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Author Articles

by Ben Ellison

Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Max Pro

By Ben Ellison | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

Jeppesen Marine Nobeltec Max ProWhen 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

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ActiveCaptain Mobile

By Ben Ellison | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

ActiveCaptain MobileLast year when I lamented on the dismal state of digital chart Point of Interest info, an exciting possible cure was the brand-new ActiveCaptain, a free Web service

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Raymarine SmartPilot X Series

By Ben Ellison | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

Raymarine SmartPilot X SeriesRaymarine 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

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Pocket Navigation

By Ben Ellison | Posted May 2008 | Add a Comment

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

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VSAT vs. Fleet Broadband

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

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

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VEI OceanView Zeus

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

VEI OceanView ZeusVEI, 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

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FLIR Voyager

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

Flir VoyagerFLIR 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

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ACR RCL-300A

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

ACR RCL-300AACR'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

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OrSat AL-7103 MKII

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

OrSat AL-7103 MKIIAccording 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

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WxWorx XM Receiver

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

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

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