Panbo

September 2010 Archives

Simrad BSM-2, Broadband Broadband sonar

Sep 30, 2010
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Just about the time that Navico introduced Broadband Sonar, Airmar began rolling out a series of Broadband transducers claimed to enable dramatic advancements in fishfinder performance.  Which was confusing, especially as no manufacturer offered a fishfinder able to take full advantage of their abilities.  Well, darned if Navico isn't the first to at least announce such a sonar.  Meet the Simrad BSM-2 "broad band" Broadband fishfinder...

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NMEA Technology Award, yike!

Sep 27, 2010
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Who knows why I had my hand up like that, but I do vaguely remember the scene -- Furuno showing off NavNet on some sort of military grade head's up display, I think -- as one of many geek moments I've enjoyed at NMEA conferences.  In my experience, there's no concentration of marine electronics expertise and enthusiasm anywhere that compares to the Conference's trade-only exhibition hall, and many of the seminars are great too.  But the affair became a dite more stressful for me last year when I got involved in the NMEA Technology Award, which went to Navico's Broadband Radar with honorable mentions to Maretron's N2KBuilder and Navionics' Mobile (PDF here).  This year may be even harder...

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Geonav, the giant roll out

Sep 24, 2010
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Geonav has been talking about a Fall U.S. roll out for some time, but now it's turning out they have a lot more to show than the G12 and G10 MFDs introduced in Europe last year.  Seen in the photo above is an even newer model called the GIS10, and while it and the 12-inch model include most all the features seen online for the G series, they also support NMEA 2000, Gigabit Ethernet, and, yes, the Side Imaging technology pioneered by sister company Humminbird.  And how about those sexy MID 110 multifunction instrument displays (and the matching autopilot head)?

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RAPC Nautilus, toughest marine PC yet?

Sep 23, 2010
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This is my favorite sort of show and tell.  The guy doing the showing, Bob Hilliard, is the chief engineer involved, and the location was the nav station of the 105-foot ketch Apache, which will be a beta site for Bob's creation, the RAPC Nautilus marine PC on the chart table.  I admit to being a bit dazzled by the boat, which you can gander in this old charter listing, and the Pinot Noir, but I'm thinking that's the most bullet-proof boat computer I've ever seen...

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B&G Zeus, Simrad NSE for sailors

Sep 22, 2010
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Though it's not mentioned anywhere, there's no question that B&G's new Zeus multifunction displays are re-branded Simrad NSE MFDs, with some special software sauce on top.  But that's a good idea.  NSE has a lot going for it, and the more ways Navico finds to expand its scope -- like the Simrad NSO system, also "soft launched" in Newport last week -- the better for everyone, I think.  Besides, has there ever been an MFD that can do jobs sailors usually use PCs for -- like animating GRIB weather files, displaying data strip charts, and calculating laylines?

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Chuck Husick, a fond farewell

Sep 20, 2010
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I like this picture of Chuck -- found on his family web site, along some truly touching memorial material -- because whenever I saw him at boat shows he was almost invariably decked out in a blue blazer and tie.  Now Mr. Charles Husick certainly had the gravitas to support a bit of formality; he was an accomplished electrical engineer who had also managed serious companies, written hundreds of magazine articles, and been a important advocate for sensible marine technologies...and he knew more about many subjects than many of us know about one.  But he was also a real boating enthusiast, and in this picture I can sense that large, curious intellect that must have had so much fun geeking out on his ketch Bonne √Čtoile...

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Simrad NSO, the NSE series goes big

Sep 17, 2010
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This week in Newport, and in Southhampton, Simrad introduced the NSO Navigation Series, a black box version of the NSE system, and while it's hard to imagine an MFD faster than an NSE, even the prototype NSO I fooled with yesterday seemed so.  The processor box is, in fact, the same as the one used on the GB40 Glass Bridge system, only with a new 80 gig hard drive and all new software from Linux on up.  There will even be an upgrade path for GB40 owners, and I suspect that will be tempting...

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Digital Yacht iAIS, hello apps developers

Sep 16, 2010

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I don't have a good image yet, and some really interesting new products have revealed themselves in Newport, but I'll bet a lot of readers will want to know about Digital Yacht's iAIS, announced yesterday in the U.K.  It's a high quality AIS receiver that can also take in a boat's sensor data -- like GPS, depth, wind, etc. -- via a NMEA 0183 port, multiplex it into the AIS target data, and send it all out over WiFi to the crew's iPhones, iPads, Androids, etc.  It will cost about $450, ship in October, and here's hoping it's just the beginning of things to come...

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Electronics nostalgia, 1984 transatlantic

Sep 15, 2010
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This was my view from a borrowed mooring on Saturday night, and it was quite a nostalgic one as my one and only transatlantic was sailed aboard this very same Nautor Swan 59 from the Canary Islands to Martinique in December, 1984.  It's hard to believe how very techy the boat's electronics seemed at the time, how much they've changed since, and yet how old school they look today...

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Garmin radar features, a hit and a miss?

Sep 13, 2010
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Here's a nifty feature I'd never seen before.  I had already realized that if you click on a nav aid when making a route on a Garmin MFD, the waypoint gets named after the aid.  I find that useful, even if I first came across the feature years ago and think other current MFDs and charting programs include it (anyone remember which ones?).  But I was darn surprised yesterday morning to see that the Garmin 7212 can overlay the nav aid's complete icon and label on its standard radar screen, if desired.  I like that a lot...

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