Panbo

July 2009 Archives

Cruising with an iPhone, Navionics Mobile 2.2

Jul 30, 2009
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How cool is this!  Most of the time we were hiking Long Island over the last two days I had Navionics Mobile 2.2 (East Coast) running on the iPhone and in track mode.  Thus I could use it to check our progress against the trail map (downloadable here).  I also took some iPhone photos of the mossy rich and rugged scenery from within Mobile, which then geo positions them on the chart.  That's all neat, but the true kicker is that I could easily email the whole track with (reduced) photos to anyone as a KMZ file (only 248k, downloadable here) that can be overlaid on Google Earth as shown above.  Or, with only two touch commands, could post it all on my Facebook page, where it seems to link to a Navionics-served Google Maps file which you may be able to see even if you don't have Google Earth or don't know beans about Facebook (like me).  This easy track and photo sharing is great, but in fact the iPhone has been useful in many ways on this cruise...

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18" radome testing, part 1

Jul 29, 2009
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"The fog was so thick that..." is a popular line here on the coast of Maine, especially this summer.  Well, it was so foggy yesterday morning that we didn't actually see this can buoy until it was just a little over a boat length ahead, and, yes, as the photo suggests, it was so glassy gray calm that fog and Bay blended into blank oneness.  But the amazing thing, I thought, was that the new Raymarine Digital 18" radome I'm testing captured this can about 3/4's of a mile away and held it tight and clear almost right to that boat length visibility distance.  These are great days for real radar testing...

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BR24 vs Furuno 4' UHD, take two (yike!)

Jul 24, 2009
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Well, that was exciting.  Yesterday afternoon I went out on the Bay aboard Spirit of Zopolite, in large part so Capt. Bruce Kessler could show me how well his new Furuno 4-foot UHD radar works in close quarters now that he's seen Navico's Broadband Radar.  And he was right; once away from the dock, the NavNet3D screen was resolving the complications of Camden Harbor very well indeed.  The photo above, worth examining large (click on it), shows us returning via the channel through the Outer Harbor moorings, with almost all the boats and shoreline sharply resolved at quarter mile scale, and we could have gone down to 1/8th mile. I've been in this spot many times when you couldn't see anything except an occasional channel bouy or vague boat shadow, and it's interesting to compare the image with BR24 screens taken a few weeks ago...

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Adventures in NMEA 2000 Wiring - Part I

Jul 22, 2009
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Guest entry by Dan Corcoran ---

Breeze Pleeze has received nearly half of her new NMEA 2000 backbone, actually two of them, and I thought I would describe the thinking behind my network design.

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Ray C140W Deck Pod install, a dubber's impressions

Jul 21, 2009
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Yes, I'm frustrated that a combination of weather, travel, and gizmo glitches has so far prevented me from getting this Raymarine C140W and the attached RD418D Digital Radar operational, and then comparing it with Navico Broadband Radar (and Garmin HD radomes, too), but it was educational to install the MFD in that new Scanstrut Deck Pod.  The completed rig is quite slick: the "silver" finish goes nicely with Ray gray, I think; all the cables pass easily, and invisibly, through the base; and the whole pod angle adjusts smoothly but locks up solid with that lever (which, after a little tweaking, now goes tight against the base when locked).  But putting it altogether was a little challenging...

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Cobra MR HH475: floats, rewinds, burps, & does bluetooth cell

Jul 18, 2009
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Here's Bill Boudreau of Cobra Electronics showing off the two new floating 6 watt handheld VHFs the company announced earlier this week.  The higher end model, the MR HH475, includes the Rewind-Say-Again audio recording feature I liked a lot in the original HH425 and the fixed F80.  Plus this handset can also double as a Bluetooth handset for your cell phone, much like Cobra's dedicated MR F300 Bluetooth speaker mic.  It doesn't have some of the mic's features, like a built-in address book, but it does have the PTT/VOX choice and the noise cancellation that tested so well in my lab.  But what if someone hails you on VHF while you're chatting on your phone?

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MAATS Innovation Awards, MasterLock PulseCode

Jul 17, 2009
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Not surprisingly, there were fewer than normal applications for this year's MAATS Innovation Awards, but we judges were pleased to find some strong entries, and selected a winner in every category (though we're free not to, and often don't).  Also not surprising were the wins for Navionics Mobile 2.0 in Electronics and Revere/McMurdo's FastFind 210 PLB in Safety.  But I knew nothing of Master Lock's PulseCode access management system, and was impressed...

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Lowrance demos StructureScan, with "DownScan"

Jul 15, 2009
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Lowrance demonstrated its new StructureScan system in Orlando yesterday, with a surprise added feature.  As expected, a high-frequency, very-narrow-beam transducer collects bottom info on each side of the boat and builds an almost photographic, though somewhat distorted, image as you move along.  In the picture above (click for big version), we've chosen to display only the curious structure on the left side of our track.  In other words, in that left window our boat is at the top right corner and the window shows the water column and bottom extending out about 70 feet to our left and about 200 behind us.  The lower right window is normal Broadband Sonar image, derived from a separate transducer, but that upper right window is something different, as is the structure being imaged...

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Imtra PowerLEDs, & greening Gizmo

Jul 13, 2009
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That's Eric Braitmayer, Imtra's marketing guy, and he's got lots to be happy about.  The years of having to carefully explain the relative pros and cons of LED and halogen marine lighting are over.  He's confident that the Ventura PowerLED upper left is as bright as a similar size 20 watt halogen fixture while being fully dimable (without RFI issues), much cooler, and much, much more power efficient.  In fact, Imtra is phasing out of halogen lighting altogether, and recently announced significantly increased LED sales despite the 'downturn'.  In other words, lots of boaters and boatbuilders apparently agree with Imtra that LED technology has advanced beyond the confusion area.  Not that I would just go buy any old LED...

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Boating 2009, "waves of jay"?

Jul 11, 2009
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I'm not sure why I get such a kick out of fractured marketing copy, but I do.  And I want to honor the energetic entrepreneur who's been trying hard to advertise the Mumbai Yacht Club via Panbo comments (even if I haven't let them go up).  To "The Ownership Economic entails endless technical tensions of Man-management-n- Maintenance, Berthing, etc..." could we not add interfacing NMEA 2000 and 0183, making marine WiFi work, etc., etc.?  And if I ever get back to the southwest coast of India, which I'd truly love to do, I might actually try to rent one of the "club's" yachts...

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