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Pocket Navigator SP, with a fab weather page

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.

5 Responses

  1. Russ says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here, where is the added value? I can access the weather radar web site at my local newspaper from my smartphone and get the radar and satellite pix already.
    In fact it even gives me the data from three offshore NOAA buoys on the same weather site and thus I’ve got wind speed/direction, swell height/period and water temp (way too cold!).
    Check out: http://www.sfgate.com/weather/

  2. First, as Ben mentioned, it is much faster and more efficient, because only the radar overlay is downloaded with each update, not the base map image.
    Second, you can scroll the radar image and zoom to several different levels. This is important to get the best view of the data on a small screen.
    Third, your GPS location and other overlay data are displayed on the image. While you can eyeball you location on the web image, when you are out in the middle of nowhere, it helps to see your position in relation to the weather.
    The NWS publishes a wealth of forecasts, buoy reports, forecast discussions, etc, formatted for use on a PDA or Phone web browser. I have used radar images on the regular browser for a couple of years, while dodging thunderstorms in the Great Lakes. I felt that a more specialized viewer was desirable, and this is it!
    Memory-Map, Inc.

  3. Russ says:

    With all due respect, when you’re out in the middle of nowhere on the water, there isn’t any weather radar or a cell phone connection.

  4. SimpleBoater says:

    Just what we need – another device to load charts onto, configure, figure out how it works, and debug. I supposed you need to connect this phone to another computer to load the charts? And what happens when I move to a different area? I then need to figure out which of the hundreds of chart numbers I need and which I can throw away?
    When will all you computer people realize that there are only a few like you and a lot like me who just want to enjoy the water and not mess around with all kinds of configurations and memory cards and on and on…

  5. Russ,
    If you are in mid-ocean, this is not for you, but I think the majority of US boaters are within NWS radar coverage, and within cell-phone coverage. Low-bandwidth GPRS data communication works surprisingly well, even with a weak signal that would make voice unusable. A signal booster with antenna extends the range to about 50 miles.
    And even inshore, there are many areas that are rather featureless on the radar maps, making it hard to judge your position. That’s why it makes sense to have the GPS location overlay.
    SimpleBoater: all I can say is, I think this is one of the simpler products featured on Panbo. It is strange how mobile phones inspire strong passions: most people love them, some people hate them!

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