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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.

5 Responses

  1. Chris s/v/ Pelican says:

    Please… let the products come out faster, standardize and move downmarket quickly! I would love to replace the electrical systems on my 26 year old Passport 40 with a distributed power solution but the cost is still high and the reliability hasn’t been proven (on boats). All I know is that I’m sick of flipping on the autopilot switch so I can access my Barometer, and cabin lights port so my forward instrument cluster turns on. But… I’m not going to homerun cables from our panel through our “built like a tank” Taiwanese boat so I have to deal with jacking into an existing circuit.
    I started pricing out a Mastervolt system, but as I started adding up the cost of each piece and the number of pieces needed I realized it’s still a bleeding edge technology (once again, for boats).
    I’d jump at an offer to use my boat as a testbed for the technology and I don’t even have a good reason for it. I would think that, with all of the different devices you have, this type of system would be perfect i.e. All Raymarine is one circuit, all Garmin is another… or all chartplotters, or even 200 individual “switches” – one for each piece of equipment on board. The possibilities are endless.

  2. Richard C says:

    If you are not sure about using Gizmo you can use my boat as a test bed. I think you can see by the number of quick volunteers how frustrated we all are with conventional electrical panels. I also have a Taiwanese, Tashing built boat with a rats nest of wire home run from every device to the panel. When you have so much wire and most is unlabeled it gets massively confusing and time consuming to work with or troubleshoot. Since I already have a NMEA 2000 backbone installed I would be most interested in a distributive systems that take advantage of N2K.
    If we use an already installed N2K network doesn’t this bring down cost of making the conversion on older boats? Will the new distributed power systems be aimed at mostly new boat manufacturers or are they equally interested in the conversion market for older vessels?
    As an end user, I’m trying to simplify traditional systems onboard and NMEA 2000 has done that for me. The electrical system is still a frustrating mess to work with so the development of distributive power is a welcome idea.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Chris and Richard. I’m sure there are some manufacturers who are happy to hear that there’s some interest in retrofitting distributed power. New builds certainly made sense as the place to start, but that business has been stressed more than many. Meanwhile, Gizmo is only slightly untypical of a huge number of mid-sized boats that have gotten confusingly crammed with electrical systems and still aren’t enjoying the benefits of digital switching. It’s going to take me a while to inventory the boat’s current system and then to see what NMEA proposes, but I guess I’m game, and the timing is right.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Interesting: Actuant — parent to BEP (and also Marinco) — just bought Mastervolt, which is also developing a marine distributed power system:

  5. Frank says:

    Hi, there was another N2K distributed power system at Mets called EmpirBus NXT. Saw compact out with a lot of features. Is there anyone who has used this system?

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