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Technology update – e3 systems

We were thrilled to witness the success of the recent Palma International Boat Show.  Huge congratulations are due to all involved.  Even the weather gods were kind (ok, except for one afternoon), and we were treated to beautiful sunshine, blue skies and a great array of yachts, all set against the magnificent backdrop of Palma and its cathedral.  It was good to catch up with old friends, many of whom have been keeping their heads down over the last year or so.

Last month I was talking about the Value-Added Services, or what are commonly called “apps”, which we at e3 have developed for yachts to use with their connectivity.  One of these is a rather unique Voice over IP (VoIP) service which we have developed.  This service connects to the outside world using any of the yacht’s data connections, and can be used by owners, guests and crew from any of the telephone extensions on the yacht.   Over the last month, my team brought to my attention the fact that we are still seeing many yachts using old, outdated telephone exchanges (PBX), when they could be taking advantage of the new tech versions available at low cost.  I’ll explain more later.

A New Breed of Support Yachts!

However, first I wanted to mention a post I was pleased to see on Linkedin, during the last month.  The post stated, “A new breed of support yachts!” and it was referring to the catamaran Wayfinder, the latest launch from Astilleros Armon in Asturias, Spain.  As we had been part of the project, I added a comment to the post, “A new breed indeed, with 8 Kymeta flat panels working with 2 conventional Intellian VSAT antennas and no conventional TVRO antennas.  It’s a big step to the future!”

This is the biggest HYBRID Kymeta installation we have done, with eight Kymeta flat panels backed up by two conventional VSAT dome antennas.  This is the way forward for those who don’t see the mid to long term future of conventional broadcast TV, so don’t want TVRO domes on board.  Although I said it a big step to the future, the future is actually already here today!

UEFA Euro 2020/1 to the French Open, Olympics and beyond…

Football Ref with red card

It was the first match last night of the Euros 2020!  Italy won, as expected but then in the French Open tennis, our local hero Rafa Nadal was knocked out by Djokovic in the semis of the French Open☹️.   There are a lot of Euro 2020 matches to watch over the next month.  How are you watching?  Contact us! We are providing IPTV solutions, that can be used with our red BIG DATA Europe Pay-as-you-Go or NO LIMITS service, plus conventional Sky UK and Sky Italia broadcast solutions to loads of yachts, so they won’t miss a match!  Once again, we can look forward to a great summer of live sport.

Many yachts need to update their PBX or telephone exchange

As I mentioned above, we are seeing more and more vessels that have an outdated PBX, and who don’t have any VOIP lines!

Also, if you have an old Panasonic PBX (the most common brand in use on yachts), then you should be aware that Panasonic announced in December 2020 that they are pulling out of the PBX market, so access to support and spares will now be limited and short lived.

A PBX is a sophisticated switch for voice communications.  It enables an internal extension phone to be connected with another, e.g. cabin to cabin calls, and also it connects an internal extension phone to external telephone lines.

Today’s latest PBX system is network based and requires an existing network on the yacht which can be hardwired or wireless or both.

The external telephone lines could be from the GSM Gateway, Fleet Broadband, Landline (when in port), Iridium Certus, VSAT VoIP line/s, e3 VoIP line/s.

Internal extension phones can be cabled, wireless, and include a passerelle intercom.

One of the many great new features of the latest PBX is that an extension phone can be a mobile/cell phone, which can be located anywhere.  So, it’s possible to transfer calls coming into the yacht to the cell phone of the owner, even if he or she is ashore in a restaurant, for example.

If you have a number of external voice telephone lines, anyone on the yacht with an extension phone can select a line to make a call on.  If our e3 VoIP lines are used, they also offer a fax to email service and a voicemail to email service.

We seriously recommend that you use a fully VSAT provider independent VoIP service, such as ours, to give you the flexibility of changing VSAT providers without losing your VoIP service.

Also, if you use our VoIP service it will work over any of your data connections on board.  It favours using 3G/4G connections wherever available for their higher speed and clearer service, then VSAT if not.  If the yacht is in a yard and the VSAT is decommissioned, it will work over the 4G or landline.

We can also provide ‘home country’ telephone numbers.  European and USA lines (DIDs) are standard, and others are available on request.

Take a good look at your current PBX, and check if it’s time to send it off to the great telephone exchange in the sky, then contact us for a refreshing update with all these new features.

Meet Baz Cleak, Marine Electronics Engineer, e3 Europe

Baz Cleak, Marine Electronics Engineer e3 Europe

I am originally from North London, Tottenham. After school, I qualified as an electrician and went on to serve an apprenticeship with a leading TV manufacturing company. Whilst there I was told that electronics would be the future, so I went back to college to study again and qualified as an electronics engineer.

My first introduction to the world of communications was when I joined a global stock exchange Trading Company in the City of London.  I was soon promoted to Project Manager in charge of a team of 7 engineers.  We were responsible for the installation and maintenance support for all of the company’s trading systems. Needless to say, we had to ensure these systems did not go down.

Whilst working in the City I started holidaying on Mallorca and fell in love with the island. When my daughter was just a baby, we left London and moved to the island to live.

Like many people who move to the island, I took jobs where I could, a couple were in bars (a big difference to working with a stock exchange company!) before I found a job as an AV engineer and was introduced to the yachting world.

The first new build project I worked on was the 73m MY Pegaso, built in Friere shipyard in Vigo – it was the first superyacht built there.

Over the next few years, I spent a lot of time working on new builds in the Netherlands, mainly in the Amels shipyard at Vlissingen.

In 2018 I joined the engineering team at e3. My most notable projects have been as Project Manager for a complete IT upgrade on an 80m Oceanco motor yacht, and Project Manager for an extensive AV/IT upgrade on a 107m motor yacht. This last project was in Singapore quite recently, which meant spending 10 weeks there with weekly Covid testing.

When not working, I enjoy walking, good food, a refreshing G&T round the pool and following Tottenham Hotspur football club.

My biggest achievement in life? My two beautiful teenage daughters.

Roger Horner

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