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New electronics worth a look
3/20/2017

Boat shows are all about new products---ranging from that new center console fishing boat that's top of the list to the many innovative new things that make your days on the water more fun and safer. Most boating magazines and websites also offer their take on new products that might interest their readers. Here's a handful of electronics that we've rolled out to the readers of Marine Electronics Journal in recent issues.





NavNet software update delivers many new features

Furuno has announced a major software upgrade for NavNet TZtouch2 that greatly enhances the features and usability of the MFD. Software version 4.01 brings over 20 new features and enhancements, speeding up the performance of the MFDs in several areas and making it easier to use in others. In addition, several all-new functions have been added, such as CZone digital switching controls, radar echo trails and echo averaging, fuel management controls, NavNet remote app for tablets and smartphones, and many more.

The first major addition is the ability to control CZone digital switching directly from an instruments page or a dedicated CZone menu page. Having access to CZone from TZtouch2 MFDs allows you to control various systems throughout the vessel, like engine room fans, navigation lights, interior lights, hatches, pumps and anything that is connected to CZone switching.

One of the favorite features of TZtouch2 is the capability to swipe from the edge of the screen to bring up different menus and operations. Furuno has improved the edge-swipe functionality to make it even easier to use than before. Now you do not need to have an exactly vertical or horizontal swipe to activate it.

Furuno has incorporated radar echo trails and echo averaging in this new software. Matched with the NXT Radar, if that target is seen as a potential hazard, the color of the target will turn red and the trail will show you its path at a quick glance. Echo averaging stabilizes weak targets, and turns them into a solid target, which can be helpful in rough weather.

 

Elite-Ti fishfinder/plotters add widescreen displays

Lowrance has added a pair of widescreen displays to the Elite Ti standalone series of fishfinder/chartplotters. The new Lowrance Elite-12 Ti and Elite-9 Ti touchscreen units include the same features as the Elite-Ti series but on bigger 12- and 9-inch high-resolution, widescreen displays.

Including premium features like an touchscreen interface, Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, proven Lowrance navigation technology and high-performance sonar, including CHIRP, Broadband Sounder and StructureScan HD with SideScan and DownScan Imaging. The new displays are still available at an affordable price. CHIRP sonar offers improved fish-target separation and screen clarity, while the StructureScan HD sonar imaging system with exclusive Lowrance DownScan Imaging delivers photo-like images of fish-holding structure on both sides and directly beneath the boat.

The displays feature a highly accurate, built-in GPS antenna that displays position on a detailed C-MAP Insight map, with more than 3,000 lakes and rivers and detailed coastal contours to 1,000 feet. Optional chart upgrades include Lake Insight HD by C-MAP, C-MAP MAX-N, Navionics HotMaps® Premium, Navionics+ and Fishing Hotspots® PRO.

With integrated wireless connectivity, the Elite-12 Ti and Elite-9 Ti operate directly through the GoFree Shop for downloads of mapping and software updates. Elite Ti also works seamlessly with the Insight Genesis map-creation service.

 

Antenna brings Internet and HDTV on board

Shakespeare is offering WebWatch, an all-in-one WiFi hotspot and high-definition television antenna that keeps devices connected to the Internet from nearby WiFi hotspots or cellular data. Designed to be fast, reliable and tailored for long-range reception, it provides increased reception and more range than PC and mobile device wireless data connections.

WebWatch provides Internet access for up to 32 users from nearby WiFi or, with a data-only AT&T SIM card, a cellular network, with speeds up to 4G. It also supports T-Mobile and Cricket networks up to 3G speeds. The system shares the signal wirelessly throughout the boat or via an Ethernet cable. The Ethernet capability provides flexibility to extend its WiFi network to areas that are shadowed from its WiFi signal.

With the built-in HDTV antenna, owners and guests can enjoy local TV network programming with sharp, high-definition picture quality. It receives over-the-air digital signals, allowing televisions to play even during storms, when satellite connections may fail. A version of WebWatch without HDTV is also available.

