March 2010 Archives

Garmin BlueChart g2 & g2 Vision 2010, lots new?

Mar 16, 2010

Today Garmin announced that updated 2010 g2 and g2 Vision BlueCharts are now available, apparently with some interesting changes.  If you recall, the company got pretty excited about the 2009 edition, but then suffered some grief when a processing error caused a global recall.  I'm not sure the 2009 charts ever got out, but I'm darn sure that all new editions go through some serious quality control.  I can't really tell from the screen shot above what the "redesign" talked about in the press release is like, because it largely involves "transitions between zoom levels" and other possibly valuable improvements that you need to see in use.  But I did immediately recognize that busy harbor as Little Creek, VA, because I once departed to Bermuda from there, and there are a few new features that print can describe better...

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My Bad: EnGenius EOC-2610 vs Wave WiFi Comet

Mar 15, 2010

"It's the firmware (and customer support), stupid!"  That's the lesson I learned when I bought an $75 EnGenius EOC-2610 high-power WiFi system in December, 2008 (when I was staying in NYC, cadging Internet from neighbors).  I got far enough into its dense menu systems to see some good hot spots, but I never got the damn thing to actually connect.  And at first my hubris was such that I simultaneously took to task a small company called Great Boat Gear for selling a "marine" version of the same hardware at more than double the cost.  Well, my bad...

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Monitoring & Control Apps: InteliSea & Maretron

Mar 12, 2010

Ah, so there you are stretched out in a teak chaise on the skydeck of your mega, but are you bored and/or uncomfortably out of touch?  Hell no, not with an iPad full of books, videos, games, work tools, internet connectivity, and even an app that connects you directly into your elaborate InteliSea vessel monitoring and control system.  There's a nice demo of their existing $99 iPhone app at the InteliSea site, and I can tell you from on-phone testing that it manages complexities like those mimic screens above better than demoed, but won't this app shine on the iPad?  And if you're a geek, or the yacht's engineer...

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Jotron AIS SART, & the L-3 Protec

Mar 11, 2010

I once heard a gentleman who probably knew what he was talking about complain fairly bitterly about the electronic radar reflectors called SARTs.  He said they'd been pushed on the GMDSS by a member nation where they were made and that they'd never proven themselves effective in search and rescue operations.  Which is just one reason why the new Jotron AIS SART is an interesting development...

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NMEA 0183 over Ethernet, on Mar Azul

Mar 9, 2010

Bob Ebaugh got some GX2100 installation help over on the Panbo forum, and that gave me a chance to bug him for some more information on the interesting system he's put together. Check it out above: two laptops connected wirelessly and simultaneously to MFD, AP, VHF/rxAIS, and Internet. Bob's a pilot and ex-networking engineer who didn't think he could write up the project well, but I think he did just fine...

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Navicom RT-650 MOB, doing it all, somewhere else

Mar 8, 2010

An interesting new product I didn't see at the Miami Boat Show is this NaviCom RT650 MOB.  The company site is mostly in French, but links to a catalog PDF in English, and Foxtrot Marine has the most detail I can find.  This DSC VHF seems to have an integrated AIS receiver much like the Standard Horizon GX2100, plus optional wireless handsets like the Uniden Whams, plus integrated MOB fobs that seem to work a lot like Raymarine LifeTags (with more here).  The latter can apparently even trigger a DSC alert, and, in fact, all the parts make a lot of sense together, at least for some boats.  Has anyone out there tried an RT650, or know why the company hasn't come to the USA?

The ME survey, just two more days

Mar 6, 2010

Since announcing the marine electronics survey on Feb. 8, and showing a bit of data last week, nearly 800 boaters have taken the time to fill one out.  Thank you so much!  That's a decent data set, I'm told, but 1,000 would be even better.  So, by way of encouragement, MTA has again done a little data digging, seen above and below...

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Medusa Power Analyzer Pro, & some results

Mar 4, 2010

The average boater doesn't need a power analyzer like this, but battery scrooges and testers like me might be interested.  This Medusa Research Pro is actually designed for radio control hobbyists but its features and value appealed to my inner geek, and so far I've been really pleased with what it can do...

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Dry Case for iPhone & Touch, gaumy but good

Mar 3, 2010

"Gaumy" is great Maine word for something kind of messy or awkward (there are numerous spellings), and it came to mind when I tested the Dry Case above.  Its various doodads and fairly large size almost completely suck the elegant simplicity right out of an iPhone or an iPod Touch.  However, because you can easily suck the air out of the case, it's not only exceptionally waterproof, but the screen and even the iPhone camera, still work fine, which is more than can be said for the Otter Case also discussed after the break...

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Inside Plastiki, electronics for the greater good?

Mar 2, 2010

That's the hyper-green eco-adventure cat Plastiki posing for a press conference in San Francisco last Friday.  Sure, the project is somewhat mockable -- they'll be recycling urine as they cross the Pacific, for cripe's sake -- and there are even some who think that Mick Jagger's daughter will join the already semi-glamorous crew.  But I'm sensing that this is the real deal, as did Kimball when he visited (and then Charlie pointed out that there's a North Atlantic plastic patch too, damn it).  Wired's detail on the innovative construction and a Treehugger interview with de Rothchild also helped hook me.  I'm planning to following this adventure and, as you're about to see, that should be easy...

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