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Ben

  • Commented on Smartgauge battery monitor, RC proclaims "paradigm shift"!
    Dainis, did you read RC's full review? He was skeptical too. Norman, I think that most people know that amps per hour means amps used per hour, not amps divided by hours. But, trust me, I regret using the phrase...
  • Commented on Smartgauge battery monitor, RC proclaims "paradigm shift"!
    Dan, please read RC's full review; all your answers are there in detail. And sorry back at you, Derek! I still don't get it. For the life of me I do not understand why my use of the phrase "amps...
  • Posted Smartgauge battery monitor, RC proclaims "paradigm shift"! to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Smartgauge_testing_courtesy_Compass_Marine.jpgIf you like sailing with some electronics running, or just anchoring without a generator, you're probably very interested in the State of Charge (SoC) of your battery banks. Voltmeters, however, only hint at what's going on, and true battery monitors require careful calibration and the installation of shunts, but still tend to go out of whack over time. Well, darned if the great RC Collins of Compass Marine didn't go to extraordinary lengths to prove that the Smartgauge -- a little known product that's been around for almost a decade -- can somehow accurately measure SoC without calibration and without a shunt, and yet still get even more accurate over time. Apparently when it shows your Charge at 92%, as above, your battery bank really is at 92% capacity...

  • Commented on NMEA 2000 color instrument power testing, looks good
    Perfectly fine to reference SailNet here, Redline. Also fine to post links to threads there. Just put the URL in your comment with a space on either side and it will become a link when the comment is posted. The...
  • Commented on NMEA 2000 color instrument power testing, looks good
    Thanks, Haven! A magnetron radar in standby mode can really consume juice, so it's great that Raymarine has long let users turn it completely off from their MFDs. Simrad has the same feature, but it's not very important if you...
  • Commented on RS130 gps to MFD12 trough NMEA2K
    Hi Joe, I think that will work fine, as I've done similar with many NMEA 2000 devices: http://www.panbo.com/archives/2008/09/actisense_furuno_n2k_junction_boxes_impressions.html http://www.panbo.com/archives/2008/02/n2k_cable_mixing_not_a_big_woop.html But never a bad idea to check with the manufacturer, and Raymarine seems to be running a responsive technical support forum...
  • Commented on SIMRAD SimNet and Fusion 700i Head Unit
    PS You don't need to mess with SimNet, which is another proprietary design for NMEA 2000 cable and connectors. Simrad is moving away from it and your NSS has a standard NMEA 2000 port....
  • Commented on SIMRAD SimNet and Fusion 700i Head Unit
    Tim, it's more complicated than that. Any NMEA 2000 network, even one with only two devices, needs a backbone, two terminators, and a power source. Also the Fusion 8 pin connector is not standard N2K. So you need one of...
  • Commented on NMEA 2000 color instrument power testing, looks good
    Thanks, Sheltie, but I may know much less than you realize. I can't, for instance, comprehend your thoughts on amperage acceleration, velocity. and "coulombs". But let me make another try. I believe that there's a known value called an Amp...
  • Commented on NMEA 2000 color instrument power testing, looks good
    Thanks, Steve! I can't believe I've never noticed that neat back-light configuration option. Maretron also noticed my mistake, and gave me amperage numbers to fill out the revised table above. I totally trust their numbers because they are slightly worse...
  • Commented on Vesper XB-8000 test, much more than a Class B AIS transponder
    It's really up to you, Richard. I think that mandated AIS SOLAS vessels are supposed to run their transponders (sorry, Larry ;-) all the time but certainly not a yacht like yours that isn't required to carry AIS at all....
  • Posted NMEA 2000 color instrument power testing, looks good to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Raymarine_i70_power_testing_cPanbo.jpgWhen Garmin recently introduced GNX20/21 displays, it led to questions about the power needs of similar but all-color NMEA 2000 instruments. And that led me to finally make up a special N2K cable that I can use with my trusty Power Analyzer Pro to measure the 12 volt current flow to an individual N2K-powered device. So what you're seeing above is that a Raymarine i70 working with live data at 100% brightness level is using 0.13 amps. That's not much by most standards, but dropping down a hair to 90% brightness reduced the power draw 20%...

