Category: Editors’ Blog

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ABYC Ratifies E-13, their first lithium battery standard

The ABYC has ratified standard E-13 covering the installation of lithium batteries on boats. E-13 replaces TE-13, a technical note that provided a preview of the direction the ABYC was headed with the standard. But, not having an approved standard for lithium battery installs presented some challenges. The main one comes from insurance companies not having an approved standard they could reference. Now that we have a standard let’s look at what it means for new installs and those who have already installed lithium batteries.

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Is now the time for a move to 48 volt DC systems?

r as long as I’ve been covering marine technology, I’ve heard consistent talk of a move to a higher voltage than the defacto 12-volt standard. 48 volts is often cited as the sweet spot between efficiency, safety, and reduced weight. But, why make a change? 12-volt has served boats well for a long time, why change? Let’s take a look at the reasons for a change and perhaps some reasons to move cautiously.

7

Chart wars? Post acquisitions, what’s the status of charts?

It’s been four and a half years since Garmin bought Navionics and just under four years since Navico and C-Map’s corporate parents merged them. In both cases, there were statements made promising continued availability of the data on competing brands. But, would it? I’ve read comments from and talked to many boaters who are understandably nervous about access to their chart provider of choice on their navigation equipment brand of choice.

All these AIS targets were being sent to Marine Traffic by one vessel's DataHub, with little effort or cost 16

Share your boat’s AIS info, easy with DataHub by PredictWind

Do you use an AIS tracking website or app to follow cruising friends, check that your own AIS is transmitting, hunt for Russian oligarchs, and/or simply to identify an interesting vessel from your seaside restaurant table? Indeed, some of the services like Marine Traffic and FleetMon are now rich with photos, added vessel info, and features like extended track histories. But perhaps you’re also aware that volunteer receiving stations provide most of the data, and a lot more stations are needed to cover even just the planet’s coastal areas. So I’m pleased to report…

7

Starlink Portability announced and available

It’s been a little unclear how Starlink would handle their dishes moving from place to place. Would they take steps to stop this? Would they embrace it? Would it be a separate offering? This week they’ve unveiled portability mode, a $25 per month add-on, and a little more clarity about how they handle mobile users.

15

Starlink testing begins

I’m far from the first person to test Starlink’s network. Starlink began its public beta period with customers in the northern portion of the United States and Fort Myers, Florida is far from a northern location. So, I’ve just recently been able to get my hands on a terminal and fire up the testing. But, what I’m seeing so far is very promising.

0

Integrated docking cam explainer: Garmin Surround View vs Raymarine DockSense Alert

When Garmin introduced Surround View last fall, it seemed a lot like Raymarine’s existing DockSense Alert. A precisely engineered array of cameras network to a powerful central imaging processor that gives the helmsperson a synthesized bird’s eye view of the maneuvering situation plus individual cam views as needed. However, the underlying technologies are actually quite different, and worth understanding, I think, as Brunswick and others compete in this area…

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2022 GPS rollovers: Furuno, Airmar, JRC, and who else?

While I certainly knew that it was not June 8 2002 when I took this photo last Saturday, the Sunrise/Sunset times shown above are also quite wrong, and it’s hard to tell what other calculations get screwed up when a networked device like this Maretron DSM starts receiving a system date that is 1,024 weeks old. Yes, the problem seems like the well-publicized April 1999 GPS week number rollover, except that it just happened a few weeks ago on the attached Airmar PB200, and lots of older gear from Furuno, JRC and probably other brands are experiencing a similarly delayed and under-publicized rollover in 2022…

8

Omnisense Ulysses Micro thermal camera testing underway

manufacturer other than FLIR, but these looked like high-quality cameras competing on performance and features, not just price. It took longer than I would have liked, but I now have an evaluation unit on hand and mounted on Panbo(at). Testing is underway and I’ll have much more to show soon, but the early results are certainly promising.