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Ben

Ben

  • 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,...
  • Commented on Antenna masts: Edson Vision & more
    That's great news, Ronbo. Excited to see your pictures! We had a great trip through NY Harbor. Lots of Stars and Stripes, lots of folks visiting Miss Liberty. We went west around Staten Island, which was new territory for both...
  • Posted Antenna masts: Edson Vision & more to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Gizmo_10-2014_antenna_farm_cPanbo.jpg

    So far, so good. Finishing up Gizmo's antenna mast was the last minute task before heading south, but nothing fell on our heads during the often lively passage to the Cape Cod Canal and around into Long Island Sound. Most of the new installs up there worked too, though we experienced a couple of very odd MFD issues that I'll write up once I understand them better. For the time being I'll just repeat a venerable adage: Do not rely on any one source of navigation information. Now let's discuss the Edson Vision and custom mounting hardware I used for the antenna farm...

  • Commented on Simrad RS35 VHF & HS35 wireless handset, testing pretty well
    Hi Thomas, I use the handset standalone a lot and am happy with it. But am motoring down Long Island Sound right now and just compared speakers side by side. the RS35 does have a bigger, fuller sound but handset...
  • Commented on Garmin SmartMode, and here comes Simrad Bridge
    Xavier, Simrad Bridge works quite nicely with the NSS16 and 7 evo2's but did not show the Triton installed in the test system as a display it could coordinate....
  • Commented on Simrad RS35 VHF & HS35 wireless handset, testing pretty well
    No I haven't, Henry, and don't have a hailer hooked up myself. But I did have the unexpected weather report issue and made it go away by turning off weather alerts. Not an ideal solution but hopefully one of several...
  • Commented on Gizmo south: TFU, IBEX, NMEA, HSR & other self promotions
    Thanks, Michael; I've been enjoying your blog posts and many photographs. Great to see Barbara traveling some of the byways you designed her for many moons ago. Also just thought to add Barbara to my MarineTraffic "Fleet" and find I...
  • Commented on Marine fuel prices, why so hard?
    Doh! Port Clyde fuel price seems to have changed radically. Just quoted $4.15 over the phone. But AC's data for Journey's End in Rockland -- $3.75 including taxes -- is correct. Plus I was able to buy a Fuel Key...
  • Commented on Gizmo south: TFU, IBEX, NMEA, HSR & other self promotions
    All sounds good to me, Arch....
  • Posted Gizmo south: TFU, IBEX, NMEA, HSR & other self promotions to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    TrawlerFest_U_Baltimore_electronics_cPanbo.jpg

    I didn't write the seminar title, but I do understand the value of a grabby headline and I'm excited about being part of the entirely revised TrawlerFest in Baltimore. Paul Comyns and I will make a valiant attempt to cover all the important electronics bases for the knowledge-hungry long-range-cruisers-to-be that tend to take the all-day "TF University" courses. An interesting added challenge for the presenters is to provide money-saving tips. I'm already working on concepts like how GPS, AIS, and improved signal processing have made it possible to "make do" with a smaller radar, but please suggest other reasonable cost-cutting strategies. And TFU is just the beginning of my fall speaking engagements, one or more of which you might want to attend or at least kibbutz about...

  • Commented on Marinebeam: Ultra Long Range LED flashlight tested, MarineKinetix wind turbine admired
    Thanks, Stuart! I've recently chatted with two acquaintances in this area who bought MarineBeam Ultras for their boats. Both are extremely pleased. I don't know of a comparable handheld long range light. Also, I am finding uses for the Ultra...
  • Commented on The state of marine Ethernet connectors, and hello to RayNet
    Thanks, Ewen! I really don't know when or what Raymarine will do with those extra cores. But I am fairly certain that the current radars don't use them. I think the radars are now shipping with RayNet connectors but I...
  • Posted EchoPilot Platinum FLS, better than expected to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Echopilot_Platinum_FLS_on_Maine_ledge_cPanbo.jpg

    She: "HEY! Do you realize you're steering right at a ledge?!?" He: "Yes, dear." While it was a tough cruise for my lovely first mate, I did learn a lot about what an EchoPilot FLS Platinum Video Engine can actually do. If you click the photo above to full size, for instance, note how the FLS in the Garmin video window is showing especially shallow water about 55 feet ahead, though in a rather vague, pixilated manner. Note too that the more conventional and less expensive Raymarine CHIRP DownView/sonar is at least suggesting a shallowing trend. Still, as the title says, I am finding that the EchoPilot's performance and usefulness is better than I expected, but then again -- a big 'but' -- my expectations were quite low...

