Monthly Archive: August 2007

TracMe, not a real PLB 7

TracMe, not a real PLB


To be charitable, the new-to-the-U.S. TracMe looks to be a low cost, short range homing beacon that may have some safety value in certain circumstances. But it’s hard to be charitable about the company’s decision to market it as a Personal Locator Beacon, when it…

WAAS weirdness, part III 4

WAAS weirdness, part III


I didn’t get on the water today (my current PMY column alluding to house projects undone is true, worse than implied actually), but I did find a spot down the street that has a decent sky view to the Southwest where the new, and possibly troublesome, WAAS satellite #51 lives. Which is why—if any neighbors are reading—my truck was parked there with three chart plotters running on the cab roof for a few hours…

Digital chart art? Come to Rockland! 1

Digital chart art? Come to Rockland!

EricHopkins03 44degreesAs a young island boy, I spent a lot of time looking at maps and charts, plotting courses to find buried treasure, and later as a way to find my way in the world. In recent years, I’ve been drawn to the strong graphic images on my GPS screen as I navigate the local waters. This piece is painted on a rudder from a North Haven dinghy, the oldest one-class design in America, donated by J. O. Brown on North Haven. The image is a loose interpretation of Rockland Harbor around The Atlantic Challenge dock area taken from my GPS map. I like the idea of combining a rudder, the part of a boat that provides direction, with the GPS map imagery that tells you where you are, so you can choose where to go.

WASS wacky, watch out! 44

WASS wacky, watch out!


I just learned that on July 31 (July 16 according to this Trimble PDF) the FAA decommissioned WAAS satellites 122 (#35) and 134 (#47), and that at least some marine GPS receivers are not able to recognize the remaining two correction-sending birds, 135 (#45) and the new 138 (#51). In other words, your plotter may not be showing your position quite as accurately as you’re used to…

TH Class B, & come on FCC! 4

TH Class B, & come on FCC!


Back in June the FCC asked for comments regarding Class B AIS units, and several of you—along with the USCG and other safety minded organizations—all encouraged the FCC to approve, or at least waiver, transponders already approved and in use outside the U.S., as soon as possible. There were NO objections…