Internet afloat isn’t always as simple as we would like it to be. Wave WiFi is working hard to make it simpler with their MBR-500 and MBR-550 multi-source routers. These routers have the ability to select between as many as six different sources of internet connectivity and can do it all automatically.
In 2015 I enjoyed testing, and then enthusing about, the first electronic distress signal that could effectively and legally replace the flares required on most of our boats by the US Coast Guard. Now there’s competition from the pyrotechnic flare company that originally denigrated the electronic “flare” and also an interesting expansion of the USCG standard in the works…
Blue Guard Innovations calls their BG-Link an internet of things (IoT) gateway and further describes it as a unique boat monitoring system. After my impressive test of their BG-One oil detecting bilge pump switch, I am intrigued to see what makes the BG-Link unique.
My family and I have been back living and traveling aboard Have Another Day for about nine months now. Our boat is a huge consumer of bandwidth so I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Here’s an update and some tips on what we’re doing to maintain reliable connectivity.
Many times I’ve wished I could step away from Have Another Day’s helm but still control the engines from a better vantage point, or from where I want to handle a line. So it was great when Dockmate U.S. representatives came to Gulfport, FL to install their wireless remote system for me to review. In this entry, I’ll describe the system and my experiences with using it so far, which have been positive.
If you need a small NMEA 2000 network, Actisense’s all-in-one 4 Way at upper left is an especially simple and rugged way to go… there’s lots more you can do with a short N2K backbone and drop cables than many people realize, and that’s a small portion of what I’ll detail below. I had fun mocking up various network designs, and they will hopefully illustrate what you can and can’t do within the NMEA 2000 standard, plus some techniques that are simply good practice…
Controlling the multitude of systems on modern boats can be complex and many modern boaters expect the same level of automation and convenience they find in their cars. It’s clear the industry has realized this and is working hard to develop systems that make controlling your boat simpler and more intuitive. I had the opportunity to try out two such systems at the Miami International Boat Show…
I’ve often heard wireless headsets referred to as marriage savers but before cruising full time I didn’t realize the accuracy of the nickname. Now after several years of regular use, I wouldn’t want to cruise without them. But there are multiple brands and types of headsets, and two we’ve used extensively each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Weego’s Crankenstein is the first lithium chemistry jumpstarter under $1,000 that can start large 24v diesel engines, and its intuitive display with multiple powering options are noteworthy features that will hopefully come to more modestly priced designs. My testing started in an unusual way and while my first test turned out not to be a big diesel it did offer a nice glimpse of the 9-pound, 12x6x8 inch Crankenstein’s always ready design.
On April 6th, 2019 older GPS units may experience a range of problems because of a limitation in how they handle dates. Thos problems could include not being able to receive location data. It turns out the way dates are stored in older GPS units has a rollover event every roughly 20 years and we are about to experience the second one since the GPS constellations came online. The rollover last happened in 1999 but in the last 20 years, the use and dependence on GPS has increased dramatically.