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NMEA Boater Blog
Electronics rollout: Plotters, wireless devices, TV antenna & more

Seeing new electronics in action on boat show floors or, even better, at in-water demonstrations always leaves me marveling at equipment makers’ innovation and creativity. Second best, but still OK, is digging through press releases announcing the next feature built into a multifunction display, fish finder, radar or just about anything on the console. Sometimes you get lucky and the new "thing” is more than an added whistle or buzzer and instead ushers in a leap ahead in functionality. This week we roll out a half-dozen new electronics products that caught our attention.

Chartplotters sport larger, brighter screens, new maps and LiveScope

Garmin is introducing the ECHOMAP Ultra series, a new line of keyed-assist 10- and 12-inch touchscreen chartplotters designed to bring professional performance to inland and nearshore anglers. 

The ECHOMAP Ultra series has built-in support for Garmin’s ultra high-definition scanning sonar as well as the award-winning Panoptix LiveScope series, including the new single-array LVS12 that delivers live scanning sonar images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat in real time. 

Preloaded with Garmin’s latest and most detail-rich cartography—both LakeVü g3 maps and BlueChart g3 charts with integrated Navionics data and Auto Guidance technology—the ECHOMAP Ultra series has the power and functionality to meet the demands of today’s anglers. 

The ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv and ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv are available bundled with the new Ultra High-Definition GT54UHD-TM all-in-one transducer that provides the highest ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonar images and amazingly clear high-wide CHIRP traditional sonar. For extended range and depth performance, the GT54UHD-TM’s SideVü operates at 455 kHz. 

ECHOMAP Ultra chartplotters are also compatible with the full line of Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers, including the new Panoptix LiveScope LVS12 and the Panoptix LiveScope System, so anglers can see real-time sonar imagery at video-like speed. The new ECHOMAP Ultra 106sv and ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv are also available without a bundled transducer. 

These new chartplotters are the first in the ECHOMAP product line to offer both LakeVü g3 and BlueChart g3 cartography products for the US and Bahamas built-in for inland and near-shore boating and fishing. 

Class B/SO AIS features 5W output and HD color display

In several ways, SI-TEX Marine Electronics’ SAS-600 Class B/SO AIS transceiver stands apart from other comparable products on the market.  This internationally certified SOTDMA Class B/SO AIS provides 5W of transmit power for professional-grade performance (versus the typical 2W) and Class A Transmit Priority for enhanced navigational safety in busy areas and congested waterways.  

The SAS-600 features a large high-definition color LCD screen with both daylight and night modes that make it easy to track AIS targets and important target data in any environment. The SAS-600’s built-in long-range WiFi also provides the versatility to use tablets or mobile devices to view the display remotely from different locations around the vessel.  The SAS-600 is also fully compatible with C-MAP electronic charts, providing navigators with the ability to view AIS targets and data over the same detailed cartography used and trusted by professional mariners worldwide.

The SAS-600 is a sophisticated AIS device that receives and decodes all AIS message types and excels at multiple target management.  Among the SAS-600’s advanced functions are MOB and SART alert and tracking systems for enhanced safety, AIS AtoN (aids to navigation) sensor information displays, filters, and a continuous internal fault check and diagnosis system.  The SAS-600 provides NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 ports for intelligent connectivity to a variety of helm systems including gyrocompass, ECDIS and DSC VHF. Despite its long list of advanced features, the SAS-600 is easy to operate with a simple user interface and multi-language menus. 

The SAS-600 is ruggedized to provide extended service and reliability in the harsh marine environment.  Durability features include a temperature and thermo shock protection system, shock and vibration protection and an IPx6/IPx7-certified waterproof design.

3G and 4G products added to WiFi line

Wave WiFi is offering new 3G and 4G cellular products that work in conjunction with their WiFi antennas, routers, and proprietary web-based firmware. Boaters can connect to 3G and 4G cellular when WiFi signals are not available. 

