It seems that my gadget Xmas gift list is getting more and more popular each year. I know a lot of the items are geeky electronic stuff – but there really is more going on in consumer electronics than there is in marine electronics – why are the big players so dull? The marine electronics business really seems happy to be dragged into the 21stC by the innovation and design and reliability and pricing that we have come to expect from the motoring, and home electronics business
Well against the general tone of doom and gloom I thought you may be interested, in a list of gadgets that you may want to treat yourself this festive season..or perhaps drop someone a hint…
1. Monitor your boat using the internet…the Spykee from Meccano comes ready assembled for those who cant cope with kit instructions. The Spykee can be controlled using WiFi and the internet. It has a webcam, microphone and it has a sentry mode that senses movement and would send you a photo by email. You can even shout at any potential burglar or yacht thief using the built in speaker …oh, and he plays MP3’s – of course!
2. The snazily named ATC5K has a 48 degree field of view and a new CMOS sensor. The camera runs on AA batteries (included) and can handle up to 4GB SD cards giving over 2hours of recording time. Weighing at half a pound (with batteries), this self-contained, hands-free digital video cam delivers full colour digital video in 640 x 480 VGA at 30 frames per second – even underwater. It’s water proof to 3m (10ft), shock resistant all-in-one digital video camera has been designed for hands-free use in the most extreme conditions. Simply mount the Action Camera on your yacht and take your YouTube videos…
3. Sony CyberShot DSC-T70 has an 8.2 megapixel CCD, a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, 3x optical zoom (without a lens that retracts) and a 3″ LCD touch screen. There are only 4 buttons on the camera so it my be difficult to use the touch screen controls with gloves on – but on the other hand less places fro water ingress – especially if you use an aquapack water proof cover. The best bit is that it has Super SteadyShot and ISO 3200 High Sensitivity (REI) – so taking pictures on a pitching deck can easily be handled by the speed of the electronics in this camera.
4. How about a digital photo frame to store and display all those beautiful sunset pictures – The classy Sony S-Frame DPF-V700 Has an intelligent orientation sensor which automatically rotates picture for correct viewing even if you position the frame in landscape or portrait positions. It can accept
Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, SD, MMC, CompactFlash, MicroDrive or xD media It comes with a wireless remote commander so that you dont have to power up your laptop in order to view all your great sailing pics, and you can add the optional DPPA-BT1 Bluetooth Adaptor for wireless image transfer from your camera or camera phone or laptop.
5. What about MP3 players that can also show pictures and videos – I stubbornly refuse to join the iPod fanatics – for me it has to be the geeks choice of iRiver or if you are more mainstream then the Creative ZEN XF1 16Gb is the one to go for. It supports a large number of digital audio standards: WMA, WAV, ADPCM, Audible, MP3, AAC. It’s about the width of a credit card. It will store 64 hours of videos, 4,000 songs or hundreds of photos. The 2.5-inch TFT color display has 320 x 240-pixel resolution and will display 16.7 million colors. It has a clock and alarm function, eight equalizer settings, and a USB hard drive mode.
6. When it comes to gadget phones you are spoilt for choice. Here are just six that combine all sorts of features like mobile phone and MP3/4 players with simply telling the time!.. Perhaps the most appropriate for sailing is the Suunto X9i which has a GPS receiver; thermometer; barometer; digital compass; and when you get some time you can plug it into Google Earth using your laptop and see your whole journey in glorious 3D.
The other watches that you may consider as top gadgets are the mobile phone watches such as the Cool V2 or if you really want to make telling the time as difficult as possible check out these from TokyoFlash!
All essential gadgets for the boat I am sure you will agree !
If you are anything like me you have a tendency to hoard useful electronic gadgets – as a result I have a garage that has many battery chargers from many different eras. I refer to the task of charging so called rechargeable batteries for torches, PDA’s, GPS units and so on…
Well the latest and fastest (?) charger that I have acquired is the Uniross X-Press 700 Charger RC104311 – cost Â£18.94 including delivery from Battery Logic in the UK.The impetus for this was the fact that the Raymarine RC400 that is mounted at the helm will now only run on the mains power that I have installed there and the batteries are refusing to hold a charge any more. The batteries supplied with this unit are the AA 2300mAh NiMH type.
â€¢ Includes 4 x AA 2500mAh Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
â€¢ The Xpress 700 will charge AAA & AA size batteries.
â€¢ This charger will charge 2 or 4 Ni-Cd / Ni-MH batteries.
â€¢Due to an intelligent charge control inside, the charger will switch to trickle charge after charging.
â€¢ V-MAX technology protects against damage from using with non-rechargeable technologies.
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