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by Ben Ellison

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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Servicing the Circuitry

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

The screen looks complicated, but updating a Raymarine E-Series is easy.When you go through your boat this spring, show your marine electronics some love, too.Let me acknowledge right up front that I got help with this column from the Web. While I already had a lot of notions about commissioning marine electronics, asking

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Garmin GMI 10

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

Garmin GMI 10The 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

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Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

Managing The Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008It 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

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Standard Horizon HX850S

By Ben Ellison | Posted April 2008 | Add a Comment

Standard Horizon HX850SCredit 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

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Hello, Spot

By Ben Ellison | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

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

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Simrad NX40/45

By Ben Ellison | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

Simrad NX40/45Simrad 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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Simrad GB40

By Ben Ellison | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

Simrad GB40Given the NX series and other new gear noted above, plus the big-yacht Glass Bridge GB60 system introduced last year, the networked, blackbox GB40 neatly fills the remaining hole in Simrad's lineup. Again, the

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GME Emergency Beacons

By Ben Ellison | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

GME Emergency BeaconsThough GME has been manufacturing emergency beacons in Australia for more than 30 years, its EPIRBs and PLBs are new to America. The regular AccuSat 401 and GPS-assisted 401G models shown are said to be the smallest and lightest available, and each features an LED strobe light and a seven-year battery, not to

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MatsyOnBoard SMART9522

By Ben Ellison | Posted March 2008 | Add a Comment

MatsyOnBoard SMART9522 MatysOnBoard is a little like Spot, as it uses a satphone system's SMS facilities—in this case, Iridium's—to send one-button-push distress messages as well as other short messages and automated tracking

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