Yearly Archive: 2012

Fusion 700 Series update, mission accomplished? 12

Fusion 700 Series update, mission accomplished?


I’ve been testing (and enjoying) a Fusion MS-IP700 and MS-NRX200 system since I installed them in June and I wholeheartedly support the 700 Series as NMEA’s Technology Award winner of the year. And note that I wasn’t a judge myself this year and unfortunately wasn’t even there (especially as I’ve heard repeatedly that the 2012 NMEA Conference was the success hoped for). You can read all about it in this online version of the ME Journal, and further note that the judges didn’t see the cool multi-manufacturer Fusion interfaces that debuted in Fort Lauderdale…

Furuno NavNet TZTouch, best use of MFD WiFi yet? 12

Furuno NavNet TZTouch, best use of MFD WiFi yet?


I first learned about Hurricane Sandy in an interesting way. While enjoying sunset in the Calabash River anchorage a week ago today, I was also fooling with various WiFi features built into a just-installed Furuno NavNet TZT14. Actually I was trouble shooting the seemingly flaky WiFi connection when I discovered that the TZT could connect to my Android phone’s WiFi hotspot and even use that connection to quickly download a GRIB weather file. I’ve never seen an MFD do that before! Then I was admiring the TZT’s neat controls for viewing the GRIB predictions — like the intuitive way you can slide your finger along the forecast time bar seen at the screen’s bottom — when I noticed the tropical cyclone headed my way!  But I lucked out; Sandy just slapped the Fort Lauderdale boat show around a bit, and now I’m aboard Gizmo is in a hurricane hole that’s below the immense storm anyway. Today I’ll be thinking particularly about other cruisers who didn’t get this far south already, but I do have time to describe how Furuno is trying to do MFD WiFi different…

FLIBS 2012,  Twitter blogging revisited 14

FLIBS 2012, Twitter blogging revisited

Hurricane Sandy may make this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) especially exciting! And whereas I’ve got better hardware for tweeting photos and words, I’m going to try that reporting method again. It...

Navico GoFree Toolkit, developers invited! 15

Navico GoFree Toolkit, developers invited!


Now that we’ve had a look at Navico’s WiFi1 router and the 0183 Link, let’s examine the Toolkit that will purportedly give developers easy access to the higher level numeric data that’s running around in a boat’s Simrad, Lowrance, or B&G systems. Of course that means NMEA 2000 data and it could lead to all sorts of interesting apps like that instrument screen prototype above. We’re talking about 38 data groups ranging from GPS to Bait Well to Inverter with 303 data types already defined by Navico. I’ll link to the list below and I think even non-programmers will get excited about what’s possible…

Navico GoFree, WiFi1 & the 0183 Link 56

Navico GoFree, WiFi1 & the 0183 Link


I now know a lot more about the Navico GoFree WiFi strategy that we first discussed last January, and it all sounds darn good, but most everyone interested will have to exercise a little more patience. While the iOS version of the GoFree Control and Viewer app is already available on iTunes (with an Android version scheduled for Q1 2013) and the WiFi1 marine wireless hardware is slated to go on sale for $199 in November, the Simrad NSS software that will make them work together smoothly won’t be out until late November, followed by the just-announced Lowrance HDS Touch in Q2 2013. And yes the rumor is true that the GoFree Control app will not be supported for non-touch MFDs like the NSE or regular HDS. But there’s so much else to GoFree that every Navico system owner will likely be pleased eventually…

Lumitec & AlpenGlow, LED overhead fixtures perfected? 19

Lumitec & AlpenGlow, LED overhead fixtures perfected?


While I once again found IBEX rich with interesting people and products, it was a mere light fixture that may have sparked the moment of maximum excitement!  Please check out my April entry about perfect LED interior lighting before we take a gander at the new Lumitec Touch Dome seen above, plus a report on the LED’s already in use on Gizmo

Lowrance HDS Gen2 TOUCH, StructureScan included! 29

Lowrance HDS Gen2 TOUCH, StructureScan included!


Today Lowrance introduced the HDS Gen2 Touch series — new Lowrance web pages here — and I feel especially prepared to cover the news because I got to touch one myself a few weeks ago, and also because a friend of Panbo sent me a copy of the detailed PDF that went out to dealers. The page above, for instance, shows how the new 7-, 9-, and 12-inch Touches compare to the existing HDS Gen2 models they can happily co-exist with. Thus users who are shy about touch — particularly understandable on bouncy boats — can pair that interface with a full button/cursor control model, a good idea that up until now only Garmin offered…

Installing Raymarine i70 and p70 displays 12

Installing Raymarine i70 and p70 displays


Thanks to Dan Corcoran for submitting a valuable Panbo install entry while your regular editor slacks off ~ Ben:

While the ST70+ — which I wrote about here — continues as the largest and most readable of Raymarine’s many instrument displays, the svelt i70 and its sibling p70 autopilot control heads may be the right size and price to be easy replacements for your existing displays, as they were on my sailboat Breeze Pleeze. As shown in the picture below, the new i70 can drop into the same hole as an ST60 or ST70 with re-positioned mounting screws ready to grab into fresh fiberglass. The display can also be installed in territory previously out of reach, such as shallow cavities that lack good rear access, with a new “front mounted design for simpler installation”. The physical installation is done by securing the display from the front with self tapping screws in each corner that are hidden behind a slim silver snap-on bezel seen two pictures below.

Gizmo south leg 1: offshore, online & inReach 23

Gizmo south leg 1: offshore, online & inReach


Cape May, NJ:  So far, so good except that I obviously haven’t yet integrated Panbo writing into my delivery/cruise routine. Sorry about that, but I’ll get back in the groove now that we’ve slowed down and also now that Gizmo and I have our sea legs back. It’s been a while for both of us!  Moreover, I’ve had a chance to test electronics in demanding conditions — like two night time entrances to unfamiliar harbors — and that’s really sharpened my thoughts about what works well and what doesn’t. Today, though, I’m going to discuss my tracking and staying in touch with home strategies…

Garmin buys Nexus, Simrad IS40, plus Raymarine i40, i50 & i60 12

Garmin buys Nexus, Simrad IS40, plus Raymarine i40, i50 & i60


The boat show season begins with a bang, at least in terms of Instruments. Who knew that Garmin would buy Nexus Marine? And what does it mean for the extensive lines of Nexus racing and cruising instruments? I really don’t know, but it is a good excuse to publish that odd screen shot above. It’s from a fascinating video purportedly showing the America’s Cup ETNZ team calibrating wind instruments for their AC72 in a unique way. And while that’s an Airmar ultrasonic weather station being used as the reference (I presume) those are three Nexus wireless nWind sensors whirling away on the streets of San Francisco…