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Old 18-08-2006, 07:16   #1
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Favorite New Equipment / Gadget

There's a bunch of new stuff on the market. What's your favorite or made a meaningful difference for your boating experience? For me it is the "shake for power LED flashlight".
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Old 18-08-2006, 08:10   #2
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lights

I too love our non battery (hand crank) led flashlight. We keep one just about everywhere.
Our latest favorite is a pair of the photocell auto on/off light from Lats&Atts.
Mounted on each side of the pushpit they provide excellent light for the cockpit and as auto anchor lights. They are a good companion to our Davis that we hoist about 8' up the backstay. They are automatic and provide a way to tell our boat from others after dark.

randy Cape Dory 25D Seraph
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Old 18-08-2006, 08:25   #3
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Beware of keeping your shake up LED flashlight near any compass.
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Old 18-08-2006, 17:47   #4
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One of our favorites are a set a head phones from Cruising Connection. We not only use them for anchoring, they are great when the captain is working on the engine below and needs me to move the throttle in the cockpit. Ditto for working in the generator compartment.

We also have a pair of photocell lights that we mounted on the stern rail near the steps (we have a catamaran). They light up the steps when we return after dark and also help identify the boat in a crowded anchorage. Also a favorite piece of equipment.
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Old 18-08-2006, 18:41   #5
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Harriet, could you provide some more detail about the head phones? What do they do? How do they help?

Thanks.

ID
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Old 18-08-2006, 19:31   #6
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Flat LCD televisions. Who would have ever imagined a 22" TV on a boat 20 years ago.
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Old 18-08-2006, 19:43   #7
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I'm disappointed in the shake light, I get more light from a CMG (Gerber) that uses one AA cell for 40 hours. No matter how long I shake, the best I can do with the shake light is maybe 5 minutes of dim light, in a MUCH larger package.

I'd vote for a solar pool light (honest) which is designed to float, waterproof, 2/$20 retail. Leave one on the mooring, and you can find your way home real fast for hours after dark.
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Old 18-08-2006, 21:02   #8
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THey may require some effort, but they work fine. A couple of friends were returning from Monterey on a 25 footer. The outboard started having problems from the start. They had to motor out of the harbor in reverse They got about 4 miles from Moss Landing, in the middle of the night, and the wind died. The out board was shot. They called just to let us know where they were. We headed out in our boat to tow them in. THey had almost no battery left, no moon, and some fog. No GPS, and the VHF was just about dead. They DID have one of the shake lights. We headed out to the mile bouy and had them give us their heading to the smoke stacks that are behind our harbor, and well lit. We took the recip, and started looking for them. We thought we saw a nav light for awhile, but it was dim, and hard to see, then went away. About 2 miles before we found them, we saw what looked like a strobe. We decided to take a chance that was them. We still had cell phone contact, but the vhf was useless. It occured to me to ask if they had a flashlight. They said they had one of the shake lights, and had been shining it in our general direction. That light brought us directly to them. My neighbor, who was crew, on our friend's boat said he hadn't used his right arm that much since high school
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Old 19-08-2006, 04:09   #9
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AIS

Last winter I took my 35' O'Day south to the Caribbean. During that time we made many all night passages. At times we were surrounded by many cargo ships, freighters and cruise ships. Even though we had radar it got tense trying to determine which ships were on a collision course. The boat accompanying us on one passge was nearly run down by a freighter one night.

I now have installed an SR-161 AIS receiver and the ShipPlotter software that tells me where all the AIS equipped ships are. Really neat.
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Old 19-08-2006, 05:13   #10
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Intentional Drifter - What we have are headphones with microphones. They work like hands-free walkie talkies that lets us communicate from different parts of the boat. We haven't tried them on shore, but I don't think they have the range of a walkie talkie.
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Old 19-08-2006, 09:23   #11
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I've always had good luck with my shake lights (I have four) and they all preform beyond the manufacturer's specs. BUt there are at least two brands on the market now and there may be some variablilty in performance. The pool lights sound like soomething I could use. j

Also the LCD TV is interesting. Has anyone tried the TV tuner cards for a laptop?
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Old 19-08-2006, 10:55   #12
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I have a usb TV tuner that works with both analogue and digital.

At home the picture from the main aerial is as good if not better than a normal TV, however, I have yet to find the correct aerial for use onboard. (i.e one I can afford and that also works!)

The USB dongle only works on USB 2.0 and only with Win XP. There are a number of different manufacturers, most of whom require a spec of at least a 2.0 Gb processor. The version I have will accept a 1.6 Gb 2546 mb ram. I am running it on a 1.5Gb celeryM with 512 mb ram.

The great thing about these is that they are totally multi-standard NTSC, SEACAM and all varieties of PAL. furthermore it provides an input for a video/DVD recorder games console or even a video camera, and the software to record at mpeg4
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Old 19-08-2006, 11:19   #13
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Our tennis racquet shaped battery powered mosquito killer is the best gadget on our trip to the bahamas. Not only kills mosquitos but actually causes them to burst into flames, which is extremely rewarding following several bites.
mike
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Old 19-08-2006, 15:13   #14
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Talbot, is the UK converting to new TV standards in coming years? Here in the US, analog TV (both UHF and VHF) are scheduled to be shut down in 2009 and replaced completely by HDTV, which uses a third set of frequencies that will be all in one range, rather than scattered around. So while TV as we know it will go off the air...antennas will be able to be simpler, targeted for one TV band only instead of two or three wider ones.

There's probably a very good and simple way to stick a couple of "egg" insulators in your rigging and use some of that as a TV antenna. It just gets harder when you need multiple bands.<G>
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Old 19-08-2006, 15:20   #15
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We are changing to digital (probably in the same time frame). some stuff is already being broadcast via satellite and cable at HD for those that can receive and view, but I dont know about terrestrial broadcast at HD.

Our normal broadcast is already at a higher resolution than your normal because ours uses 625 lines, whereas yours is 5?? My main TV at home also has a refresh at 100Hz so that makes for a pretty good picture. I suspect that the main reason for going HD is to allow the screens to get even bigger.
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