The new Tidal Wave provides high-powered dual-band WiFi+3G/4G and allows for concurrent listening across 2.4GHz and 5.1-5.8GHz WiFi channels along with SIM-activated cellular data. Tidal Wave comes equipped with a gigabit port to support the fastest connection speeds. It includes high-gain antennas to seek the farthest-reaching connections attainable. 

The MBR 550 router has built-in WiFi and cellular connectivity. It is a compact multi-source router with a built-in access point that complements any onboard set up. It can be used as a stand-alone SIM-activated cellular data receiver. The MBR-550 can stay online 24/7 when all sources are connected. Set up the system to prioritize the most economical connections to save money. The device runs off Wave WiFi’s easy-to-use browser-based interface. 

Marine weather receiver for NavNet TZtouch series

Furuno’s BBWX4 fourth-generation SiriusXM Marine Weather Receiver is tailored for its NavNet TZtouch and NavNet TZtouch2 systems. Furuno and SiriusXM have teamed up to bring you live, up-to-date weather information and forecasting, offering peace of mind to boaters and a crucial edge for fishermen in the US and southern Canada. By adding the BBWX4 to the boat’s NavNet TZtouch or TZtouch2 network, you can view real-time weather content that overlays on your NavNet plotter’s raster or vector charts.

Essential, localized weather information and forecasting are critical to safe boating, and the BBWX4 makes keeping track of the weather effortless. Current weather reports, five-day forecasts, NOWRad nationwide high-resolution weather radar imagery, storm tracking and lightning strikes, buoy reports, wave height forecasts and more are all available via your SiriusXM Marine Weather subscription. For the fishermen, high-resolution sea surface temperature mapping can help you to quickly locate fishing hot spots where you'll find the bait stacking up, helping to put you right on top of fish.

By adding SiriusXM Radio to your marine service subscription, you can bring your favorite SiriusXM Satellite Radio channels with you onboard. Hundreds of your favorite channels featuring commercial-free music, live sports and sports talk, exclusive entertainment, and world-class news can be accessed and controlled on any NavNet TZtouch2 MFD that’s connected to the BBWX4. SiriusXM Radio service is not available for first-generation NavNet TZtouch.

SiriusXM offers a variety of marine weather subscription packages to choose from. Inland, coastal, or offshore packages offer varying levels of detailed information to fit the needs of every boater. 

Touchscreen/rotary dial display controls underwater lighting

Lumishore is showing off an intuitive, dedicated glass bridge touchscreen and rotary dial display, the EOS STV 2204-I which allows the vessel owner to achieve unrivaled levels of color options and lighting modes over the full color spectrum. The Lumi-Link display features a simple-to-use palette wheel for color selection, horizontal slide bar for quick adjustments to lighting intensity, control of lighting across multiple zones with optional presets, and the ability to choose from pre-programmed effect modes like strobe, sweep or cycle and the unique ‘Sound-to-Light,’ which makes for the ultimate party accessory. With built-in WiFi, the lights can also be activated and controlled via Apple, Android, or any other device with a web browser.

The powerful new EOS STV 2204-i display allows you to achieve unrivaled levels of control of your Lumishore EOS Series underwater lighting systems. Offering an infinite combination of color options and lighting modes over the full color spectrum, the EOS Series takes underwater marine lighting to new levels of brightness and richness of color, enhancing the aesthetics of any vessel. The Lumi-Link interface panel features an easy-to-use palette wheel for color selection, horizontal slide bar for quick adjustments to lighting intensity, control of lighting across multiple zones with optional presets, and the ability to choose from pre-programmed effect modes like strobe, sweep or cycle and the unique ‘Sound-to-Light,’ which syncs lighting and tunes for the ultimate party accessory.

Installation requires a simple connection between the Lumi-Link Command Center and the STV 2204-i display. A single plug-and-play cable creates a centralized control platform for the entire vessel, reducing helm clutter. The EOS STV 2204-i is compatible with EOS Series Thru-Hull (THX), Interchangeable Thru-Hull (TIX) and Surface Mount (SMX153 only) models.

