February 2010 Archives

OceanLED LIETs, simply extraordinary?

Feb 27, 2010

In Miami I got a good introduction to OceanLED's new line of LIET LED down lighting fixtures, and was thoroughly intrigued. LIET (old English for "light" and pronounced the same way) seems to represent a significant technological leap.  That LIET6 core above, for instance, is less than five inches in diameter and a half inch thick, but produces what's claimed to be the equivalent of a 50w Halogen bulb while only using 5.3 watts of power.  It even has built-in diagnostics and dimming.  And while blindingly bright, it doesn't get hot to finger touch even though it lacks a discernible heat sink.  How did they do it?

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Electronics survey, there's still time

Feb 25, 2010

Almost 400 marine electronics users have already taken the survey announced here earlier this month, and Marine Technology Analysts (MTA) has done a little preliminary data crunching.  Users were asked to name up to three of their favorite sources and, while 152 outlets were named, the top 11 seen above appeared in 60% of the surveys.  MTA also tells me that some strong patterns are developing in terms of what users most desire from those sources, not to mention what they want in terms of products.  But more data would be great.  Please take a 10-15 minute break to fill out the survey today; chances are good that the effort will help the marine electronics industry, Panbo, and ultimately you.

Dan's Boat Tools, The Battery Operated Kind

Feb 24, 2010

Dan Corcoran:  In the fall there were a lot of magazine articles on tools everyone should have on their boat including favorite tools, tools distance cruisers should have, unusual tools, multi purpose tools, and so forth. In this article I bring some focus to tools of the battery operated kind I use on my boat.

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Fusion MS-RA200, little stereo w/ big features

Feb 23, 2010

What's it going to take before more boaters realize how thoroughly Fusion is reinventing marine stereo? The new RA-200 introduced in Miami is not only an attractively smaller and less expensive ($170 retail) unit, but it includes neat new features that aren't even in the higher-end series yet. These guys can't help themselves!...

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ACR, two BIG Miami safety debuts

Feb 22, 2010
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The new ACR AquaLink View sure looks like the most sophisticated and best performing Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) ever designed.  Built-in buoyancy, 6.3 Watts of 406 MHz distress output, a 66 channel GPS receiver, 30 hours of battery life...the specs go on and on.  But that's not all.  This PLB is also designed to take maximum advantage of ACR's new 406Link through-satellite testing service, including its ability to deliver SPOT-like "I'm OK" messages via email and cell phone.  406Link also offers some level of service, even free testing, to the owners of many EPIRBs and PLBs, including lots of models not made by ACR...

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Fire Boat "City of Portland" -- wet & wired

Feb 19, 2010

This morning I managed to talk my way onto Portland's new fire boat, City of Portland (IV), just before it headed home from Rockland Marine, and I was glad I did.  Apparently the firemen themselves got to choose the electronics and they ended up with an interesting mix.  Those are two Garmin GMR HD24 radar domes just forward of, and beneath, that remote-controlled 3,000 gallon-per-minute water cannon.  It's aimed to starboard like that because when its dedicated 525hp diesel pump fires up, it burps a "large dollop" of salt water before going full stream, and the crew are trying to give the domes a chance.  Given that the canon can purportedly hole a building at close range, the fire fighters must also have a strategy (like rotation stops) to avoid blowing that Furuno satellite compass (upper left) into space...

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A World Magnetic Model reminder, courtesy Maretron

Feb 18, 2010

Is your boat's World Magnetic Model up to date?  Does it matter?  It may be a sign of Miami new product overload (here and here) that I got intrigued with this subject yesterday, but it was actually a Maretron press release (pdf here) that led the way.  The company is proud that their latest GPS200 now outputs magnetic compass variation based on the latest WMM2010, and that a firmware update will bring the same precision to their existing GPS receivers.  Heck, I thought GPS units just got variation from the satellites, and was reminded how much we take compass technology for granted...

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MIBS, AIS edition

Feb 16, 2010

When we got excited about the Standard Horizon GX2100 AISrx/VHF (now well documented at SH), did anyone realize that the already versatile CMP30 RAM3 remote station would also show the targets?  Well, there it was in Miami, looking pretty much like the photo above.  And GX2100 love hasn't waned; the set was one of West Marine's show highlights and it won the NMMA Innovation Award in the Electronics category.  Of course there was plenty more going on in the AIS department...

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MIBS ME, lots happening, all good!

Feb 15, 2010

Instead of being "released" in Miami last week, my poor cranium got stuffed to the cobwebbed rafters.  Admittedly, there is a phenomenon whereby the longer I cover marine electronics, the better I get to know the developers and the more they want to tell me about their latest projects.  But there's something else going on, too:  I believe the pace of innovation is increasing (and some healthy trends are emerging).  I'll try to hit a few examples today, but it may take weeks to detail all the goodness I saw at the show...

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MIBS, the Tweet edition

Feb 11, 2010

I tried using Twitter to cover the Ft. Lauderdale Show a bit, maybe I can do better here in Miami. Follow me!