The Simrad NSX may be a value-oriented chart plotter in Simrad’s lineup but “value model” doesn’t tell the story of how important NSX is to Simrad’s, and Navico’s, future. NSX is the first MFD running on Navico’s Neon operating system. I’ve been using an NSX in Panbo(at) for the last several months and I’m pleased to report NSX is an upgrade from the Simrad Go it replaced in nearly every dimension. If this is Navico’s future, the future is bright.
Panbo News and Reviews
Garmin recently released the Quatix 7 and I’ve been wearing the Saphire model since just after the release. I’m pleased to report that in my testing it’s proved to be a refined, visually pleasing, and useful accessory. With excellent battery life, a bright, easy-to-read display, and integration with Garmin marine products like the GPSMap MFDs and Fusion stereos there’s plenty of reasons to give the Quatix line a careful look.
KiloVault might be a relatively new name in lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, but I’d expect to hear a lot more about them based on what I’ve seen so far. The HLX+ series of batteries are well-made, drop-in-style batteries with lots of capabilities at an affordable price point. I’ll be installing a pair of the 300 amp hour batteries in my RV, but first, let’s get to know the batteries better.
There’s a lot to like about Glomex’s WebBoat 4G Lite Evo. It’s a small device with easy mounting, a 4G LTE cellular modem, an easy user interface, and app configuration. These features make the WebBoat 4G Lite Evo easy to install and easy to use. But, like so many other marine-specific internet access equipment I see, it lacks 5ghz WiFi, limiting its performance out of the box.
Airmar trail blazed the NMEA 2000 “smart” sensor about fifteen years ago, building a microprocessor right into a transducer so that a single rugged N2K cable can both power the sensor and deliver Depth, Speed, and Water Temperature to almost any display, regardless of brand. And while the company deservedly dominates the world of water-related smart sensors today, they were a tad slow to adopt the now-common technique of including a Bluetooth app for the detailed calibration that many of the display manufacturers fail to provide. But after initial testing, I think that the relatively new DST810 Smart Multisensor is a thoroughly modern N2K device…
When you think of a thermal night vision camera you might not think of Omnisense, but you probably do think of FLIR. Omnisense hopes to change that with their Ulysses line of thermal cameras. With a strong feature set, broad MFD support, and competitive features, it looks like an interesting comparison. I’ve been testing both the Omnisense Ulysses Micro and the FLIR M232. It’s been fun comparing the two and I see strengths and weaknesses to both but read on to see if there’s a clear winner.
For the last several years there’s been an unusual situation with Garmin MFDs. They haven’t used Navionics chart presentation or auto-routing. Considering Garmin owns Navionics and has since 2017, that’s left many scratching their heads. Well, scratch no more. Current Garmin MFDs can now use Navionics’ charts, auto-routing, and daily updates. Plus, the ability to display the new Navionics charts is part of an upgrade to Garmin MFDs that includes an updated user interface.
If you’re like me, at some point in your boating career you’ve probably found an electrical problem on your boat only after things got a little scary. Perhaps the problem was one of your making or maybe, like my example linked above, the boat came that way. Now that I’m doing more work on the DC systems aboard my own boats and others, I went looking for a way to ensure the quality of my work and the health of the systems aboard. For the last few jobs, I’ve been verifying my work with a FLIR C5 thermal inspection camera. I think it delivers real peace of mind.
Boat monitoring sounds like a pretty simple concept; tell me about my boat and alert me if something is wrong. In practice, it’s not quite so simple. Siren Marine has been in this space since the beginning and often notes they’ve seen over 40 companies come and go. Garmin’s OnDeck entry into the space caught my attention. I immediately wanted to see how Garmin tackles a complex challenge like boat monitoring and if they can make it simple for the user. Thus far, the answers are mixed but I think it’s a product with a ton of potential.
RaceSense is such a novel concept that it’s hard to understand at a glance. While that screen looks like a virtual sail racing app that you play with your fingertips, what’s actually virtual are the folks normally needed to run a real event — plus their boats, the marks, the horn, etc. Instead, Vakaros Atlas 2 tablet-style instruments on each of the real sailboats form a meshed wireless network, and a built-in feature called RaceSense uses distributed artificial intelligence to create the course, call penalties, and name winners. Wow…