web analytics

Monthly Archive: June 2015

38

SOTDMA Class B AIS, the “new” middle way?

SRT_5W_SOTDMA_AIS_Class_B_on_way_aPanbo.jpg

It may be a while before we see the first 5 Watt SOTDMA Class B AIS transceiver actually available for sale, but it certainly is interesting to see a prototype trumpeted in SRT’s Summer 2015 Pulse Newsletter (available here). Given SRT’s main role as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) we may first see this “new” AIS technology — perhaps with even more features — branded as Simrad, Raymarine, True Heading, Digital Yacht, Comar etc. (and/or marketed under SRT’s own Em-Trak label). Or maybe Furuno, AMEC, Vesper or another of the independent AIS manufacturers will be first out with SOTDMA Class B? I don’t know. More important is SOTDMA Class B as a coming middle ground between the Class A AIS used on large vessels (which also works on the SOTDMA protocol) and the CSTDMA Class B technology that we’re used to…

44

Coastal Marine WiFi, a winner!

Coastal_Marine_WiFi_hardware_cPanbo.jpgSince early May I’ve used the Coastal Marine WiFi kit with all sorts of onboard WiFi devices and all sorts of Internet hotspots, and I’m very impressed with its smart design and easy, reliable performance. Yes, the overall system architecture is quite similar to several other good boat WiFi “booster” solutions like the various Wave Rogue and Bitstorm Xtreme kits, but there’s a lot of nuance to making these systems easy to install and operate. And whereas many boaters are still understandably confused about the WiFi booster/router combo that’s so unlike what they use at home or office, I’m going to dig deep into how the CMW goes together and what it can do…

26

Coastal Explorer PC charting revisited, with love to WPx

Coastal_Explorer_DR_mode_w_route_n_WPx.jpgThe last days of Gizmo’s trip north were a difficult dance of wanting to get home quickly versus not wanting to suffer the consequences of a relatively small power boat in biggish winds and seas. I’m still recovering. But it’s a good time to detail the Coastal Explorer planning tools that surely helped me make the best of the situation, and particularly the brilliant yet rare feature known as “WPx”…

8

The paper chart, still the best?

Working_on_a_training_chart_cPanbo.jpg

It’s true that I don’t navigate on paper charts anymore, but I appreciate them and use their electronic equivalent more than ever. One reason is what I learned last January while preparing for a TrawlerFest seminar called “Soup to Nuts Navigation” (which I’m reformulating right now for the new Cruising Boat Expo here in Essex, CT). The other is having just run up from North Carolina — including the entire New Jersey ICW, which can’t fit much more boat than Gizmo — with just about every chart type and brand in view. I think we would have had more trouble than we did because my mate and I learned navigation starting with paper charts and we referenced the equivalent heavily…