Panbo

A "rack" of screens, how many is enough?

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 8, 2005

 JanieBridge

The deer hunters now stalking the woods where I live rate a trophy kill by the “points” in its antler “rack”. I’m guessing that the owner of Janie was thinking along the same lines when he ordered up the nine (9!) screen glass bridge partly shown above (all VEI 20” inset displays with a touch screen master control such that any input can go to any screen). The charter brochure even rather oddly includes a version of this same photo, except with TV sports scenes photoshopped onto every screen (as if the yacht’s 61” and 50” plasma screens weren’t enough). Apparently the owner is quite the sports fan.

Me, I was more interested in all the other gear and software that Janie’s captain could display, like: two Furuno black box radars, both Nobeltec and Transas charting sytems, a brace of EMI monitoring screens, plus feeds from umpteen onboard cameras and a NVTi long-range night vision system (that’s apparently had leaking problems during Janie’s multiple Atlantic crossings). It was real kick to get a tour of this helm with the yacht’s able skipper plus the gentleman from Yachtronics you oversaw the install. My huge frustration was that my Canon Digital Rebel chose this moment to half break. I could take pictures but couldn’t change lens, and therefore couldn’t use the amazing 14mm aspherical lens I’d dragged along, quite capable of showing you all 9 of those screens at once. Damn! Maybe I should have bought a higher quality camera in the first place, or had an extra body along. It was a reminder of how the guys in charge of massively complicated electronics like Janie’s must learn to think. Which is probably why I saw the same brands over and over again on the several megas I toured. I’ll detail more of what I saw soon.

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