Category: Communications

12

Searching for a quality VHF/AIS combo antenna, Shakespeare 6500-WB found

A high-quality combination VHF and AIS antenna was on Gizmo’s shopping list this summer, even though I knew that it’s challenging to do both really well. The USCG Navigation Center spectrum diagram above tells the story (as does their detailed U.S. VHF Channel list): The marine VHF audio channels cluster around 157 MHz while the two main AIS channels are up at 162 MHz. That’s why dedicated VHF and AIS antennas are optimized differently…

8

Presenting Panbo Podcast

Pardon the alliteration, but I’m pretty excited to debut the Panbo Podcast. This occasional series will feature conversations with important members of the marine electronics industry. Our first episode is a conversation with Vesper’s CTO, Carl Omundsen, about the launch of Vesper’s Cortex VHF radio, AIS transceiver, and boat monitoring product.

10

GL.iNet AR750 travel router, a low-cost boat router option

Regardless of how you get internet connectivity onboard your boat, I’m a big advocate for using a dedicated boat router. There’s nothing inherently special about a boat router; it could be a cheap router designed for use at home or a sophisticated system designed just for use on megayachts. The options cover a broad price range and I’ve recently come across an inexpensive, relatively easy-to-use, feature-rich router that seems like a good option.

9

Why marine VHF, and the call you never want to make

Recreational boaters are using marine VHF radio less and less, which seems worrisome because VHF channel 16 is often the quickest and best way to ask for help. And, wow, can I offer a vivid example! Imagine the sheer terror of suddenly finding yourself without propulsion while right in front of the unrelenting wall of steel that is the bow of a commercial barge being pushed at about six knots, no brakes. I not only heard the unforgettable VHF call — and the following calls from the successful rescue boat, thank goodness — but also recorded most of them thanks to a great Icom radio feature…

5

New Standard Horizon GX2400 Matrix VHF

Replaces GX2200 Matrix radios which are no longer available. Notable New Features: NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 compatible, Second Station wired RAM4 or wireless RAM4X capability, Integrated 32 Code and 4 Code Voice Scrambler,
New E2O operating system, Upgraded display with brighter backlight, Noise Canceling function for both receive and transmit audio…

1

Learn About Internet and TV for Boats & Yachts at KVH Educational Seminars 5/14 and 5/20

As part of the Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show, marine electronics leader KVH is presenting two free virtual educational seminars on the topics of bringing Internet and satellite TV to the boat. “Even though boaters can’t go to the Palm Beach show in person this year, the virtual webinars are a great way to …

8

ZOLEO Inc. debuts the world’s first truly seamless global messaging solution for smartphones

ZOLEO Inc., an emerging global messaging solutions company, today announced the launch of ZOLEO, the world’s first truly seamless global messaging and personal safety solution for smartphone users who venture beyond mobile coverage. The flagship product from a joint venture between Beam Communications Pty Ltd. and Roadpost Inc., ZOLEO is the first consumer-focused messaging solution of its kind based on Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), cellular and Wi-Fi standards…

14

Cel-Fi GO+, a truly different and promising cell booster

The Cel-Fi GO is different from every other cell booster I’ve tried over the years, starting with significantly greater signal amplification (when needed). The well-made hardware also supports a Bluetooth app that delivers significantly more information about what the booster is doing, as well as several control options. So, although this first testing was only done in my shop with an already usable Verizon signal, I’m quite hopeful that the GO will get the job done in even the more challenging cell holes found cruising the coast of Maine (and elsewhere)…

19

Cell boosters for pandemic times, testing Shakespeare Stream & SureCall Fusion2Go

With COVID-19 stalking the planet, settling down in a remote Maine anchorage sounds even more attractive than usual. But I’ll also want a connection to family, news, etc. even more than usual, and reliable cell service remains a longterm issue in many of the sweetest spots along this coast (and elsewhere), despite what the service provider coverage maps show. So I’m pleased to report on two related cell boosters that have already worked pretty well for me…

9

Simrad RS40-B, the first VHF radio with AIS transceiver

AIS and VHF voice radios operate in the same frequency band, so it’s a natural step to combine the two functions into one device. But, combining a VHF radio and AIS transceiver has proved difficult. Although other manufacturers have tried, Simrad and B&G are the first to make it through approvals and ship radios to boaters. But how does the radio perform in the real world and is this a good choice for all your VHF communications needs?