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Best marine wireless devices, part 2

In a very short time wireless technology has changed how we live our lives—from how we communicate and stay in touch with family and friends to ditching the office and working remotely. We can monitor things back home or on the boat—maybe notch the temperature up or down—from anywhere in the world. We take our entertainment with us, keep up on the news whenever we want or get Siri to answer just about any question. Want more? Just wait—it’s coming.

Below are nine wireless devices that are part of that mix. They came to light in an exercise MEJ does every year as part of our Buyers’ Guide. It works like this: We ask manufacturers to identify the one model they produce in a particular category that they consider to be their 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.
The Best & Brightest list includes 16 categories of electronics, from AIS (Automatic Identification System) and autopilots to radar and satellite TV. Last week we told you about some of the wireless devices that are making boating safer, more efficient and more fun. Next week we’ll tell you about another advancing technology—electronic charts.

The LD-70 is a ship-to-shore WiFi device that boasts high-power transmission and four high-efficiency antennas in a single and concise package, delivering a top-tier wireless networking experience suited for any vessel. Sporting a sleek 7 inch fiberglass dome sealed and secured to an anodized aluminum base, the LD-70 is built to withstand the extremes of the marine environment. The base is threaded to accept a standard 1 inch-14 antenna mount and requires only a single Ethernet cable, minimizing installation hassle. Running the latest AigeanOS, configuration and operation is easier than ever before.

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 (man over board) 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.

The GOST Watch HD XVR app was developed for the next-generation GOST Watch HD XVR 4TB hard drive. The free app is available for iPhone and Android phones/tablets and was developed for active GOST Watch HD account holders with an XVR installed on their vessel who want remote access to onboard cameras, stored footage and also the ability to control push notifications. The app will display live 1080P resolution images of analog or compatible IP cameras aboard. The user can define motion areas which when enabled send 10 second push notifications to their phone of activity aboard the boat.

FishHunter brings the benefits of fishfinding sonar to anglers that fish from a stationary location, such as on the ice, a bank, dock or pier. Sending real-time sonar data via WiFi connection between the transducer and phones or tablets, FishHunter operates without the need for a cellular or Internet connection. Anglers cast the FishHunter transducer into the water and then view sonar returns on their smartphone or tablet to decide where to fish. Incorporating five tri-frequency transducers, FishHunter 3D offers five functional views including 3D Fishing and Ice Fishing Flasher, as well as a Directional Casting View that pinpoints fish depth and location relative to the transducer. It can also be trolled behind a boat to create Bathymetric or Structure maps of fishing areas.

Now with the free mazu SportFishing app, anglers can view and download their ROFFS fishing forecast hot spots while offshore, directly on their mobile device. Information from ROFFS is digitally overlaid directly onto detailed sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll, current and altimetry charts in the mazu SportFishing app for iPad. Users can download their report from ROFFS website or by their emailed PDF from ROFFS by clicking the Open With button and select Copy to mazu. The app will automatically open and populate the fishing hot spots onto the screen. Each location is selectable to see the ROFFS analysis about that fishing spot. SportFishing is accessible over satellite for offshore use via mazu m2500 hardware. Users can also receive ROFFS reports and updates while out of cellular or WiFi range.

The Ocean Signal ATA100 Class A AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder has integrated WiFi and USB interfaces for PC and tablet connection and is user-intuitive, featuring large illuminated keys and easy-to-grip jog stick. The combined SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and Inland approved single-unit device is capable of exchanging dynamic and static ship data with other AIS systems and developed to meet the latest IMO carriage requirements and IEC standards. Easy to use and simple to install, the ATA100 is the only Class A AIS transponder available rated to the IPX7 standard. It features a 7 inch high-intensity, full-color, rapid-response LCD to clearly display real-time marine traffic information. It is compatible with Ocean Signal’s rescueME MOB1 and programmable to accommodate up to 30 MOB units.

Designed for small- to mid-sized watercraft and vehicles, the HSL30 is guaranteed to light up the night. The KJM HSL30 Wireless Halogen Searchlight is affordable, compact and powerful. Command full functionality of the spotlight wirelessly within 90 feet. Control with up to four WRC30 wireless remotes. The HSL30 is a rugged, marine-grade halogen searchlight with a brilliant 30,000 candela of light output. The wireless remote simplifies installation by eliminating long cable runs to the helm. 
KC-2W is a N2K (NMEA 2000) and NMEA 0183 bidirectional converter. It is a plug and play installation and takes power from the N2K network, so no external power supply is needed. KC-2W is NMEA 2000 certified. The KC-2W with WiFi module lets the KC-2W act as a WiFi hotspot or terminal for your vessel. With the built-in WiFi module, it has its own IP address and acts as a WiFi hotspot even if there is no WiFi router onboard. By using the KC-2W together with its program software, boaters can share NMEA network information from connected navigational equipment via WiFi and see navigation data on applications and software such as qtVlm and OpenCPN. 

The American-made WAVU W1 marine amplified omnidirectional HDTV antenna from Winegard is just what you need if missing your favorite programs isn’t an option while on the water. The weight is just 2.11 pounds, head diameter is 14.9 inches, and height is 7.25 inches (including the base), so its streamlined design won’t look out of place on the hard top. The WAVU W1 both captures and amplifies VHR/UHF/FM signals from any direction at ranges up to 35 miles. It comes complete with the amplified TV antenna head, pedestal base assembly, wall plate/12V power supply, surface mount box, 5 foot power coaxial cable, and 30 foot RG-59 coaxial cable.

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