Marine antenna pulls in DirecTV, DISH and Bell TV Canada
Winegard’s new Carryout G3 Portable Automatic Satellite Antenna gives boaters at anchor or at the dock an affordable way to view their favorite satellite news, entertainment programming and sporting events through DISH Network (standard and HD), DirecTV (standard) and Bell TV Canada (standard and HD), providing the greatest range of entertainment options in different regions of the country.  Users can easily switch providers at the unit’s power inserter, which also provides power for the antenna through the included coaxial cable. 

This advanced antenna provides simple set-up and fully automatic satellite acquisition. Boaters just need to connect the included 25 foot coaxial cable between the Carryout G3 and the power inserter, connect the 3 foot coaxial cable between the power inserter and the compatible satellite receiver, and then connect an HDMI or coaxial cable from the receiver to the television.   When boaters power up the receiver and television and press the power button on the antenna’s power inserter, the Carryout G3’s search sequence is automatically activated.  The Carryout G3 supports two receivers for viewing on two televisions, satisfying the needs of boating families or multiple crew members.

This antenna features a larger internal reflector that locks onto signals quickly and increases signal strength 20% for dependable performance in a range of environments and weather conditions.    Yet, the Carryout G3 is small and compact, measuring 13 inches high and weighing 7 lbs.  Its portability and quick set-up make it ideal for an impromptu gathering on the back deck, while a variety of available mounting options are available for more permanent installations. The Carryout G3’s internal components are protected by a weatherproof, UV-protected and impact resistant polymer dome that is built to withstand the harsh outdoor environment. 

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Comments | Leave a Comment
Page 1 of 3 ( 13 comments)

Jp:(8/11/2018 5:28:29 PM) "I have a 2018 Yamaha f40 la and Humminbird helix 7 di , I would like to leverage the nema 2000 capability of the helix 7 to display engine info, what do I need , Humminbird does have a gateway and lowrance makes a Yamaha nema cable, but I'm reading connectors are proprietary . How can I get what is needed?

Since these products are not NMEA 2000 certified there is little assurance that they will share data with each other.

1. Here is the link to see all NMEA 2000 certified products:

2. The NMEA 2000 cables and connectors are from many manufacturers: Here is the link for approved cables and connector manufacturers:

AC/DC grounding distance:(8/2/2018 1:29:35 AM) "What about the grounding points of AC /DC systems? can they be grounded at the same point?
If one system has both AC and DC can they both be grounded to a common buss-bar that has only one conection to the hull?

Here's what Ed Sherman, electric tech guru at the American Boat & Yacht Council, said:

The ultimate goal should always be to tie ac and dc grounds together on board at a single point. In ABYC Standard E-11, it is described as “the engine negative terminal or its buss.” It is most commonly done at a buss."
Hard-Over with Brushed APilot Pump:(12/18/2017 5:37:05 PM) "Jim.
What do you mean by ...."Garmin GHP 20 with SmartPump...Because it is a brushless system, it is fail-safe and won’t execute a hard-over turn the way a brushed pump can."

Thanks for the note. Since the description came from Garmin I contacted the company for an explanation. Here's what one of their engineers told me:

On brushed DC actuators, a single-point failure in the drive circuit (shorted wire or blown component inside the controller) could cause the motor to run full speed in one direction and take the rudder all the way to one rail. A brushless actuator relies on timing-controlled commutation, so a short or component fail would cause the actuator to stop moving rather than moving at full speed.

Hope this helps,

trawlerdeejay:(10/13/2017 3:46:51 PM) "Excellent article. I had no idea what the differences were between o183 and 2000, Thank you so much."
Darryl:(3/27/2017 10:17:15 PM) "Putting the MSRP with each unit reviewed would have been helpful. If each unit was actually tested, the reports on each unit would have been helpful too.

Thanks Darryl---we generally don't mention prices due to confusion over so many variations---MSRP (mfg. suggested retail price), MAP (min. advertised price), MRP (min. resale price) and then there are internet prices on some websites that go their own way. But your point is well taken--buyers need to know if something is in their price range. We'll work on it.
There is independent testing of some of these products on sites like but the information we receive from manufacturers rarely cites the results of any shootouts they may conduct against the competition's products. "
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