Raymarine's C-series have been out for a while now and there's an interesting discussion over at the Go Boating America's Forums. So if you are in the market for a C120, C80, or C70, make sure you read this.
"I have a C80. Big problem for me is there is no way to manipulate waypoints on my pc and then upload to the C80. I wouldn't have bought the unit if I had known this. I "ASS UMED" that since the unit uses CF cards it would be a poc to swap back and forth. When I queried Raymarine support about the issue they were downright rude, telling me that the swap capability was proprietary information. And then there was the issue of the advertised ability to overlay the chart plotter and the radar. One has to dig deep to find out for that capability you have to purchase an additional piece of kit, the heading sensor, for $650!! I don't think I would do Raymarine if I was starting over."(Raymarine at Amazon.com)
If you're looking for a way to have (pdf, p13) alerts of new shipwrecks highlighted on your electronic charts in real-time, McMurdo has the answer...
"The receiver has a RS422 data output, which enables it to be integrated into an electronic chart display (ECDIS) - which automatically converts the safety warning into an alert which is displayed on the chart (for example indicating a new shipwreck). The electronic chart software can scan the message for a latitude and longitude reference."
A new Bluetooth GPS receiver from GlobalSat with an optional GPRS function for surfing on internet. They claim it will keep working within an 80m (250ft) range, but if your yacht is that big you probably don't use a portable Bluetooth GPS receiver....
"For those of you who have seen the Globalsat BT308 the BT318 does not look too much different, it has sleeker styling, but the main improvements are a removeable battery with a claimed life of 15+ hours, and a cradle which is a bluetooth GPRS modem."(Bluetooth GPS at Amazon.com)
John Kostecki, skipper of illbruck, V.O.R. winner, on Steiner's Commander V: "Covering 32,000 nautical miles around the world can only be done with the very best equipment. That's why we chose Steiner's new Commander V." Well, if he says so...
"Steiner technology has created "HD" Nighthunter optics that deliver 96% peak light transmission � the highest ever recorded. Combined with the bright and steady 7 x 50 configuration, you get nighttime images so brilliant, it�s almost like turning on a spotlight. Each Commander V is hand-built to be mil. spec. waterproof and shock resistant." (Steiner Commander V at Amazon.com)
If you're considering to install a PC at the hart of your boat's systems, may be Stealth's new fanless LittlePC, rugged design, compact dimensions (10" x 5.82" x 2.79"), is something for you.
"Designed without cooling fans the rugged extruded aluminum chassis acts as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat and provide noise free operation. Littlepc.com's new Model LPC-401FL Fanless LittlePC is a small footprint PC that features an Intel 2.0 Celeron CPU clocked at 1.33GHz, passive cooled CPU processor that offers optimal heat dissipation and power consumption."
There's no denying that satellite radio has made its entry into boating. This week's Ocean Navigator Marine Elecronics & Communications newsletter is proof of that. Chris Parker is discussing the different options you have, especially highlighting the Brix portable receiver. He's looking at a way to be able to receive the signal as far as in the Caribbean.
"I used to recommend purchasing the Sirius or XM device that was designed to interface with your brand of stereo. But audio equipment manufacturers identified a new market for this technology. Several equipment manufacturers now produce boom-box-type units for under $200 with a detachable satellite radio receiver. This allows you to take your satellite radio with you anywhere you go. You can play the self-contained unit, or play its output on your car, boat, home or office stereo."
I was reading some industry news on Sea Tell and Globalstar, and I realized that I had never posted anything about the WaveCall 3000 which seems like a good solution for data and voice communications if you are sailing the oceans.
"It provides voice and data speeds of up to 56Kbps using data compression, with the added ability to interface with permanently installed shipboard systems. The WaveCall MCM3 uses 3 simultaneously connected channels to provide voice and data speeds of up to 144 kbps using data compression. An RJ45 Ethernet connection also makes the product easy to integrate into networks."
Sony's 7.2-megapixel digital still camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-P150, comes with an optional Marine Pack.
"The camera sports circuitry that Sony says ensures fast startup and shot-to-shot times and speeds up auto focus and auto exposure. It has a Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 3x optical zoom lens and can get about 310 shots per charge out of the InfoLithium battery, according to Sony. It's also equipped with a 1.8-inch LCD screen. Available separately is the Cyber-shot Marine Pack, which lets the camera operate underwater at depths up to 132 feet." (Sony Cybershot at Amazon.com)
A short article going back to 1957 when Carl Lowrance invented a small electronic box that flashed instant water depths and possible fish targets, and looking forward to a near future where anglers will find their lake depth screens will appear in 3-D effect to more easily visualize the haunts of fish.
"In my fishing boat the other day I turned on a state-of-the-art Lowrance 104 unit that combines sonar with GPS and mapping capabilities. It's the fishing version of shock and awe. On a split-screen as clear as color television, the Lowrance 104 showed the bottom depth, possible fish or bait targets and bottom hardness � and that's just one side of the screen."(Lowrance at Amazon.com)
Since I am using the Amsterdam waterways quite often this is especially relevant (pdf) to me.... Not sure about the exact coverage area, but would be nice if Amsterdam was to become a giant 'hotzone'.
"To access the system, ships need to have computers with a standard wi-fi data access card. The system is provided by Radionet, a supplier of wi-fi "hot zone" technology, and Baas WDS (wireless data systems), a system integrator. It was installed in June 2004. The network is owned and operated by Amsterdam Port Authority. The system uses the 2.4 GHz WLAN spectrum and 802.11 wi-fi protocol. The wi-fi access points, located around the port, also communicate with the data backbone system by radio, at up to 10 Mbps; the
backbone itself can carry 34 Mbps."