Electronics & Software

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Iridium Update

John takes a look at the latest news on Iridium satellite phones and GO!, some real world reports from users, and finishes with some solid purchase and usage recommendations.

John is back on one of his favourite hobby horses: tips for buying the right marine electronics for going offshore…rather than the right marine electronics to enrich the companies that make this stuff. And he wants your help on this in the comments. Complimentary Post

Q&A, Backup For Electronic Charts

Almost all of us are now very reliant on electronic navigation systems. And that brings up the question of hardware redundancy and chart backup. A reader’s question got me thinking about that. Here’s my best take on the problem, together with an appeal for help.

NMEA 2000—Missing the Obvious

I  was just reading an article on the NMEA 2000 marine network standard over at the excellent Ocean Navigator blog. For those of you who are not aware, NMEA is a standard backbone cabling system that allows you to connect every piece of electronic gear on your boat together, regardless of what company manufactured each [...]

Arctic Gear Test—Radar

A reliable radar is the most important piece of electronic gear on a boat sailing in northern waters. In this chapter we discuss how our Furuno 1832 radar performed during our 10,000-mile Arctic voyage.

AIS Revisited

AIS ooutput on chart plotter

I’ve written before on the potential benefits of AIS for small craft, and having used it far more since then, it’s time for an update. After being initially impressed with it, and the capabilities it offers beyond radar, has it lived up to that first impression? A good test was when we recently crossed to [...]

Reasonably Priced Seven years ago, when KVH stopped supporting our previous sailing instrument system, we looked at Brooks and Gatehouse but balked at the cost and instead settled on a new NX2 system from Nexus at less than half the price. Great Gear We like the way the gear works and find the displays easy [...]

Broadband Radar, A New Way Of Seeing?

Sailing down the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal is generally pretty easy going– reliable northerlies make for steady downwind progress. The only concerns are the swell (which can close some ports), and the fog, which can be a real pain. Along the northern part of this coast, on most days we could see a [...]

Visiting The Gizmo Guru

Last weekend we had a pleasant break from our re-power project while visiting some good friends in Camden, Maine and giving a slide-show to some members of the Ocean Cruising Club. While there, our friends suggested that we visit Ben Ellison, author of Panbo, the popular blog on marine electronics, on his aptly named motor [...]

Bohlken Westerland Barograph

In these days of readily available weather forecasts and satellite- or HF radio-delivered GRIB files, it could perhaps be argued that the barometer has been supplanted as a weather forecasting device. However, in our opinion, that supposition would be a serious mistake. On Morgan’s Cloud we record the barometric pressure at least twice a watch [...]

Q&A: Keeping Time

Question: What do you use for time keeping at sea? If you use a wristwatch then which one? Answer: When this question first appeared in our In-box, I wrote it off as too basic to answer in a post; however, upon reflection (actually, John pointed it out!) I realized that there really is more to [...]

AIS—See And Be Seen

One thing that most sailors dread is poor visibility. Throw in high levels of shipping traffic and you have a perfect recipe for sleepless nights. The waters of the English Channel are some of the busiest in the world, and fog is a common challenge especially around Ushant on the French coast and the Channel [...]

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