Panbo

CZone Signal Interface module long test, replacement impressive

11 Apr

In early 2013, installing a CZone Signal Interface to put Gizmo’s tank levels on my NMEA 2000 network was a very pleasing experience. In fact, I’ve kept it installed for long testing and have become quite dependent on its reliable performance. So it was bad news in January when I somehow bricked the module while trying to update its firmware after all these years — hey, the CZone system isn’t really meant for DIY use — and even worse when I didn’t get back to the boat until just before heading north. But, dang, replacing the Signal Interface also turned ...

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SureCall Fusion2Go 2.0 cell booster, the testing begins

7 Apr

This is the selection of SureCall Fusion2Go cellular booster system components I’ll lug to the boat in North Carolina early Monday morning. The white outdoor antenna should mount fairly easily on Gizmo’s mast, the booster itself will tuck behind the lower helm with switchable 12v power, and I’ll put my phone on that indoor patch antenna when boosting is needed. In fact, I tried roughly that configuration in my basement shop yesterday, and the results were quite promising.

Note the signal strength graph in the Network Signal Info app running on my Google Pixel 2 XL Android phone. Without boost ...

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Garmin OneHelm (HTML5) #1: Lumishore, Seakeeper, and Shadow-Caster

4 Apr

Though multifunction displays have been steadily gaining new functions, the Seakeeper and Lumishore buttons above represent a new era. Garmin calls it OneHelm, but the underlying HTML5 app technology is an important innovation that all the major MFD manufacturers are embracing. It significantly simplifies the process of creating MFD control for other manufacturer’s onboard systems, and so a lot of interesting integration options like these will soon be available.

After the Miami show Ben Stein and I wrote “Raymarine MFD apps three ways: from drone control to sat comms to video streaming” because Ray’s latest operating system update ...

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Problem with COG/SOG smoothing on Garmin handhelds?

30 Mar

It’s often hard to get big companies to change or fix arguably minor product issues, and I’m pretty sure the best path to success is to clearly, politely, and persistently state the facts, maybe even illustrate the problem on YouTube. But that doesn’t necessarily work either, which is why I’m publishing this email from bluewater sailor Bruce Balan in full:

I’ve been exchanging emails with Garmin for years over their lack of COG and SOG smoothing in their handheld GPS. I know it is low-tech compared to a lot of equipment you report on, but we find using a handheld

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Problem with COG/SOG smoothing on Garmin handhelds?

30 Mar

It’s often hard to get big companies to change or fix arguably minor product issues, and I’m pretty sure the best path to success is to clearly, politely, and persistently state the facts, maybe even illustrate the problem on YouTube. But that doesn’t necessarily work either, which is why I’m publishing this email from bluewater sailor Bruce Balan in full:

I’ve been exchanging emails with Garmin for years over their lack of COG and SOG smoothing in their handheld GPS. I know it is low-tech compared to a lot of equipment you report on, but we find using a handheld

... Read More

Panbo’s new website, woooohoooo!

29 Mar

Zap! Woosh! Bang! Yes, I am super excited that Panbo has an entirely new website with more and better ways to cover the ever-changing world of marine electronics. I’m also hoping that readers will get better access to the news and reviews on whichever screen they’re using, plus an improved notification service and an easier time joining the crew of commenters. But you may have to help us find the bugs first.

So here’s a list of what we hope to accomplish with this new design:

  • Panbo is going from one to three content wells. The long Features aren’t going
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B&G NOS 18.1 software update with Advanced Windplot

27 Mar

B&G just released the NOS 18.1 software update for most of its multifunction displays. A key new feature is called Advanced Windplot — for Zeus only, sorry not for Vulcans — and I find the screenshots interesting but somewhat mysterious. I’m sure that the graphics are a lot more obvious when they’re live on deck with the wind gusting into the 20’s, but I think this boat is on a very broad reach, headsail possibly close to collapsing, but probably moving right along.

How about it, performance sailors: Does B&G’s explanation of these and other Advanced Windplot screens make sense ...

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SailRacer inkDisplay, e-paper fit for a boat?

22 Mar

The just-announced SailRacer inkDisplay seems impressive. For about $360 you get a sunlight readable 6-inch Android wireless tablet so waterproof that it can purportedly run in that aquarium forever. In fact, the video shows it bouncing onto concrete –hey, it’s also rubberized — and then into an icy Lithuanian puddle, with the screen still running. What it’s running is a special remote display version of SailRacer, so the app is controlled on a phone anywhere on the boat while the inkDisplay can even be attached to the lower mast (somehow) like the fancy racers do.

What may be most interesting ...

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Nautic-On, Brunswick’s smart take on boat monitoring

22 Mar

Written by Ben Stein on Mar 22, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Nautic-On-Hub-aPanbo.JPG

In the lead-up to any major boat show there are a lot of press releases flying around. The 2018 Miami International Boat Show was no different, and one such announcement was from a new division of Brunswick called Nautic-On. While I made a mental note to see what they were all about, frankly my expectations were meager. But what I encountered was a style of boat monitoring that far exceeded my expectations.

When I sat down with Adam Schanfield, Nautic-On’s General Manager, and asked him to ...

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Sonar wars flare: Humminbird Mega, Garmin UHD, Lowrance FishReveal & more

16 Mar

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 16, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Humminbird_Helix_12_CHIRP_MEGA_SI_lr_aPanbo.jpg

This week both Garmin and Lowrance made major fishfinding announcements, but the overall Sonar Wars context most definitely includes the sharp Humminbird Mega high-frequency side imaging seen above. There’s also some good news for cruisers in the Navico MFD software update, plus an opportunity to preview a new press release feature coming to Panbo…

What, press releases on Panbo? Yes, I’ve long wanted a separate section that simply published important marine electronics releases in full with the often included high-resolution images. There’s no online site which ...

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