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Author Topic:   Ft. Lauderdale Show and New Electronics
jimh posted 11-01-2013 12:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
From what I have read so far, Lowrance and Humminbird have revealed new products at the Ft. Laudersale Boat Show, being held this week. Both Lowrance and Humminbird's annoucements were primarily of new SONAR products. I will try to detail some of the features of their new products as I digest the product release information. I am afraid I am not much familiar at all with Humminbird, and Lowrance's product line has become so complicated that I will require a great deal of study before I can write something insightful about it.

I am actually more interested in electronic products announced at Ft. Lauderdale that might NOT be associated with the ne plus ultra in freshwater fish finding technology. In that regard, if anyone has information on something new for small boat electronics that is announced this week, please let us all know by posting here.

jimh posted 11-01-2013 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The quick summary on the Lowrance: a black-box SONAR that combines CHIRP and Side-scan SONAR into one. With appropriate transducers it will retail for about $1,000. You can use it with any HDS Gen2 display.

This gets Lowrance into the moderately priced CHIRP SONAR market. See SonarHub-Sounder-Module-en-us.aspx

The other Lowrance new product is a 360-degree search transducer array. See aspx

and for the best information see

The transducer is designed to attach mechanically to a trolling motor.

jimh posted 11-01-2013 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Humminbird announced a new ION series of multi-function displays. Information about them is available is a series of web pages beginning at

One significant development with the ION series: they have integral NMEA-2000 network connections. Previously Humminbird devices connected to NMEA-2000 through a proprietary Gateway device. Humminbird has finally come to the party with NMEA-2000 as a built-in technology.

Humminbird does not seem shy with NMEA-2000; they show their ION connecting to AIS receivers and AIS transmitters. This is quite a leap into the NMEA-2000 realm for their first NMEA-2000 product.

There is also a built-in web browser and a "wireless" internet connection device--presumably long-range WiFi implemented with a special accessory antenna.

jimh posted 11-09-2013 09:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I saw a Humminbird ION multi-function display at a trade show this week. The unit was a pre-production model; these devices will not be available until January or February of 2014.

The number of interconnections on the rear panel of the ION struck me as being overwhelming. There are 11 rear panel connectors on the 10-inch unit and 13 rear panel connectors on the 12-inch unit. With so many electrical interfaces available, it would be very tedious to use these ION devices on a small boat where the electronics might be removed from the boat when not in use. I think many boaters typically remove the really expensive electronics from their open boats when not on the water as a means of keeping them out of the weather and also to prevent theft. If you installed an ION device and made all the interconnections to it that are possible, it would be quite a chore to disconnect everything to take it off the boat as a regular part of hauling the boat for storage between uses. The ION series looks like it might be better installed as a flush-mount device on an instrument panel.

Jefecinco posted 11-10-2013 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
There are certainly enough connectors on the back. The question is, how many would a small boat operator use? For the large boat in which many connections would perhaps be used it's likely the plotter would be permanently installed.

If I had the budget to install the ION on my small boat I would probably gimbal mount it and connect only the VHF radio, sonar transducer and AIS receiver. I expect the connector covers are waterproof so those that are not used would not be damaged by the elements.


Peter posted 11-11-2013 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Multi function display (MFDs) with 10 and 13 inch displays are pretty bulky devices. Most boats made in the last 10 or so years that could accomodate a 10 or 13 inch MFD have dashboards designed for flush mounting them. As such, I don't think the manufacturers are thinking that these MFDs will normally be used in a "portable" sense.

On my Whaler 27 I used to remove my bracket mounted Garmin 4208 after each use and it was a chore to connect and disconnect the three connectors (Garmin Network, NMEA 2000 and power) each time. Fortunately the Garmin 4208 had two other network connectors that went unused in my system. I'm thankful that on my new boat the MFDs are flush mounted on the dash which was not possible with the Whaler 27 otherwise I would have flush mounted and taken my chances with theft and weather.

Jefecinco posted 11-11-2013 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
On my 1999 Dauntless 16 I gimbal mounted a Lowrance HDS 10 immediately forward of the helm. It was wonderful and the thing I most hated to give up when I sold the boat.

In order to accommodate the large MFD it was necessary to relocate the compass to a nearby cup holder which was a perfect fit. A small piece of !/4 inch starboard was used to cover the hole where the compass had resided.

The buyer of my Dauntless stated it had to include the MFD or it was no deal. It looked impressive if outsized but the function was perfect.


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