Monthly Archive: November 2009

KVH TracVision HD7, new top dog? 7

KVH TracVision HD7, new top dog?


Of course the big news about KVH’s new TracVision HD7 is that it can receive all three of DirecTV’s main satellites at once, which means that using multiple TVs/DVRs at once — or keeping up with Guide data coming down from sat 101 — are not the problems they can be with a one-satellite-at-a-time solution like the Intellian D4. But first check out the iPhone/iTouch app that communicates via WiFi to the HD7’s antenna control unit. Not only can it be used to switch the dome to one of the secondary satellites that carry some oddball channels, also to download system updates at home, or wherever, for later one tap transfer to the ACU. There are alternate ways to accomplish these tasks, to be sure, but isn’t this a slick option?  Not that a HD7 user should need to mess with it much…

Baron Quicklink, XM WxWorx weather goes global 6

Baron Quicklink, XM WxWorx weather goes global


XM Satellite Weather actually has nothing to do with this new product, but I mention it in the title because Baron Services is both the meteorological expertise behind XM Weather and the developers of the WxWorx software which can make that XM data accessible on a boat’s PC. The idea of the new Quicklink is provide XM-WxWorx-like semi realtime weather beyond the North America coverage area of XM’s satellites, and it looks like Baron is pulling a couple of rabbits out of the hat to do it…

Airmar H2183 Improves Situational Awareness Feature on Raymarine 20

Airmar H2183 Improves Situational Awareness Feature on Raymarine


Check out all the vector arrows around Dan Corcoran’s Raymarine E-80 boat icon, as he steers Breeze Pleeze through Huntington Harbor as a storm closes in. Red is for heading, green for COG, blue for current, and yellow for wind. High performance sensors have made these vectors valuable for situational awareness of the current where he’s about to dock, and more, as Dan explains:

I am writing about the Airmar H2183 solid state heading sensor (covered in Panbo here) after my experience as a beta tester. Raymarine gets honorable mention in the title above for its role in making this compass especially useful at a time in recreational navigation when its too easy to cruise all day without taking a compass heading.

Iridium SBD, interesting possibilities! 8

Iridium SBD, interesting possibilities!

Iridium 9601SBD modem.JPG

One of the most interesting meetings I had in Fort Lauderdale was with Patrick Shay, who fairly recently took the reins of Iridium’s data division (after much related experience at Motorola and Sirius, and a lot of boating).  His message was clear: Iridium has realized that data is important, in fact the fastest growing part of its business, and wants to see its SBD modems “disappear into as many marine devices as possible!”  Coming soon is a  new version of the 9601 modem above which will be smaller and cheaper but still able to transmit a 340 byte message from anywhere on the globe in less than 60 seconds with very high reliability.  It can also quickly receive a 270 byte burst from anywhere via the Iridium ground stations, and it’s that two-way nature that suggests so many interesting possibilities…

Gigando touch screen remote, from Palladium 4

Gigando touch screen remote, from Palladium


You may never feel comfortable about slapping a bowl of chips and a couple of beers on this coffee table, but it surely would impress the folks visiting your super yacht, and it’s wicked fun. Tucked somewhere in that table is a full on Mac computer that’s networked to a full on distributed entertainment system — curtains, lights, movies, internet, whatever!  As usual, the megayacht sections of the The Fort Lauderdale show were awash in wretched excess, but also as usual, the good folks at Palladium Technologies demonstrated how creative, even joyous, cost-no-problem electronics can get…