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Marine Electronics Journal Blog

Best wireless devices for 2018, part 1

Wireless technology in the marine world is pushing out in every direction, from an app that facilitates global satellite connectivity to radar that you can access from your portable devices. The range of products and applications that harness this ever-expanding technology is amazing. We always look forward to seeing what comes in for that category---our largest by the way---in Marine Electronics Journal’s (MEJ) annual Best & Brightest Boating Electronics roundup.

It works like this---we ask manufacturers to identify the one model they produce in a particular category that they consider to be the Best & Brightest—not necessarily the most technically advanced or newest but rather the one they rate highest in the product line for one reason or another. Could be the functions and features it offers, or maybe it breaks new ground in maximizing effectiveness or utility, or maybe it’s the most popular as measured by sales to boaters.

There are 17 categories in all­, ranging from AIS and fishfinders to vessel monitoring systems and multi-function displays---MFDs. Last week we rolled out autopilots. This week it’s part 1 of wireless devices.

Furuno DRS4W

Furuno’s 1st Watch Wireless Radar is the world’s first wireless radar that you can access directly from your iOS devices. Now you can bring the radar display whenever you go, even put it on the iPhone in your pocket. Since the display is untethered, you are free to roam the vessel while maintaining full situational awareness of your surroundings. Plug in the radar, set up the free app and you’re good to go. Familiar gestures make it a breeze to use; you can even use two iOS devices simultaneously. The app has been created with simplicity and efficiency in mind, providing reliable information that is easily accessible. Installation is simple with its compact and lightweight radar antenna. Mount it, plug in the power cord and you’re done.


Garmin ActiveCaptain

The free all-in-one ActiveCaptain mobile app provides a powerful connection to your Garmin chartplotter, charts, maps and the community for the ultimate connected boating experience. Wherever you are, you’ll have unlimited access to your cartography, the ability to purchase new maps and charts and access to the Garmin Quickdraw Contours Community. Connect to the ActiveCaptain community for up-to-date feedback on marinas and other points of interest. Smart notifications on your chartplotter screen keep you connected with everyone else. Users can also plan a trip or pre-fish a lake, and ActiveCaptain will automatically sync with your chartplotter. Even view and control your chartplotter from your smartphone or tablet while you’re on the water.


Mazu m2500 and app

The mazu iPad app and m2500 system provide global satellite connectivity for all types of vessels. Mazu connects wirelessly onboard using an iPad or any device with a browser, including Android and iOS phones and tablets, PCs, and Macs. It can also be integrated with Raymarine Axiom, and SI-TEX plotters. Mazu features include email and SMS texts, weather with point, buoy, and GRIB forecasts, a full navigation dashboard for routing and planning, in-app access to Navionics charts, SOS 24/7/ 365 and remote monitoring and control. Mazu Sportfishing also provides SST (sea surface temperature), chlorophyll, and altimetry to help fishermen find fish faster. Whether cruising or fishing, mazu is an easy-to-use and affordable way for boaters to stay connected wherever they go.


Aigean MFR-4

The MFR-4 is a highly capable yet easy-to-use multi-WAN router that unifies multiple Internet sources into a single network. It is capable of handling up to four Internet sources at gigabit speeds. With simple fail-over rules, you can ensure you are always connected to the Internet on the best available source, with no user intervention. Top-tier performance and years of service are guaranteed with the use of the highest quality components and features a two-year warranty.


B&G H50

Combining impressive range with inductive charging for flexible communications at and away from the chart table, the compact B&G H50 wireless VHF handset features a powerful speaker, integral AIS vessel display, ergonomic rubber over molding and six keys, including a dedicated Channel 16 and MOB button for reliable contact wherever you are onboard. The H50 can also function as an intercom at a range of 200 meters from handset to handset and is waterproof to the IPX-7 standard. The H50 battery will normally last eight hours.


Winegard ConnecT WF-200M

The American-made Winegard ConnecT WF-200M antenna combines a long-range, high-performance WiFi signal booster with built-in nationwide 4G LTE cellular.  This means boaters can enjoy uninterrupted coverage as they surf the web, stream entertainment and stay connected with friends and family, whether they are relaxing in the marina or out enjoying time on the water. The marine-grade WF-200M uses power over Ethernet (PoE) for easy installation and allows boaters to stay connected with the world back on shore using their onboard laptops, tablets or other devices.  When on the move or out of range of WiFi, a simple click allows the WF-200M to keep boaters connected, informed and entertained using Winegard’s nationwide 4G LTE coverage and affordable pay-as-you-go data plans.



This compact, rugged remote control provides wireless jog steering for SI-TEX’s popular SP-70/80, SP-36MKII and SP-110/C autopilots. The SRS-100 remote lets boaters steer their vessels from anywhere on deck, up to 100 feet away from the helm. This is a great advantage for sailors, workboats, fishermen or anybody who wants the freedom to move around deck while maintaining course control. The waterproof SRS-100 fits easily in the palm of your hand and even floats if dropped overboard. With an optional drive unit, the SRS-100 provides convenient kicker outboard remote steering for salmon trollers. In addition to providing easy and reliable jog steering for popular SI-TEX autopilots, the SRS-100 can also be used with a variety of autopilots from other manufacturers.


Lowrance FishHunter PRO

Lowrance FishHunter is the only tri-frequency, single-transducer, wireless portable fishfinder that hunts fish up to 160 feet and can be cast or trolled. The portable fishfinder is for all fishing types. It can be used from a bank or dock as well as cast from the deck of a boat. Stationary casting allows a user to cast out a FishHunter and leave it there, then cast bait near the transducer for real time catch data away from the user. Reeling use allows an angler to cast a FishHunter then reel it back in to cover more area and search for fish or structure.




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