Electronics | PassageMaker


Electronics aboard a boat usually refers to the marine navigation and communication electronics found at the helm. Until the last couple of decades, each individual function had its own readout or screen. Today, multi-function devices, or MFDs, pull together the signals from radars, depthsounders, GPS receivers, infared and closed-circuit cameras, engine and generator inputs, and many others. All this information can be displayed in numerous ways on the MFD screen. The information on a single screen at the lower helm can be duplicated on a screen at the upper helm, and it is not unusual to have multiple screens at either location.

Troubleshooter: Shake Hands with Solenoids

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Like the proverbial tail wagging the dog, a $50 solenoid can stop a $3,000 windlass from raising the anchor or prevent the engine from starting. Knowing how these simple devices work may save your cruise.

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Gearhead: The Inverter Shorepower Equation

Inverter installations can be complex. Regardless, they should always meet both the manufacturer’s and ABYC’s guidelines for reliability and safety.

After all, who doesn’t understand how an inverter works and how it interfaces with shorepower, right? If the manner in which this gear works and interfaces is unclear to you, rest easy, you aren’t alone.

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Electronics Check-Up

Good batteries are key.

In many areas of the country, boaters store their vessels over the winter and then—warmed by the spring thaw and anticipation—rush to prepare their boats for the upcoming season. This process, generally referred to as “Spring Commissioning,” often involves engine, cooling and fuel system preparations…

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Marine VHF

  Glossary of VHF Marine Radio Terminology By Joe Minick Bluetooth—A wireless technology that allows communication between Bluetooth-compatible devices. Used for short-range communications, all Bluetooth devices operate on 2.4GHz and range is limited to about 30 feet.

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Networked Instruments

  By Mark Tilden Many of the leading marine electronics manufacturers are moving rapidly in the direction of networked instrument systems. These networked systems offer amazing flexibility and features, as well as the ability to add new functionality to your system as new compatible network…

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