Boating World Magazine has a roundup of nine chartplotters. Some of them have been highlighted on this weblog before. They discuss the following brands and models: Navman Tracker 5110, Raymarine RC400, Garmin GPSMAP 178C, Lowrance iFinder H20, Standard Horizon CP 175 C, SI-Tex ColorMax 6, Magellan eXplorist 200, Furuno NavPilot 511 and the Eagle SeaCharter 480DF.
August 2004 Archives
"When used in conjunction with extended range base station equipment such as the HauteRoute HR-2611DX 802.11b Access Point, HR-3054DX 802.11b/g Access Point or the HR-5354DX 802.11a/b/g Access Point, and appropriate outdoor antennas, users can expect line of sight and near line of sight performance ranges measured in miles rather than feet."
For those of you cruising the world's oceans, this might be interesting. Found over at the World-Cruising mailing list.
"Ooohh, what a find! Pilot charts for the whole world...free...in pdf format. Large files.-Ken"
Unfortunately we will have to wait for another two years before Inmarsat's BGAN service will be available (pdf) for leisure yachts. But at that time all you need is a mini-M terminal, like the one to the left, to be able to have broadband internet access wherever you are. No news about pricing however...
"Inmarsat has announced plans to offer its Broadband Global Area Network service globally, carrying around 432 kbps. The service will be able from early 2006 to the aviation sector, followed by the maritime sector around a year later. Shipboard terminals, the size of a mini-M, will be able to carry data at 380 kbps. Meanwhile, development of the Inmarsat Fleet terminals will continue and the Fleet terminals will be compatible with the I4s. Mr Johnson says that the move should make anyone considering installing a VSAT terminal "look to the right" - because they can get faster data on Fleet, the cut-off point where a VSAT is viable will change. "The terminal prices come down, the airtime comes down," says Mr Johnson."
"That is why we designed SmartCraft with three independent CAN communication lines. It allows cross communication among these three CAN lines without risk of compromising the system's integrity and safety. In addition to the multi-bus design of SmartCraft, early on we also partnered with Swedish-based Kvaser AB on the use of 'CAN Kingdom' technology."
"In the crows nest is a wireless bridge, there is the option to switch from an omni to a directional Vagi (not Yagi) antenna, should the host be far away. That runs to a switch in the radio room. Also running there is a standard 802.11b AP used by the crew and anyone else who wants to check their Email in the proximity of the moored vessel."
An LCD radar roundup over at Practical-Sailor.com will help you prevent overspending on this very important piece of technology onboard.
Not sure how and if this will work with chart overlay..., but it looks pretty cool. I'm sure this will provide you with better insight into how the weather actually works so you will be better able to plan your trips.
"A version of 3D software Weatherscape XT has been developed by New Zealand firm Metra and the BBC to give viewers a realistic-looking forecast. Combining high-end gaming graphics and processing power means visuals are generated instantly, in real-time. The virtual reality technology takes constantly-updated data and translates it into 3D images. The new forecasts will be on air from early next year. "We are trying to take weather data and generate weather graphics on a 3D map that actually looks like the weather."
AIS, Automatic Identification System, has been mentioned here before. Over at the Yachting and Boating World Forums there's a discussion on whether it already is or should be adopted by the marine leisure industry. Someone points at AISLive where you can see it in action. Fascinating.
Peppermint: "Becoming/has become compulsory for big ships under SOLAS and ISPS codes. The idea of yotties using the transmitting element it is scary as hell to port authorities and shipping industry. Just think of the clutter. I've been using it on a bridge simulator. The info you can obtain by reading the transmitted data is interesting. It includes ships name, course, speed and loads more stuff. On a dark and stormy night in the channel it might be nice to know who's trying to run you down. Developing an AIS system for yachts, broadcasting on a different frequency to big ships, would be a useful way to monitor boats for taxation purposes."
Wired's Gadget Lab features Celestron's VistaPix Model 72212 Binocular & Digital Camera in its newsletter. It's not yet best of both worlds, but worth a look.