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Blogs

boot Düsseldorf 2013, Henning Dürr reports

Written by Guest Writer on Jan 31, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat fair with a very long tradition and in case you wondered, it really is about boats, not shoes. It is held in Düsseldorf on the banks of the river Rhine in a huge area with 17 halls, and because of its central location in Germany and Europe, it draws many foreign visitors, such as from nearby Netherlands and also -- they say -- some wealthy Russians...

Icom IC-M73 Plus with 'rewind' & more in VHF

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 30, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Icom is just about to release a new version of its IC-M72 pro-level handheld VHF and it includes a feature that really caught my eye (and ear). As suggested by the audio tape and REC(ord) icons on the screen above, the M73 Plus model will have a 60 second recording function so you can "rewind" a call you didn't quite understand the first time. If you only half listen to your radio, or a possibly important call is broken, this can be very handy. Meanwhile Cobra is updating its VHF handheld that has a similar feature, Standard Horizon is offering a sharp-looking pair of low-end handhelds, and Icom is also adding a basic black box fixed radio...

Furuno MaxSea PC Radar, only in Europe?

Written by Kees Verruijt on Jan 25, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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What is it with radar on a PC screen that seems so enticing to yachties? Is it the fact that you don't need a MFD? Or do we want the ability to use the digital charts of our choice with the radar of our choice? Last week I wrote about how OpenCPN now supports Garmin and Simrad radar, or at least partially, and it was in that entry's comments where we learned about the existence of Furuno MaxSea PC Radar. Yes it is possible to use Furuno's excellent radar with the excellent charting program MaxSea Time Zero without purchasing a NavNet 3D or TZ Touch MFD!  But right now it may only be possible in France or Germany...

A Modest (Financially Speaking) Experiment

For quite some time now (I figure about three years…not bad for a guy who’s painstakingly punctual about procrastination), I’ve wanted to either refurbish or replace the Fiamm air horn on the Betty Jane. While the old girl’s brightwork usually looks pretty good and folks occasionally say her gelcoat resembles a patina of Awlgrip, that ancient horn up there on the flying-bridge cowling looks like the Wreck of the Hesperus, comparatively speaking. So here’s the deal—I have finally decided to take the bull by the horns or, rather horn, and put one of the following two options into play:

Aboard Tranquilidad, more adventures with N2K (& Raymarine)

Written by Guest Writer on Jan 23, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Regular Panbo readers may recall that Jeremy Anwyl wrote a 2011 guest entry about his efforts to bring some stability to his admittedly complex NMEA 2000 network. Back then, he was focused on the backbone, minimizing voltage drops, managing reflections and so forth. Anwyl continues to enjoy using his lovely Beneteau 57 Tranquilidad as an electronics lab, but he's also finding bugs in new places...

The Perfect Ending

Last September saw a good boat show in Newport, Rhode Island—warm sunny days and cool evenings: pretty much a perfect New England fall weekend. It had been especially nice for me, as I’d moved out of this haven on the Atlantic a few months earlier—it was nice to be back. As Sunday afternoon approached, a group of Power & Motoryacht staff decided to take a little harbor cruise on the Cruisers 41 we had on loan from the manufacturer.

USS Guardian aground, DNC chart error?

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 21, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I've heard of hitting "the bricks" as in going hard aground -- as well as "bricking" a computer (or other gadget), as in breaking it so badly that it's only good for a door stop -- but gCaptain surprised me with "USS Guardian is Fully Bricked Up and Getting Battered on Philippine Reef." The situation is even worse since...

Radar on your PC, laptop or tablet

Written by Kees Verruijt on Jan 19, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Sometimes news stays under the (ahem) radar for quite a while. Today's story starts with the Austrian university project Roboat (for RObotic BOAT) needed a self-tuning radar scanner that could be used to avoid moving targets. In 2011 they started reverse engineering the Ethernet traffic from a BR24 radar scanner. They used the above test rig so that they could drag their development hardware out to a side arm of the Donau in Vienna.

Rebuilding The Stalwart Racor FG500

 

Racor FG500 Fuel-Water SeparatorYou see lots of Racor FG500 fuel-water separators kicking around the waterfront, both on new boats (mostly protecting gensets) and on older ones like my Betty Jane, where the trusty little device helps stop water and other contaminants from getting into the main engine.

Garmin Quatix, best 'aquatics' watch yet?

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

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Holy Batman, the just-announced Garmin Quatix watch can connect wirelessly to a Garmin autopilot and not only show you what the AP is doing but let you steer the boat from your wrist. Plus if you fall overboard the lost wireless connection will set off an MOB alarm on a Garmin MFD and the AP will try to steer back to you. I hereby rescind my recent mumbling about Garmin's conservative approach to marine electronics!  And aside from all the connectivity -- the Quatix can apparently interface with Garmin PC, Mac, and iPad apps too -- it seems like a heck of a boating watch even if you aren't running other Garmin gear...