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Electronics

Web Surfing at Sea Page 5

Electronics — February 2003
By Ben Ellison


Web Surfing at Sea
Follow Me Satellite TV
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Chart Tricks
• Part 2: Chart Tricks
• Electronics Q&A
• TeleSea
• Follow Me
• MiniWEB

 Related Resources
• Electronics Column Index
• Electronics Feature Index

This product has actually been around for a while, but remains unknown to many boaters. The design idea is to make satellite TV affordable for those willing to tolerate certain viewing limitations and setup chores. First of all, you have to purchase your own fixed-style DSS antenna (and receiver/decoder box) or take them from home. The Follow Me's utilitarian PVC-pipe-encased tracking unit can be mounted permanently or temporarily on deck in various ways. When you reach a calm anchorage, you set the antenna atop the tracker and hook up a 12-volt power cable, a coax cable to the TV receiver, and a wired remote control.

Finally, with the help of Follow Me's instructions, you manually adjust the antenna's vertical axis for the desired satellite's altitude, then head below and tune in the horizontal axis with the remote control. The tracker's stepper motor and electronic compass now take over and let you watch megayacht-style satellite TV even as your boat wiggles around on her hook. Reception will fail if the anchorage gets too rolly, but the unit will supposedly need no further adjustment until you cruise a fair distance. Obviously Follow Me's funky, single-axis engineering is no match for automated and fully stabilized TV domes, but neither is its $832 price tag.

Follow Me Phone: (877) 365-5696. www.follow-me-tv.com.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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