Lots of PR talk here, but Delphi announced today the introduction of the Delphi XM SKYFi Marine Kit. Satellite radio, either from XM or Sirius, is becoming very popular in the boating world looking at all the products (or marinized versions...) that have been entering the market recently.
"For splash proof protection, the Delphi XM SKYFi Marine Kit features a UV- treated cradle cover, which helps users see the display while helping protect their SKYFi receiver. A wireless FM adaptor with a conformal-coated circuit board, allows users to experience more than 120 XM channels of revolutionary programming including news, sports, traffic, weather and 68 commercial-free music stations through their boats' existing FM radio."
Would you like your computer (the one you've mounted in the cockpit..) to work while circumnavigating the Antarctic? JLT is a supplier of rugged computers that that can do just that and they have put some evidence online in order to proof it.
"JLT's line of computers are rugged (not ruggedized or semi-rugged) and are used in tough environments such as mining, construction, public safety, marine and logistics. They are built to withstand rough terrain, rain, dust and wind, extreme temperatures, water, etc."
So if you've bought the iPAL for listening to some sweet tunes on deck, you might also consider a nice waterproof case for your iPod. Oh, and underwater headphones are coming as well...
"The oPod is an iPod-size version of the water-resistant, dust- , crush- and shockproof cases the military uses to protect hand-held computers. And unlike some water-resistant boxes for the iPod, it gives users access to all of the device's controls except the hold switch."
The Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show was held last week in Las Vegas. Two interesting marine electronics won a Marine Manufacturers Association Innovation Award during that event.
"EchoPilot's CASS (Collision Avoidance Sonar System) is a wideband active surf zone sonar based on military research that can see floating and semi-submerged objects up to 1,200 yards ahead of the boat in real time. The system transmits using multi-frequency (a "swept chirp" of 20 -80 KHz), which ensures greater performance in rough waters, according to NMMA."
"Equally impressing to the judges in the Aftermarket Electronics category was Vexilar�s AlumaDucer, the only transducer designed to transmit through aluminum with zero signal loss. Built like other transducers, it is designed to automatically compensate for the loss of signal strength when mounting a transducer on an aluminum hull, the association reported."
Garmin announced a new portable GPS navigator. Although its intended use is on the road, it is compatible with the entire line of MapSource outdoor cartography, including U.S. Topo, 24K Topo, Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots, and BlueChart. And it is waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX-7 standards, which basically means that it is submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The Quest will be available from August 2004, for more info go to Garmin's website.
"With the brilliant 256-color backlit TFT display, the Quest is easy to read in any light. Theunit has a rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours of use. Smaller than a standard television remote, the Quest provides an ample screen viewing area, but it won't demand a lot of room on the dashboard or in the briefcase. The unique antenna folds flush with the unit then not in use and users can connect an optional external antenna as well." (Garmin at Amazon.com)
Nobeltec released their new InSight Radar 2, a fully functional digital radar that interfaces with their Visual Navigation Suite or Admiral for integration with a laptop or desktop computer. Seems promising by the looks of it and by the details as far as available. For more information, read this brochure (pdf) as well.
"The IR2 adds a variety of new controls and settings, but the new "Auto" settings are particularly important to note. Auto-Range automatically keeps your radar range and chart scale consistent when zooming in and out on a chart. This stabilizes the radar image while providing chart-plotting data at the same time. In addition, Auto-Gain and Auto-Sea intelligently filter out unwanted radar noise to keep the radar display clear and viewable at multiple chart scales and zoom levels. The IR2 also automatically adjusts the pulse length of the radar to match the range settings."
ComNav has renewed its NX2 instrument package. Go here to see what's new about it and whether there's something in it for you...
"By displaying 40 different functions, the Multi Control is the most versatile NX2 instrument. Using the Copy and Paste feature, sailors can customize their data readouts. The Ocean Racing Pack also includes a Compass Transducer, Wind Data display, Wind Transducer, Log Transducer and Depth Transducer."
A while ago there was this news about the McMurdo 'Precision 406 MHz GPS EPIRB' (also known as G4 406 MHz GSP EPIRB) and the McMurdo 'Fastfind Plus 406 MHz Personal Location Beacon' (also known as the Fastfind Plus 406 MHz PLB) that both failed to reliably acquire a GPS location 'fix' under operational 'real-world conditions. Now, after some new tests, it seems that these products work fine.
"The new tests were conducted on the company's upgraded FastFind Plus PLB and Precision EPIRB products, and were designed to replicate the earlier Equipped to Survive Foundation tests as closely as possible."
Yachtingnet takes a look at Raymarine�s new C-Series, and they seem to like what they see. Especially from a user-friendliness perspective.
"Each model in Raymarine�s new C-Series, a family of standalone multifunction navigation displays, offers yachtsmen a full-function chart plotter plus control and display of information from the company�s C-Series Pathfinder radars and DSM250 black-box sonar (both optional). Available in three versions with differing screen sizes�the 61/2-inch C70, 8.4-inch C80 and 12.1-inch C120�the C-Series units are easy to install, are user friendly and provide the excellent performance and functionality of Raymarine�s traditional networked display systems at a lower cost."
Can you imagine that here are still marinas out there that do not offer Wi-Fi internet access...? It won't be long before yacht owners expect to have it like they expect to have water and electricity at their slip.
"When Ed and Betty Jo Chipman, two members of the yacht club, heard the yacht club was offering Wi-Fi (through smartBridges), they immediately asked SmartWires to design a personal local area network 'on-board' their trawler. "Now with the wireless network, we can transfer files between our computers and access the Internet from anywhere on our boat or in the club. We cannot imagine going back to our old dial-up Internet connection" explained Mr. Chipman"