A Gizmo preview, 4th of July 2011

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

6 Responses

  1. Christopher says:

    RE the Vesper 850. Ours is up and running with the 160 Splitter, and if the 160 is not powered up, the AIS goes to receive only (to protect the AIS). In talking with the very helpful VM folks, this is to be expected.
    Secondly, also to be expected per VM is white noise through the stereo when transmitting VHF and a clicking sound on the stereo when the AIS transmits. We hear both. While the clicking is nearly subliminal, the significant white noise may bode ill for the stereo front end. Though, we very rarely have the stereo and VHF powered up at the same time.
    These are annoyances rather than problems, but they do detract from the otherwise excellent AIS performance.
    As an aside, if one wants to verify the AIS is transmitting (and with correct info) Marinetraffic.com had us displayed in the Chesapeake Bay area (admittedly receiver rich) in about a quarter hour.

  2. Rick Cowen says:

    Did you replace the PVC board (Azek)? If so with what? Would you use Azek again?

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Rick, I guess I didn’t phrase that well. What I’m happy about was how quick and easy, and inexpensive, it was to replace the old Azek panel with a new one also made of Azek. It was also simple, and not too messy, to expand the hole in the lower panel for the Vesper 850, using a drill and a Fein Multimaster (a wondrous tool). I like working with Azek and it’s held up fine in sun and damp on the flying bridge, but it’s probably not for people wanting a super solid and/or super yachting looking panel. Azek can dent fairly easily and the flat black paint does collect micro dust and can also scrap off. Touch ups are easy though.
    Christopher, I can’t find any sign of “Brilliant Star” on Marine Traffic, current or historical. I enjoyed visiting your site again, though, and I’m going to try one of your novels!
    Regarding the Vesper 850, it will also go into Silent mode if some fool (;-) detaches the antenna cable. I have not heard any clicks over the stereo, but I am getting more FM channels via VHF antenna & splitter than I was with a car type FM antenna mounted (poorly) in the flying bridge. Haven’t heard the white noise either but I usually mute the stereo before transmitting (why I like having them all on one panel).

  4. Christopher says:

    Yep, we have the Stereo, VHF, AIS and Splitter switches on the right half of a panel and in same column order as the devices above it. Makes status and management a limited brainer. I was going to co-switch each device with the splitter using a SSR until I saw the cost of quality SSR.
    Historical track, were it to be there, would have been weekend before last between Herring and Shaw Bays. Frankly I don’t know how to access historical tracks on the site. Maybe I’m having a Monday on Tuesday.
    Yesterday, though, there was a SAR aircraft reporting and its track was quite interesting — margins of the Bay, refueling stops, etc. I suspect a Maryland Chopper or CAP.
    Thanks about the site and as to the novels, I used a cloud-based spell checker and it delivered spotty performance. Windriven and Seven Foot Knoll have been fixed. The other two are being fixed. The wonders of self publishing…

  5. Paul says:

    Is the Azek panel bearing weight, or just a non load bearing bezel? For example, are the VHFs flush mounted directly to the Azek panel?

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Yes, Paul, the Azek is bearing the weight of everything you see on those two panels, and the panels are only supported at their edges. The flying bridge panel is bearing more weight, and at a shallower angle, but does have a support between the two MFDs:

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