  • Commented on NoLand RS11, analog to NMEA 2000 engine monitoring
    Bill, there's lot of activity in analog-to-N2K engine translators. Check out my experience with Actisense EMU-1 here: http://www.panbo.com/archives/2013/10/actisense_emu-1_analog_engine_gauges_to_nmea_2000_happiness.html But note in the entry that the Noland is improved and NMEA 2000 certified. Note too that Alba has a very interesting...
  • Commented on Greening Gizmo, 17 amps of solar panel!
    Jacques, my panels are parallel. You can see the separate feed lines going into the MPPT controller in the photographs. But I did that to minimize voltage drop, not as a shadow strategy. My panels often get partial shadows from...
  • Commented on Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS?
    Hi, Jerry. I'm going to guess that what your friends had trouble with was Interphase's horizontal beam mode, which definitely wasn't obvious: http://www.panbo.com/assets_c/2009/10/Interphase_Ultrascan-1196.html I doubt that many people will have trouble understanding the profile screen derived from a vertical FLS...
  • Commented on Vesper XB-8000 test, much more than a Class B AIS transponder
    Yup, AIS transponder and AIS transceiver are both acceptable terms, have been for quite a while. We know they're not transponders by the technical definition but then again transceiver is too broad for a fully automated system. I think that's...
  • Commented on Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS?
    Thanks, Adrian. That's why I like to install FLS transducers well forward. EchoPilot cautions against this because of the chance that the transducer will come out of the water or get messed up by a bubbly bow wave, but I'm...
  • Commented on Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS?
    WASSP looks great, Dox, Olex too, but I think you missed the fact that Simrad ForwardScan will cost just $699 if a boater already has a fairly recent Simrad system. The EchoPilot FLS Platinum Video Engine is $1.399 plus transducer....
  • Posted Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS? to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Simrad_ForwardScan_concept_aPanbo.jpgWhile Simrad announced ForwardScan at the Miami Boat Show, details are scarce and the concept diagram doesn't really show what a ForwardScan screen is going to look like. Yes, like other Foward Looking Sonar (FLS) systems, the goal is to display the water column and ocean floor in front of the vessel to "help boaters eliminate the worry of potential groundings in unfamiliar waters" and, yes, FowardScan is the first FLS to be fully integrated into a multifunction display system. Well, I've hounded Simrad for more information -- all of which sounds good -- and it also looks like I will get to test ForwardScan against what seems like the most similar existing product...

  • Commented on inReach SE, will the screen do it?
    DeLorme has new model inReach Explorer that's quite like the SE but with added sensors for navigation and the ability to download routes from the owner's inReach web site: http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreach-explorer.php Also, OCENS just announced a new SpotCast weather service that...
  • Commented on Shaft Razor long test, with a look at the competition
    Hi Steve, Evolution Marine does recommend "spotting" the shaft with a drill for the Shaft Razor set screws, and they claim that their solid design fails less often than split discs. The Shaft Shark does have two blades but the...
  • Commented on Vexilar SonarPhone T-Pod, WiFi fishfinder in a bobber!
    Paulius, the similar Deeper wireless fishfinder has a stud that can be used to mount it on a remote control boat. Pictures down the page here: https://buydeeper.com/deeper...
  • Commented on Vexilar SonarPhone T-Pod, WiFi fishfinder in a bobber!
    ‚ÄčTom Zenanko of Vexilar says I'll be really amazed by the SonarPhone T-Box SP200 fixed model (though my neglected old outboard power catamaran "Li'l Gizmo" needs a lot of work first ;-( Tom also reports that the SonarPhone is getting...
  • Posted Vexilar SonarPhone T-Pod, WiFi fishfinder in a bobber! to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Vexilar_SonarPhone_T-Pod_closeup_cPanbo.jpgIt's 2014 and a sealed plastic 5-inch bobber can indeed contain a fairly able 400 Watt 125 kHz fishfinder and a WiFi radio, plus enough rechargeable battery to run both for a few hours. The SonarPhone T-Pod will strike many as a toy, but it actually works quite well considering its small size and price tag ($130). And the manufacturer Vexilar puts the same technology into models meant to install on small boats, which means that dedicated iPad (or Android tablet) boaters do indeed have a fishfinder option...

  • Commented on Garmin GNX 20/21 instrument displays, monochrome mashups
    Sparky, the reason almost every electrical device lists a maximum current draw is so that the power wire and circuit protection can be sized correctly. In the case of an NMEA 2000 device like this, the max current (LEN) rating...
  • Commented on Garmin GNX 20/21 instrument displays, monochrome mashups
    You got me, Hartley! I stand corrected, and must have been thinking of the terminators, which can only plug into blue STng. At any rate, I realize I have all the bits and pieces here to test the working power...
  • Commented on FLIR M-Series nav cam test, Raymarine integration appreciated!
    Al, first thing you want to check out is if your E140Wide had been updated to integrate with Flir M Series. I'm not sure but I think not. I believe your MFD can display Flir video output fine but that...
  • Commented on Garmin GNX 20/21 instrument displays, monochrome mashups
    Hartley, I think you'll find that a blue STng power cord will not plug into a white STng device port, only into a blue STng backbone cable connector. It's one of the ways Raymarine made STng especially hard to mess...
  • Commented on Garmin GNX 20/21 instrument displays, monochrome mashups
    Right, Hartley, but does an i70 use just .35W all day long? I don't think so. That's why maximum power ratings have limited value (though "typical" power draw ratings are mushy by definition). In my experience all the NMEA 2000...
  • Commented on R & R system
    Paul, what's an "R & R"?...
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