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Category: NMEA 2000, 0183 & Signal K

10

CZone Signal Interface module long test, replacement impressive

In early 2013, installing a CZone Signal Interface to put Gizmo’s tank levels on my NMEA 2000 network was a very pleasing experience. In fact, I’ve kept it installed for long testing and have become quite dependent on its reliable performance. So it was bad news when I somehow… But, dang, replacing the SI also turned out to be pleasing…

25

Airmar 2018 part 2: Ultrasonic and EM speedo mysteries unraveled, plus new UDST800

Airmar_UDST800_ultrasonic_triducer_for_real_2-2018_cPanbo.jpgAirmar’s newly announced UDST800 Ultrasonic Smart Triducer is real! I’ve held one in my freckly hand and even installed it on Gizmo. The reality of a new product would not normally be news, but the history of Airmar’s high tech ultrasonic and electromagnetic speed sensors has frustrated boaters wanting the promised precise and reliable Speed through the Water results, which should be many boaters, I think…

2

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…

1

IBEX Winners: Lumitec PLI and Power-Pole Vision

IBEX_winner_Lumitec_Power_Line_Instructions_cPanbo.jpgWhat’s amazing and IBEX award worthy about the Lumitec demo board above is that while all those light fixtures are only connected to the same simple two-wire 12v power circuit, each can be switched, dimmed, strobed, color-changed and more, individually or as virtual groups. Lumitec calls the protocol Power Line Instructions (PLI), and, as innovative as it is, it had to share top honors in the electronics category with another new-protocol-based product, and we judges wished we could give out more awards. The boats of the future may be emerging from the fog…

21

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...

13

NMEA to WiFi gateways: TeamSurv’s & FloatHub

TeamSurv_NMEA_Tools_NMEA0183-WiFi_bridge_collage_cPanbo.jpgWhen it rains, it pours (particularly at Panbo HQ this “spring”). NMEA-to-WiFi bridges are quite useful — mainly for getting basic boat data like depth, GPS, and wind into the wonderful world of marine mobile apps — and there have been numerous choices for a while. But yesterday TeamSurv started offering an interesting and notably inexpensive new bridge on KickStarter, and the intriguing FloatHub bridge and monitoring system will join it there soon…

3

News+: Victron Venus, CruzPro SOG2, DY WindSense, Vaavud Ultrasonic, & Panbo “News+”

Victron_Venus_GX_aPanbo.jpg

Victron’s new Venus GX is a dauntingly complicated looking blue box, but it could beautifully simplify and improve the monitoring and control of a boat’s electrical power system. Essentially, Venus is a Color Control GX without the screen, which makes it less expensive, and it also has extra goodies like 3 tank level and 2 temperature inputs, built-in WiFi, and yet more I/O that hasn’t been enabled yet. The Color Control has evolved (and been used) a lot since I wrote about it in 2014, and Venus can do more…

22

Sabre 66: excellence in digital switching and control

Sabre_Dirigo_66_hull_1_courtesy_Sabre_Billy_Black.jpg

Frankly, there’s no plan behind the Panbo trend of more detailed entries posted less often, but sometimes it does seem like a feature rather than a bug. For instance, Sabre gave me a long and impressive systems tour of their first Dirigo 66 while she beautifully occupied this slip at Yachts Miami Beach 2016, and while I didn’t intend to delay the write-up this long, last week I got aboard just-launched hull #3 the day before heading from Maine to Florida at about 25 knots. So I have additional detail on how well the original system design has worked out – also impressive…

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…