Panbo

Category: AIS

Kannad R10 AIS MoB beacon gets FCC approval, but not easily!

Apr 26, 2012
Kannad_SRS_R10_FCC_photos.jpg

Kannad Marine's SafeLink R10 SRS (for Survivor Rescue System) just received FCC approval, and it's about time given that this personal AIS SART was introduced in Miami more than a year ago!  But let's give Kannad a break as getting innovative safety hardware like this through the approval process is not trivial. Just skimming through all the documents filed with the FCC was an eye opener, and the company had already spent many months (and dollars) getting EU approval.  Before discussing those details, though, let's look at how easy-to-use yet capable the finished product is. The collage above illustrates the activation process (click on it for a bigger image) and I personally love how a bit of cord is rigged both to keep all of the R10 attached to your life jacket or clothing and to remove the orange Arming Tag and the red Activation Cap in two quick motions. It's also key to the automatic activation possible when the four ounce R10 is "professionally fitted" to certain inflatable life jackets (as detailed on Kannad's R10 web page...

Continue Reading

Whale Alert, an app with a mission

Apr 7, 2012
Whale Alert main screen.jpg

It's an unusual app that gets a press conference and main stream media attention, and Whale Alert certainly deserves it. It's not just that this app might actually save the lives of some rare right whales -- which would be wonderful -- but it also demonstrates how mobile devices can be a critical integration tool between mariners and various governmental and nonprofit agencies, and between even a big ship's conservative electronics and the dynamic world of app development...

Continue Reading

Vesper Marine Virtual AIS Beacon, and more

Apr 2, 2012
Vesper_Marine_Virtual_AIS_Beacon_site.jpg

That's New Zealand's fascinating Fiordland coast and while I'm not positive the photo was taken from a helicopter, I do know that the solar-powered navigation light in the foreground is serviced by one. Which is how the technicians who recently added an AIS transponder to the site got there too. But you won't see the nav light on an AIS plotting screen because the transponder is programmed to mark a dangerous submerged rock at the mouth of Doubtful Sound 3.4 miles in the distance. Now the visiting cruise ships report that they can now plot Tarapunga Rock from 10 miles offshore or from two miles inside the Sound. The concept is called a Virtual Aid to Navigation, or VAtoN, and while it's the first I know detail of, I'm doubtful that it will be the last...

Continue Reading

DHS's Small Vessel Cooperative Tracking, what's your guess?

Mar 23, 2012
US_SBIR_grant_solicitation_SVCT_and_NVIT.jpg

It's amazing how the whole boating community can apparently miss information of great interest even though it's in plain sight. Remember how we argued about possible Department of Homeland Security AIS mandates last March? Well, had anyone poked around the DHS's interesting Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, we would have known that the government had already expressed a desire to get the small vessel tracking job done in a much more passive manner, even with benefits to us boaters!...

Continue Reading

AIS & DSC MoB devices, the standards revealed

Feb 27, 2012
DSC_AIS_MoB_standards_courtesy_GMDSS-au.jpg

Here's some good news, even if I had to Google out a non-governmental Australian site to find out what the RTCM here in the States is up to. But I've admired the clearly written expertise at gmdss.com.au before, and I'm confident that they have their facts right about the new standards for man overboard beacons using AIS or DSC VHF (or both!). Besides, the details seem pretty much what we expected, with a few interesting nuances...

Continue Reading

Wireless data appliances: Comar NMEA-2-WiFi & DY AIS LifeGuard

Jan 6, 2012
Comar_NMEA-2-WiFi.jpg

The London Boat Show opened today and so far I've learned of two products being introduced there. It's somewhat odd that while both say "AIS" on the box neither is an AIS receiver or transponder. Certainly the Comar NMEA-2-WiFi box might be used to send AIS target info to apps like iNavX running on an iPad -- and given that Comar is all about AIS, it's likely -- but in fact its two NMEA 0183 inputs could be used for any data a user wants. Having two 0183 inputs, incidentally, is what seems to distinguish Comar's product from Digital Yacht's single input WLN boxes (though worth noting that the Brookhouse iMux has 4 inputs). Meanwhile DY came up with an entirely novel AIS-related data appliance...

Continue Reading

Vesper Marine AIS-DSC calling, merry Christmas (again)

Dec 12, 2011
Vesper_aisWatchMate_DSC_calling_cPanbo.jpg

I'll venture a guess that Vesper Marine won't commit to giving Christmas "prezzies" to their AIS WatchMate customers every year, but the company is following up on its terrific 2010 anchor watch software gift with another free update feature that lets users place direct DSC calls to AIS targets if their WatchMate model 670, 750, or 850 is set up to output NMEA 0183 to a compatible VHF radio. But I fear "compatible" is the key word here, and I caution WatchMate owners not to set their expectations high, though I think that this is a very worthwhile experiment...

Continue Reading

METS 2011, a Kees Verruijt report

Nov 17, 2011
METS_marine_trade_show.jpg

Today I {Kees Verruijt} did a one day tour of the 2011 Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam. I knew before I started that it would be a hopeless task to cover everything so this is just my own take on things... This year is the first year that Ben had introduced me as the official Panbo representative and I was surprised at how much 'clout' I was carrying. This turned out to be both positive (people take you seriously) and a negative -- some manufacturers clearly stated that some things were under embargo and they did not care for publication just yet...

Today I {Kees Verrujit} did a one day tour of the 2011 Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam. I knew before I started that it would be a hopeless task to cover everything so this is just my own take on things... This year is the first year that Ben had introduced me as the official Panbo representative and I was surprised at how much 'clout' I was carrying. This turned out to be both positive (people take you seriously) and a negative -- some manufacturers clearly stated that some things were under embargo and they did not care for publication just yet...

Continue Reading

The DAMEs: DY iAIS, the iThing onslaught & more

Nov 15, 2011
Digital_Yacht_iAIS.jpg

So this morning Digital Yacht's iAIS won the DAME award in the electronics category, but the thing I noticed is that four out of the six nominees chosen by the judges involve the integration of normal boat electronics with mobile apps devices. And frankly -- as handy as the iAIS looks to be -- I think a couple of the other nominees better illustrate where this phenomenon is headed. Heck, the RayView app on an iPhone or iPad will not only stream AIS and everything else on a Raymarine e7 screen, but is planned to eventually serve as second station, and the e7 can also easily sync routes with Navionics Mobile (and that integration may also expand). And what about the Fusion 700 Series with its trifecta of app device, NMEA 2000, and Ethernet-to-MFD control possibilities?...

Continue Reading

Vesper Marine 2012, WatchMate Vision & AIS XB-8000

Nov 9, 2011
Vesper_Marine_2012_WatchMate_Vision_and_AIS_XB-8000.jpg

At METS next week, Vesper Marine will be previewing two very interesting additions to its line of AIS products. At left above is the black box (well, blue green actually) AIS XB-8000 Class B transponder and at right is the WatchMate Vision Class B with its sunlight-viewable color touchscreen display. When added to Vesper's existing WatchMate series of monochrome devices -- which includes the plain AIS target display 670, the receive-only model 750, and the full Class B 850 -- it seems like the company will have a model for every taste. But the two new units have some pretty special attributes...

Continue Reading