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Ben

Ben

  • Commented on Gizmo glass bridge MFD testing 2014, specs & prices
    It's largely a matter of available space, Raul, but I also like to be on the flybridge in fog and when gunkholing close to shore, ledges etc. Plus there's a 12" charting PC also at the lower helm. The three...
  • Commented on New Garmin GPSMap 741sx, 741, etc.; signs of what's to come?
    Hi Jay, Good question and fortunately I'm seeing the evolution hands-on. The 741xs mounted at my lower helm has an Airmar B75 medium CHIRP transducer plugged into it, which it's sharing quite nicely with the 8212 on the flybridge. It's...
  • Posted Gizmo glass bridge MFD testing 2014, specs & prices to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Gizmo_flybridge_sonar_testing_8-14_cPanbo.jpg

    Now we're talking. Gizmo's flybridge feels like the starship Enterprise now that the Simrad NSS16 evo2 is installed in its Seaview Power Pod and the Garmin 8212 has been moved closer to the helm since I first discussed the 2014 glass bridge install. Recent visitors tended to break into giddy laughter, but the marine electronics horsepower at my fingertips is truly phenomenal. In this scene, for instance, I'm exploring a dicey area of Camden outer harbor -- hence the lack of moorings -- using StructureScan and medium CHIRP sonar on the NSS16, CHIRP DownView and sonar on the gS125, and EchoPilot FLS via the Garmin's video port. Today's subject, though, is about how and why I selected the particular gear I hope to test and compare for quite a while...

  • Commented on Cangarda, the touchscreen steam yacht
    Small world, Eugene, and so glad you came by! Steve Cobb is no longer on Cangarda, and I've heard the vessel has been laid up with mechanical issues quite a bit, but Steve is now running the beautiful Atlantide: http://www.charterworld.com/news/newly-refitted-122-classic-motor-yacht-atlantide-leaves-front-street-shipyard...
  • Commented on Ray i60 on bridged Simnet-Ray N2K network
    Hi Dan, Frankly, I'm surprised that your "bridged" system is working as well as it is, as what you're doing seems well outside the norms for CANbus and NMEA 2000 network architecture. I suspect that you might see other problems...
  • Commented on Testing the Wilson AG Pro Quint, and hello Shakespeare Anywhere cell boosters
    4G in Perry Creek is really nice, especially when those massive squadrons of Perry C. mosquitoes are on the blood hunt ;-) For readers from away, Perry Creek is on the NW corner of Vinalhaven, only about 11 miles from...
  • Commented on Siren Marine cellular boat monitoring long test, reliable & powerful
    Gotta wonder if some boats don't have a mind of their own. Here's a "lucky" story like yours that just happened here Wed. night: http://www.penbaypilot.com/article/harbormaster-act-god-kept-loose-sailboat-causing-damage-camden-harbor/38961 Gizmo was one of many boats in between the J-24's mooring and the patch of...
  • Commented on Testing the Wilson AG Pro Quint, and hello Shakespeare Anywhere cell boosters
    Thanks, RC! I didn't even realize that Wilson had come out with the Mobile 4G and it looks right for a lot of boat situations: http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/display/245/38/mobile-4g Dare I ask if your combination of antenna, cable, and amp meet the new...
  • Commented on Navionics SonarCharts, now via SonarPhone or GPX file, plus the Lowrance autopilot
    Thank you Giuseppe and Greg! It's fantastic when developers stick their necks out here on Panbo, and the pride and passion both of you have about what you do is obvious. But please play nice. I don't think I'm the...
  • Commented on GPS vs Tablet
    Dan, I'm surprised you didn't mention the problem of seeing the tablet screen in open sunny conditions. It really is a problem (as you've mentioned before). At any rate, I've started testing an Android tablet put together specifically for boating...
  • Commented on Ray i60 on bridged Simnet-Ray N2K network
    Dan, what do you mean by bridged? Are you using a bridge device like the one from BEP CZone or did you simply remove two terminators and one power drop and use a new cable to make the Raymarine and...
  • Commented on MBHH Show 2014: Akalaria RC3, Dock Works utility cat & other surprises
    Rumor has it that the Akalaria Open 40 and also Rich Wilson's new Open 60 Great American IV will be in the Penobscot Bay Rendezvous races starting tomorrow, and I hope to see them in action. More info: http://www.penobscotbayrendezvous.com/Notice-o-race http://www.sailfeed.com/2013/08/rich-wilson-looking-ahead-to-the-2016-vendee-globe/...
  • Posted MBHH Show 2014: Akalaria RC3, Dock Works utility cat & other surprises to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    MBHH_Show_2014_Ben_on_MYC_Akalaria_Open_40_RC3_cPanbo.jpg

