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CruisingWiki

Headsets – The Next Generation…

Jeff Seigel, founder of ActiveCaptain, writes…

For years, we've talked about the advantages of cruising couples using headsets for communications. There is no substitute. While hand signals may work in many conditions, we've found good communications is most needed when both hands are busy. And nothing compares to the ability to calmly and reliably talk between crew members while docking, anchoring, and during other maneuvers. In stressful situations, great communications removes much of the stress.

We bought our first headsets, the original toy models, in 2003. They became so important, we bought a second set in case there were problems.

They used the AM radio band and eventually started to pick up interference with the new electronics we were putting onboard.

About 5 years ago, a new generation appeared, characterized by the Eartec Simultalk 24G Multi-Station Wireless System. These used more professional audio equipment and radio bands to deliver a better solution. When we delivered Red Head from New York to Deltaville, those Eartec's were the first things we put in the pilothouse.

Five years in consumer electronics is many lifetimes. And today there is another, newer generation of headsets for boating. The two new models available are the Sena SPH10 and the Eartec UltraLITE. 3 months ago we were offered a set of each model for evaluation. We had one rule – if we evaluated them, everyone agreed we would release our honest findings in writing.

Both models use Bluetooth which means they can also connect to phones and other devices. We never used them for that – we only used them for docking, anchoring, and general communications (running wires, etc).

Bluetooth requires a pairing process to connect the devices together.

This provides a level of security so no one can overhear your communications. For both products, we found the pairing process to be annoying. The combination of pressing, holding, tapping, and standing by seems ridiculous. The instructions were not great for either product. We found the best way to get them to pair was to find YouTube videos and watch the procedure carefully.

Once they are paired, they remember their connection making real use much easier. Again, if you have procedural problems, look to YouTube for help.

So what did we find? We used both sets for all operations in different weather conditions. They are surprisingly similar and we can say that either model will do a great job. This new generation doesn't require a pack – everything is in the headset itself. That makes it a lot nicer than the previous generation. We do have our favorite and we'll explain it through a list of plusses and minuses for each product:

Sena SPH10:

+ They are small and comfortable although comfort is a personal thing A
+ USB cable charges each headset They have longer talk time
– It is difficult to talk in heavy wind conditions
– They are more expensive (especially this week)

Eartec UltraLITE:

+ They work amazingly well in heavy wind
– They block more outside sound on one ear – don't get the two ear model
– Batteries have to be removed for charging
+ A single battery charger charges the batteries for both headsets

Either device will work well and both are excellent for docking and undocking situations. But the Eartec's were significantly better when deploying and retrieving the anchor in the wind. And for whatever reason, we seem to frequently anchor in windy conditions. To make the comparison fair, during the anchoring tests in the wind, we switched headsets back and forth. Perhaps the Sena's need a windscreen or some type of mic that is less sensitive to wind. But there is a difference and for us, we're sticking with the Eartec's.

If you're a couple in a cruising boat and still believe that hand signals are all you need, borrow a set of headsets from someone and give it a try. Once you do, you'll never want to give them up.

ActiveCaptain

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iKommunicate brings the "Internet of Things" to boats…

 

iKommunicate from Digital Yacht is a new gateway designed to get traditional marine electronics connected to the next generation of interfacing and the internet of things.  It was developed via a successful Kickstarter crowd funded project back in early 2016 and is now available as a consumer product.

NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 interfacing have been utilised for many years and are now the de facto interconnect standard for all major brands of electronics.  They are super reliable but relatively old fashioned in that they are slow and also complex for

…….Click iKommunicate brings the "Internet of Things" to boats… …. to continue reading

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Signal K….

 

In what looks like an industry first, Digital Yacht have taken to the crowd funding platform, Kickstarter, to introduce a new interfacing technology for the marine electronics market. NMEA iconnectivity has been with us for the past 30 odd years and while reliable, well proven and ubiquitous, it struggles to adequately support smart devices and smart data and in particular the next generation of the internet of things afloat. There are also some legal issues in that products and apps must be certified which is costly and stifles the smaller application developers. 

However, things are changing with

…….Click Signal K…. …. to continue reading

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SAFER THAN FLARES….SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.

 

The SOS Distress Light is the first and only acceptable LED Visual Distress Signal Device to completely replace dangerous and environmentally harmful pyrotechnic flares for "Night time Visual Distress Signal for Boats."

In the US the Coast Guard-Compliant Orange Distress Flag fulfils the legal requirement for "Day Visual Distress Signal for Boats" (46 CFR 160.072).

The optical design of the Sirius SOS Distress Light provides an Omni- directional light display for surface rescue craft and a vertical beam visible to aircraft flying overhead.

The light is visible up to 10+ nautical

…….Click SAFER THAN FLARES….SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. …. to continue reading

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Keeping Track of Everything–part 3 …

Jeff Seigel, founder of ActiveCaptain, writes…

This series has generated a lot of interest so we’ll pick up the pace and continue with it. After today’s newsletter, there’ll be one more segment and then we’ll provide templates for all of the databases. We’ve been in contact with the HanDBase developers and they’ll host the templates on their own website so boaters everywhere can use them as a starting point.

If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, you might want to refer back to the index of newsletters to see the other segments.

…….Click Keeping Track of Everything–part 3 … …. to continue reading

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