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Ben

  • Posted USB charging on a 12v boat, fie on Apple? to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    USB_12v__power_hungry_on_Gizmo_cPanbo.jpg

    It was easy to gather a slew of devices currently on board Gizmo that hunger for a USB power supply at least occaisionally. Heck, when the Verizon Android Galaxy phone is providing an LTE WiFi hotspot and also streaming Bluetooth audio to the Fusion IP700 stereo as it is now -- I'm online while listening to a Maine radio station -- it needs to be charged almost constantly. The hard-working phone is also why I keep those two USB charged/charging batteries topped up for shore trips (and, yes, they do make great press event swag, thank you Simrad and FLIR). The Phonak hearing aid accessory needs nightly charging and while the DeLorme InReach Explorer in the background can go for days doing satellite tracking and a few messages, I prefer to keep it plugged in so my Share Map stays complete. In short, I need multiple 12v USB power sources to keep this crew happy and thus this entry will cover several types I've tested. There are a lot of cables involved too, but it's nice that all the gadgets pictured use a standard USB mini or micro size power/data plug, with one very significant exception...

  • Commented on The Travel 1003, a serious case of Torqeedo love
    What's so sad, Carl? Do you know any marine product that someone hasn't had problems with? In fact, I had small issue with this Torqeedo, documented here... http://www.panbo.com/archives/2013/12/long_tests_interlux_pacifica_plus_and_torqeedo_travel_1003.html ... but it's been working perfectly since the repair and I've just...
  • Commented on Furuno DRS4W 1st Watch WiFi Radar: Niche or breakthrough product?
    Hi Larry, You and many others may be pleased to know that Furuno has begun to offer solid state radar, starting with the S-Band version of the FAR 3000: http://www.furuno.com/en/merchant/chartradar/#solidstate Next, they say, will be a solid state X-Band FAR...
  • Commented on MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there
    Thanks for the reminder, Richard. I got this note from Vesper last week: "The issue regarding a 180 deg out heading was resolved a while ago and has been in the release code since 2.01.8192. It was a bug to...
  • Commented on Vesper XB-8000 test, much more than a Class B AIS transponder
    It's funny, Peter, that I just posted an entry largely concerning the vexing "to iPad or not to iPad" nav electronics conundrum: http://www.panbo.com/archives/2014/10/furuno_drs4w_1st_watch_wifi_radar_niche_or_breakthrough_product.html The Si-Tex SAS 300 is an interesting product but I think the marketing may be confused. The...
  • Posted Furuno DRS4W 1st Watch WiFi Radar: Niche or breakthrough product? to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Furuno_DRS4W_WiFi_Radar_cPanbo.jpgOne of many technologies I was glad to learn more about at the NMEA Conference was Furuno's unique DRS4W 1st Watch Wireless Radar. While it was introduced in Europe last March, FurunoUSA still hasn't listed it online and for a while I thought they might not carry it at all. Furuno's regional distributors seem to have some leeway in this regard, which apparently is why the Furuno MaxSea PC Radar system that Kees Verruijt covered for Panbo is not available in North America. In recent comments to that same 2013 entry you'll find some strong reservations about the DRS4W concept and even myself writing "I don't see the problem the Furuno WiFi Radar is solving." My skepticism wanes as I learn more but still 1st Watch seems like a confusing bundle of limitations and possibilites. Let's discuss...

