Panbo

July 2004 Archives

New NMEA Combiner Concept

Jul 7, 2004

Active Research Limited claims to have a new NMEA combiner concept, with 4 NMEA inputs, one output, one RS232 in/output and a CAN interface. Judge for yourself...

"The Actisense NMEA combiner combines up to four variable baud rate NMEA channels (4800 baud default) into one standard NMEA output. In addition, it has an RS232 interface to connect to a PC, with variable baud rate, along with diagnostic and setup software, which allows the configuration of which sentences are allowed to pass through the unit, thus allowing the unit to act as a filter on overloaded data streams. The unit also has a CAN interface, to allow future compatibility with the forthcoming NMEA 2000 standard."

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Anchor Alert's 20-Ton Capabilities

Jul 7, 2004

A couple of months ago I mentioned Ascend Marine's Deep Blue Anchor Alert. MegaYacht.com has a short article (free subscription required) on this product as well.

"The components housed within the anchor unit include the accelerometer and transponder. As the anchor moves, the accelerometer calculates the severity of the motion, rating it on a scale of one to eight. This score is then relayed ultrasonically from the transponder to the boat where it is received by the transducer. It is then transmitted to the display and shown on a bar graph."

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B&G's RemoteVision

Jul 6, 2004

IBI News reports that B&G will demonstrate its RemoteVision wireless autopilot/instrument control system at the Southampton International Boat Show in September. Can't find anything about it, except for a short quote from Conrad Humphreys, who will be skippering HELLOMOTO during the Vend�e Globe.

"RemoteVision is smaller than a palm PC and features a full LCD graphical screen and simple four-button control. It utilises wireless technology to instantly send and receive signals from B&G's h2000 Hercules and Hydra pilots and instruments. All readings from the instruments can be viewed on the RemoteVision anywhere on a vessel, "be it at the top of a 60ft mast in torrential weather or down in the galley preparing a meal," said the company."

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Bringing Satellite Radio Aboard

Jul 6, 2004

Satellite radio at sea is nothing new, but here's an overview of some of the things to keep in mind when switching from more traditional sources of entertainment....

"Owners of older boats that are not equipped with satellite radios have two choices available to them, says Smith. The existing radio can be replaced with a new one, or it can be augmented with a satellite radio receiver that connects and plays through the existing system. Many of the latter, referred to as plug-and-play adapters, fit into a permanently mounted docking station and send their output to the existing radio by plug-in wiring or by an internal wireless FM transmitter."

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Luxury Yachts Becoming WiFi Hotspots

Jul 5, 2004

I guess Wi-Fi internet access is becoming a standard feature for ships like these, and so it should be. And looking at the pricing, I would prefer sending some emails instead of using their satellite phone...

"Previously, the charge for outbound satellite telephone calls from Seabourn ships was $12.50 per minute; it is now $4.95 per minute. Internet connection, which previously cost 95 cents a minute, will now be 50 cents per minute. Discounts for purchasing bulk packages of online time can further reduce the internet cost to as little as 25 cents per minute."

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Getting MP3s Into The Cockpit

Jul 4, 2004

I have been looking for easy ways to get the music from my MP3 player into the cockpit of my 21ft boat that I use to travel the Amsterdam canals. Here's a good, and weather-resistant, solution called Tivoli PAL or iPAL.

"The tiny PAL has an amazing rich and deep sound. You plug an iPod in, turn up the volume, and it uses its internal rechargeable battery to play your musical playlists longer than your iPod battery will last (I can get 8 hours on the PAL in one charge). Clear, marvelous sound from a small, rugged box that has survived rain and being dropped into a pool. That doesn't usually happen because it is carefully designed with handy finger grips and a grippy covering. It comes with an adapter for running on AC."

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Digital Weather Markup Language

Jul 4, 2004

NOAA has created XML-feeds of their weather forecasts so that they can easily be integrated in websites or other applications. Although private weather companies are urging NOAA to stop providing these feeds, I believe marine software companies should take advantage of this development by integrating weather forecasts in applications like chartplotters. Since NOAA uses web service standards this should be relatively easy and we can expect to see some innovative uses. With more and more boats being permanently connected to the internet, it could prove to be a very valuable feature.

"In addition to the SOAP technology, this service exploits XML to enhance the ease with which NWS customers and partners can integrate NDFD (National Digital Forecast Database) data into their computer applications. XML is a W3C standard that allows its users to create languages with HTML-like tags and attributes. The NDFD XML language is called Digital Weather Markup Language (DWML) and its schema can be found at the following link."

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Music To Your Ears

Jul 2, 2004

If you are into wakeboarding and you'd like to have some music behind the boat, check out Infinity's new 6100M Wakeboard Tower Audio System.

"The 6000M loudspeaker pair attaches to your boat�s wakeboard tower with swiveling, one-size-fits-all, cast-aluminum brackets. The 2100M Marine Amplifier delivers 150 watts per channel of distortion-free output and even includes a talk-back microphone, so that you can communicate with the boarder from the boat. With prices starting at $1,099.95, the system doesn�t come cheap, but it will add a unique element to your watersports experience."

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Ocean Ready Electronics

Jul 2, 2004

Motor Boating Magazine takes a look at one of the ships participating in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, a high-seas adventure from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Gibraltar. There's a lot of electronics stuff on board this ship... Here are some of the highlights:

-�It�s the autopilot that�s the most important thing,� he says. And for autopilots, Kinney selected two Furuno NavPilot 500s and added a SC 60 GPS satellite compass."
-"The first display supports Furuno�s 1953C chartplotter with a powerful 12-kW radar for 72-mile range and 1.2-degree horizontal beam width for accurate target separation."
-"The second chartplotter, an 1833C, uses a smaller radar with dome antenna that will pump out 4-kW of power for a range of about 36 miles"
-"Called NT-Link, this is a little sister to C-MAP�s rugged commercial product, only it�s coupled with the NT recreational cartography. One notable feature of NT-Link is its ability to handle online chart updates."
-"But the real heart of the navigation package is Furuno�s NavNet system, which allows for multiple sensor displays on three different display screens�the two 10.4" monitors in the pilothouse and an additional 7" remote display on the bridge."

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Improving Your Cellphone Signal

Jul 1, 2004

Having reception problems while sailing along the coast? Here's a simple and cheap solution.

"The new Freedom Antenna from ARC Wireless Solutions presents a simple way to minimize those problems. The antenna, housed in a thin piece of plastic 3 inches wide and 6 inches long, uses patented technology to boost a signal enough to add at least a couple of bars to your phone's signal-strength display."

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