I’ve found Victron’s BMV battery monitors to be simple, reliable, and easy to understand. Now, the new SmartShunt combines the BMV’s shunt and electronics into a single unit barely larger than the regular shunt with Bluetooth and Victron’s VE.Direct networking built-in. In my testing, the SmartShunt works just like a BMV. And I don’t miss the little gauge display because there are so many other ways to see and use SmartShunt battery data, suitable to boats large and small (and RVs).
Some of you will remember that I reviewed NavNet TZtouch2 for Panbo back in 2015 shortly after Furuno began delivering the system. Proving that I am an incorrigible “early adopter”, I am back to share initial impressions of the TZtouch3 MFDs and other new hardware that Furuno introduced last winter…
Regardless of how you get internet connectivity onboard your boat, I’m a big advocate for using a dedicated boat router. There’s nothing inherently special about a boat router; it could be a cheap router designed for use at home or a sophisticated system designed just for use on megayachts. The options cover a broad price range and I’ve recently come across an inexpensive, relatively easy-to-use, feature-rich router that seems like a good option.
Raymarine had a busy Monday announcing new and updated hardware, software, and cartography. They unveiled an updated Axiom MFD called the Axiom+, all new LightHouse charts, LightHouse Premium subscription plan, and a new companion app called RayConnect to their Axiom line of MFDs. Raymarine recently presented the new functionality to members of the media allowing me share some more details about the announcements.
How Wakespeed’s WS500 alternator regulator solves complex charging issues, now with NMEA 2000 UPDATE
It’s hard to imagine getting excited over a mundane appliance such as an alternator regulator, but there is a lot to like about Wakespeed’s WS500 device. For me, the primary reason is that this regulator has addressed a gnarly charging problem on Bliss, our 40’ pilothouse trawler. It may help with yours. Let me explain…
Have Another Day seems to consume nearly unlimited electricity. So much in fact that I began to doubt the accuracy of the simple kilowatt hour meters on the shore power pedestal at my marina. Month after month of $300 plus electrical bills will do that to you. Spot checking the power consumption with a clamp meter seemed to agree with the meter on the pedestal, but I wanted to know more which sent me searching for a tool to help me understand my boat’s electrical usage. It took me some time, but I eventually found a cost effective and easy solution.
Dometic’s Optimus All-Electric Steering represents a major change to a critical system onboard the highest volume sector of boating and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it the future of outboard steering. I’ve now tested Dometic’s steering and my enthusiasm for the system has only grown. It has delivered on the promise of simple installation and operation while allowing precise control without hydraulics. Be warned, all this excellence comes at a higher price but probably not forever.
The Sirius Signal C-1002 — the first electronic Visual Distress Signal Device (eVDSD) built to the new RTCM two color standard — is now a shipping product, and Panbo testing has commenced. Also in hand is the new C-1003, which meets the existing USCG white eVDSD standard with minor improvements over the original Sirius Signal (Weems & Plath) model that trail blazed a legal alternative to mandated pyrotechnic flares. I haven’t tested either device on the water yet, but I’m already convinced that smarter, brighter eVDSDs are here, but now with a distinct better/best choice…
As the hands-on proprietor of a marine systems installation company — and as an avid cruiser on my own time — I’ve learned that new climate control technology is changing the way we go boating. By pairing DC air conditioning systems with advanced battery chemistries, we can finally install powerful climate systems on boats without generators.
I have been wanting to explore more about what’s possible with Signal K server, and quarantine 2020 gave me the time. I’ve spent the last week or so exploring all that the server and its array of plugins make possible. I’m impressed and the dashboard you see above is just the tip of the iceberg of what I’ve been able to do with it so far. If you stick with me and some geeky talk I’ll tell you about what I’ve been able to do with all the data on my boat and the tools Signal K Server offers.