  • Commented on Marine fuel prices, why so hard?
    Excellent! ActiveCaptain has vastly improved its fuel price services. You can now look at price sorted lists by state (and some foreign countries) if you are registered member: https://activecaptain.com/fuelLists/fuelIndex.php There are still plenty of missing marinas, but we users can...
  • Posted Cruising Solutions headsets, testing the Bluetooth update to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Mariner_headset_review_PMY_9-2004_cPanbo.jpg

    Apparently the folks at Cruising Solutions have not forgotten that I once characterized their still popular Mariner 500 intecom headsets as "making a boater look unfashionably similar to a Soviet tank driver" and hence asked me to test their latest solution to the problem of verbal communications when captain and crew are in different areas of a boat. They are called "My Team Talks" Bluetooth headsets and they're much more than modern looking intercoms. "Bring state-of-the-art multiplex communication technology to your boat" is not an overstatement...

  • Commented on Navionics SonarCharts, now via SonarPhone or GPX file, plus the Lowrance autopilot
    Perhaps unfortunately, Pencil, it does not seem to be natural for government charting agencies to accept outside data. The tendency -- understandable, I think -- is get ever stricter about data validity requirements and to be very conservative about change....
  • Commented on Smartgauge battery monitor, RC proclaims "paradigm shift"!
    I don't understand, Bob. Isn't RC's incredibly detailed testing and write-up all about how accurate and useful the Smart Gauge SOC is? http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/smart_gauge...
  • Commented on Simrad RS35 & Lowrance Link-8: DSC VHF + AISrx + N2K = YES!
    Hi Nick, I haven't done enough research to tell if it's a feature or a bug, but I did figure out how to make it stop. Go to Menu/Radio Setup/WX Alert and turn it off. Reading the manual (p. 32)...
  • Commented on Quality NMEA 2000 cabling, the eBay way
    Hello FatDash, Adam is quite correct but there are other ways to use the Turck JBSS multiport. My install looks something like the last photo. The backbone is Mini not Micro cable with a Mini power tap tee'd in. One...
  • Commented on Garmin SmartMode, and here comes Simrad Bridge
    Bill, look in Functions/Gauges/Wind. Full screen on the 8212 it's even sexier than the 741 screen, w two wind history graphs and more data windows. Great by default but much customization possible under Menu key. My water speed and wind...
  • Commented on Garmin SmartMode, and here comes Simrad Bridge
    Once I noticed the little multi-screen icon that now appears at the bottom of the NSS evo2 home screen, Bridge Control works great. The network sees all the screens already created for each MFD in the Bridge group and let's...
  • Posted Garmin SmartMode, and here comes Simrad Bridge to Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

    Garmin_8000_SmartMode_home_page_cPanbo.jpg

    Garmin's SmartMode station control seemed like an obviously great idea when introduced with the 8000 Glass Helm series in early 2013. The basic feature simply let's you group 8000 displays at a helm (station) and control what the various screens are showing all at once. But the interface designers went a smart step further by naming the default SmartModes after the overall tasks at hand instead of the conventional specifics about the tools needed, like "chart/rader/cam". Thus the 8212 now being tested on Gizmo came with CRUISING, DOCKING, ANCHORING, and FISHING modes already suggested, and I've been adding my own in the same task-not-tool spirit...

  • Commented on MBHH Show 2014: Akalaria RC3, Dock Works utility cat & other surprises
    Thanks, Peter! You're going to like the video too; there's even a clip of a good size tractor driving off. But you have to view it in Internet Explorer and it took nearly 10 minutes to "buffer" on my usually...
  • 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...
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