Panbo Features

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Sirius Signal C-1002 & C-1003 SOS distress signal testing begins, future bright

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…

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DC Air Conditioning – Comfort on the water, no generator required

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.

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Data overload with Signal K Server, a Raspberry Pi and a whole lot of tools

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.

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Cel-Fi GO+, a truly different and promising cell booster

The Cel-Fi GO is different from every other cell booster I’ve tried over the years, starting with significantly greater signal amplification (when needed). The well-made hardware also supports a Bluetooth app that delivers significantly more information about what the booster is doing, as well as several control options. So, although this first testing was only done in my shop with an already usable Verizon signal, I’m quite hopeful that the GO will get the job done in even the more challenging cell holes found cruising the coast of Maine (and elsewhere)…

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Yacht Devices Run Indicator and Alarm Button, alarmingly flexible

Yacht Devices Limited builds an impressive array of clever devices that solve specific needs aboard your vessel. Recently they’ve introduced a NMEA 2000 run indicator to monitor circuits aboard your boat and an alarm module that can notify you of problems or provide a man overboard button. These new products build on their impressive array of capabilities and make monitoring your boat easier and more powerful.

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Scanstrut Rokk Active and Edge, wireless charging and secure phone mount

I get to test a lot of amazingly high tech products with long lists of features and mind-blowing capabilities. But, sometimes a design simply solves a need and accomplishes its intended mission so well that I stop and take note. The Scanstrut Rokk line of wireless chargers are a good example. These well-engineered, relatively simple devices keep your phone charged and securely mounted at your helm, and do it without any fuss.

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Cell boosters for pandemic times, testing Shakespeare Stream & SureCall Fusion2Go

With COVID-19 stalking the planet, settling down in a remote Maine anchorage sounds even more attractive than usual. But I’ll also want a connection to family, news, etc. even more than usual, and reliable cell service remains a longterm issue in many of the sweetest spots along this coast (and elsewhere), despite what the service provider coverage maps show. So I’m pleased to report on two related cell boosters that have already worked pretty well for me…

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Quality crimp connections, the right tool makes all the difference

I think we’ve all heard the wisdom about the right tool for the job and how much easier it can make it to complete your task. I have something of a tool habit, so I frequently use this wisdom as an excuse to go buy another tool. But, sometimes the cost of the “right” tool is high enough to cause me to try some intermediate steps first

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Interactio Optio Fuel, easy installation and accurate fuel flow

Interactio’s Optio Fuel flow system is a tidy little box that delivers gas or diesel consumption information to your phone. The system’s app collects performance data about your boat and then makes recommendations for the best cruise speed to help you run your boat as efficiently as possible. Can a little box communicating with your phone via Bluetooth really help you run your boat more efficiently?

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Furuno SCX20 & SCX21 satellite compasses, the impressive demo at NMEA

While Furuno has just introduced powerful new TZT3 multi-function displays and NXT solid-state radars, that’s all the more reason to highlight their remarkable new SCX satellite compass design. After seeing prototypes demonstrated on the water, I believe that the technology delivers much more than similar sensors at a reasonable cost with lots of install flexibility. In fact, I expect to eventually see the SCX20 mounted on boats that don’t even have other Furuno gear and hope to see other brands develop similar multi-sensors…