Not sure where anyone in the thread was "ripping this apart", to be honest. Everything I mentioned, was what I was able to find from their website. And as I said, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Nowhere have I found information about e-readers being mentioned, and I can only imagine that they would fall in line with their current Android support: Windspeed only. I say this because, again, based on all their information on their website, the only platform that supports their full app capability, is only available at this time for iOS. The reason I keep bringing up the site, is because it's their first entrance to information. If they're developing something, great! But use their main resource to keep the public in the loop. I have a SH chartplotter
, so if I got one, it'd be to hook with that anyway, so I'm not going to bother calling them for details about an e-reader or whatever. I imagine anyone stumbling upon the site isn't going to bother calling to check either. They will see the site, see the iOS support, and move on. Probably a very small percentage would call to check, just a reality. To be blunt, and this is only my personal opinion, but if there's not so much as a hint to it on the site (which would be where I would expect to find it), I'm not going to bother to call, I'll move on and assume that it's not going to work with what I have.
The e-reader thing does make me curious. Not because I would prefer an e-reader over a tablet, by any means, but because I know a lot of cheap
e-readers, and even tablets for that matter, have issues regarding installation
of certain apps. Some tablets don't natively support the Play Store for apps out of the box, or require side-loading of apps to get them to work. I can only imagine an e-reader would be similar. So if they're developing stuff for readers as well, I'm just curious as to how. And again, I say that because as of yet, they haven't mentioned it on the site.
I'm not knocking the product, I'm not saying it might not be a great avenue for people that have setups that would be suited perfectly for it. However, if their website is to be the entrance to ordering this thing, they may wish to keep people up to date on there. The last newsletter they posted, was in June of last year, after having regular updates. Even an update to let people know what they're working on to make work, would do wonders. That's just my own observation, based on how I would react to seeing just the site without other information on it.
I really hoping they are getting closer to come out with it, because I would love to have something to interface with my plotter that wouldn't cost me a thousand bucks. Again, just to be clear, I'm not saying their current version, or this expected one is a bad thing. My only issue is the lack of information available to anyone that doesn't decide to call and ask. Even a "Under Development" features list would do wonders.
As for the solar-powered masthead light idea, it'd be a fine idea as long as there's a way to switch on and off the light from below. I think the cost is probably what keeps a lot of those from coming up, because by the time you put all the pieces together, it's just easier for people to wire in regular version anyway, using the batteries that a boat already is going to have. Yeah, the wiring
weighs more and stuff, but that's my guess as to why you don't see too many. I don't think it's really a matter of doing it or not doing it, just most companies probably don't see it as a completely practical solution.
The other thing, is depending on the size of the solar panel needed to recharge it. I know that the little garden solar lights use one that's a couple square inches, but they also don't have the output that would be required of a full masthead anchor light. Someone on another forum did some rough calculations, and came up with needing a solar panel approx the size of an envelope to supply enough to recharge, based on a 200ma light, which is on the upper limit of LED mastheads I've seen. I dunno, seems like an interesting project
, and I'm sure someone might be able to piece one together to test with. Guess it just comes down to is the size of the overall package on the mast, when you add in the batteries needed to power the light through the night at the required output to be within the 2 mile range, and the size of the panel to recharge. Remember, you're charging at a much slower rate than a household AA charger will charge. So you need a panel large enough to recharge that battery system during the course of the day, even if cloudy. Just stuff to overcome, I guess.
People were just pointing out possible issues, not necessarily shooting the ideas down. More like, brainstorming.