FloatHub 2020: LTE cellular, web widgets & more

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

9 Responses

  1. Keith Pleas says:

    I’ve been using FH for a year and have been super happy with the value proposition and the complete lack of futzing – it just works. I have had a couple of issues with the web interface and the developer has responded and implemented fixes / enhancements within an _hour_.

  2. Bill Blendick says:

    This may be a good product, however, nothing I have seen is as good as SeaKey was. We regularly boat in areas that have poor to no cell service (including far off-shore) and that is when you really need a good monitoring/tracking system.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Interesting: Gizmo’s FH page is not showing AIS right now, but I can see why thanks to another feature I recently learned about. Adding “/debug” to my FH URL brings up an otherwise hidden data page showing GPS accuracy, message counts / delays, and more. There I can see that the FH is sometimes switching over to cellular (set to no AIS), which means that the boat’s Wave WiFi is struggling to find a working connection among the several usually available. I suspect it’s the very thick, wet fog that’s been piling up in the Harbor frequently in the last few days.

  4. Parker Chamberlin says:

    Do you know if the FloatHub works off of AT&T (gsm) or Verizon (CDMA)? We still have coverage issues around Camden with AT&T. Has it seemed robust to you

  5. Keith Pleas says:

    @Parker – I’m using the non-cellular version connected to my boat’s WiFi – which is in turn connected to a Netgear 2120 dual WiFi/Cellular (AT&T) and out via corresponding antennas up on the radar mast. So…if your _boat_ has connectivity you piggyback on that.

  6. Peter H says:

    I’m planning on purchasing a FloatHub in the near future for all the benefits. But…I wonder if having the rest of the data network on the boat turned on 24/7 will make various onboard transponders (weather, depth sounder, water temp, etc.) wear out faster? Maybe I’m too worried about putting extra hours on these devices?

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Keith makes a good point below and I know boats that leave all systems on in at least standby mode 24/7, for their health. I certainly can’t do that on my normal not-cruising-yet power budget, but just 2 amps does power FloatHub, Vesper XB8000 AIS, Netgear boat router, and Wave WiFi dual band Reach, plus Victron BMV712 and Venus GX.

      Keeping Gizmo’s extensive NMEA 2000 network on costs another 2-3 amps, and I usually choose cold beer (refrigeration) instead. But I wouldn’t worry about keeping it on continuously and then FloatHub would be reporting Wind, Depth, etc. along with the other info.

  7. Keith Pleas says:

    Hi @Peter – I would think exactly the opposite. In the “old” days the thermocycling of electronics had significant problems – pushing pins out of sockets, increasing moisture (as temps fell), failing during powerup surges…so we learned to leave everything on 24×7….except then discrete components DID fail eventually. Now the voltages are much lower, integration is tighter, tolerances are higher (look at the acceptable voltage ranges!), and power consumption (and its corollary, heat) much reduced. Look at it another way – you’ll get an early warning of things failing if the reading suddenly fails. I’m a software guy, not a hardware guy, but strongly lean towards leaving electronics ON – with the exception of displays.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published.