  • Commented on Simrad Broadband Radar 4G, hand's-on #1
    Sorry, Robert, that's not possible and I don't know why a dealer would be confused about it. Raymarine displays only work with Raymarine radars, Garmin displays only work with Garmin radars, etc. And not even all radars of a single...
  • Commented on Simrad ForwardScan (B&G too): a breakthrough even in beta testing
    Thanks, Dave, but I'm pretty sure the answer is no. I did ask if ForwardScan running through a SonarHub... http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US/Pressreleases/2013/Sonarhub-Sounder/ ...would work with pre evo2 NSS and Matthew Lasser said no. (By the way, the SonarHub will be needed by...
  • Posted Simrad ForwardScan (B&G too): a breakthrough even in beta testing to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Simrad_NSS_evo2_home_screen_w_ForwardScan_cPanbo.jpgOn Monday I got to poke around Baltimore Harbor with a beta test version of the Simrad ForwardScan announced last spring (discussed here on Panbo) and recently as B&G ForwardScan. Navico's sonar product manager Matthew Laster brought along several versions of the NSS evo2 software that supports the new forward looking sonar (FLS) transducer but loaded the latest, saying "It hasn't been tried on a boat yet but I think it's quite stable." In fact, it was darn stable and I was quite impressed with what I saw...

  • Commented on MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there
    This in from Mathew Hooper, Navico's VHF/AIS expert: "Hope you’ve been well, I had just picked up on one of your threads and wanted to give you a quick update, we have identified the issue that you had raised with...
  • Commented on MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there
    Rob, I strongly disagree that Simrad/B&G is "the most buggy of major brands". I've used NSE, NSS, and NSS evo2 a lot over recent years, with lots of networked peripherals, and haven't had major problems at all. This glitch with...
  • Commented on MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there
    I just undated the entry because I made a happy mistake. I presumed that the Garmin 8212 wouldn't take the U.S. chart update card because it, like the 741, thought its build-in chart was just Southern Maine. That was wrong,...
  • Commented on MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there
    Awwww, Eli, the one topic in this entry I didn't want to dwell on! But I guess I asked for it, and I understand your situation. Choosing a head is a big deal. I didn't choose the Lavac -- it...
  • Posted MFD and AIS anomalies, be careful out there to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Capt_Joe_McCarty_cPanbo.jpg

    Consider this is a portrait of a deeply experienced boat guy who still remains skeptical about the wonders of modern marine electronics. Lord knows I tried, but gremlins sabotaged my efforts from the moment when my old friend Joe McCarty arrived in Rockland, Maine, for the trip to Baltimore. I was using the Garmin Helm app on my iPad mini to watch the tank gauge as I squatted on dock pumping diesel fuel and Joe just had time enough to say "Well, that is cool!" when the digitized tank reading plunged from 85% to 20% and stayed stuck there even as we topped off using the old fashion method of listening to the changing vent gurgles...

  • Commented on Quality NMEA 2000 cabling, the eBay way
    Rodrigo, Simnet wire colors are almost a match for other NMEA 2000 type cables, so the pin out should be easy to figure out: http://www.panbo.com/archives/2008/02/n2k_cable_mixing_not_a_big_woop.html BUT I think it's a bad idea to cut and splice any N2K cabling if...
  • Commented on Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS?
    I saw a Simrad/B&G ForwardScan recording today (at IBEX) that looked darn impressive. The transducer is already installed on Gizmo and a Navico tech will be coming aboard on Monday to update the NSS evo2 gear with beta software and...
  • Commented on ComNav Class A AIS transponder, with NMEA 2000!
    Milltech also sells the AMEC Class A in the U.S., and lists it with NMEA 2000 output: http://www.milltechmarine.com/AMEC-CAMINO-701-Class-A-AIS-Transponder_p_267.html But I also found further confirmation that the SRT-made Class A sold under ComNav, Em-Trak and other brands never got working N2K...
  • Commented on ComNav Class A AIS transponder, with NMEA 2000!
    I do see the McMurdo Class A AIS displayed at U.S. boat shows, so I think it's approved. The approval may be under AMEC, which actually manufacturers it. Howard, ComNav told you that their Class A doesn't yet support NMEA...
  • Commented on Navico writer's event 2014: B&G, Simrad & Lowrance product highlights
    Hi Henning, evo2 definitely does 4G dual range radar, at least one of which can be a chart overlay. I've seen it at least on the NSS16 and maybe on the NSS7. BUT choosing which radar -- "a" or "b"...
  • Commented on Maritime Robotx Challenge & the WAM-V USV, heads up!
    Email from a pilot friend: Good article Ben, pretty soon none of us will have to leave our desks! I’ve been bothered by the near total adoption of “drone” for a long time, searching for a pithy succinct summation that...
  • Commented on Maritime Robotx Challenge & the WAM-V USV, heads up!
    Obviously there are all sorts of ways a USV may be used, some of which we may not enjoy, but here's an example of a unmanned aerial system (UAS) helping to rescue lost hikers: http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/UAS-Finds-Lost-Hikers222729-1.html Incidentally, there seems to be...
  • Posted Maritime Robotx Challenge & the WAM-V USV, heads up! to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    QUT Maritime RobotX challenge WAM-V courtesy QUT.JPG

