DAME Awards 2010, part 1


EchoPilot’s 3D forward looking sonar, mentioned here last year when Kees covered METS,  purportedly just started shipping, and the screen shots posted at the company site are even more compelling.  That spire imaged above, for instance, represents a navigation buoy with a triple mooring system.  But might this product be causing the judges of this year’s DAME (Design at METS) Award some anguish?  They did choose it as one of the six finalists in the Marine Electronics category, but it’s got to be difficult to judge such a unique technology on the basis of screen shots, especially when they can get more hand’s with some of the other other nominees…

Two worthy competitors in the category are the new Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 transponder, discussed here in Sept., and Garmin’s GPSMap 720, the European version of the 740 that’s been impressing me no end.  Other nominees are the CMI compass by Autonautical Instrumental — which I don’t really understand, to be frank — and Spinlock’s slick-looking Rope Sense portable load sensors (there’s a model with wireless connectivity to PCs too).  And finally there’s the EmpirBus NXT, which looks to be a very flexible control/monitor for a distributed power system.  All the input/output seen in diagram below certainly looks intriguing, but, again, like a hard product to fully comprehend and judge.
   At any rate, the stated criteria for the DAME Awards goes like this: “The judges are looking for all-round excellence in design. They will evaluate styling, construction, functionality and innovation. Ease of use and originality will also be taken into account, along with other factors such as price versus performance.”  It will be interesting to see who they choose for a marine electronics winner next Tuesday, when the show opens, and of course there are many electronic products in other categories…

I’ll cover more DAME nominees soon, but anyone can check out the list posted on the DAME page here, and you can find details about the nominees in the New Products section, which includes lots of interesting products that either weren’t entered for a DAME, or weren’t chosen as finalists.  I’ll close with a non-electronic product that seems practical but also surprising for its name.  METS is a tremendous example of how global the marine industry is, but I guess some words can still have a different impact on one continent than another.  Check out www.shitstrip.com, but watch out for the animated seagull poops ;-).


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.

7 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I remembered that this is not the first bird poop product mentioned on Panbo:

  2. norse says:

    I don’t see the CMI compass on the Autonautic Instrumental website
    There is a YouTube “video” (more like an audio with subtitles) here
    I think what it does is compare the compass, GPS-compass, and gyro-compass readings, together with GPS position and variation calculated from that, to give you your precise deviation table and true heading.

  3. Mark says:

    The CMI compass website is http://www.cmicompass.com/en/

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Incidentally, I’m not going to METS myself, but will be watching closely from afar. And I’m pleased to report that Kees Verruijt says he will again send in notes on gear he checks out at the show. And more observations are welcome. With something like 1,250 exhibitors, no one person can see everything at METS.

  5. GBN says:

    I’m with you Ben, I cant make out the CMI compass, it merely seems they have corrected a electronix fluxgate compass for deviatation electronically ( which nearly all the current crop do anyway) then applid a table of variatations to output a true heading, big deal. Lots of marketing fluff then presets this as inovation

  6. James Maynard says:

    It seems to be a interfacing gadget that includes software to help a compass adjuster both compensate a conventional magnetic compass and prepare a deviation table as he does so. This would be especially helpful with steel boats or steel ships.
    Useful for commercial shipping, perhaps, in that they quote directives that seem to imply that the ship’s master would not have to hire a compass adjuster, but could do the job himself, with the aid of the software included in the gadget.
    Other than the magnetic compass compensation process, while underway the interfacing features allow you to choose which heading sensor (GPS compass, magnetic compass, gyroscopic compass) is used to control the ship’s autopilot.
    It seems to be overkill for a yacht, but may be useful for commercial shipping.

  7. Mark says:

    I think that CMI compass is a great product.
    The manufacturer not mentioned the fluxgate compass. Is the first equipment in the history of navigation able to provide the autopilot with the True course signal derived from the magnetic compass processed and corrected in real time. If real, sounds great!

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