Panbo

Category: Electrical & Engines

Miami 2014, glass bridge everywhere

Feb 18, 2014

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The Garmin and Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit won a lot of awards and shook up the competitors. I think it's why Raymarine rolled out its nifty-seeming ECI-100 so quickly, and I suspect it motivated Mercury Marine to put together the clean "glass dash" above. The Simrad NSO evo2 driving those two MO19-T monitors is not only doing the boat's CZone switching -- even able to activate the four outboards -- but its Mercury Vessel View app seemed a terrific interface to all those engines...

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Victron Color Control GX, more than a power display

Jan 16, 2014

Victron_color_control_GX_in_action.jpgThe photo could be sharper, but I like it for two reasons. First, it's confirmation that an ambitious product, which doesn't even have a manual yet, actually works in the field. Second, it's doing interesting work on an intriguing new vessel that has deep Panbot roots. You'll learn much more about the boat on February 4th when we celebrate Panbo's 10th birthday, but today, please say hello to the Victron Color Control GX...

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Maretron N2KView: prices slashed, architecture improved, and BNWAS

Jan 13, 2014

FPB-78_w_N2KView_courtesy_Dashew_Offshore.jpgI find Steve Dashew's latest FPB 78 long-range powerboat design so intriguing that I won't link to it until the end of this entry for fear of losing you!  The relevant detail in the rendering above is Steve's plan to occasionally use that giant 65-inch 4K resolution TV monitor so he can still see his radar and Maretron N2KView monitoring info as he moves about the vessel's giant main cabin while underway. I got to spend time with the Dashews on their original FPB Windhorse, and it's one heck of an equipment endorsement to be chosen for the next one. I also know that Steve's expert evaluation of Maretron's hardware and software systems came before the major and excellent-sounding N2KView product changes I'm about to outline...

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Maretron FFM100 fuel flow monitor test (part 1), as good as it gets?

Jan 9, 2014

Maretron_fuel_flow_install_cPanbo.jpgWhen I first wrote about Maretron's FFM100 fuel flow monitor, I was enthused about both its advanced sensor technology and the possibilities of a system designed from the ground up for NMEA 2000. Now that I've installed the system on Gizmo and tested it a bit underway (before the weather closed in), I'm even more impressed. But I have also learned how difficult it can be to accurately measure how much fuel a diesel actually uses in real time... 

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Long tests: Interlux Pacifica Plus and Torqeedo Travel 1003

Dec 4, 2013

long_test_2_Interlux_Pacifica_Plus_cPanbo.jpgThat's a darn impressive photo, I think. When Gizmo was hauled on November 22, she hadn't been out of the water since May 2012, and most of that copper-free Interlux Pacifica Plus bottom paint had already endured a seven-month test in 2011, as I wrote about then. So, after more than three seasons, most of the running surfaces are still slick (and probably still self-cleaning when the boat occasionally goes fast).  I did use the remains of the original two gallons to repaint the belly band before the 2012 launch; Gizmo lay in cleansing South Carolina fresh water from November that year through March of this year, and I scrubbed the belly band from the tender last July. But notice how almost no barnacles or mussels -- the critters that can really slow a boat down -- adhered to the Pacifica Plus...

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Actisense EMU-1, analog engine gauges to NMEA 2000 happiness

Oct 13, 2013

Actisense_EMU-1_install_cPanbo.jpgIt's great to test an unusual device that promises to do something new and desirable for the good vessel Gizmo and find out that it installs fairly easily and works quite well. That Actisense EMU-1 is now converting the analog gauge data from the boat's 14-year-old Volvo Penta diesel into NMEA 2000 messages that can be displayed in multiple ways on most any MFD or instrument screen on board and can also be custom alarmed and logged. I'm going to be better informed about my engine's health, which is very important, while also gaining some scarce helm panel real estate for better uses than dumb analog gauges...

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IBEX13 #1: Garmin/VP Glass Cockpit vs Raymarine ECI-100

Sep 20, 2013

Volvo_Penta_Glass_Helm_IBEX_cPanbo.jpgI just spent five full days at IBEX 2013 -- as press guy, Innovation Awards judge, and NMEA seminar presenter -- and I'm heading home with LOTS to write about. I'll start with the deep integration Garmin and Volvo Penta put into the handsome Glass Cockpit system I was checking out above, and how smartly Raymarine has responded to this market-share threat. In my view it's a happy story about how competition and technology are making boating better...

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Volvo Penta (Garmin) Glass Cockpit, just the beginning?

Aug 1, 2013

Volvo_Penta_Garmin_Glass_Bridge.jpgWhen I wrote about seeing the new Garmin 8000 Glass Helm series in Miami, several knowledgeable readers commented about how it (and the GMI 20 I'm testing) would be used as part of a complete Volvo Penta engine/helm package. They were right.  Garmin announced the VP Glass Cockpit yesterday and it's already up in detail at Volvo Penta. The main features seem to be great nav screen integration with joystick, trim, and autopilot controls plus a single vendor for all, but is this also what we're going to see from all the glass bridge/helm/cockpit systems, and will it "trickle down"?

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MIBS CZone tour, enabling the car-like boat

Mar 18, 2013
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In Miami Actuant Electrical invited a few boating writers like Ed Sherman, Steve D'Antonio and myself to tour several production boats that have chosen to use BEP CZone distributed power and digital switching systems. A highlight for me was getting to hear the founder of Scout Boats explain why he would do such a crazy thing. I joke of course -- and there's an argument that you have to be a little nuts to build boats anyway -- but Steve Potts (seen to the right of BEP's Jarrod Sagar above and interviewed here in Soundings) made a compelling case for why systems like CZone are critical to creating boats that truly satisfy modern customers...

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Maretron DCR100 partial install, lights on & Labels up

Feb 22, 2013
Maretron_DSM100_first_try_cPanbo.jpg

There's lots more to report on from the Miami show, but partially installing a Maretron DCR100 Direct Current Relay on Gizmo just got me so excited I want to share. This boat has never had switches for running and flood lights on the fly bridge -- especially annoying when I wanted to light myself up when crossing paths with a possibly unaware stranger -- and it didn't have a switch for the new bow LED spot at all (to be explained). Now for relatively little effort and expense, I'll not only have switching at both helms but also be able to monitor and even alarm on real-time circuit currents. The installation isn't complete but I'm fairly confident that Gizmo will trek north with that often-cited feature of digital switching, an immediate warning if any one of the four incandescent running light bulbs blows. Plus I got to experience the beauty of NMEA 2000 Labeling, a feature that Maretron has trail blazed but which will hopefully become common across brands...

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