    I knew I'd gotten Maine Yacht Center's Brian Harris to photograph me in the comfortable driver's seat he designed for the second Aklaria RC3 finished out at MYC, but how did the shot come out of my camera like this? Did I fall into some revery imagining the 20 knot reaching this exotic Open 40 racer is easily capable of? The 12th annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show was rich in the elegant lobster yachts and daysailors my state has become famous for, but there were also plenty of interesting surprises. Even Mainiac boat nuts don't realize how versatile we are...

  • Commented on More Gizmo 2011, the solar panel project
    Hi Jack, A year after this entry I wrote about the system I actually installed, which is slightly different: http://www.panbo.com/archives/2012/08/greening_gizmo_17_amps_of_solar_panel.html I'm very pleased with the long term performance of two Kyocera 140 Watt KD140SX-UPU panels and a Blue Sky 2512i...
  • Commented on Furuno 711C Navpilot head & MCU002 remote keypad, TZT style
    Thanks, Johan, but actually Furuno is the only manufacturer I know of that offers an automatic standby (and resume course) autopilot feature like Garmin's ShadowDrive. Furuno calls it Safe Helm and it requires an accessory valve block and Furuno (Accusteer)...
  • Commented on Siren Marine cellular boat monitoring long test, reliable & powerful
    Hi Quitsa. The (slightly) more expensive and more versatile Sprite model I'm testing has a "9' temperature probe for 'spot' temperature. -22 F (-30 C) to 230 F (110 C)". I don't see it pictured anywhere but it's in the...
  • Posted Siren Marine cellular boat monitoring long test, reliable & powerful to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Siren_Marine_TRANSGRES_warning_text_cPanbo.jpg

    Boat theft is very rare in Maine, but on a recent Saturday night someone apparently "borrowed" a big twin outboard off a local dock for a "joy ride" during which something was hit hard enough to hole the topsides, and then they put the boat back on the dock and vanished! To my knowledge the mystery remains unsolved, but it sure jogged my memory about the Set feature on the Siren Marine cellular monitoring system I've been testing for over two years. The partial phone screen above shows what happened when Gizmo moved more than about 15 meters several days after I texted the "SET" command to the Siren. First I was notified that she'd TRANSGRESsed the geofence set up by the SET command and then the Siren started texting me every five minutes with GAT (Geofence Automatic Time-based) reports that included course, speed and a lat/long link to Google Maps. I could have guided the Maine Marine Patrol to the transgressor pretty quickly, if the "villain" hadn't been myself...

  • Commented on Gizmo 2014, glass bridge shakedown cruising #1
    Fired up the fly bridge Simrad NSS16 evo2 for the first time today...and it's gorgeous. It also auto installed itself with NSS7, 4G radar, GoFree WiFi, and extensive N2K network perfectly. Almost. StructureScan is not getting from NSS7 to 16...
  • Commented on Inmarsat iSatPhone 2, a solid satphone but here come Globalstar Sat-Fi & Iridium GO
    Well, Inmarsat's customer friendliness is once again called into question. I just got this notice from prepaidsatphone.com: "Inmarsat just announced revision and increase of the GSPS IsatPhone service pricing plans (to be applied to all IsatPhone Pro and IsatPhone 2)....
  • Posted The DIY lithium battery bank; Bob Ebaugh has 330 cycles so far to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Bob_n_Elaine_Ebaugh_cruise_courtesy_MarAzulAdventures.jpg

    Bob and Elaine Ebaugh did it, leaving Florida in April, 2011, on their Defever 44 Mar Azul and spending more than two years cruising a big Carribean loop. Their blog, Mar Azul Adventures, is a good read, but you might miss the fact that during the cruise, Bob managed to research, assemble, test, and install a 1,200 amp hour do-it-yourself lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery bank to replace the 12 golf cart batteries they'd worn out. He also wrote a thorough white paper about why he chose DIY lithium and how he put the system together...

