Panbo

Navicom RT-650 MOB, doing it all, somewhere else

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Mar 8, 2010
Navicom_RT-650_MOB.JPG

An interesting new product I didn't see at the Miami Boat Show is this NaviCom RT650 MOB.  The company site is mostly in French, but MyBoatsGear.com links to a catalog PDF in English, and Foxtrot Marine has the most detail I can find.  This DSC VHF seems to have an integrated AIS receiver much like the Standard Horizon GX2100, plus optional wireless handsets like the Uniden Whams, plus integrated MOB fobs that seem to work a lot like Raymarine LifeTags (with more here).  The latter can apparently even trigger a DSC alert, and, in fact, all the parts make a lot of sense together, at least for some boats.  Has anyone out there tried an RT650, or know why the company hasn't come to the USA?

Comments

Isn't the LHR-80 handheld known both as Navicom and Lowrance?

Posted by: MD Eastern Shore at March 8, 2010 9:11 AM | Reply

Thanks, but you're thinking of Navico, a global company that markets electronics under Lowrance, Simrad, Northstar, and other brand names. Navicom is a different company.

Posted by: Ben at March 8, 2010 9:29 AM | Reply

They would appear to have trademark conflicts in the U.S. with ICOM. May have to use another brand.

They list an ultrasonic wind sensor in their catalogue which is very intersting, and along the lines of the Airmar unit. Appears that it is made by LCJ Capteurs (http://www.lcjcapteurs.com/marine.html). The CV7 unit looks interesting. Do you have any experience with these?

Posted by: Starkindler at March 8, 2010 11:03 AM | Reply

No experience, but I was aware of them,

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2005/04/airmar_weatherstation.html

and it looks like a new, smaller model in the Navicom catalog.

Posted by: Ben at March 8, 2010 11:14 AM | Reply

Navicom is the french importator for Johnson Outdoors products (humminbird, cannon, minn kota, geonav...) and made some VHF for EU market. I don't know why it's not sell in USA, but i will send this article to Navicom's CEO.

The Navicom RT-650 is a great product, we sell many of this in France and in others EU country.
There is a great TCPA and CPA alarms than you can set. If VHF is on (and GPS, just antenna for example), you have DSC, and AIS alarms with a low consumption. Good for circumnavigator.
You can output GPS and AIS NMEA sentences on the same RS232 output in 38.4 kbps.
But there is no ais information on the handset.

LCJ is french company too, and sold the patent to AIRMAR for wind sensor on PB range ;)

Some AIS screeshots :
http://discount-marine.com/img/forum/2896.jpg
http://discount-marine.com/img/forum/2898.jpg
http://discount-marine.com/img/forum/2897.jpg

++

Posted by: Benoit at March 8, 2010 12:59 PM | Reply

This RT 650 is installed on my boat since May 2009. On the paper, the product is interesting, but suffered from several bugs: the main one is that the AIS signal stop after several hours of working, and the handset loose the signal of the base station. There were other bugs in the past (like redirect gps function), but corrected with new firmware (2.00). Hope the AIS bug will be solve with the new firmware (2.01), but it's a bit "pain in the ...." to have to bring back the VHF to the seller every 6 month ..... The Mob function work perfectly, but doesn't send any Mob position (Raymarine does), as it should very easy to add to make a very intersting tool

The RT 650 is exactly the same as the Radio Ocean RO 4800 (coming from the same factory in China), but the last one has no Mob function (for the moment)

Posted by: Nicolas at March 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Reply

there is a 2.04 firmware now.

Posted by: Benoit at March 8, 2010 2:31 PM | Reply

Beniot,

You beat me i was just about to say the latest unit i had in today was 2.04

Andy

Posted by: Andy Murray at March 8, 2010 4:12 PM | Reply

hehe i'm on top on this product, we are the first seller ;)

Posted by: Benoit at March 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Reply

i heard they lately did one update on the mob feature. It seems to send out a position and at the same time shut down the engine and, if it's connected to a raymarine autopilot, make the vessel go around in circles: That's what I was told by a salesman so I need to make sure it's true...

Posted by: alex at March 8, 2010 7:43 PM | Reply

Your responders so far to this have not mentioned
whether this product has received FCC approval.
If they have not then thats probably answers your question.
Enjoy the goldmine of info you always present in
a very proffesional way both journalistic and technically.

Posted by: Geof Roberts at March 8, 2010 10:04 PM | Reply

> if it's connected to a raymarine autopilot, make the vessel
> go around in circles

Yikes, this is such a scary and bad idea I don't even know where to start! Obviously of no use on a sailboat, but even on a powerboat it's not a good thing. I can see it now: "He fell in the water and the MOB alarm went off. Everything would have been fine, until the boat turned itself around and ran over the top of him".

Posted by: Scott E at March 8, 2010 10:15 PM | Reply

Scott, I think the idea, and it's mainly for single-handers, is to have an MOB system shut down the engine if it's on or have the autopilot turn into the wind if sailing. Of course a boat won't stay headed into the wind and will eventually do circles or big scallops trying to.

Posted by: Ben at March 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Reply

Benoit, nice work. I've been trying to get in touch with Navicom for months but the language barrier has proved too tough. Good job by you. I have no personal experience with the model but Ben is right, all these features rolled into one make a ton of sense.

Posted by: Marine VHF at March 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Reply

Hi Ben,
We have seen both Navicom as Radio Ocean VHF's on METS and HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow. These VHF's are the same as Nicolas allready states.
Compared to the SH GX2100 the AIS display is really small (bring your reading glasses!), the text info for the AIS is hardly readable in the target display. The AIS info is not on the handset.
For the RO4800 see the German manual: http://www.busse-yachtshop.de/pdf/radio-ocean-4800.pdf

By the way, I question wireless handsets: they tend to have empty batteries, bad communication with the main unit and they drop overboard easily.

Posted by: carla at March 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Reply

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