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Author Articles

by Ben Ellison

NMEA 2000 Marries Ethernet

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

As if we weren't confused enough! Maretron and Furuno have both introduced important new products that marry the NMEA 2000 marine-data protocol with the speed and universality of Ethernet, but most of us will need to expand our

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Tacktick Wireless Instruments

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Tacktick Wireless Instruments Micronet Power Boat Wind TransmitterThe direction and speed of the wind are not only important pieces of information when maneuvering in close quarters, they're also a tip-off to weather changes. Tacktick makes it easy to get precise wind information—and most any other numerical

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AmbientNAV Alpha

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

AmbientNAV AlphaWest Coast-based AmbientNav has introduced a new monitor line named Alpha, as in "alpha dog." This leader-of-the-pack boast is based on high-end specs like 170-degree viewing angles and 700:1 contrast ratios, not to mention an awesome rack of inputs. These monitors even have satellite-ready, HD-compatible TV

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Lowrance LVR-880 VHF/FM Radio

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Lowrance LVR-880 VHF/FM RadioIn a world with so many VHF choices, two features on the Lowrance LVR-880 are especially noteworthy. One, it can receive stereo FM stations, even cut in with DSC calls, purportedly a first for a fixed VHF. Two, it uses NMEA 2000 to input GPS information and output DSC call data. This is especially

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Swift Hitch

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Swift HitchAs the name implies, this $309 wireless color camera and display are meant to make hitching a vehicle to a trailer easy, and they do. Features that help: The image can be reversed to sync with your rear-view mirrors; the camera automatically switches to infrared-lit grey scale in the dark; and its base is magnetic. And

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E.E. Owner

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

"Glass bridge? Nah...been there, done that!" That's George Wallner surprising me as we tour his splendid and almost-finished 94-foot Electra. I'm already intrigued.Billy BlackGeorge Wallner maneuvers Electra from her upper helm during a trial run in Maine.It isn't just that Wallner

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Interphase SE-200B

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

Interphase SE-200BInterphase'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

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Krill Black Box

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

Krill Black BoxFor 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

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Boatsense Solutions

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

Boatsense solutions remote vessel monitoring systemThe new company Boatsense Solutions has applied a rigorous keep-it-simple, -rugged, and -economical approach to its single eponymous product. It does not offer GPS tracking or a display screen, it does not include a call center or user Web site, and it doesn’t even send alarms by

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KVH TracPhone V7

By Ben Ellison | Posted September 2007 | Add a Comment

KVH TracPhone V7Always-on offshore high-speed Internet just became possible on yachts well under mega size. KVH's new TracPhone V7 system claims solid broadband speeds previously only possible with a VSAT antenna measuring one meter (about three feet) or more, though its 26-inch-wide dome is an astounding 85 percent smaller in

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