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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: SIMRAD GO7|
posted 06-12-2015 01:38 PM ET (US)
SIMRAD's New GO7 chart plotter and SONAR
The small boat electronics market is a prime target for combination GNSS receiver, chart plotter, and SONAR devices with a multi-function display screen size of about 7-inches. A new choice in this market segment is the SIMRAD GO7. The SIMRAD GO7 is a color, touch-screen display with multi-touch sensitivity, permitting user actions like pinch-to-zoom. There are no conventional buttons or controls on the device, other than an ON-OFF button.
The GO7 has an internal GNSS receiver. As best I can tell from the specifications, the receiver only works with the GPS L1 C/A signal. SIMRAD goes to great lengths to let everyone know that the receiver can deliver a new position solution at a rate of 10-Hz, but they keep quiet about the capability to use high precision augmentation systems or other GNSS constellations. There seems to be an obsession with GNSS receiver update rate, and boaters tend to think 10-Hz is something special. This is actually not very fast as modern GNSS receivers are now providing position solution rate as high as 50-Hz. I don't understand the need to have a 10-Hz position solution, unless moving along at more than 50-MPH. Even at 50-MPH, a 1-Hz position solution gives you a position every 73-feet. A 10-Hz update would give a position every 7-feet. I don't really see much advantage, particularly at more modest speeds.
The multi-function display (MFD) of the GO7 is a 7-inch diagonal color LCD display with an LED backlight that can produce 1,200-NITS, a unit of visible light intensity, equivalent to one candela per square meter. A display with 1,200-NITS is a darn bright display. The display resolution is 800 x 480, or 15:9 aspect ratio.
The chart plotter in the GO7 can use charts in a variety of data formats:
The SONAR included in the GO7 can operate in convention downward looking mode in the usual 50-kHz to 200-kHz range, in what appears to be some form of pulse-compression mode, and in a high-frequency down-scan mode using 400-kHz or higher signals. SIMRAD applies varies names to these functions, such as broadband, chirp-enable, and downscan imaging. The precise capabilities will be greatly affected by the choice of a SONAR transducer, which might cost more than the GO7 itself in some cases.
The GO7 has a NMEA-2000 interface, and the display can show many data parameters received from NMEA-2000 devices, such as an outboard engine with NMEA-2000 output.
The GO7 has its own WiFi that allows it to connect to TCP-IP networks wirelessly. SIMRAD refers to this as their GoFree feature. It may be quite useful in downloading product updaters directly to the device when connected to the internet, and for using tablet devices to access data from or to control the GO7.
posted 06-12-2015 09:08 PM ET (US)
Sounds like this is the successor to the HDS-7 Gen2 Touch; it has all the functionality of the HDS Gen 3 but in a new case with an enhanced screen. Navico is probably trying to set some discriminators among their brands while reusing as much as they can.
posted 06-12-2015 09:42 PM ET (US)
I went looking around for this unit and Bass Pro has it for $850 with the 83/200, 455/800 HDI transducer. In digging deeper into its specs the unit falls between the Lowrance Elite series and the HDS. The big shortcut is the GO7 doesn't have an ethernet port so you can't hookup radar or Sirius Weather Radar since both use ethernet for connectivity. Other than what looks to be an outstanding display the GO7 has full NMEA capability, something the Elite does not. It's very tempting as an upgrade from an HDS Gen 1.
posted 06-13-2015 02:03 PM ET (US)
DAVID--many thanks for the nice analysis of where the GO7 fits into the landscape of the NAVICO brands and their many models of chart plotter and SONAR devices. It is a complex hierarchy with many tiers. Your analysis was very helpful.
posted 06-13-2015 02:09 PM ET (US)
Regarding the various formats for digital charts useful with the GO7, perhaps a bit of background on the NV Digital charts is in order. I am not personally acquainted with these charts. They are published by a chart publisher in Maryland, and in the USA their charts only cover the eastern seaboard.
From the NV Charts website, I found this description of the company:
posted 06-15-2015 08:05 AM ET (US)
The SIMRAD GO7 appears to not have any sort of NMEA-0183 interface provided. All interconnection of the GO7 to other boat electronics will be via NMEA-2000. There is no Ethernet, either.
The GO7 can be integrated with SIMRAD autopilot devices:
--AC12 autopilot computer
--AC42 autopilot computer
--SG05 autopilot for Optimus steering
posted 06-19-2015 08:16 PM ET (US)
After going through the research for this thread, my opinion is this is a damn nice product. At $ 850, with the HDI transducer, it's an incredibly nice package for a "low tech" boat. If you don't need/want Radar or anything else that needs ethernet, like Sirius Weather Radar, this is a really nice product. If you look at HDS-Gen 3 and the Elite line from Lowrance, this is a good deal at the MSRP. If you have a dual MFD boat, with an older HDS, both would make a great package; the HDS will give you the NMEA-0183 and ethernet that the GO7 doesn't have. I have an Elite-7 Chirp that has the HDI transducer; if you explore your home waters or go to new waters you really want the imaging capability that the HDI gives you.
Since this is a NAVICO product that is available at SIMRAD as the GO7 and from B&G as the Vulcan, will a Lowrance variant show up?
And NO, I'm not a paid endorser... ;-)
posted 08-02-2015 08:17 PM ET (US)
To add some relevant info to this thread, I asked Simrad this question:
Does the Go7 use the same connectors as Lowrance HDS units? I'd like to upgrade from a Lowrance LCX-28c or HDS-5 that are already wired into my boat and would like to use the power, transducer, and N2K connections that are already there.
It uses the same connectors as the HDS7.
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