Monitoring

Monitoring

Tested: Pulse Tech's desulfator

Rejuvenation Sensation

Does Pulse Tech's desulfator work?
We test it on an aging battery to find out.

These close-ups of lead-acid battery plates were supplied by Pulse Tech. In image A sulfation buildup appears as yellowish dots. Image B shows a cleaner battery plate after Pulse Tech treatment.

Last

What goes on inside your LCD screen.

Screen Test

 

 

New displays look great in both sun and shade. Here’s why.

 

We all spend hours looking at LCDs at home and at work as well as on our boats. But how many of us know how they work or—more importantly—how to choose a good one? Equipment manufacturers bombard us with snippets of information, but what does it all mean? Is a QVGA better or worse than WXGA? Just

Electronic Sentinel

Ever get the offshore heebie-jeebieies? I used to, back when I was running oceangoing tugs. The malady typically started with an imaginary change in engine pitch while we were underway after dark. Then a series of equally imaginary doomsday scenarios would ensue, usually featuring collisions (resulting from burnt-out running lights), oil spills (caused by pump problems), and sinkings (due to

Lowrance HDS Series

When Lowrance announced its all-new HDS Series in October, there seemed to be several valid rationales for the letters, which stand for “High Definition System.” All the plotter/fishfinder models have high detail but formerly black-box Broadband Sounder digital technology built in. They also have more detailed Lowrance lake and ocean cartography built-in or

Maretron SIM & RIM

Maretron’s new Switch and Run Indicator modules—the $375 SIM100 and the $299 RIM100—are at the expanding frontier of NMEA 2000. Each plain black box can convert a variety of system sensor inputs into N2K messages available to any device on a boat’s backbone. A SIM, for instance, can monitor up to six D.C. switches, such as sensors for high water, CO2, LP, and

Yanmar Smart Check

Yanmar Smart Check

Unfortunately you'll need Yanmar electronic engines like the BY, LY3, and SY Series (so far) plus at least one Raymarine E-120 to even consider plunking down $795 for the Smart Check software package that will debut this fall. But once you realize all that it will do,

Know the Flow

These gauges are using twin FloScan interfaces and GPS to calculate nm/gal and more.

Oil! I won't belabor the pain felt at fuel docks this season, but I sure am glad to report that electronics and engine manufacturers are working hard so that we can get the most boating from every

FloScan FloNet

FloScan FloNet

Hats off to FloScan for developing FloNet, one of the most NMEA 2000-friendly products I've tested. Rather than trying to grab some of the precious space at your helm with a

Instruments, the New Generation

Do you like the time on your wrist expressed with traditional hands or in digital form? Or has your cellphone display supplanted wrist watches altogether? In a world of ever-increasing man-machine interfaces (MMI), we get some choices and thus develop our own preferred MMI styles. Yes, even a portable timepiece is a machine, likely the first you ever interfaced with, and if thinking of one as

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

PAS-Thru Box

PAS-Thru Box

Life's hard; your friends are all enjoying NMEA 2000 install benefits with their new gear, and you're still struggling with an unruly mess of NMEA 0183 data connections. I know your pain, and a PAS-Thru Box can at least soothe it. The $150 model shown here can beautifully organize, connect, and protect 16 cable pairs,

Interphase SE-200B

Interphase SE-200B

Interphase's SE-200B forward-looking sonar (FLS) can be neatly integrated into most any helm. Its video output can go to one or more of the many multifunction displays that now support video, and/or its VGA output can go to one or more monitors with this PC-type input, while one or more compact keyboards can be

Krill Black Box

Krill Black Box

For a while now Krill Systems has been building sophisticated sensor pods that collect all sorts of vessel info—tank levels, switching states, power parameters, etc.—for delivery via Ethernet to a yacht's PC and, if desired, onto Krill's private Web service and then to you wherever you roam. Now it's

'Lectronics Lab

Most people, including my wife, call it a "basement," but I prefer to think of the area beneath our Maine home as a multifunctional work area, and a nice hangout. The carpentry shop under the original building, once used to finish off—well, almost finish—the floors above, even has south-facing windows, as the whole place is tucked into a hill. That topography also permitted a two-car

Gauges to GUIs

Why reinvent the wheel? Faria tapped Maptech to help create Maestro.

You can almost smell stacks of freshly stitched and pressed Civil War uniforms as you walk around Faria's antique brick and granite factory on the banks of the Thames River just north of New London,

BilgeWatch 8

The trouble with automatic bilge pumps is that they can hide a slowly building leak. The BilgeWatch 8 takes care of that issue, monitoring one to eight pumps simultaneously, showing you when they come on, recording their history, and delivering alerts and alarms based on your settings. The latter can trigger indicator lights, buzzers, relays, and/or auto

Offshore Systems Fuel Gauge

Offshore Systems’ nifty fuel gauge is built into a stainless steel deck fitting, right where you want it. One version, costing $349, can be used with existing analog tank-level senders and gauges; another $271 model just plugs into a boat’s NMEA 2000 network. If you go the latter route, you could also use Offshore’s $263 N2K senders, which claim two-percent

Parker Fuel-Tank Selector Valve

Yet another big-time industrial manufacturer reaches up into the electronic helm. Parker’s Fluid Control Division developed this solenoid drive selector valve so that a skipper can change tanks without leaving the helm. In fact, the first customer, Hinckley, set it up to switch tanks automatically based on fuel levels. That six-port model you see is able to

Argonaut Tflex-G615

Argonaut has broken a significant price barrier with the $995 waterproof and sunlight-viewable Tflex-G615 monitor. Its claim of an enormous 2,000-nit illumination equivalence may be exaggerated (the transflective technology used along with some standard backlighting is not really measurable), and in fact the G615 is not quite as bright as the same-size and

Raymarine LifeTag MOB System

Unlike some safety gear, you'll never have to worry if LifeTag is going to work when you need it. That's because it's what might be called an "alarm-on-failure" system; the receiver triggers an alarm whenever one of the constantly transmitting pendants goes out of its 30-foot range (overboard!), if it breaks or loses battery power, or when a wearer pushes his or

Hatteland Series 2

Hatteland Display, a large Norwegian manufacturer with an excellent behind-the-scenes reputation, is going public with its new Series 2 Marine Multi Displays (MMD) and Marine Multi Computers (MMC). The interesting idea here is that interchangeable "backpacks" make identical slim-line screens into either conventional multi-input monitors or compact all-in-one

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