It’s been seven and a half years since Garmin unveiled its flagship GPSMap 8600 chart plotters and more than 10 years since the 8000 series was announced. The new GPSMap 9000 series represents quite a few firsts and appears designed to anchor the top of Garmin’s line for many years to come. Let’s take a look at the new chart plotter, networking technology, and accessories.
Category: Network & control
After the loss of Have Another Day, my primary DC test platform is Harvey, my family’s RV. Over the winter we upgraded from our previous 35-foot coach to a 43-foot Newmar Dutch Star. With that upgrade, I’ve added 1,350 watts of solar to the new RV. With all that solar, I wanted to ensure I was taking full advantage of the potential production. That sent me diving through the settings in my Victron system to figure out the best way to manage my system. Currently, I’m using a Virtual Switch in the inverter to manage DC power sources and it’s working quite well.
Starlink has changed the landscape for those searching for internet connectivity in out-of-the-way places. If those out-of-the-way places happened to be on land, there have been good and cost-competitive options. But, if you have been after service on open water, the options have been less affordable. However, as I mentioned in my last update, there seems to be little Starlink likes more than change, so it shouldn’t come as a shock; there’s more change. This time that change brings a Maritime plan that may be in reach of many recreational boaters.
Battle Born is possibly the most recognizable brand of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries in the market today. They’ve built a strong brand around their tagline of “Get out there, stay out there” and the concept that their batteries will help you enjoy your adventure. Their marketing concentrates on what their batteries can help you enjoy, not on the nitty-gritty of their batteries. That strategy has worked for them, even as others have advanced the capabilities of their batteries past Battle Born’s position.
Last year at the Miami show, B&G’s Navico sister company, Simrad, was showing off NSX, the first MFD running Navico’s new Neon operating system. This year it’s B&G’s turn to show their Neon-based Zeus S. Neon on the Zeus S comes with a plethora of sailing-specific features and at least one new safety feature I’ve never seen on a recreational product.
The National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) has released new NMEA 2000 messages (PGNs) to accommodate the growing electric propulsion and battery management market. Six new NMEA 2000 Network Messages (PGNs) have been added to...
An engine launch event might be an odd fit for an electronics and technology blog. I’ve attended Mercury launch events before, and each time, there’s been plenty of technology news. But when I went, I wasn’t expecting an announcement that could change the industry. I certainly didn’t anticipate the thunder from the launch of a 350 or 400-horsepower, 10-cylinder engine would be stolen by an alternator.
For many years Yacht Controller was just about the only game in wireless docking remotes for boats. But, starting roughly four years ago, Dockmate brought their products to the United States. Dockmate’s software configurable, two-way remotes offered more configurability than Yacht Controller’s. But now, Yacht Controller has introduced Maixmo with several features not available from Dockmate and Dockmate has introduced Red, a full remote system at a previously untouchable price point.
Harvey, as I (mostly) affectionately call my RV, like all other RVs, contains waste and gray water. If you’re a boater in the U.S., gray water containment is a largely foreign concept. Let me tell you, it’s also kind of a pain. On Harvey, until now, it’s been a pain. But, it turns out that’s because we were only using a small percentage of the advertised capacity of the gray water tank. Victron’s Venus OS, GX Tank 140, and an inexpensive tank transducer tell the real story of our tank usage.
Actisense’s W2K-1, like Actisense’s other products, is a well-made, straightforward product with a few extra features. The primary focus of the W2K-1 is making data from your NMEA 2000 network available via WiFi to mobile devices and laptop. But now, Actisense has expanded the features of the W2K-1 to include their Actisense-i diagnostics functionality. How does Actisense-i stack up to other NMEA 2000 troubleshooting tools? I’ve spent some time with it and believe it provides useful insight into your network but leaves room for more.