Panbo

WilhelmSK app shows what Signal K, good boat WiFi, and smart DIY coding can do

15 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 15, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

testing_WilhelmSK_app_and_solid-state_radars_on_Gizmo_cPanbo.jpg

Hey, those are all solid-state radomes showing on the 7-inch displays at Gizmo’s lower helm, and you’d see a fourth one running on the flybridge. Comparative testing is underway, but today I’m going to write about the rather amazing WilhelmSK app running on the iPad above. It is not only mirroring the Raymarine a77 screen, touch control included, but also neatly displaying lots of NMEA sensor data that’s been converted to the app-friendly Signal K protocol, thanks to Digital Yacht’s iKommunicate gateway. In my opinion, WilhelmSK ...

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If you want to sail away, free FastSeas weather routing can help

9 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 9, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

FastSeas_calculating_fast_getaway_to_Bermuda_cPanbo.jpg

If you’re looking for a real getaway this morning, or even just an online distraction, FastSeas.com can help. It’s also a testament to how much goodness a smart boater/coder can create for his or her fellow mariners these days. And while FastSeas is primarily an online weather routing service for sailors embarking on ocean passages, it’s easy and flexible enough that even a coastal power cruiser can benefit…

FastSeas_routing_includes_ocean_currents_cPanbo.jpgYou could say that FastSeas.com is just a website, but in fact when you click that Calculate Route ...

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New Garmin: Fantom radomes & Panoptix thru-hull FLS, plus radios & “budget” MFDs

2 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 2, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin_Fantom_18_and_24_solid-state_Doppler_radars_aPanbo_.jpg

Were you hoping that Garmin would bring its Fantom solid-state radar technology down to radome size, including the Doppler-assisted target motion highlighting they call MotionScope? How about two sizes, 18 and 24 inch? Or maybe you’re a Garmin owning cruiser jealous of Simrad or B&G users with ForwardScan forward looking sonar? That’s also taken care of, sort of. And these are just two highlights of all the new products Garmin announced today, many of which will ship soon…

Garmin_GPSMap_7x2xs_touchscreen_MFD_aPanbo.jpgLet’s start with the new GPSMap multifunction display ...

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Lauderdale ‘lectronics: sensors, sats, cams, boats, ROVs and ?

1 Nov

Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 1, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Fort_Lauderdale_Boat_Show_2016_maps.jpgThe Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) has become an enormous event, and I would have a hard time covering all the interesting electronics-related exhibits even if I actually motivated my lazy old butt out of Maine this week. But I do have the goods on one important set of new products (that I can share tomorrow), and I’ve also got some ideas about booths and docks to visit that some of you might enjoy and perhaps even report back about…

Maretron_CLM100_Current_Loop_Monitor_aPanbo.jpgAnyone interested in marine electronics ...

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Fusion Signature sound and much more, plus Clarion gets N2K

27 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 27, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Fusion_Signature_sound_demo_with_Todd_Crocker_cPanbo.jpg

Fusion’s Todd Crocker has twice impressed me with on-water demonstrations of the company’s premium Signature sound system, first at the Miami Show (above) and again during the NMEA Conference. I’m not sure why it took me so long to write about what I heard, but maybe it’s because the sound quality was so good it hurt! Not my ears, but the fact that no stereo in my life — boat, car, home, or portable — comes close. Fusion has also introduced new products for more modest ...

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Remote Boat Monitoring: here comes Navico GoFree Vessel/Track and Siren Marine MTC

19 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 19, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Navico_GoFree_Vessel_apps_for_GoFree_Track_cPanbo.jpg

While off-boat monitoring was already getting better and more competitive, finally one of the big four marine electronics brands is about to join the fray. Navico’s GoFree Connected Vessel concept is not just important because it will be marketed and serviced worldwide, but also because the development team took the time to think out a truly comprehensive system that can potentially serve a wide variety of boaters in multiple ways. Meanwhile team Siren Marine has been building on their years of remote monitoring, tracking ...

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Standard Horizon GX6500: a loaded VHF radio also integrated with Class B AIS

11 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 11, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Standard_Horizon_Quantum_GX6500_VHF_radio_and_Class_B_AIS_qPanbo.jpg

The wait is almost over. The Standard Horizon Quantum GX6500 combines Class B AIS and VHF transceivers into one device, an important first in critical marine communications that some boaters have long hoped for. It is not yet for sale pending FCC approval, but the expected price of $800 seems quite reasonable given the install efficiency, the integrated GPS/VHF/AIS features, and a lot more that Standard has designed in. The GX6500 would be an extraordinary radio even without the AIS…

Standard_Horizon_Quantum_GX6500_VHF_radio_and_Class_B_AIS_closeup_aPanbo.jpgI briefly got my fingers on ...

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NMEA 2000 realities, the pro installer view

4 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 4, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Advanced_NMEA_2000_course_w_trainer_Mike_Spyros_photos_courtesy_NMEA.jpg

The day after the annual National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) Conference ended, the Association ran its new Advanced NMEA 2000 Installer Certification course in the same Naples, Florida, hotel and let me sit in. I learned about numerous N2K subtleties and also about how NMEA trainings have evolved, but let’s start with a fact that says a lot about who the overall organization is: The course trainer Mike Spyros (seen twice above) is not only an exceptionally knowledgeable and seasoned electronics installer, he’s also the incoming ...

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The Jose Fernandez boating tragedy, some safety thoughts

28 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 28, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Jose_Fernandez_crashed_boat_courtesy_Patrick_Farrell_Miami_Herald.jpgYou probably already know at least the rudiments of the story. At about 3 am on Sunday, three young men died when their 32-foot center console fishing boat engaged at high speed with the long north jetty that guards the Port of Miami’s Government Cut channel. Just the violence of the crash — it was heard by a policeman on shore nearly a half mile away — was noteworthy, but the owner and probable driver was the beloved budding baseball star Jose Fernandez. It’s a deeply ...

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Testing Raymarine Quantum Q24 radar, solid on many levels

22 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 22, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Raymarine_Quantum_Q24_displayed_on_eS128_cPanbo.jpgThat’s very good radar imagery in my experience, especially given that it’s the fully automated output of a relatively small and affordable radome which can be super easy to install. Note, for instance, how well it’s separating the moored boats in Camden’s recently discussed Outer Harbor and thus usefully revealing the channel into the Inner Harbor (that many visiting boats have trouble finding even in clear daylight). I also got to see how well Raymarine navigation networks can handle dual radar scanners and how sophisticated their ...

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