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Author Topic:   Old Boating Electronics
frontier posted 12-11-2014 12:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for frontier   Send Email to frontier  
To see some of the old sonar units from days gone by and how far we've come is intersting. Our Montauk had the original fish finder on it from the 1980's, a Coastal Navigator Fish'n Depth model DS-606L--squelch, and all!. It looks like a large CB radio.

The new, modern units are so much better and cheaper. I wonder if the old units changed and improved as fast as the new ones do? It seems like Lowrance, Garmin, Humminbird, and others come out with new improved versions every six months or so.

crabby posted 12-11-2014 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
For $20 plus shipping I'll send you my old Lowrance X-16.
jimh posted 12-11-2014 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The rate of change of marine recreational electronic devices was not as rapid in the 1980's as today. The main cause of today's increase in rate of change is the incorporation of microprocessors in the devices. The speed of microprocessors has increased and their cost decreased with time at a very sharp slope, and electronic devices that employ them now are able to be improved in performance and decreased in cost in very short periods of times from one generation to the next.

For an example, I use my Lowrance HDS-8 chart plotter. It was relatively current in c.2010 when I bought it. Since then it has been made obsolete by a second generation with much faster processors, and will soon become two generations obsolete with the introduction of a new HDS Gen-3. Along the way touch screen interface was added, which was a dramatic improvement in the user interface. The cost of a current model HDS is no more than the older models when they were the current products, and when one considers all the features added, the cost is probably lower.

If you want to see really amazing progress in electronic devices, look at GNSS receivers. Their size has shrunk to less than a dime, and their cost to less than a dollar. The rate of change there is much more dramatic than in marine electronics.

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