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Panbo Features

13

Balmar SG200, a good battery monitor gets better

I recently judged the Innovation Awards at the International Boat Builders’ Exposition (IBEX) and we selected the new Balmar SG200 battery monitor as the winner of the electrical products category.  The SG200 combines the goodness of the highly regarded original Smartgauge with a shunt to deliver a more complete picture of what your batteries are doing…

6

Calypso Ultrasonic Portable, wireless wind and more

One reason I like ultrasonic wind sensors is the absence of vanes, cups or any other moving parts that might get damaged by roosting birds, loose lines or clumsy humans. So how about one that can also sense Heading, Air Temperature, Pitch and Roll; that is especially sleek and compact; and that comes in three models able to deliver the data over Bluetooth, NMEA 0183, and/or WiFi?…

4

Accidental grounding, familiarity breeds complacency

My 2018 cruising started with a trip straight up Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin coast bound for Manistique, a small town on Michigan’s upper peninsula.  We had something very rare, three consecutive days of flat water on Lake Michigan.  So we made the most of the conditions and ran all three of those days for a total of 300 nm at 9 kts.  We made it the length of the lake to Manistique without incident.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it into Manistique harbor without incident.

12

Winegard Connect marine WiFi and cell internet connection, simple and functional

While the Connect all-in-one WiFi and cellular get-online system — with the cell service included — is Winegard’s first entry into the marine internet market, they’ve been at it in the RV world for quite some time and the rock-solid RF performance is pretty impressive even if the interface seemed rather bare-bones to me.

13

Concerned about the Carolinas, searching for data

This great aerial image from Marinas.com shows the peaceful, safe harbor I so enjoyed while keeping Gizmo at both marinas. But New Bern got pummeled by hurricane Florence last night, and it’s hard to tell the amount of damage or how worse it may get. I find myself unable to think about much else, and while the quality and density of available information is amazing, I want more…

5

Two Bens, One great Panbo

Except for the possible name confusion, I’m very pleased to report that Ben Stein has become Panbo’s new Publisher while I get to focus entirely on the Edit side.  As you may know, “new Ben” has been serving as a Contributing Editor since January, we walked the Miami Show together, and it was “Ben S” who spearheaded the Panbo website rebuild that went live in late March. We’ve been working together closely…

7

Testing the Efoy Comfort fuel cell, and the value of premium amp hours

For almost a year I hardly used this little control and monitoring panel because the attached EFOY fuel cell was already flawlessly performing its duty:  If engine alternator, solar panels, and/or shore power were not keeping Gizmo’s main battery bank at the voltage parameters I’d configured, the EFOY automatically and quietly charged the bank for a variable period also configured. While the amp hours are expensive, I’m convinced that an EFOY Comfort could be a very pleasing addition to many cruising sailboats and trawlers…

8

USCG warns about LED lights interfering with VHF & AIS, wants test results

The USCG recently issued a Safety Alert about how LED lighting near VHF antennas can cause poor reception on attached radios, which of course includes AIS and DSC reception along with regular marine VHF audio channels. I’m surprised because I remember such problems coming up and being solved a decade ago, which was very early in the evolution of LED lighting…but…