Panbo

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

16 Mar

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 that does that consistently well, to my knowledge, and Panbo’s editorial efforts are better focused ...

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Garmin Reactor 40, autopilot running change

13 Mar

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Late last fall, Garmin started replacing the Reactor autopilot CCU (course computer unit) that is the “brains” in their various AP kits with the Reactor 40. It was what’s called a “running change” as opposed to a whole new product, and thus did not merit a press release.

Running changes usually just mean slight improvements and/or bug fixes, but the confidential dealer memo that went out about the Reactor 40 does note a new feature. It’s completely optional because the Reactor has its own 9-axis AHRS, but the 40 now also supports “third-party heading sensors or GPS compasses via the ...

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ActiveCaptain: Data delivery changing, but free access assured

9 Mar

Written by Ben Stein on Mar 9, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Within minutes of announcing Garmin’s acquisuition of ActiveCaptain in May 2017 commenters here and elsewhere immediately began to worry about its future. On Wednesday evening, the Polar Navy announcement above poured fuel on that fire, suggesting that the many non-Garmin charting apps and MFDs which display ActiveCaptain cruising information would lose access to the database this May. But that quote is not the whole story by a long shot. Actually, Garmin is emphatic that AC data will remain freely available to developers and users…

Let’s start ...

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Digital Yacht 4G Connect, with WiFi router and Alexa

6 Mar

This Digital Yacht 4G Connect was impressively demonstrated at the Miami show. The standard model shown uses indoor MIMO antennas to connect with cellular data services, then WiFi and/or Ethernet to make the link to devices on the boat. The Pro model uses two exterior antennas that looked very rugged and well designed for running serious coax cable.

All that’s attractive in itself — and recently approved by the FCC for U.S. use, I’ve heard — but DY added some special sauce related to some of their many other communications products. In the Miami booth, for instance, you could ask ...

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Furuno MIBS 2018: from TZT2BB megaMFD to GP-1x71F plotter fishfinders

6 Mar

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 6, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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At the Miami boat show, Furuno showed off interesting new products aimed at both ends of the market. Prominent at their booth were two strikingly large multi-touch displays being driven by a single TZTouch2 Black Box, a new choice for larger vessels and an especially easy upgrade for existing Furuno black box systems. But nearby were entirely redesigned multi-touch 7- and 9-inch plotter/fishfinders (that even have a radar option), plus an innovative new autopilot that further confirms Furuno’s growing attention to smaller boats…

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The NavNet TZtouch2 ...

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Furuno MIBS 2018: from TZT2BB megaMFD to GP-1x71F plotter fishfinders

6 Mar

At the Miami boat show, Furuno showed off interesting new products aimed at both ends of the market. Prominent at their booth were two strikingly large multi-touch displays being driven by a single TZTouch2 Black Box, a new choice for larger vessels and an especially easy upgrade for existing Furuno black box systems. But nearby were entirely redesigned multi-touch 7- and 9-inch plotter/fishfinders (that even have a radar option), plus an innovative new autopilot that further confirms Furuno’s growing attention to smaller boats…

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The NavNet TZtouch2 Black Box (TZT2BB) is fairly similar to the original and still-available NavNet TZtouch Black ...

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Airmar 2018 part 2: Ultrasonic and EM speedo mysteries unraveled, plus new UDST800

14 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 14, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Airmar_UDST800_ultrasonic_triducer_for_real_2-2018_cPanbo.jpgAirmar’s newly announced UDST800 Ultrasonic Smart Triducer is real! I’ve held one in my freckly hand and even installed it on Gizmo. The reality of a new product would not normally be news, but the history of Airmar’s high tech ultrasonic and electromagnetic speed sensors has frustrated boaters wanting the promised precise and reliable Speed through the Water results, which should be many boaters, I think…

Airmar_DST900-EM_and_ultrasonic_ST900_never_shipped_cPanbo.jpgTo be brutally frank, neither of the Airmar products described above ever materialized as presented, and the same is true ...

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Airmar 2018 part 1: Newly certified installers toting TDT1000 transducer testers

11 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 11, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Airmar_TDT1000_kit_case_n_ACI_logo_cPanbo.jpgDoctor Ducer is in the house! Seriously, the already impressive Airmar TDT1000 Transducer Diagnostic Kit is now key to the company’s new certified installer program, and thus you and your sick fishfinder may one day appreciate a boat call by an informed ducer doc with the right tool. And if an ACI installs the transducer in the first place — let’s call it “preventative medicine” — you get a significant warranty upgrade. I tested the tester last month and learned a lot about Airmar and sonar ...

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Seakeeper install… 7,000 miles later

15 Jan

Written by Ben Stein on Jan 15, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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As I sat down to write this article I flashed back to an eye-opening technology experience at the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. My wife and I found ourselves on the Seakeeper roll stabilization demo boat in the mouth of the Port Everglades inlet with a Viking 60-foot sportfish doing circles around us throwing as big a wake as possible. Our demo ride led to a major install on our Carver motor yacht, which I can recall in vivid detail, but which also significantly improved ...

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