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SeaBits News

Marine electronics reviews, internet boating, trips, and technology projects on the water.
I've been testing a new WiFi / LTE system from WiFiRanger for the last couple of months. When it was first announced last year, I was really excited because of the modularity of the design. Being able to upgrade various components has a lot of benefits to it, and is something I've written about a number of times before.

I was also interested to see if placing the LTE radio outside in an antenna enclosure would make the performance much better, and it did! I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised given that the MikroTik Groove is essentially the same thing, but for WiFi - but there aren't any other affordable solutions that do this for LTE...

There are some challenges with the WiFiRanger Converge, but I think they will get better with time. Read below for more details.

WiFiRanger Converge

WiFiRanger Converge
WiFiRanger has been around a long time providing connectivity solutions for RVs and boats. Their new platform is called Converge, and is a mix of different components that can provide a whole solution for internet aboard.

48˚North + SeaBits

If you hail from the Pacific Northwest, you are likely familiar with a long running magazine called 48˚North. I am honored to have been asked to write an ongoing column in the magazine entitled "Tech Talk with SeaBits" - my first intro column was in January's issue.

This column appears in the printed version of 48˚North as well as the digital online version which you can find here. You can also find it in just about every marine-related business in printed copies if you're looking for one.

Having grown up reading this magazine, it's pretty surreal to see a column with my name on it. I hope to share some neat tech tidbits with a new audience!
2020-Feb-Article

Friday Harbor Trip

A week or so ago, I took what was supposed to be a 3-4 day trip to Friday Harbor to help do some maintenance on a friends boat. I made it up there easily, and while working in my bilge, I hurt my back and ended up not being able to leave my bed for over 2 days! I did learn that a back injury on a boat is not such a bad thing - there are tons of really well built things to hold onto to drag yourself around, and you can yell and scream all you want without disturbing the neighbors.

I ended up staying for 11 days due to both the injury and weather, which was pretty uncooperative for a number of days. There were a couple of sunny days, but the rest was mostly sideways rain, 30 knots of wind gusting higher, and doubled up lines.
IMG_5807
The trip home was a bit exciting at the beginning, with 4-5' waves just south of the San Juan Islands after exiting Cattle Pass, and 30 knots of wind gusting higher most of the way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I made it home after an overnight stop in Port Ludlow, and have been continuing the recovery and projects at home the last week or so.

I still love cruising this time of the year because of the light, empty anchorages, and fun weather to watch!

In Case You Missed It....

Wakespeed WS-500 regulator review

Wakespeed WS-500 regulator review
The Wakespeed WS-500 regulator is super programmable, has a ton of features, and can be used for dual engine, LiFePO4 banks, and smaller engines very effectively.

Upgrading VHF and AIS antennas

I have wanted to update my VHF antennas for a while, specifically to get a dedicated AIS antenna for my Class B transponder. I decided to move forward with this project this winter.
Upgrading VHF and AIS antennas

What’s Next?

I’m working on a few things that I hope you will be interested in:
  • My favorite 4” instruments
  • Why I chose Furuno…my Furuno/TimeZero system
If you’d like to request something specific, please reply and let me know!

Thank you!

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