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Panbo Marine Electronics's blog

Did Briartek "invent" two-way distress beacons?

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 4, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I really enjoyed being part of Trawler Fest last week. It was inspiring to meet relatively new cruising enthusiasts who are working to expand their skill sets, and trying to explain and demonstrate current technologies rekindled some of my own enthusiasms. I hadn't turned on the DeLorme inReach in months, for instance, but it located itself and paired with my iPad for easy backup navigation, tracking, and two-way messaging no problem, even though I was standing in front of an audience under a large aluminum-framed tent. Plus I got to see the entirely new User and Map Share web pages DeLorme recently developed for inReach, and they are sharp. However, I was also reminded of a disturbing behind-the-scenes patent issue that may hobble all SENDs (Satellite Emergency Notification Devices) and will likely tax consumers no matter what happens in court...

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...

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...

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.

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...

NV-Charts on Navico displays, another 'paper' option!

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 15, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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The surprising press release just came in this morning. I didn't even know that Navico multifunction displays could handle "raster" style digital charts -- the ones that look like paper charts -- let alone that NV Charts was working to make its large portfolio of handsome cartography available to the owners of Lowrance HDS, Simrad NSE/NSO/NSS, and B&G Zeus MFDs...

VHF radio recalls, not to worry?

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 13, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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A Panbo reader sent this recent photo of empty VHF shelves at a West Marine in Florida along with a store manager's report that Standard Horizon and Uniden had called in their inventory for a software upgrade needed to meet an FCC regulation. Yikes? The reader wondered if this had something to do with Class D VHF mandates and worried about same model radios that had already been bought and installed. My head hurts from the research involved but I'm pretty sure that the answer is "no worries"...