Panbo

Samsung Chromebook, your $129 ‘burner’ boat laptop?

4 Mar

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Before discussing my brief but positive experience with a Samsung Chromebook, I have some important advice. Do not brag about how little financial (or data) risk is involved in boating (or traveling) with this 11.6-inch, 2.4-pound laptop even though it looks and acts something like a precious MacBook Air. There's a fair bit of truth to the brag, but the deities of humility may then make you prove the point by, say, leaving your nice new Chromebook on a airport security belt in the Grand Canary Islands…

Yup, that's what I did very early Wednesday morning, and then ...

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B&G in Las Palmas: “Products for All Sailors”

1 Mar

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I know several sailors who have installed Lowrance MFDs as an economical way to gain access to Navico's sailboat-friendly Broadband Radar, and the scheme made sense as there wasn't really all that much difference between the fishing-focused Lowrance systems and even the sailor-centric B&G Zeus versions of the Simrad NSE and NSS displays. But those days may be over soon as one of several stories Navico presented to the boating press in Las Palmas was a simplification of its three-brand strategy. Now B&G intends to serve all sailors, from grand prix racers to weekend cruisers, and from premium to value-oriented budgets. ...

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On board Gizmo, the last frontier

25 Feb

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In retrospect, it's almost funny that the very first picture of Gizmo I published on Panbo (repeated above) highlighted that mess of wiring tucked under the circuit breaker panel. In the four years since, I've at least figured out, and in many cases changed or removed, nearly every electrical component on the boat. Just before I went to the Miami show it seemed like the time had come to attack what lay behind that nice little access door, but things did not go well…

My plan was to detach all the terminal strips and remount on them on a square ...

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Maretron DCR100 partial install, lights on & Labels up

22 Feb

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There's lots more to report on from the Miami show, but partially installing a Maretron DCR100 Direct Current Relay on Gizmo just got me so excited I want to share. This boat has never had switches for running and flood lights on the fly bridge — especially annoying when I wanted to light myself up when crossing paths with a possibly unaware stranger — and it didn't have a switch for the new bow LED spot at all (to be explained). Now for relatively little effort and expense, I'll not only have switching at both helms but also be able ...

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MIBS 2013 Raymarine: Dragonfly, gS-Series, Evolution AP & much more!

19 Feb

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Raymarine was a little slow getting their Miami press releases out, but then again they have a LOT to talk about. And even with the six releases you'll find at that link, they left out what I think is a significant move: the "coming soon" Lighthouse 6 software release for all a-, c-, e-Series multifunction displays — as well as the new gS glass bridge MFDs — will include support for Empirebus NXT digital switching and distributed power technology. With Ray's endorsement, the fully integrated bridge just got a little more real…

In the Miami booth exhibit seen above you ...

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Garmin GPSMAP 8000 Glass Helm series, oh yeah

14 Feb

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Garmin isn't messing around. The 8000 Series announced this morning includes three MFD sizes — 8-, 12-, and 15-inch — as well as the 8500 Black Box that can drive new Garmin monitors available in 15-, 17, and 19-inch sizes. Do click on that family photo above to not only see the whole range but also something called the GRID for Garmin Remote Input Device. I've wondered if Garmin would ever add a rotary knob or joystick to its touch screen interface and the answer is that now you can have both…

Today I'm only going to put up high ...

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Navico: new GPS/Heading sensor & VHF/GPS handheld

13 Feb

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Whether it's called a Simrad GS25 or a B&G ZG100 or a Lowrance Point-1, it is not just another NMEA 2000 high-precision, high-refresh-rate GPS/Glonass sensor. Also integrated in is an "e-Compass/Gyro…heading sensor…that ensures access to stable and smooth vessel orientation" and "when used with a compatible" Navico display "greatly enhances navigational information by providing accurate course over ground (COG) data at any speed and enabling radar overlay on charts." I've quoted the press releases heavily because I'm not yet sure that the sensor actually outputs Heading data, but the releases do say that whichever brand you buy, this souped-up overlay-enabling ...

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