Sailfeed
December 11th

Written by Ben Ellison on Dec 11, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Spinlock_Lume-on_DAME_winner_cPanbo.jpgIt’s easy to understand and appreciate Spinlock’s new Lume-On lifejacket illumination lights. The $20 pair should stick easily to the underside of any inflatable bladder (as long as you can get access) and then use the bladder’s translucence to nicely diffuse their flashing LEDs if and when they are water activated. It seems a small cost in money, weight, and hassle for an added aid to person overboard recovery, and thus Lume-On won a 2015 DAME Award in the safety category. It also shared the overall DAME award (the Grand DAME?)…

Gillxxx_All_Speed_Stabilisation_cPanbo.jpgThe other overall DAME award went to this Electric Stabilising Fin & Interceptor System designed by Humphree.…

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November 24th

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 24, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

METS2015_Anemomind_cPanbo.jpgXavier Righetti and Julien Pilet pose in their first METS stand with the three tangible elements of Anemomind. The white box contains a fast GPS receiver plus barometric pressure and 9-axis inertial motion sensors, as well as NMEA 0183/2000 ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, and lots of computing power. The connected app delivers wind, boat speed, and percentage of target speed attained, and it also passes the data along with notes and photos to the Anemomind cloud for near realtime race analysis. That’s all good, but the special sauce is less tangible…

METS2015_Anemomind_2_cPanbo.jpgWhen I asked where a user enters polar data into the system, the grinning Pilet said that isn’t necessary and neither is wind sensor calibration; Anemomind figures that all out and keeps perfecting the values the more you sail!…

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October 30th

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 30, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

FLIBS_transit_map_n_app_aPanbo.jpgWith Panbo’s first TBF now a week old, how about some more acronym madness? This marine electronics TidBits Friday can’t include any of the tasty stuff being served at next week’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), but there certainly will be some, and I’ve been studying the transportation options for making the most of my four days at this huge event. The MyBoatShow app has not achieved perfection, but it’s better and may help. Come if you can or come by here for some TBL, and in the meantime…

dAISy_AIS_receiver_aPanbo.jpgSay hello to a $55 AIS receiver called dAISy.…

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September 7th

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 7, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

OTW_ChartGuide_ICW_vol1_ed1_aPanbo.JPGMy expectations for the recently announced On The Water ChartGuides were high, but darn if checking out a whole 120 page review copy didn’t blow me away (and I’m already familiar with most of the Intracoastal Waterway that Volume 1 covers). The two new ChartGuides are also remarkably inexpensive in print or electronic formats, just like OTW’s other ICW guides. My only complaint? The Doyles are such skilled and prolific communicators that I feel like a piker!

OTW_CruiseGuide_n_AnchorGuide_aPanbo.JPGWell, there is potential confusion with the “ChartGuide” name, though it’s just a minor exception to the rule that Mark and Diana Doyle express themselves clearly.…

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August 27th

Calypso Cups Bluetooth LE wind sensor, TDWLB pressure too

Posted by // August 27, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 27, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Calypso_CUPS4_Bluetooth_wind_sensor_boxed_cPanbo_.jpgCalypso Marine Instruments is a new company located in Spain and their first product is the CUPS 4 wireless and solar-powered wind sensor seen above before assembly. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy — also known as BLE or Smart Bluetooth — to send wind data to BLE compatible mobile devices. I’ve used both iOS and Android versions of Calypso’s own AnemoTracker app to view the data, but other apps can access it and a NMEA bridge/display will porportedly be introduced at METS…

Calypso_CUPS4_Bluetooth_wind_sensor_rail_mount_cPanbo_.jpgThe Calypso Cups 4 hardware has been mounted on Gizmo’s flybridge rail since early May.…

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August 13th

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 13, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

USCG_app_home_screens_cPanbo.jpgThe free USCG Boating Safety App has a lot to offer, as indicated by the home screens seen above on my Android phone and iPad Mini. Version 1.0 also seems almost surprisingly fast and polished, which may make more sense when you learn that it was developed by a small, highly-motivated team instead of a large government bureaucracy. In fact, the app is a gift to us from a grieving father trying to honor a son who was an enthusiatic CG Auxilary volunteer on the path to becoming an active duty Guardsman…

USCG_app_profile_location_emergency_cPanbo.jpgYou don’t have to permit the USCG app to use your location or set up detailed profiles of yourself and your boats, but many functions work better if you do.…

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August 4th

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 4, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Bliss_anchoring_in_Pulpit_Harbor_cPanbo.jpgBehold the 39-foot trawler Bliss about to anchor behind Gizmo in Pulpit Harbor. She’s a custom Jay Benford design (based on a Cascade sailboat hull) that already turns heads, but note the cabin top presence of both Inmarsat FB150 and Iridium Pilot antennas (the latter formerly known as OpenPort, and tested for Panbo on VOJ). The serious satellite communications — and there are more devices less visible — are because owner/operators Luis and Kim Soltero have spent much of their thirty year marriage creating a remarkable portfolio of satcom services and devices, and they’re still at it.…

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July 27th

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 27, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_split_screen_aPanbo.jpgThe competition around sonar burns hot on many fronts and the more the merrier, I say. At the recent iCast show Lowrance introduced StructureScan 3D, which displays in many ways like the Garmin Panoptix Down looking sonar which I saw demonstrated last February in its Forward looking version. Trade Only’s Chris Landry noticed the similarity too and reports that SS 3D will also be supported on Simrad NSS evo2 displays. The necessary StructureScan 3D transducer and module are due out in December and purportedly improve on SS HD’s standard down and side views as well as enabling the new 3D mode…

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_full_screen_aPanbo.jpgI’m a longtime fan of StructureScan as a cruising tool — and have been glad to see Garmin and Raymarine join the side-scanning fray that Humminbird started, Panbo links all — but it’s true that few Gizmo visitors easily understand the normal top-down display that I tried to explain here.…

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July 18th

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 18, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

FurunoPC_Radar_DualNav.jpg

Nobeltec Furuno PC-Radar was announced at the Miami boat show, but I don’t think it’s gotten the recognition it should. Yes, it’s like the Furuno MaxSea PC Radar that came to Europe in 2013, but now the feature/cost proposition seems to fit a wider range of boats, plus it’s actually available over here. It’s also noteworthy that Nobeltec’s TimeZero v2 app is now out with support of Furuno WiFi radar and it’s interesting to see how these two radar solutions compare. It looks to me like Nobeltec and Furuno are blazing two distinct paths to primary limited visibility navigation without multifunction displays…

Nobeltec_PC_Radar_diagram_n_pricing_aPanbo.jpgFor a suggested retail of $3,990, a PC Radar bundle gets you Nobeltec TimeZero Trident software and a Furuno DRS4DCM 24-inch 4kW UHD radome complete with cable and power supply.…

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May 11th

Written by Ben Ellison on May 11, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

NMEA_recognizes_Signal_K_aPanbo.jpgWow! Today the National Marine Electronics Association — also known as NMEA, or IMEA for its International reincarnation — announced recognition of the Signal K open source marine data project. It’s clearly not an endorsement, but it does provide clear methods to gateway NMEA 2000 boat data to the Internet-friendly universal marine data model that Signal K is about. And that’s plenty good enough, I think. In fact, as the title above wonders, this may turn out to be a very big deal. I also think it marks a nice evolution for NMEA.…

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