    Right now it's possible to come upon an unmanned surface vessel (USV) like this trying to navigate waterways all over the world, though rest assured that there will be a boat load of attentive geeks nearby. That's because fifteen student/professor engineering teams from five countries have been given a basic 16-foot WAM-V articulating catamaran to which they are adding propulsion and control systems for the upcoming Maritime RobotX Challenge in Singapore. The contest strikes me as a great way to accelerate robotics development, but of course one eventuality is unmanned vessels roaming the coasts. In fact, that may already be happening...

  • Commented on Appreciating fuel management, wanting more
    Thanks, Quitsa, interesting comment. Did you know that Navico builds the VesselView displays for Mercury and last year both showed off some tight integration between the newer VV and evo2 displays? http://www.panbo.com/archives/2014/02/miami_2014_glass_bridge_everywhere.html I haven't tried fuel management on the NSS...
  • Commented on Raymarine LightHouse II, the paper chart lives on
    Cool...another choice of "paper charts" for electronic displays: Fugawi is out with Fugawi Onboard, a $195 three SD card bundle of all U.S. and Canadian raster charts that runs on many Navico MFDs: http://store.fugawi.com/collections/fugawi/products/fugawi-aboard-us-canada The same charts are also available...
  • Commented on Appreciating fuel management, wanting more
    Mine's also an Edey & Duff, circa 1993, and has many dings that don't show in the photo. Amazingly stable. I stopped in Pocasset, Cape Cod, on the way down to pick up a set of teak floorboards from the...
  • Commented on Cruising Solutions headsets, testing the Bluetooth update
    Seemed quite good to me, Ryan; remember that the manufacturer is largely focused on the motorcycle market....
  • Commented on Appreciating fuel management, wanting more
    Hey, Hartley, that's a Fatty Knees 9 (they also make 7 and 8 foot models) I was very pleased to acquire in August. It definitely sails, even with two old "robust" guys onboard, and also rows and Torqeedo's well. It...
  • Posted Appreciating fuel management, wanting more to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Gizmo_running_down_LIS_cPanbo.jpg

    Gizmo is fenders down, awning up, in bustling Baltimore Harbor, and I have tales to tell. This old powerboat sails! That's no surprise given her windage, but now I have precise data about how much wind (and current) can help her along thanks to a fuel management system. In this photo, for instance, we were making around 10 knots over the ground at 1,350 RPM but still getting over three miles to a gallon thanks to a stiff easterly wind pushing us down Long Island Sound. That's a wake-pulling, inefficient RPM when running on flat summer water in Maine, but is much easier on crew and autopilot when in following seas like these. While I'm usually willing to spend more fuel money to shoulder through conditions like this, I was pleased to learn that the dollar difference wasn't great...

  • Commented on Aboard Tranquilidad, more adventures with N2K (& Raymarine)
    Good you asked! The Raymarine gS125 and a77 displays I'm currently testing also show nav aids icons on Navionics charts at quite a small scale at many zoom levels, so I don't think a hardware upgrade is your solution. What...
  • Commented on Antenna masts: Edson Vision & more
    Hi Don, I don't think an N connector can fit through any standard 1-14 base but I suppose Digital could make a bullet with the cable exiting the side. So many trade offs! The Sassafras River is beautiful and boaty,...
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