  • Commented on BoatLogger, well worth serious beta testing
    BoatLogger Flotilla Sites are now live. It sounds easy for existing BoatLogger members to join a cruising group and get a site with live tracking of all vessels, shared log entries, etc. Similar Racing Sites with courses drawn in are...
  • Posted Edson Marine: old school, new school to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Edson_Marine_steering_wheels_circa_18xx_cPanbo_.jpg

    I visited Edson Marine headquarters while Gizmo was in New Bedford, Massachusetts, during my cruise home in May 2013, and one vivid memory is this old catalog that co-owner Will Keene showed me. My old sloop Alice had one of those Mahogany Steering Wheels, and while I'm sure it cost more in 1946, it's amazing to realize that you could once buy one for $15, Ebonized Rim included. I also enjoyed seeing how well Edson has kept on keeping on since Jacob Edson invented and started manufacturing the first diaphragm pump in 1859...

  • Commented on Furuno 711C Navpilot head & MCU002 remote keypad, TZT style
    So today I learned that FurunoUSA will be introducing the 1st Watch WiFi Radar here fairly soon: http://www.furuno.com/special/en/wireless/radar/ I still "get" the product myself, so I'll be very interested to see how they pitch it. Meanwhile, Mark at i-Marine is...
  • Commented on Furuno 711C Navpilot head & MCU002 remote keypad, TZT style
    While I'd like to try the Furuno remote keypad, it's interesting how much easier touch commands are now that the TZT 14 is mounted less vertically. And I'm having the converse experience with the Raymarine a-7 at the lower helm....
  • Posted Furuno 711C Navpilot head & MCU002 remote keypad, TZT style to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Furuno_711c_autopilot_head_SETCSE_aPanbo.jpgThe press release (PDF here) for Furuno's new color 711C autopilot control describe it as "completely redesigned to provide an excellent match with Furuno's flagship line of NavNet TZtouch MFD's... right down to the control knob!" There's no denying the similar handsome styling, and doesn't it make you wonder if Furuno will eventually offer a color NMEA 2000 instrument display with the same standard DIN size and 4.1-inch color screen? That's 100% speculation on my part, but doesn't it make sense as Furuno finds itself competing with Raymarine, Garmin, and Simrad over the glass style helm that the TZT Series arguably spearheaded? The MCU002 remote TZT keypad, also now official and shipping, seems like another step in keeping TZT competitive.

  • Commented on Navionics SonarCharts, now via SonarPhone or GPX file, plus the Lowrance autopilot
    Henning, I think that Navionics hopes to eventually make the "+" subscription features of a user's chart card also available in the app, but right now they are separate (and working around Apple in-app purchase rights is an issue). So...
  • Commented on Navionics SonarCharts, now via SonarPhone or GPX file, plus the Lowrance autopilot
    Excellent Navionics Boating app news: Update 7.1 gives a year of Freshest Data and SonarChart use to anyone who's already purchased a Navionics chart region. Before 7.1 my USA app couldn't replace already downloaded charts with fresh ones and wouldn't...
  • Commented on Navionics SonarCharts, now via SonarPhone or GPX file, plus the Lowrance autopilot
    Norse, sometimes proprietary file formats are needed to capture the data desired, and I don't think it matters much if there is a way to get at least some of the data into a common format. You can, for instance,...
  • Commented on Gizmo's awning AC and Muvman sit-stand stool
    Hi Felipe, I got to try the Muvman yesterday in short seas with some quick rolls maybe 15 degrees. Worked well as I expected. As noted, the natural Muvman sitting position is feet widely spaced and firmly placed, which is...
  • Commented on 3M Scotchloks, is my love so wrong?
    Panbo loves you too, Raul! Bear in mind, though, that those IDC connectors seem to be the same as some of the Scotchlok models discussed above, including the fact that they are only rated for solid copper wire. Some people...
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