Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three chart chips, two GPS's, and an autopilot under the tree. What I what from vendors this Christmas

This is a list of things I would like various vendors to give me for Christmas:

From Garmin I would like a QWERTY  keyboard for the marine touch screen units. It drives me crazy trying to use the linear keyboard, and doesn’t make me feel smart. I’m sure the programmers wouldn’t want to use a keyboard like that at work. I would also like to have non-wind instrument based VMG data element in my stocking. Did I mention I want a QWERTY Keyboard?

My ho ho from Raymarine is to have the weather page on top of a real chart. It is difficult to see exactly where you are on the existing base map. I would also like to see if you could arrange for a inexpensive Sirius weather package that just has the Doppler radar. This is available on the XM side of what should now be one happy XM/Sirius family. In my stocking I would like a slightly longer hold time on the WPTS/MOB button to activate MOB. I get a lot of calls from clients wondering why the chartplotter is beeping at them.

The toys I want from Northstar are to remove the "Aye Aye Captain" message every time I "GOTO" a point, I don’t want cute, I just want to go. I also want the "Quick" point to go away when I am through with it.

I have to cut off transducer connectors from time to time, and solder on a new ones. Tiny connectors, two cups of coffee, old eyes,  lack of a third hand, and done in situ dockside makes this a tedious task. I would pay much more for the connectors if they had short wire pigtails  already soldered on them. This is the gift I want from Airmar, and Gemeco.

A cherry red light on the wireless control pad that will tell you whether the spotlight is on, is what I want from Go Light. Nice product, works well, but I can’t tell if it is on, or off.

From Brunswick for Christmas,  I want a NMEA N2K gateway for Mercury, and Cummin’s engines. You would sell a lot of them, and it seems to be a shame that all of those chartplotters, on all of your boats can’t use the engine display features available via their NEMA  N2K interface. (I know Northstar has it, but this was an accident of corporate geography)

This is my Xmas list, and if you have more xmas items you want, let me know, and I will add them to this can e-mail me, or use the comments section.

My thank to Tim Ellam for the use of the GPS ornament photo. Tim has good tech based blog covering gadgets, geocaching computer technology, et al, and the link to his blog is: