Panbo

October 2012 Archives

Fusion 700 Series update, mission accomplished?

Oct 31, 2012
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I've been testing (and enjoying) a Fusion MS-IP700 and MS-NRX200 system since I installed them in June and I wholeheartedly support the 700 Series as NMEA's Technology Award winner of the year. And note that I wasn't a judge myself this year and unfortunately wasn't even there (especially as I've heard repeatedly that the 2012 NMEA Conference was the success hoped for). You can read all about it in this online version of the ME Journal, and further note that the judges didn't see the cool multi-manufacturer Fusion MFD interfaces that debuted in Fort Lauderdale...

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Furuno NavNet TZTouch, best use of MFD WiFi yet?

Oct 29, 2012
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I first learned about Hurricane Sandy in an interesting way. While enjoying sunset in the Calabash River anchorage a week ago today, I was also fooling with various WiFi features built into a just-installed Furuno NavNet TZT14. Actually I was trouble shooting the seemingly flaky WiFi connection when I discovered that the TZT could connect to my Android phone's WiFi hotspot and even use that connection to quickly download a GRIB weather file. I've never seen an MFD do that before! Then I was admiring the TZT's neat controls for viewing the GRIB predictions -- like the intuitive way you can slide your finger along the forecast time bar seen at the screen's bottom -- when I noticed the tropical cyclone headed my way!  But I lucked out; Sandy just slapped the Fort Lauderdale boat show around a bit, and now I'm aboard Gizmo is in a hurricane hole that's below the immense storm anyway. Today I'll be thinking particularly about other cruisers who didn't get this far south already, but I do have time to describe how Furuno is trying to do MFD WiFi different...

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FLIBS 2012, Twitter blogging revisited

Oct 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy may make this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) especially exciting! And whereas I've got better hardware for tweeting photos and words, I'm going to try that reporting method again. It may take a while to relearn the software tools but one my first visits will be the Raymarine booth where they are debuting a major Lighthouse 5 update to the e- and c-Series MFDs plus I'll get to touch the a-Series for the first time.

Navico GoFree Toolkit, developers invited!

Oct 23, 2012
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Now that we've had a look at Navico's WiFi1 router and the 0183 Link, let's examine the Toolkit that will purportedly give developers easy access to the higher level numeric data that's running around a boat's Simrad, Lowrance, or B&G systems. Of course that means NMEA 2000 info and it could lead to all sorts of interesting apps like that instrument screen prototype above. We're talking about 38 data groups ranging from GPS to Bait Well to Inverter with 303 data types already defined by Navico. I'll link to the list below and I think even non-programmers will get excited about what's possible...

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Navico GoFree, WiFi1 & the 0183 Link

Oct 19, 2012
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I now know a lot more about the Navico GoFree WiFi strategy that we first discussed last January, and it all sounds darn good, but most everyone interested will have to exercise a little more patience. While the iOS version of the GoFree Control and Viewer app is already available on iTunes (with an Android version scheduled for Q1 2013) and the WiFi1 marine wireless hardware is slated to go on sale for $199 in November, the Simrad NSS software that will make them work together smoothly won't be out until late November, followed by the just-announced Lowrance HDS Touch in Q2 2013. And yes the rumor is true that the GoFree Control app will not be supported for non-touch MFDs like the NSE or regular HDS. But there's so much else to GoFree that every Navico system owner will likely be pleased eventually...

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Lumitec & AlpenGlow, LED overhead fixtures perfected?

Oct 8, 2012
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While I once again found IBEX rich with interesting people and products, it was a mere light fixture that may have sparked the moment of maximum excitement!  Please check out my April entry about perfect LED interior lighting before we take a gander at the new Lumitec Touch Dome seen above, plus a report on the LED's already in use on Gizmo...

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Lowrance HDS Gen2 TOUCH, StructureScan included!

Oct 1, 2012
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Today Lowrance introduced the HDS Gen2 Touch series -- new Lowrance web pages here -- and I feel especially prepared to cover the news because I got to touch one myself a few weeks ago, and also because a friend of Panbo sent me a copy of the detailed PDF that went out to dealers. The page above, for instance, shows how the new 7-, 9-, and 12-inch Touches compare to the existing HDS Gen2 models they can happily co-exist with. Thus users who are shy about touch -- particularly understandable on bouncy boats -- can pair that interface with a full button/cursor control model, a good idea that up until now only Garmin offered...

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