Maretron SMS100, advanced NMEA 2000 monitoring via cell texts

3 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 3, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Two recent experiences make me particularly excited about the Maretron SMS100 announced today (and already shipping). During the trip north I learned to appreciate the sophisticated “Alert” features built into Maretron’s various NMEA 2000 displays and I also enjoyed some benefits of the Siren Marine cellular monitoring system. In fact, Gizmo’s refrigerator currently contains two temperature sensors, a Maretron probe for on board monitoring and a Siren probe so I can keep an eye on the system from afar (even from Korea, by gosh). While ...

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Korean marine electronics tour, w/ apps & gadgets

29 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 29, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


The original idea was to finish this entry during the Chicago stop of the very long journey seen on the nifty FlightTrack app screen above, but travel mistakes were made and O’Hara airport had less connectivity than one might presume in this day and age.  Is anyone surprised to hear that the Tokyo and Seoul airports are much friendlier to the traveler trying to stay in touch?  So, yes, I’m already in  Korea and will soon begin a writer’s tour that is being hosted by Intellian ...

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Garmin GMI 20, hand’s on, surprises found

23 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 23, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


I’m embarrassed about how shabby Gizmo’s fly bridge electronics panel has gotten, but isn’t it great that with the arrival of the Garmin GMI 20 all four of the major manufacturers now have similarly large, bright NMEA 2000 all-in-one instrument displays? Oh, there are subtle differences on view — like how the Raymarine i70 seems to have a little less black/white contrast but also seems to have a slightly larger active screen, and how it and the B&G Triton nicely de-emphasize decimal depth — but the ...

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Furuno TZT chart plotting, feeling the love

17 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 17, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


One problem with cruising north early during a late spring was that Gizmo’s open fly bridge was usually too cold to work with electronics like the Furuno TZT14 that I’d installed there just before finishing the trip south (as seen in this photo). I look forward to much more testing here in Maine but this I already know: For me, there is no other MFD or PC navigation program that does underway chart plotting so wellTimeZero software from MaxSea and Nobeltec are ...

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A closer look at Lowrance’s HDS Gen2 Touch

13 May

Written by Kees Verruijt on May 13, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Today is an excellent time to look in more depth at the Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch, a slightly awkward name for six products that form the “top end” of the Lowrance multifunction display range. The reason is the recent release of the 2.0 software version that brings GoFree functionality — as seen above — and much more to both the Lowrance Gen2 and Gen2 Touch range. Last year I upgraded my HDS Gen1 to a HDS2T and in this entry I will compare the HDS2T ...

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Marine fuel prices, why so hard?

9 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 9, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub



I’m so close to home!  But good old Maine welcomed me with a full menu of fog, rain, and wind — topped off with a foul tide — so it seemed wise to take a break behind the Rockland breakwater, make some tea and discuss marine fuel prices. One of many things I learned on this trip to South Carolina and back is how much diesel prices can vary, even within the same harbor. So I was quite keen to give the new IOS app

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BEP CZone Signal Interface, a NMEA 2000 winner

3 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 3, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


That screen above makes me so happy!  I had been reluctant to give up on Gizmo’s standalone tank monitoring system but circumstances forced a change. Had I realized how easy and relatively inexpensive it was to switch the tank senders over to BEP CZone NMEA 2000 monitoring — and how accurate and flexible the output would be, even to the point of custom (and juvenile) tank labels — I would have made the leap a long time ago…

Aside from the Volvo Penta engine panels the ...

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Garmin GMI 20 & GHC 20, back on top?

29 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 29, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


In my opinion it was the Garmin GMI 10 that trail blazed the wonderful world of color NMEA 2000 all-in-one displays, but it’s gotten major competition from the Raymarine i70 (comparison here), the B&G Triton (first look here), and the Furuno RD-33 (hand’s on here). And when Garmin demoed its new 800 Glass Bridge Series in Miami, the GMI 10 also installed on the dash looked decidedly out of place. So it was really no surprise when they announced ...

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Verizon LTE nirvana, can it last?

22 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 22, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


I lucked out. Just look at all the data I’ve been slurping through my Verizon Galaxy Nexus cell phone while living and working afloat. Up until this month I didn’t think that using 21,482 megabytes on a $60 data plan was possible without repercussions — like Verizon throttling me down or even saying “bye-bye, buster!”  But apparently it’s perfectly OK for me to keep right on slurping at this piggish pace. Am I just enjoying a short term sweet spot?

When describing my three-layer data strategy ...

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KVH V3-IP Broadband & Thuraya SatSleeve

18 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 18, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Since leaving Myrtle Beach on April 1, I've spent a fairly ridiculous amount of time messing around with WiFi and cellular Internet connections, and not only is Gizmo quite well equipped in those categories but she's stayed within a mostly first world country (just kidding, North Carolina). Admittedly my thirst for connectivity is high, but I might trade a small body part for a system that simply put me online 24/7/wherever. That's the promise of KVH's latest TracPhone mini-VSAT V3-IP, and 'simply' is the key ...

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