Panbo

Standard Horizon Matrix AIS/GPS and Raymarine Ray260 AIS/N2K VHF radios

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Dec 3, 2013

Standard_Horizon_Matrix_AIS_GPS_GX2200_VHF.jpgWhile it looks and works very much like the Matrix AIS GX2100 that caused quite a splash here in 2009, Standard Horizon's just announced Matrix AIS/GPS GX2200 very usefully includes a built-in 66 channel GPS. And it still has the same $400 MAP (minimum advertised price) as the evolved Matrix AIS+ GX2150, which will now get a $350 MAP. Two years ago Standard introduced the Explorer GX1700 -- the first fixed VHF with GPS built in, and still the only one (I think) -- and while I haven't tried one myself, I think that front panel satellite antenna bump works pretty well even when installed under a fiberglass deck or top...

Continue Reading

Argonaut's giant A615 Android tablet, and a Panbo reader survey

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 30, 2013

Argonaut_A615_Android_15-inch_marine_display_.jpgThis is different! While the new Argonaut A615 Smart Monitor has several of the marine display features the company is known for, it can also serve as a large Android tablet. So with its 360° waterproof enclosure, bonded Tflex transflective LED-backlit LCD, and Quad Core ARM processor you can have fast standalone chart plotting on a 15-inch screen in your cockpit or on your flying bridge using only 20 Watts of 12 or 24 volt DC power. And of course that's not all...

Continue Reading

METS 2013: Glomex WeBBoat, fingers on Garmin and Simrad, and more

... written for Panbo by Kees Verruijt and posted on Nov 26, 2013

mets_2013_glomex_webboat.jpg

The Marine Equipment Trade Show 2013 held in Amsterdam last week lived up to its reputation again. The trade floors were packed with exhibitors, and I was told that the booths were packed with visitors on the first two show days. Fortunately, it wasn't as busy during my third day visit and I could move around easily -- if not as anonymously as before; at Garmin I was welcomed as "Hey, you're the guy from Panbo!"  Ben has already reported on Garmin's down- and side scanning sonar, xHD radomes, etc., plus the new Simrad NSS and B&G Zeus2 Series, but I got to see the new products in action and there was much more to cover, like that neat Glomex WebBoat WiFi/3G access point seen above...

Continue Reading

Furuno MUxxxT monitors, Hatteland X Series, and TimeZero Coastal Monitoring

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 21, 2013

Furuno_MU240T_monitor.jpgFuruno's new multi-touch MUxxxT monitors are intended to play nicely with NavNet TZtouch MFDs. Using its DVI output, the TZT9 or TZT14 can send a screen mirror to the wopping 24-inch widescreen MU240T above -- at 800x480 and 1280x800 pixels, respectively -- and USB takes the touch commands back to the TZT (using a standard Windows driver). Meanwhile, the TZT Black Box has enough DVI and USB ports to drive two of these glass-bridge-style monitors (and two keypads, like the one KEP recently introduced or the one Furuno is purportedly working on)...

Continue Reading

Simrad NSS evo2, multi-touch 7-inch to 16-inch and beyond

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 19, 2013

Simrad_NSS9_evo2_new_11-13.jpgAt METS this morning,  Simrad announced an evo2 update to the NSS Series and quite an update it is. The new multi-touch wide screen models will come in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch sizes, and since they are close family in every way to the recently discussed NSO evo2, a boater will be able to mix and match bright, glass-bridge-style displays from 7 to 24-inches. And while NSS evo2 can network with Simrad's radars, sonars, SonicHub audio, WiFi 1 etc., all four sizes come with "embedded CHIRP enabled Broadband sounder and StructureScan" (which can probably network out to the whole family)...

Continue Reading

Holy Garmin cow: SideVü/DownVü, GPSMAP 800/1000, GMR 18/24 xHD, Meteor 300, gWind & the Helm app

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 18, 2013

Garmin_SideVü_DownVü_800_kHz.jpgGarmin is purportedly announcing nearly fifty 2014 marine products today!  A lot are related to the company's new ability to offer the high resolution down and side scanning that's become so popular with freshwater and near coastal fishermen (and curious gunkholers like myself). Soon the relatively easy-to-understand (and fit-on-a-small-screen) down view will be available in new echo dv fishfinders and echoMAP dv fishfinder/GPS combos that will then better compete against similar products from Lowrance, Humminbird and Raymarine. Moving up the cost curve you'll find CHIRP-assisted DownVü and SideVü, which look wicked sharp in the screenshot above (imaging what's likely the remains of a bridge in a man-made lake)...

Continue Reading

Ancor goes NMEA 2000 & the BEP Pro Installer line

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 15, 2013

Ancor_NMEA_2000_cables_n_connectors_cPanbo.jpgPerhaps, coming soon to a marine electronics store near you (though not yet online) is a fairly complete line of NMEA 2000 cables and connectors under the well-known Ancor brand. I particularly like how the kits and explanatory packaging will encourage consumers to set up their own small networks. The 2 and 5-meter cables, for instance, are sold as Backbone/Drop Cables, while the 10-Meter is simply a Backbone Cable (because a spur shouldn't exceed 5 meters). I saw the preview Ancor line above at IBEX, but learned more about it in a special Soundings Trade-Only advertorial publication designed for next week's METS show...

Continue Reading

Iris NightRunner nav camera, too good to be true?

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 12, 2013

Iris_NightRunner_camera_at_FLIBS13_cPanbo.jpgIris Innovations used some magnet magic to highlight the sveltness of the NightRunner dual payload pan/tilt/zoom navigation camera system it debuted in Fort Lauderdale. The real magic, though, seems to be in the pricing. At about $5,000 including a full-featured joystick control pad, the NightRunner isn't that much more than a fixed Raymarine T200 with the same 320 x 240 thermal resolution and no daylight camera at all, and the NightRunner installation doesn't seem much harder. Meanwhile the dual payload PTZ model most similar to the NightRunner appears to be the  FLIR M-324L (or its sibling Ray T400) with a full retail price of about $15,000!  How is this possible?

Continue Reading

"Lessons of the BOUNTY" -- Andy nails it

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 10, 2013

BOUNTY_issues_--_Courtesy_Jan_Adkins_and_WoodenBoat.jpgI'll probably always associate Hurricane Sandy and the sinking of the HMS Bounty with last fall's cruise to the Carolinas and a Fort Lauderdale show that got a little scary just because Sandy's eye passed by about 160 miles to the east. Soon after flying from Lauderdale to Gizmo's super safe location in Myrtle Beach (lucky!), I was adding Bounty comments to an entry about how I'd first spotted the storm on a Furuno TZT. What I didn't mention then was that I'm one of a cohort that had more reason than most to get cold chills over the sinking of a large traditional sailing vessel, a loss that could have been so much worse if it weren't for an extraordinary USCG rescue operation. But it's relevant now because an old square rig shipmate has written a very fine analysis of the disaster and what we can learn from it...

Continue Reading

Raymarine LightHouse II, the paper chart lives on

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 6, 2013

Raymarine_LightHouse_II_w_NOAA_raster_chart_cPanbo.jpgIsn't it interesting that just after we learned that NOAA will no longer print traditional paper charts, Raymarine announced that all its current plotters will soon be able to use the digitized "raster" equivalent of those same NOAA charts? The "completely redesigned LightHouse II" software that will make this entirely free new feature happen is due out in December, but I got on the water with a beta version last week. I was impressed with how well the raster charts looked and how well they panned and zoomed, even in beta, and there's much more to like about LightHouse II...

Continue Reading