Electronics

Alpine Marine Stereo

Alpine Marine iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver

Renowned car audio innovator Alpine Electronics also has a new iPod-friendly marine stereo for your consideration. In fact, the company claims a special relationship with Apple as part of the reason why the iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver sports a "super fast" USB iPod

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine is likely one of the largest and most accomplished marine electronics companies you've probably never heard of, though you may have marveled at one of its super-bright monitors with a more familiar brand name on it. KEP also directly markets its own line of In-Sight displays ranging from 12-inch to

Raymarine E Series V4

Raymarine E Series V4 Multifunction Navigation Display Software

It was pure luck that my April column on maintenance ("Servicing the Circuitry") illustrated how easy it is to update a Raymarine E-Series; then along came V4, a free firmware upgrade

Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Max Pro

Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Max Pro

When Jeppesen Marine took C-Map under its wing early last year, a much-anticipated consequence was the melding of Nobeltec navigation software (NSS) with C-Map’s top-of-the-line Max Pro cartography. They’re here and forever memorialized in new product names VNS Max Pro and Admiral Max Pro, priced

Hanging on the Telephone

Companies like Iridium and Globalstar utilize only Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites.

By last fall my brother Chip and I were ready to toss our satphone into the water and make it a marlin teaser. For the last year we'd managed to get just one phone call out on our Globalstar handset, and like the many users who've encountered

Real-World AIS

Recent reports about the 25-foot sailboat Ouzo being run down in the English Channel by the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao highlight the fact that we pleasureboat operators have to see the big guys because they are probably not going to see us. But what happens in rain squalls and big seas when a ship may be blocked from your view?

From a Ship's Bridge

As a young third mate straight out of the Maritime Academy, I took a job on the 873-foot S/S Cape Mohican. Nervous about standing my first bridge watch, I asked the captain for a few tips, and he jokingly replied, "Red over red, the captain's dead (vessel not under command); if it's painted grey, stay away (Navy); and never alter course for a boat unless

The Skinny on SSB

Cruisers who enjoy spending time away from crowded harbors and anchorages need a radio that will keep them in touch with friends and receive information from many different sources. While nearly all boats carry a VHF, its maximum range isn't more than about 25 miles. This is because VHF radio waves travel in a straight line

Raymarine SmartPilot X Series

Raymarine SmartPilot X Series

Raymarine is refreshing its entire autopilot line into the SmartPilot X (SPX) Series. All SPX course computers include rate gyros for better performance and use SeaTalkNG (a.k.a. STng or NMEA 2000) interfacing for easier installation and sensor sharing. The primary ST70 control head matches the nifty

Navionics HotMaps Explorer

Navionics HotMaps Explorer

If you’ve ever taken a plotter—handheld or otherwise—onto lakes, you probably know how inconsistent (sometimes nonexistent) freshwater mapping is. And you shouldn’t hesitate to try HotMaps Explorer, a $20 teaser product consisting of Fugawi’s full-featured PC planning program along with

Pocket Navigation

If Mae West were alive, her famously bawdy trademark line might go like this: "Hello there, sailor. Is that a WAAS GPS AIO PND loaded with a continent's worth of nautical, street, topo, and photo cartography and several hundred thousand POIs in your pocket...or are you just happy to see me?" To which a sorry geek like me might squeak back, "Pardon, Ms. West, no time for flirting; I've got gadgets

VSAT vs. Fleet Broadband

With a solar cell wingspan of 145 feet, Inmarsat's new I-4 birds promise reliable, global coverage.

I was annoyed! I'd found a cozy corner at the Fort Lauderdale airport with a five-bar connection to the free WiFi Internet service there, but I could barely pull up a Web page, and my e-mail icon just spun hopelessly. I tried the

VEI OceanView Zeus

VEI OceanView Zeus

VEI, the Florida-based manufacturer of marine monitors and computers, has jumped with both feet into night-vision cameras. Its OceanView line includes five pan-and-tilt models each named for Greek deities, hence the company's "Play God! Turn night into day" tag line. It starts with the $12,995 Apollo, which

FLIR Voyager

Flir Voyager

FLIR has added active stabilization to its $74,999 Voyager camera, but what's truly noteworthy is its integrated use of dual thermal cameras. Each has only 320x240 pixels of resolution and lacks optical zoom—typical for thermal cams of this class, most of which are FLIR-built anyway—but one has a 20-degree

ACR RCL-300A

ACR RCL-300A

ACR's 12-inch-high RCL-300A beams a million candela of light with twin HID bulbs and can pan continuously at 12 or 30 degrees per second, controlled by up to three Point Pads. Its 45-degree-tilt ability is completely internal (reflector assemblies only), which protects the mechanism, but it also has a clever XRCiZ

OrSat AL-7103 MKII

OrSat AL-7103 MKII

According to Orbit Technology, this 1.15-meter (45-inch) Ku-band marine-stabilized antenna is the first of its size range to be type approved by Eutelsat and Intelsat, meaning no further verification is needed to use either of these broadband services, which, along with

WxWorx XM Receiver

WxWorx hard- and software packages let you monitor XM Satellite Weather with your onboard PC, and its latest receiver makes installation easier than ever. Exchangeable modules allow the PC interface to be either traditional RS-232 serial, wireless Bluetooth, USB, or Ethernet, and the latter two can also supply

Digital Antenna DA 2330

Digital Antenna DA 2330

Subscribing to XM weather via WxWorx entitles you to a great rate on XM's multichannel-audio goodness, but you'll have to run yet another antenna to your boat's satellite radio-enabled stereo. Or maybe you want two XM or Sirius

Standard Horizon HX850S

Standard Horizon HX850S

Credit due: Uniden built the first handheld combination GPS/ VHF, but the Mystic was quite bulky and expensive and is now out of production. Standard Horizon's HX850S hopefully represents the first of a new, much more practical combo generation (at least Lowrance has another in the works). With a body about

Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008

Managing The Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008

It may be an Intracoastal Waterway guide publisher, but the name Managing the Waterway doesn't do this company justice. Neither does the product title Electronic Charts 2008, even though this two-DVD set contains every single digital chart—more than 3,000—currently put out

Garmin GMI 10

Garmin GMI 10

The 3.5-inch color screens on Garmin's new do-it-all instrument heads looked bright and sharp at the European trade show where I saw them previewed, and they should be available by presstime. They purportedly can display just about any NMEA 2000 data, including engine info, as well as sentences from NMEA 0183 smart

Hello, Spot

Spot measures about 4 1⁄4" x 2 3⁄4".

As an innovative satellite messenger, Spot is hot, but in terms of marketing, Spot should be shot. And, thankfully, those are all the easy Spot word plays you'll hear from me. But be prepared for an onslaught elsewhere. Spot is getting a

Simrad NX40/45

Simrad NX40/45

Simrad is refreshing almost its entire product lineup in 2008. The major themes are the extended use of SimNet (a.k.a. NMEA 2000) and the "Simradization" of multifunction display technologies proven by other members of Navico's "family of brands." The $2,450 NX40 and $2,950 45 single-station MFDs closely resemble

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