Panbo

Category: Handheld

Standard Horizon HX870, handheld VHF/GPS/DSC powerhouse

Nov 3, 2014

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I was impressed with Standard Horizon's original HX850 and I've been happily using the slightly upgraded HX851 model above for several years. It's a fine handheld 6 Watt VHF (if you don't mind the size), plus it's always ready to place a DSC distress call and/or navigate a life raft (or tender or kayak or...). But wow, look what they did with the new HX870 model: The screen is at least twice as large, the interface seems usefully updated with soft keys and icons, the battery is substantially larger and more...

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Korean marine electronics tour, w/ apps & gadgets

May 29, 2013
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The original idea was to finish this entry during the Chicago stop of the very long journey seen on the nifty FlightTrack app screen above, but travel mistakes were made and O'Hara airport had less connectivity than one might presume in this day and age.  Is anyone surprised to hear that the Tokyo and Seoul airports are much friendlier to the traveler trying to stay in touch?  So, yes, I'm already in  Korea and will soon begin a writer's tour that is being hosted by Intellian Technologies and that is intended in part to show us the state of recreational boating in this "technology-led" country...

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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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Earl aftermath, & thumb's up to Bluefin Marine Weather

Sep 5, 2010
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It is disconcerting when all the waterfront owners within a few hundred feet of your boat remove their floating docks for fear of hurricane damage!  In fact, the harbors in my area were jumping on Thursday and Friday; lots of boats got hauled, and the rest of us hunkered down with chafing gear and extra lines applied, sails and biminis removed or trussed up, etc. etc.  But Hurricane Earl lost its steam, big time.  Even the Friday 6 pm forecast by our most reliable local source, Locus Weather, turned out to be way off the mark; instead of the predicted late night easterlies of 30-35 knots with gusts over 40, the GoMOOS F01 weather buoy recorded a max hourly average 14k with a max gust of 17.  I slept aboard Gizmo like a baby...

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New iThing charting apps, EarthNC & eSeaChart

Aug 23, 2010
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Not one but two iPhone NOAA raster charting apps debuted last week, and I had had a little Beta time with each.  EarthNC for iPhone costs $25 and incorporates some fresh thinking and a lot of the resources EarthNC has long been developing for its Google Map & Earth overlay products, like EarthNC Online.  They've turned all NOAA RNCs into tiles that download automatically to your phone as you pan and zoom, or you can batch download an area as illustrated in the screen at upper right.  The left screen is busy looking, I know, but note how you can disappear each of those data and icon strips with the little red arrow.  Note too how EarthNC is doing waypoint navigation and tracking, fairly elaborate tracking as shown on the middle screen.  But that's not all...

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SiMON2, for iPad & "smaller" yachts

Aug 3, 2010
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The press release calls SiMON2 "the first alarm monitoring system for the new Apple iPad," which seems odd given what we've already seen from InteliSea.  I think what Palladium Technologies was trying to say is that SiMON2 is the first such app designed exclusively for the iPad.  It is not just an extension of a full bore PC-based megayacht system, like iSiMON or InteliSea, but rather a new iPad-centered monitoring system designed for "smaller" yachts...

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Maturing iPhone apps, troubled ENC edition

Jun 29, 2010
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Pardon me if I use an entry on the improving state of marine iPhone apps to illustrate my concerns about NOAA's local chart screw ups, but it works (I think).  Navimatics Charts&Tides 3.6.2 was the first charting program of any sort I've seen that includes NOAA's first 1:20,000 ENC for Camden Harbor, but it will be confusing fog bound visitors soon!  Those semi-invented channel buoys that I first saw on the raster chart are worse here, given equal graphic weight with real navigation aids, more precise looking wrong locations, and all without the "Priv aids" label that might help a navigator sort things out...

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Tracking every which way, & Gizmo blows a gasket

Jun 8, 2010
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Yeah, yeah, yeah; the new iPhone 4 was announced and it looks pretty cool.  And if its GPS and background apps processing are good enough, maybe it can track as well as my Droid Incredible ;-).  That track above especially exemplifies the value of easy tracking as it documents my five-month-old granddaughter's first boat ride, a row around Camden Harbor in search of my bird buddies.  Though I simply fired up Google My Tracks and stuck the phone back in my pocket, the accuracy is excellent, even in my truck as I drove home, as you can see here in a Google My Map (which I was able to create from the phone with a couple of clicks).  That's why My Tracks is a favorite at the moment, though I have so many tracking options my head spins, and sometimes the memories captured are a lot less pleasant...

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iNavX on the iPad, a Beta tester's enthusiasm

Jun 5, 2010
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Navigation on iPad is a hot subject, as discussed here recently (and, mind you, Navionics has now joined the fray).  So I'm pleased to publish the following excerpt from a review by Tom MacNeil, a long time beta tester for the GPSNavX/ MacENC/iNavX family of charting programs.  To say that he's enthusiastic about how developer Rich Ray's software runs on an iPad is an understatement!  Tom has been sailing and messing with boat technology for thirty years, and currently runs an marine electronics and electrical shop somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.  Warning:  If you read the following, you may soon find yourself at the Apple Store typing in your credit card number...

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Verizon Droid Incredible, indeed it is

May 18, 2010
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While it's been disappointing to learn that carrying around two smart phones does not make a guy extra smart, I am incredibly happy about owning that Verizon Droid Incredible at left.  It's not a phone I'd recommend to everyone -- and Android marine apps certainly aren't much yet -- but given what I want from it, and where I live, the Incredible makes that iPhone 3GS seem feeble and limited.  I feel like I just got out of Apple/AT&T jail, and I'm shaking my head because I liked it in there!  Let's begin with the built-in GPS and motion sensors...

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