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Category: Communications

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Buzz Wireless Launches Global 4G Solution

In a perfect world all countries would deploy a global standard protocol for cellular data, but in reality many have their own allocated frequency bands and system variants, nowhere is this more evident than the US and Canada, where systems are often incompatible with European and Asian counterparts. This has meant that for the shipping industry it has hitherto been difficult to come up with a global solution in one box.

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Marine internet, a connected year on the water

My family and I just spent a year on the water.  When we left, some members of our crew were hesitant about the whole idea, so I knew we needed many comforts of home, like an always-on (almost), always-available (almost) internet connection.  This isn’t a simple or one-size-fits-all issue, and what follows is a primer on marine internet and the start of an article series…

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Smörgåsboat 2: More tasty test electronics southbound on Gizmo

Passagemaker_Who_is_Ben_Ellison_article_opening_spread.jpgThe jury is still out. Brian Lind may have written a blushingly laudatory profile of Panbo and me for PassageMaker magazine — and you can now check out “Who is Ben Ellison?” online — but I agree with regular readers who may rightfully doubt my ‘authoritative’ ‘expertise’! This site is not the “arbitrator of marine electronics” — no such thing exists — and evidence is building that I’ve become a bumbling old boat guy barely in command of all the gear he’s installed, plus very darn slow to write about it…

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Smörgåsboat: The tasty testing buffet installed on Gizmo for 2017

While I do think that Gizmo offers a bountiful spread of delicious marine electronics these days, a more serious title for this entry might read: “Guilt: All the darn gear I’ve borrowed but haven’t...

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Garmin inReach Explorer+, armchair transatlantics & hands on

Garmin_inReacher_Explorer+_with_Lunacy_MapShare_cPanbo.jpg

A big kick in my small life is seeing a technology I champion do well (especially when it involves a small company in Maine). I became a DeLorme inReach fanboy before it even shipped, and a succession of models have not let me down over thousands of testing hours. And I believe that the Explorer+ jointly developed with new owner Garmin is the best yet, based on personal experience and also on observing one serve well over thousands of transatlantic miles aboard S/V Lunacy (above). However, I also recently watched one Panbo reader suffer a very close call with inReach customer support…

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Glomex USA, Shakespeare and the search for better antenna cabling systems

MIBS2017_Glomex_Glomeasy_Fast_Fitting_cPanbo.jpg

Recently I struggled installing a typical marine antenna with its included cable and annoying 0.71-inch (18 mm) diameter PL-259 connector. I could have cut the coax, run the cable, and attached a new PL-259, but I’m not sure that any human can install a cable connector as well as a machine, and certainly not me. That’s why it’s nice that Glomex now offers a variety of antennas and machine-made cables that use 0.35-inch (9mm) FME connectors. But for U.S. boaters, the Glomex news is better still…