Category: Editors’ Blog

1

EPIRB and PLB Return Link Service, what’s the holdup?

Over 15 months ago, I got excited about the first PLB with Return Link Service (RLS), a Cospas-Sarsat system improvement that would let a boater know that their distress signal had been received ashore along with their location. And it was supposed to be operational in early 2020, at least for some regions, and RLS capable EPIRBs would soon follow. But you still can’t purchase Orolia’s FastFind ReturnLink or any other RLS beacon in the USA and some of the countries that do permit them only allow RLS PLBs while others only allow RLS EPIRBs. What happened?…

14

My love letter to a Milwaukee M18 Wet/Dry vacuum cleaner

I’m a tool guy; little gives me more satisfaction than finding one that makes my work easier. You may have noticed a red, toolbox-like thing with a hose sticking out of it in several of my recent project photos. It’s a Milwaukee M18 cordless wet/dry vacuum that has become an integral part of nearly all my projects, making them easier and tidier.

12

Digital Antenna 992, wideband VHF/AIS antenna with easy cabling

Both Ben Ellison and I have recently installed Vesper’s Cortex VHF Radio, AIS, and boat monitoring system. Cortex uses a single VHF antenna for VHF voice and AIS, which calls out for a wideband antenna that covers both frequency ranges well. Ben E. selected a Shakespeare 6500-WB antenna, and I’ve been testing a Digital Antenna 992 wideband antenna. We don’t have the ability to perform in-depth performance comparisons, but here’s a look at what you should expect from the antennas, and also the installation differences.

13

Coastal Explorer app for iPads & iPhones

Many of us have been happily beta testing the iOS version of Coastal Explorer for quite a while, but Rose Point Navigation has a long history of not releasing new products until they feel really good about them (and sometimes not at all). So it’s wonderful news that the Coastal Explorer app is now official, with many excellent features free to anyone, and the entire navigation package available to owners of CE for Windows until the $50 annual subscription is instituted…

5

Panbo classifieds forum launched

Several years ago we launched a new Panbo site based on all new software, but we did leave behind the old classifieds section. It’s been on my todo list since then to launch something new — and Ben Ellison has been persistently urging me to as well — so I’m here to tell you I’ve finally done it. The Panbo Classifieds forum is our fifth major forum category and available at the bottom of the forum list.

9

Finally! Raymarine SeaTalk NG to NMEA 2000 backbone adapters

Raymarine’s SeaTalkNG is Raymarine’s proprietary version of NMEA 2000 cabling. It’s compatible with NMEA 2000’s standard DeviceNet cabling through the use of adapters. But, until very recently, Raymarine has not offered an adapter to convert the blue-striped SeaTalkNG (STng) backbone cables, only the white-striped spur cables. Good news! Raymarine now offers cables that adapt STng backbone to male (Raymarine Part number A80674) and female (A80675) N2K connectors.

4

Garmin buys GEOS, good or bad for SEND distress services?

SEND is not a commonly used acronym, but it’s especially worth understanding because Garmin just acquired GEOS Worldwide, the company that runs “the only global Search and Rescue Coordination Center for Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (S.E.N.D.).” If you own a Garmin inReach this is almost undoubtedly good news, but what about boaters who use other SEND distress, tracking, and messaging systems like Globalstar Spot, Iridium GO, Inmarsat IsatPhone, Zoleo, Skymate Mazu, and others?…