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Category: How-to

14

Configuring a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X for WiFi and cell internet on your boat

In my feature about marine internet, I referenced a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter as the “heart of our boat network.” It manages multiple WiFi and cellular internet connections to multiple computers, tablets, etc. around the boat, and is remarkably capable for its cost, but configuration is not for the faint of the heart. So this is the step-by-step guide…

5

MV Dirona: deep cruising, deeply shared

MV_Dirona_with_Jen_and_James_cPanbo.jpgIf there were a lifetime award for cruising excellence, I think that Jennifer and James Hamilton would deserve at least a nomination. I mean excellence at the core practical cruising skills — seamanship and boat care — plus inspirational levels of curiosity about the vast world cruising makes accessible, and perhaps at the top of my imagined award criteria: distinction at sharing all of the above with the rest of us. Visiting M/V Dirona in Belfast, Maine, last October was a treat, but you too can ride along as this Nordhavn heads to Ireland and beyond…

8

Yacht Devices N2K display, RedPort & PredictWind, NMEA & ABYC, and ONWA radar

Yacht Devices NMEA2000 Text DisplayYacht Devices appeared suddenly on the marine electronics scene last summer when Ben discussed their new temperature and barometer sensors. Not resting on their laurels, they then launched a $189 voyage data recorder that similarly came with either DeviceNet or SeaTalkNG connectors to minimize additional drop and/or adapter cable expense. More recently they joined NMEA and have now launched a new NMEA 2000 (N2K) text display which seems to be the least expensive and least power thirsty N2K data display available…

1

Kite fishing for sailfish with Ben and Garmin

Garmin Media Event 2016 Miami Ben Ellison Adam HydeMy first official Panbo trip wasn’t what I expected; it was much better. Garmin smartly decided to expand on their Miami Boat Show Fantom radar demo and many recent product introductions by inviting electronics writers to spend two full days with four well equipped saltwater fishing boats in Miami. While Ben suggested some topics to cover, the story I must tell largely involves kites and sailfish, though the electronics could not be ignored…

9

West Marine Expo, ACR LED Searchlight, Scanstrut USB, Navico Compass & Triton Gills

West Marine Expo Cover 2016West Marine’s first ever Marine Electronics Expo will kick off in four states (NY, FL, CA, CT) on April 8th (thru 9th) and also online. Besides some deals on electronics gear, there will be live educational seminars from Icom, Shakespeare, Lowrance, Fusion, Uniden, Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Spot, Delorme, and maybe more at the select stores…

5

News: Garmin Nautix, Gemeco resources, GOST Tracker, Go-Free Hooked & Furuno MCU004 keypad

Garmin Nautix and hands-free in-view display Shipping the first week of April for US$400 is a new heads-up display called the Garmin Nautix. A 1.1 oz “hands-free in-view display,” Nautix attaches to your sunglasses and shows NMEA 2000 data transmitted from certain Garmin multifunction displays (GPSMAP 7400/7600, 8400/8600 series) that support the company’s ANT wireless technology. Suitable for polarized or prescription lenses it includes an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness…

8

Gizmo south: TFU, IBEX, NMEA, HSR & other self promotions

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I didn’t write the seminar title, but I do understand the value of a grabby headline and I’m excited about being part of the entirely revised TrawlerFest in Baltimore. Paul Comyns and I will make a valiant attempt to cover all the important electronics bases for the knowledge-hungry long-range-cruisers-to-be that tend to take the all-day “TF University” courses. An interesting added challenge for the presenters is to provide money-saving tips. I’m already working on concepts like how GPS, AIS, and improved signal processing have made it possible to “make do” with a smaller radar, but please suggest other reasonable cost-cutting strategies. And TFU is just the beginning of my fall speaking engagements, one or more of which you might want to attend or at least kibbutz about…

10

Garmin SmartMode, and here comes Simrad Bridge

Garmin_8000_SmartMode_home_page_cPanbo.jpg

Garmin’s SmartMode station control seemed like an obviously great idea when introduced with the 8000 Glass Helm series in early 2013. The basic feature simply let’s you group 8000 displays at a helm (station) and control what the various screens are showing all at once. But the interface designers went a smart step further by naming the default SmartModes after the overall tasks at hand instead of the conventional specifics about the tools needed, like “chart/rader/cam”. Thus the 8212 now being tested on Gizmo came with CRUISING, DOCKING, ANCHORING, and FISHING modes already suggested, and I’ve been adding my own in the same task-not-tool spirit…

37

The DIY lithium battery bank; Bob Ebaugh has 330 cycles so far

Bob_n_Elaine_Ebaugh_cruise_courtesy_MarAzulAdventures.jpg

Bob and Elaine Ebaugh did it, leaving Florida in April, 2011, on their Defever 44 Mar Azul and spending more than two years cruising a big Carribean loop. Their blog, Mar Azul Adventures, is a good read, but you might miss the fact that during the cruise, Bob managed to research, assemble, test, and install a 1,200 amp hour do-it-yourself lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery bank to replace the 12 golf cart batteries they’d worn out. He also wrote a thorough white paper about why he chose DIY lithium and how he put the system together…