Category: Wireless & Apps

16

Sensar Marine Boat + Bilge Monitor: elegant monitoring simplified

In my mind, boat monitors fall into one of two categories: high-end systems that can do everything and simple systems focused on key systems. The former category typically includes all manner of sensors, network interfaces, and other options. Monitors in the latter category focus on monitoring critical indicators of a boat’s health. Depending on the size, complexity, and use of a boat, there are scenarios that fit both categories. Sensar Marine’s Boat and Bilge Monitor focuses on critical systems and may be the most refined example I’ve tested. Overall, I was pleased with how the monitor worked while seeing a few opportunities for even better performance.

VoltSafe's pedestal and shore power box 19

Voltsafe aims to revolutionize shore power connectivity

Recently, I participated in judging the NMMA’s Innovation Awards at IBEX. Participating in the awards affords me a sneak peek at new products and technology. This year’s IBEX was full of interesting and compelling new products. But, if I had to pick one product that I’m most excited about, VoltSafe’s managed shore power system is a strong contender. Let’s take a look at the system and why I’m excited about it.

2

Furuno FCV-600 and FCV-800, expanding the meaning of standalone fish finder

Last week, I helped judge the Technology and Best New Product awards at the National Marine Electronics Association’s (NMEA) annual conference. Furuno’s FCV-600 and FCV-800 standalone fish finders received the Best New Product award. I enjoy participating in these sorts of contests because of the opportunities I’m afforded to dive deeper into new products. The new FCVs are great examples of compelling new products I might otherwise have missed.

1

LXNav SmartShunt, WiFi and NMEA 2000 battery monitoring

As a regular reader of Panbo, long before I became involved, my favorite articles were the ones that introduced me to a new product or company. As the editor of Panbo, little excites me more than hearing from a new company and getting to introduce a product to my readers. Perhaps, for many readers, this review will serve as an introduction to LXNav and their SmartShunt WiFi and NMEA 2000-connected battery monitoring shunt. Join me for a review of the SmartShunt and a look at the rest of LXNav’s marine-focused offerings.

81

Mobile navigation app roundup

Apps running on tablets and phones have come a long way from the first, relatively primitive charting apps that debuted shortly after the turn of the millennia. Not only have the existing apps gained big functionality, but we’ve also seen many new entries into the category. This entry will attempt to review the currently available apps and their capabilities.

45

Orca offers smart navigation with your tablet or theirs

Orca makes some pretty heady claims about their CoPilot navigation app and hardware. Their home page is dominated by the tagline, “The ultimate navigation experience” and promises “Better boating with Orca.” Those are bold statements, but Orca’s goals are indeed ambitious. Orca aims to deliver a smarter, more automated navigation experience by leveraging both their own and off-the-shelf hardware. So, how far along the path to delivering the ultimate navigation experience has Orca progressed so far? Let’s take a look.

26

Maximizing solar production with Victron GX

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.

67

Are tablets ready to replace chart plotters?

Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in April 2010. At the time, I was working in financial services technology. The day it was introduced, I ordered a half dozen of them so we could try them out and see what this new-fangled computer without a keyboard might do well. That original iPad, with 256 megabytes of RAM, 16 gigabytes of storage, and a tiny app store was pretty limited. But, we’ve come a long way in the last 13 years and tablets can do an awful lot. But, are they a replacement for dedicated navigation electronics? Let’s take a look at the capabilities they offer and some of the remaining limitations.

27

SIONYX Nightwave, strong low light performance

SIONYX’s Nightwave camera is the company’s first fixed mount, marine, night vision camera. It builds on the strong low-light performance of the company’s Aurora handheld spotting scopes in a more traditional marine form factor. I’ve had the camera out on some inky dark nights and been pleased with the performance.