The antenna will switch automatically between WiFi and cellular, picking up the best signal for uninterrupted connectivity, and saving money on data charges. WebWatch is easily controlled using the iPhone or Android apps.

 

HELIX 12 sports a slew of new functions

The Humminbird HELIX 12 has been supersized with additional features and technologies, including CHIRP digital sonar, CHIRP Side Imaging, CHIRP Down Imaging, Bluetooth, expanded AutoChart functionality with vegetation and bottom hardness mapping, and the groundbreaking MEGA Imaging. New units also feature Bluetooth to sync with smartphones, showing text messages and missed calls on your Humminbird display.

The new unit includes an improved AutoChart Live that allows for vegetation and bottom hardness contour mapping. Prior to the addition of bottom hardness and vegetation charting, AutoChart Live gave anglers the ability to map the depth contour of any body of water for their own unique map. Now anglers can precisely map weedlines and even follow them with Minn Kota i-Pilot Link models.

 



Marine audio equipment equals high-end auto systems

JBL and Infinity marine receivers, amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and remotes deliver unmatched clarity and exceptional sound quality. Features expected in a high-end automotive stereo—color TFT screens, Bluetooth, ID tagging, USB and aux inputs, and Sirius XM—are all there on the marine side, depending upon the model. Plus, some have NOAA Weatherband, US and European tuning and other items found only in a boat setup.

Made specifically for a wet, torturous environment, JBL and Infinity offer levels of protection from spray-resistant to fully waterproof. Many models now link into N2K networks to be controlled through a multi-function display such as a chartplotter or GPS.

 



Full duplex, hands-free communication

Whether you captain an offshore fishing team or are a husband and wife performing tricky docking and anchoring maneuvers, Ultralite wireless from Eartec will provide the hands-free, simultaneous talk voice contact that will make your task more efficient and rewarding.

These new all-in-one headsets are a breakthrough for mariners because all electronics are miniaturized and fit inside the ear cup/headband assembly, eliminating wires or handheld radios.

The Ultralite is offered in two versions. The Standard series utilizes one base headset with up to three additional remote units. The HUB series features a mini-base station that expands the capacity up to seven crew.




 

Bluetooth subwoofer drives up to four speakers

The new Aquatic AV active subwoofer (AQ-SWA8-1BT) includes a built-in 288 watt amplifier that allows up to four full-range loudspeakers to be attached directly to it to create a complete subwoofer and speaker system.

Designed, engineered and built to withstand the demanding conditions on the water, this rugged, compact unit can be mounted discretely within storage compartments, consoles or under seating.

Bluetooth ready, the AQ-SWA8-1BT connects wirelessly to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or MP3 player. An enhanced Bluetooth antenna, engineered to provide enhanced omnidirectional Bluetooth coverage, greatly improves the range of the Bluetooth signal for superior performance. Wired connections can also be made via stereo RCA inputs and a variable input voltage selection (400 mV, 2V or 4V) ensures the input is optimized to the best possible signal quality for any type of connected device.

 

 

LightHouse OS app links to global weather data

Raymarine’s latest LightHouse OS includes a graphical weather forecast (GRIB) viewer app, which enables boaters to access Theyr global weather data on demand directly on Raymarine multifunction navigation displays.

The LightHouse GRIB Viewer app utilizes WiFi connectivity to download and display high-resolution Theyr weather forecast information on- screen.  Raymarine users simply connect to a marina WiFi, a mobile hotspot, or satellite Internet to download the latest forecasts. Theyr delivers precise weather and ocean forecasts for recreational and professional mariners, commercial shipping, and the offshore wind energy industry.  Highly detailed Theyr weather forecasts include meteorological information, including wind speed, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, air temperature, sea surface temperature, and wave heights.

Raymarine MFD users can download the latest LightHouse OS update at Raymarine.com


 

 

 


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