much deeper. The limitation is not without a silver lining, since at this depth the US government does not require the divers to get a permit."

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Solar Powered Notebook

Mar 22, 2004

While I was researching solar energy for use in a maritime environment I came across a product that has been around for a while, but that keeps improving since the efficiency of solar cells is increasing. It won't be hard to think of some inspirational use cases for this solution... By the way, I will have a more detailed overview on solar solutions later this week.

"If you're interested in getting more runtime from your laptop when you're away from the power lines, our Notepower portable solar module is just what you need. A pair of 10 watt PV modules provides enough power to run and/or charge most laptop computers. Anywhere you go, just unfold the solar array, put it in the sunshine, plug in the Smart Adapter or your own 12 volt DC lighter adapter and you're set. A 10 foot cord allows you to be in the shade (like under a tree at the beach) while the solar module is in the sun."

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