The ICOM M93D handheld VHF rolls a bunch of features into a handy package that’s ready to go to sea. For VHF function, the M93D has 5 watts of output power, along with a built-in DSC receiver, active noise canceling, and a BTL 900-mW speaker.
Leave it to the folks at Caterpillar to help build one of the most rugged phones on the market today.
A former educator used careful planning to find a helm setup within his budget for a Transatlantic cruise to the Baltics and beyond on his Kadey-Krogen 42.
Remote-mic VHF setups do more than ever. What will they do for you?
The Intellian GX60 is a satellite-broadband system that uses Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress service. Global Xpress is a new high-speed broadband service that will provide global coverage designed to offer consistent download speeds of 50 Mbps and 5 Mbps uplink speeds.
Want to turn your smart phone into a satellite phone?
For anybody who cruises in remote areas, staying in touch is as important as it is difficult. But when your cell service disappears, and your Wi-Fi blinks out, what can you do to stay connected to the rest of the world? We’ve got one gadget that might save the day. Find out about it here.
Globalstar just completed the launch of a new satellite constellation to serve boaters in North American and Caribbean waters. This means Inmarsat and Iridium may have stiffer competition for voice and data customers. What does it mean to you? Read on to learn more.
If that handy handheld VHF doesn’t hold a charge like it should anymore, or doesn’t seem to perform like it once did, it may be time for an upgrade. And VHF has come a long way. One example: The Simrad HH36, which brings huge function and really smart design. Check it out here.
The Whole World (Wide Web) in a Tiny Package
The KVH TracPhone V3-IP gives fast data download speeds and talk time at reasonable airtime rates. But it uses a dome that’s just a shade over 15 inches in diameter. Learn more about this robust satcom system here.
PMY Tested: The SOHO 60 Cellular Booster from Wilson Electronics.
Linux Comes aboard with Digital Yacht
Worried about putting a personal computer on your boat? Use one that’s made to be there: Digital Yacht’s Aqua 50 marine PC works with a range of DC input levels and has a 64-gigabyte hard drive designed to work without a cooling fan. Learn more here.
Manufacturers of VHF radios have to meet stringent new requirements, while adding more features to stay competitive. The boater is the overall winner, since we’re seeing some powerful new radios that are easier to use. Read more about VHF here.
There are any number of ways (books, pamphlets, the Internet, etc.) to get a handle on the rules and laws that govern VHF usage these days. But what about plain ol’ etiquette? You know—good manners? Aren’t there some subtleties to VHF usage that will promote solid communication as well as encourage bonhomie? Here are a few I’ve picked up on over the years.
Raymarine updated its LightHouse software, which directs the user experience for the company’s a-, c-, and e-Series multifunction displays.
Shakespeare’s 5250-AIS is a 3-foot, stainless steel whip antenna designed to meet the broad bandwidth needs of AIS transponders.
Intellian’s s80HD WorldView is a dual-band satellite antenna that receives three DirecTV signals simultaneously. The s80HD is a simple marine satellite-TV system for boaters navigating domestic and international waters.
Big Satellite-TV Performance from Sea Tel
The Sea Tel 3011 employs some of the same technology as the company’s larger dome systems, all in a 30-inch dish. Learn more about this three-axis, marine-stabilized antenna system here.
Garmin’s new 19x has a 10-hertz update rate, and works with the Russian GLONASS, the Japanese Quasi-Zenith, and Europe’s Galileo sysemt for more accurate positioning.
Just as different hulls fare better in different conditions, so VHF antennas are designed to provide better performance. The question is: Which antenna is right for your boat? Get the most out of your antenna investment with our guide here.
The Lowrance Link-5 is a 25-watt DSC-enabled VHF radio. Built on a robust chassis, the Link-5 is housed in a rubber-molded case rated to IPX7—that means it can be immersed in water for up to 30 minutes to a depth of 39 inches.
Effective communication reduces stress and improves the experience for everyone aboard, especially when conditions are less than ideal. The Eartec COMSTAR System connects up to eight remote units for simplified sharing of urgent information. Is it worth it? We share the information with you here.
Your helm may create its own Wi-Fi network and share data with you wirelessly.
Pay attention now, it’s really starting to get good.
A two-way satellite communicator with GPS, the InReach belongs to an exciting and relatively new category; it’s a Satellite Early Notification Device (SEND). Power & Motoryacht test the Delorme InReach.
Boaters and outdoorsmen may be familiar with the original mass-market SEND, an emergency beacon and tracker called SPOT, which uses the Globalstar satellite network. InReach takes the technology to a far more useful level. Like SPOT, InReach has a tracking feature that allows selected friends and family to follow a boat’s progress via the Web, as well as through Facebook and Twitter for the social networkers among us. It has an SOS function that relays a distress call to local rescue authorities, and it can send a variety of canned messages. Like SPOT, InReach contracts with GEOS, a private dispatch center that handles SOS signals and notifies the appropriate rescue authorities.
Know how the components of your helm—and the rest of the boat—communicate.
Learn to think differently about satellite communications. After all, they’re changing fast.
Think about this: While AT&T charges cell-phone users $2.29 per minute to phone home from the Bahamas, one satcom company charges only $1.49 per minute from anywhere in the world. Another is offering unlimited free airtime as part of $20-per-month package. Of course per-minute airtime charges don’t tell the whole story, but satellite communication is no longer restricted to the very rich or to ocean voyagers.
Think about each component of your boat’s electronics to create a powerful system that’s greater than the sum of its parts.