Road trip, w/ mini sat comms


The electronics road trip was a blast, and it seemed appropriate that I drove it with three (3!) modes of satellite communications on my dash board, bigger image here.

Of course there was Spot, which did a fine job tracking the whole trip, boat rides too, using GPS and Globalstar satellites. Unfortunately the beta version of Spot sharing is still dropping data after 24 hours, so even yesterday’s leg back from the Cape (below), with a great Airmar fishfinder tutorial along the way, has all but disappeared from my share page. But the data is still available at my private Spot page, and I can save it in several formats. If you’re interested in seeing how those files work, here’s the whole trip in .gpx format, and in .kml format.
   Then there’s the Lowrance XOG I used for GPS road navigation. I updated its software just before I left, and am even more impressed with how well this bargain-priced unit performs. I have not tried similar, and more popular, Garmin Nuvi and TomTom devices, mind you, but don’t think any of them can also do chart navigation like the XOG can. Finally, I also had that Bushnell ONIX 400 along, which gave me access to all XM satellite radio channels and some of its weather data. The ONIX is an interesting development that I’ll write more about soon. At any rate, there’s a heck of lot of utility in those three gizmos, and note they can all go into a small bag and onto a boat, no problem.


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.

3 Responses

  1. The XOG unit looks pretty awesome, I’ll have to look into that. My friend asked me the other day if I knew of any handheld chartplotting GPS units that could be used by themselves as well as plugged into a PC for use as a receiver for PC chartplotting software. I’m not too familiar with such things, but maybe you could touch on this at some point?

  2. s25843 says:

    Looks like you were pretty close to my home port of Newburyport!
    Anyways, where’d you find that nifty case for SPOT?

  3. Lew Hill says:

    I have tried the Bushnell Onix 400 and have lots of problems with it. 1. If you are still, the cpmpass remains constant but the map swings around. 2. I couldn’t get weather radar despite signing up for it and resending the signal several times. I sent it back to Bushnell who did send me a brand new one. Same problems. It works fine as a GPS but it does not load more than the temperature for weather. What has been yur experience?

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