Panbo

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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New: Lars Thrane sensors, B&G Triton2, and Maine Cat 38

6 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 6, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Lars_Thrane_LT-1000_NRU_and_LT-500_AHRS_aPanbo.jpgToday I’ve got a smorgasbord of new gear to share, starting with a trio of serious multi-sensors from Lars Thrane A/S in Denmark. The company first came to my attention when they inquired about advertising — thanks, LT — but a little research revealed why their products may well appeal to Panbo readers. The LT-500 AHRS in the foreground is an 11-sensor Heading, Roll, Pitch, Air Pressure and Temperature device; the LT-300 GNSS not shown is a 72-channel GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou receiver; and the LT-1000 Navigation Reference Unit ...

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Garmin wireless wonders #1: Virb XE and now the Virb Ultra 30

31 Aug

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 31, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin_Helm_app_showing_wireless_Virb_XE_cam_and_gWind_cPanbo.jpgThe multiple layers of Garmin wireless communications going on above may seem crazy, but they all work well and have endless practical and/or fun applications around a boat. Normally, for instance, it would take two people to align a fixed boat camera, plus running power and video cables. But I simply climbed up Gizmo’s mast, mounted a Virb XE with an adhesive base, and aligned it using the free Garmin Helm app on my phone to see the Virb video screen running on the flybridge GPSmap ...

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A Camden boat grounding dissected, can crowdsourcing help?

18 Aug

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 18, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

aground_in_Camden_mooring_field_blurred_cPanbo.jpgThe identities of the yacht and its operators are irrelevant. But how did they go hard aground in a highly used harbor during a clear summer day? Was it just a dumb mistake or was a lack of chart detail partially to blame? Should the USCG or the town of Camden better mark the danger? Did marine electronics somehow contribute to what was at least an embarrassing incident? Can crowdsourced data help? I’m not sure about the answers but I have assembled a lot of information ...

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Articulating display pods tested: SeaView, ScanStrut & NavPod

8 Aug

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 8, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Gizmo_Glass_Bridge_II_August_2016_cPanbo.jpgThe latest multifunction displays (MFDs) look smashing on Gizmo’s flybridge, I like to think. And it’s not just that Raymarine, Simrad, Furuno, and Garmin — that’s the lineup, left to right — have almost all further evolved the black glass style that promises to be with us for a long time. Those two articulating pods also contribute to the clean look, plus they make it easier for me to use the podded MFDs from different spots on the bridge. It’s time to discuss the SeaView, ScanStrut ...

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Testing Furuno DRS4D-NXT solid-state Doppler radome, “Radar Redefined” most definitely

2 Aug

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

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After many hours testing a NXT radome on Gizmo in often busy Maine waters, I believe that Furuno’s bold “Radar Redefined” claim is completely justified. This radar is so smart that it makes sense to run it in broad daylight. Brightly highlighting the one vessel (above) moving toward me in Camden Harbor’s forest of moored and moving boats is just one example of its highly automated and intelligent features. I fear that many readers will suffer radar jealousy as I detail what I’ve seen so far, ...

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Summer fun: Camden, Panbots & Gizmo

27 Jul

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

yachts_RH3_and_RH4_special_opps_style_lr_cPanbo.jpgHave we reached the era when “special ops” makes sense as a superyacht style? I joke, but RH3 would be pretty imposing even if it weren’t cruising Maine in company with the all-black, dual jet drive, 40-foot-plus RH4. Given the two other substantial black tenders on the boat deck — and lord knows what’s in the hidden arms lockers (ok, I’m fantasizing, but armament is a seriously untold big yacht story) — this team seems ready to fend off a serious bad guy attack or ...

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NOAA introduces Zones of Confidence; mind your ZOC

18 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 18, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

NOAA_chart_18622_w_new_ZOC_table_cPanbo.jpg

Yikes! Did you know that some areas of the U.S. coastal chart you’re using may only show land and bottom features accurate in position to +/- 1,600 feet, and you shouldn’t be confident about the depth soundings either? NOAA has a new way to show boaters how old and inaccurate much of its survey data is, and it will surely give pause to those who pay attention. The concept is called Zones of Confidence and it’s slowly rolling out as diagrams on paper-style raster charts ...

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