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Instrumentation Review
Review Date: Nov 2006 Source: Motor Boats Monthly
Review of Tacktick Micronet wind transmitter Instrumentation by Motor Boats Monthly Nov 2006
Tacktick Micronet wind transmitter

Knowing what the wind is doing is obviously important to those who use the power of cloth to propel them, but what about us motorboaters? Knowing how susceptible to the wind the average motorboat is, we have to say that having some knowledge of wind direction and strength is a positive advantage when coming into or leaving a berth. Trouble is that very few people spec a new boat with this instrument, and the hassle of retrofitting one is often enough to put most of us off. Until now. Could a system from wireless specialists Tacktick be the answer?

We spent some time with the company, not so much to try out the equipment, but to test the claims of simple installation. Tacktick wireless instruments work using solar power. The fully sealed head unit and the sender incorporate a solar panel to charge the internal batteries, so the device will operate for 300 hours, with the back light on, in complete darkness, before running out of power. Anyone boating outside of the polar regions should find more than enough daylight to keep these units operational.

As well as the saving on installation time, by removing the wiring Tacktick say you will get increased reliability, as it is said that wiring and connections account for more electronics failures than anything else.

So is the kit as simple to fit as the company claims? We watched the managing director of Tacktick get his tools out and started our stopwatch to find out.
n Step one: Take the kit out of the box, turn on the display and set up the Micronet protocol to get the sender and head unit talking. Time taken: one minute.
n Step two: Mount the head unit at the helm in true Blue Peter style, using sticky-back plastic. Time taken: about 20 seconds. Using a drill and screws, maybe about two minutes.
n Step three: Affix the sender unit to the boat. Our chap cheated here a little with a preformed mounting plate and took about two minutes. You will need to drill three holes so expect to double this.
Once operational you have a useful graphic display of wind strength and direction, and because the head unit is available in black, white or grey, you can blend it in with your existing instruments.

Click Here for TackTick's website

Verdict: We saw a working wind instrument fitted in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea, by a man in a suit with one screwdriver and a spanner. Youll need a couple more tools and a few more minutes to do a proper job, but if you fancy a wind instrument on your boat, the Tacktick just has to be the simplest, if not the cheapest, way of doing it.
   
Overall Rating: * * * *  
Guide Price: 730  



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