Category: PC & peripheral

Signal K, a true game changer?

Nov 11, 2014

Thumbnail image for ON signal K sketch basic 2.0.jpg

I see a lot of marine electronics and I'm hard to impress. There's a lot of the new, faster, bigger and brighter appearing every year. However I get very enthused when I see real innovation appear. CHIRP sounder technology and WiFi enabled chart plotters are a couple of excellent examples. But now there is Signal K, and I'm really excited. This is potentially a game changer on a grand scale, and I'll attempt to explain what's happening and its long term implications for your boat.

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Bill Bishop | Permalink | Comments (32)

Long test: "Chart Table 21"

Dec 11, 2013

Chart_table_21_hidden_mode_cPanbo.jpgOnce I'd bench tested "ChartTable21" in 2011 -- a project Panbo readers helped design -- I planned  to soon post a followup entry showing and discussing the finished install. Well, now I can tell you that this sometimes invisible computer system not only works well but has survived more than three boat seasons without problems. The photo above, worth a click to see larger, shows how Gizmo's original varnished cherry chart table can look nearly as lovely as designed and built. Sometimes you'd even see paper charts there, and obviously the sight lines through the big windows remain unobstructed. But when it's time to "go to the office" or zone out with Netflix, or do extensive nav planning, the scene transforms...

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Furuno MUxxxT monitors, Hatteland X Series, and TimeZero Coastal Monitoring

Nov 21, 2013

Furuno_MU240T_monitor.jpgFuruno's new multi-touch MUxxxT monitors are intended to play nicely with NavNet TZtouch MFDs. Using its DVI output, the TZT9 or TZT14 can send a screen mirror to the wopping 24-inch widescreen MU240T above -- at 800x480 and 1280x800 pixels, respectively -- and USB takes the touch commands back to the TZT (using a standard Windows driver). Meanwhile, the TZT Black Box has enough DVI and USB ports to drive two of these glass-bridge-style monitors (and two keypads, like the one KEP recently introduced or the one Furuno is purportedly working on)...

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Simrad MOnitors, the other NSO evo2 shoe drops

Oct 31, 2013

Simrad_MO19_monitor.jpgSo, it turns out that when I saw the new NSO evo2 blackbox system at IBEX Simrad was low key about it because they were planning a big splash here at the Fort Lauderdale show. And now evo2's unique ability to drive two independent multi-touch displays can be applied to Simrad's new MO Series of handsome multi-touch monitors. They'll purportedly be available very soon in 16, 19 and 24-inch sizes, and judging from the prototypes I saw on the water at the NMEA Conference, they are notably sharp and bright. And, yes, that on-glass button on center at the bottom of the monitor pulls up the NSO home menu just like your phone or tablet.

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Samsung Chromebook, your $129 'burner' boat laptop?

Mar 3, 2013
Samsung Chromebook stack.jpg

Before discussing my brief but positive experience with a Samsung Chromebook, I have some important advice. Do not brag about how little financial (or data) risk is involved in boating (or traveling) with this 11.6-inch, 2.4-pound laptop even though it looks and acts something like a precious MacBook Air. There's a fair bit of truth to the brag, but the deities of humility may then make you prove the point by, say, leaving your nice new Chromebook on a airport security belt in the Grand Canary Islands...

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Furuno MaxSea PC Radar, only in Europe?

Jan 25, 2013

What is it with radar on a PC screen that seems so enticing to yachties? Is it the fact that you don't need a MFD? Or do we want the ability to use the digital charts of our choice with the radar of our choice? Last week I wrote about how OpenCPN now supports Garmin and Simrad radar, or at least partially, and it was in that entry's comments where we learned about the existence of Furuno MaxSea PC Radar. Yes it is possible to use Furuno's excellent radar with the excellent charting program MaxSea Time Zero without purchasing a NavNet 3D or TZ Touch MFD!  But right now it may only be possible in France or Germany...

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Radar on your PC, laptop or tablet

Jan 19, 2013

Sometimes news stays under the (ahem) radar for quite a while. Today's story starts with the Austrian university project Roboat (for RObotic BOAT) needed a self-tuning radar scanner that could be used to avoid moving targets. In 2011 they started reverse engineering the Ethernet traffic from a BR24 radar scanner. They used the above test rig so that they could drag their development hardware out to a side arm of the Donau in Vienna.

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KEP dual touch marine monitor, in the real world

Apr 16, 2012

Here's one way to test a newly installed KEP Marine Glass Bridge Monitor, supposedly the first with dual touch technology (which happens to work well with Windows 7). The owner of this J160 racer/cruiser was purportedly very happy with it last season, but there was, in fact, a problem getting the touchscreen signals to consistently make the 25 foot trip from the helm to the nav station PC below. Adam White (left) -- former electronics guy and now service manager at Yankee Marina & Boatyard -- worked with KEP to solve the issue...

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Wow: Raymarine e9, e12, c9, c12, ClearPulse & VoyagePlanner, all new

Jan 21, 2012

I'm surprised because I thought Raymarine was holding off a slew of new products for the Miami show in mid-February, but today we learned that Ray's UK site has put up details on the e9 and e12 big brothers of the e7 launched last summer, as well as new c9 and c12 MFDs that are similar to the e Series but without the touch control. Which is a lot, but not all...

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Hello Nobeltec TimeZero Odyssey, goodbye VNS?

Dec 5, 2011

The great news is that Nobeltec rolled out TimeZero Odyssey last week, and the introductory price for existing Nobeltec VNS and Admiral software owners is a compelling $199, as seen at retailers like P2 Marine. Odyssey seems to be the same core charting program that I've been enjoying all season as TimeZero Trident, except that it can't integrate with radars, sounders, or video cameras (thermal or otherwise), and it doesn't support dual monitors, fuel management, or Nobeltec's Ocean Data Service (for serious fishermen)...

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