Monthly Archive: November 2009

Lenny’s interface testing, flawed? 14

Lenny’s interface testing, flawed?

How does the old expression go…”He who giveth can also be an annoying butt?”  Here’s my problem:  Last week Lenny Rudow wrote one of the most imaginative electronics pieces I’ve seen since, well, Lenny...

Ship Finder 1.7, 50 freebies 11

Ship Finder 1.7, 50 freebies

I’ve enjoyed the Ship Finder AIS viewing app as it’s gained features and available feeds, and particularly like how the latest 1.7 version draws targets with their reported heading (and course predictor lines if...

Giving Thanks, a holiday break 6

Giving Thanks, a holiday break

There’s a fair bit of hokum wrapped around the Thanksgiving holiday we’re about to celebrate here in the states, which I’m particularly aware of as I just finished Nathanial Philbrick’s excellent Mayflower: A Story...

Standard Horizon GX2100, AISrx/VHF combo for most any boat? 71

Standard Horizon GX2100, AISrx/VHF combo for most any boat?


I consider this pretty big news. Not only does the GX2100 combine full featured Class D VHF with a true dual AIS receiver, and include most all the nice added features the pairing supports, but it does it all for $400 MAP (minimum advertised price).  That’s a lot of features per gear dollar, and I’m going to list most of them because they’re not online elsewhere yet:

Raymarine E-Wide hands-on #1, & money talk 25

Raymarine E-Wide hands-on #1, & money talk


Raymarine product manager Mark Garland and marketing manager Jim McGowan kindly came to Maine last Thursday and swapped a new E140 Widescreen for the C140W I used for radar comparisons all summer. They were lucky in terms of testing-on-the-Bay weather, but not so lucky in terms of dire sounding Raymarine financial news that I felt compelled to drill them about. I’ll save that for last, though, as the E Wide is definitely worth top billing…

Kees at Mets, almost like walking the show 15

Kees at Mets, almost like walking the show


Wow, Kees Verrujit, our N2K Panbot in an attic, has out done his own reporting on last year’s METS, and he even shot some videos for us.  A collective tip of the beanies to Kees, please: 

general the feeling was quietly positive. Everyone still around will probably be able to weather the remainder of the economic storm. Attendance today was lower than the earlier two editions I visited, but then this was my first time visiting on the last day so I can’t say for
sure how busy it was. Sorry to say, there was no big big news. Still there were a number of exciting new developments. I’ve kept those to the end of this long mail!
AIS over NMEA 2000, concept defended 78

AIS over NMEA 2000, concept defended


The screen shot above shows MaxSea TimeZero Explorer running on Gizmo this morning, much like I showed last week.  In this case you can see how I’m cranking up the radar gain, a neat right click and mouse wheel maneuver, trying to see the ship coming down the Bay. Which was really asking too much of the superb DRS2D radome because there were so many obstructions between Gizmo’s slip and the Kristen Knutsen. What’s really different about this screen is that the FA50 AIS data is finally getting to MaxSea TZ, which should have just happened given that the transponder, like the radar, is plugged into the same Ethernet switch as the MFD and the PC…

SailTimer, gone iPhone & handheld 14

SailTimer, gone iPhone & handheld


I first heard about SailTimer — a set of algorithms for calculating sailing tacks, including total distance and tacking time to destination (TTD) — back in 2006.  And it did indeed become a very interesting feature of NavSim’s SailCruiser.  But developer Craig Summers was not done there.  His Indepth Navigation company now offers a free, and very simplified, iPhone version of SailTimer as well as the $14 app illustrated above.  Frankly, even the paid app doesn’t seem as full featured as the online SailTimer demo yet — you don’t see what your calculated speed is, for instance — but I know Summers is working on it.  In fact, SailTimer 2.0, with tacking lines drawn between those pins on the map, is due out this week.  And then there’s the “Sailing GPS”…

MaxSea Time Zero, live at last 79

MaxSea Time Zero, live at last


It took Furuno and MaxSea quite a while to actually ship Time Zero software in the U.S., and it took me a while to clear enough disk space to load it on that oldish HP laptop, but the long wait did not end in disappointment.  My first impression is that TZ charting and radar run beautifully, and with amazing responsiveness even though the laptop barely meets the suggested minimum specs.  The photo above is also another testament to the DRSD2’s close range resolution; you can see the two boats on floats and shrink-wrapped schooner that are being cleanly targeted.  And don’t presume the GPS is off because Gizmo seems to be ashore…

CE  & ACC, great but not enough! Part 1 2

CE & ACC, great but not enough! Part 1

Rose Point CE and ACC cPanbo.jpg

One thing I’ve always liked about Coastal Explorer is the way it handles points of interest (POI) information.  It includes a vast, searchable gazetteer, along with coast pilot info that gets listed and icon-located when you’re checking out a harbor (“places” tab).  Plus it integrates Panoramio community photos if you want and Maptech marine facilities and port photos if you have them. (CE 2009 is not sold as Maptech Chart Navigator Pro, though CNP, which is actually CE version 1, is still being sold as “new” software.)  You can see in the Options box above how Rose Point is working on an automatically synchronized Community Guide Book idea that has terrific potential.  But, whoa, check out the new “Subscription” options that will appear in an CE update very soon.  Rose Point has struck an interesting deal with the Atlantic Cruising Club guide folks, and thus CE users will get free partial ACC marina listings — like the Wayfarer data above — for those guide areas shown.  They’ll also get a neat way to integrate complete ACC guides into CE…