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Author Articles

by Tim Bartlett

PMY Electronics Editor:
Based out of the U.K., Tim has a lifetime of experience running and writing about boats. For more than ten years, he served as the technical editor of Motor Boat and Yachting—the UK’s leading powerboat magazine. Since leaving that position in 1997, he has penned articles for various boating publications, including Power & Motoryacht’s sister magazine, SAIL Magazine. Read more here...

How satellite domes work

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2011 | Add a Comment

Using satellites for communicating or watching TV is great and worth delving into, but before we take the top off a satellite dome, let’s take a look at why we go to the complexity and expense of satellites in the first place. Why not just use good ol’ traditional land-based radio and television signals?

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Intellian s6HD DirecTV Dish

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2011 | Add a Comment

Intellian s6HD: It can receive all three DirecTV satellite clusters. ($9,995)Intellian s6HD DirecTV DishIntellian’s new antenna that can look in three directions at once.DirecTV may be America's most popular satellite TV service, but how

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Comar AIS CSA 300

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2011 | Add a Comment

Comar CSA-300: A more affordable yet still full-feature AIS.Comar AIS CSA 300Comar Systems has two new affordable AIS transponders and receivers.The CSA300 is Comar’s new flagship product and its first Class A unit. Although intended primarily for commercial vessels and fully approved by the

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What does FCC approval mean?

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2011 | Add a Comment

Red Tape or Real Benefit?FCC approval costs everyone time and money.What do we boaters get in return?Lots of us think of the FCC (Federal Communications Comission) as the body that regulates cell phone companies, deals with complaints about TV, and issues radio operator’s licenses to commercial captains. But buy almost any

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GPS Interference

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2011 | Add a Comment

Photos Courtesy of BoeingTechnicians at Boeing put the finishing touches on the LightSquared satellite, ready for its launch in November last year.Intentional InterferenceAs GPS becomes more widely used, the potential for bad guys to create havoc expands. Nearly

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Standard Horizon CPN MFDs

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Standard Horizon CPN MFDsCPN1010i AND 700i PLOTTERSBlurring the tenuous line between navigation instruments and computers even further, Standard Horizon’s CPN1010i and 700i plotters move away from the company’s usual conservative styling and textured casings: They have rounded corners and edges and are finished in high-gloss “piano black.” They still have the

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Icom MA-500TR

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Icom MA-500TRClass B AIS TransceiverIcom’s MA-500TR—the company’s first (and only) Class B AIS transceiver—broadcasts position, track, and speed data derived from its own internal GPS. Cosmetically compatible with Icom’s rugged, chunky IC-M504 and IC-M604 radios, the MA-500TR monitors the two AIS frequencies for incoming information

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Personal locator beacons

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Cutting the FatPhoto Courtesy of KannadPersonal locator beacons get slim and trimThere seems to be something of an arms race going on between rival manufacturers to produce the smallest and lightest PLB on the market: Kannad’s Safelink Solo is already narrowly beaten by the FastFind models (with or

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Miami 2011 Electronics Product Round Up

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Miami: From Sonar to SatcomThere was something for everyone in the electronics hall at the Miami boat show, at prices to suit almost every budget.In Miami, my personal pick of the show is the TracPhone V3 mini VSAT terminal. Less than 15 inches in diameter and weighing just 25 pounds, KVH is claiming it as the smallest marine VSAT antenna in the world—and pointing

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Furuno 21x7BB

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2011 | Add a Comment

The View from the BridgeNew Class B AIS Targets DisplayAIS clutter may (one day) be more of a problem on small screens than on big ones but that doesn’t mean that the big-ship guys are ignoring the possibility. For the past couple of years now, it’s been an international requirement that all new ships’ radars must include a facility for

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