Panbo

Calypso Cups Bluetooth LE wind sensor, TDWLB pressure too

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 27, 2015

Calypso_CUPS4_Bluetooth_wind_sensor_boxed_cPanbo_.jpgCalypso Marine Instruments is a new company located in Spain and their first product is the CUPS 4 wireless and solar-powered wind sensor seen above before assembly. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy -- also known as BLE or Smart Bluetooth -- to send wind data to BLE compatible mobile devices. I've used both iOS and Android versions of Calypso's own AnemoTracker app to view the data, but other apps can access it and a NMEA bridge/display will porportedly be introduced at METS...

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Furuno NavNet TZ Touch 2, First Impressions on the Water

... written for Panbo by Guest Writer and posted on Aug 24, 2015

Helm_with_TZT_2_15L_displays_courtesy_F_Khedouri_aPanbo.jpgWritten by Fred Khedouri

A few days ago, just about every square inch of panel space on the main helm of my 32-foot Carolina Classic express-style sportfishing boat got covered over with the shiny black glass of two new Furuno TZTL 15F multifunction displays, the newly launched second generation of the Furuno TZ Touch series. The rest of the system includes a 12kW four-foot open array radar, a DFF1-UHD black box sonar, a smaller first-generation TZT 9 display mounted on the tower helm, and a Furuno 711C autopilot.

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Joe's 1969 Allied 42 yawl, fully problem solved & awaiting owner #3

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 20, 2015

Allied_42_Furly_B_cPanbo.jpgFull disclosure: a major motivation for this entry is to help sell my old friend Joe McCarty's boat by describing how well he rebuilt it, particularly in terms of reliable systems. The Furly B is being brokered by Robinhood Marine, where Joe was general manager for 20 years, and I had a good look at her just before the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show opened last Friday. The visit confirmed what I pretty much already knew; Joe bought an excellent old boat and he made her better than new. Actually, the background story for a new owner is far better than that...

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Pilot Line autopilot, unfinished business

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 17, 2015

Pilot_Line_autopilot_patent_aPanbo.jpgI hesitate to write about a marine technology that isn't an actual product yet, especially when I don't understand it! However, there may be a story here worth telling. At the end of his career, a very experienced engineer came up with what he believes to be a superior autopilot technology, but it will never become available to boaters unless someone new carries the project forward...

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U.S. Coast Guard mobile, a good app with a compelling back story

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 13, 2015

USCG_app_home_screens_cPanbo.jpgThe free USCG Boating Safety App has a lot to offer, as indicated by the home screens seen above on my Android phone and iPad Mini. Version 1.0 also seems almost surprisingly fast and polished, which may make more sense when you learn that it was developed by a small, highly-motivated team instead of a large government bureaucracy. In fact, the app is a gift to us from a grieving father trying to honor a son who was an enthusiatic CG Auxilary volunteer on the path to becoming an active duty Guardsman...

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Team Soltero: StarPilot, GMN, RedPort, Bliss & so much more

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 4, 2015

Bliss_anchoring_in_Pulpit_Harbor_cPanbo.jpgBehold the 39-foot trawler Bliss about to anchor behind Gizmo in Pulpit Harbor. She's a custom Jay Benford design (based on a Cascade sailboat hull) that already turns heads, but note the cabin top presence of both Inmarsat FB150 and Iridium Pilot antennas (the latter formerly known as OpenPort, and tested for Panbo on VOJ). The serious satellite communications -- and there are more devices less visible -- are because owner/operators Luis and Kim Soltero have spent much of their thirty year marriage creating a remarkable portfolio of satcom services and devices, and they're still at it. Yes, we had a Bliss/Gizmo geek rendezvous and it was a blast...

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Sonar wars: Lowrance StructureScan 3D, Raymarine SonarChart Live & GoFree Hooked

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jul 27, 2015

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_split_screen_aPanbo.jpgThe competition around sonar burns hot on many fronts and the more the merrier, I say. At the recent iCast show Lowrance introduced StructureScan 3D, which displays in many ways like the Garmin Panoptix Down looking sonar which I saw demonstrated last February in its Forward looking version. Trade Only's Chris Landry noticed the similarity too and reports that SS 3D will also be supported on Simrad NSS evo2 displays. The necessary StructureScan 3D transducer and module are due out in December and purportedly improve on SS HD's standard down and side views as well as enabling the new 3D mode...

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Yacht Devices NMEA 2000 temp & barometer sensors, some good ideas but...

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jul 22, 2015

Yacht_Designs_NMEA_2000_thermometer_aPanbo.jpgOne of the most valuable improvements I've made on Gizmo is a Maretron TMP100 able to put six different temperature sensors on the boat's NMEA 2000 network, particularly the one I've set to alarm me if the engine block gets even slightly hotter than normal. I wrote about the plan in 2013 and will detail how well it worked out soon. Closely monitoring certain temperatures can save a lot of hassle and money though one impediment is the need for either a Maretron DSM display or a USB Gateway to configure the setup. It's intriguing then to learn of Yacht Devices' $99 N2K temp sensor with its clever cost-free configuration. But there are some potential issues...

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Nobeltec PC Radar & TZ v2 app, blazing trail two ways?

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jul 18, 2015

FurunoPC_Radar_DualNav.jpg

Nobeltec Furuno PC-Radar was announced at the Miami boat show, but I don't think it's gotten the recognition it should. Yes, it's like the Furuno MaxSea PC Radar that came to Europe in 2013, but now the feature/cost proposition seems to fit a wider range of boats, plus it's actually available over here. It's also noteworthy that Nobeltec's TimeZero v2 app is now out with support of Furuno WiFi radar and it's interesting to see how these two radar solutions compare. It looks to me like Nobeltec and Furuno are blazing two distinct paths to primary limited visibility navigation without multifunction displays...

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YB3i tracker/messenger, a highly evolved system

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jul 10, 2015

YB3i_on_Gizmo_rail_collage_cPanbo.jpg

The hardware portion of the YB3i tracker/messenger couldn't be much simpler or tougher. It's just a little bigger than the GPS mushrooms also installed on Gizmo's flybridge and it feels solid, while the ScanStrut Rokk rail mount that it fits is truly rock-like. The black cable only leads to a power source (9-30v DC) and the YB3i can get along without that for quite a while, thanks to an internal backup battery. And finally, the single LED "interface" is really only needed for extreme trouble shooting. But such hardware simplicity is only possible because of the impressive array of satellite services, cloud server wizardry, and mobile apps that comprise the rest of the ecosystem...

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