Boat Safety Electronics
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Now’s marine electronics equipment tell boaters almost everything they should understand, including where they’re, where fish are concealing and their size, as well as the most effective way to get from here to there. They are even able to send faxes or email to the office while landing the big one.
Along with making the sport more enjoyable, affordable electronic equipment provides the possibility to create boating safer. While sales of fishing and navigational electronics have steadily increased, boating injuries have decreased in the past five years. Now, marine electronic equipment including depth gages, radar, and navigational aids help the boater chart a path and remain on it, while preventing hidden risks above and below the waterline.
Loran C navigation systems have been accessible for several years, monitoring a boaters place, course, and course to a destination. Many boaters make use of the system to chart a path or save the place of a favourite fishing area. Nevertheless, Loran relies on earth based radio signals to plot a location. Such signs are prone to interference from thunderstorms or electric gear, and Loran covers small coastal regions. A brand new technology, the Global Positioning System (GPS), picks up where Loran leaves off.
GPS is a satellite navigation network being developed by the U.S. government. Orbiting satellites will carry data on their place in space, and earth based stations trailing info from four or more satellites can figure out the receiver’s position and elevation.
Three fundamental forms of GPS receivers are available: sequencing, multiplexing, and constant tracking. They differ greatly in how that they track and process satellite signals. Sequencing receivers usually have a couple of channels. Single channel receivers read time and location signals from one satellite, make space measurements, then drop that satellite and moves on to the following. The receiver listens to every satellite for as long as 30 sec.
At specific intervals, the channel ceases navigating to try to find new satellites that might have risen over the horizon. This procedure can take several minutes, during which place upgrades aren’t accessible. Some sequencing receivers got two channels. One channel sequences through the satellites and makes range measurements while the other looks for new satellites. This prevents dropping off line.
Multiplexing receivers are much like sequencing receivers, nevertheless they perform the sequencing at high rates generally 50 times per second. This translates into nearly constant measurements from all possible satellites under trail, and much more reactive operation.
Constant tracking receivers have four or more channels, each listening to an alternate satellite. These receivers are not as inclined to lose contact using a satellite as it’s simpler to always get a poor signal than to find and lock onto that signal in the very first place. Actually, signal strength must be 7 dB greater to pick up a satellite than to keep contact. This really is important because GPS signals are naturally poor.
The signals go great distances and are influenced by obstacles like wet sails. Low raising satellites present difficulties as the signals pass through more of the planet’s atmosphere and are more vulnerable to sound because of reflection off things close to the receiver. Because multi channel, constant tracking receivers unlike sequencing and multiplexing receivers Keep continuous contact with each satellite, they’re not as inclined to lose a poor signal or be impacted by interference.
Multichannel receivers may also enhance navigational operation by measuring phase shifts in the GPS carrier wave while making range measurements. This reduces measurement error as a result of noise from [ or -] 10 m to significantly less than one meter. This really is simply possible with constant tracking. Additionally, while just four satellites are needed to determine a 3D location, often five or six are accessible. A six channel receiver using six distinct measurements will compute location more precisely.
The six station MX100 GPS receiver from Magnavox Advanced Products and Systems, Torrance, Calif., uses multiple displays to reveal location (updated every second), class and speed, and steering system advice to the next waypoint. Water depth and accurate and relative wind speed can be shown.
A built in path plotter reveals thought and real course. The unit stores up to 200 waypoints and 20 distinct courses, and added information might be transferred to or from an audio cassette. Additionally, 20 distinct visual and sound alarms might be programmed for off track states or danger zones. Battery backup means the receiver can be unplugged and removed with no memory loss. The receiver, which runs on 12 Vdc and pulls 7 W, lists for $3,950.
Raytheon Marine, Hudson, N.H., joins a GPS receiver and path plotter in the Raystar 590, which automatically supplies location, path, and rate. The receiver tracks improvement relative to chosen waypoints and navigation paths and directs a exact path using a graphical cross track error index. A “man overboard” feature instantly places the unit into a particular storyline sequence that always gives range and bearing back to the place where it was activated.
The storyline style histories and trails courses marked by up to 500 waypoints, entered into memory as latitude/longitude, range and orientation, or as words, numbers, or symbols. Up to 10 course strategies may be programmed with ranges from 1 to 100 nautical miles to give close up or broad place plotting.
The Raystar 590 continuously monitors as many as five satellites, and truth can be said to be within 15 m. Other attributes include audible and visible alarms for states like off path malfunctions or surpassing preset limit limits. Proposed list price is $2,995.
Another satellite network is in the making which will give a information and messaging service for small-scale boats. The service, called C Link, will be offered in late 1991 by Communications Satellite Corporation, Washington, D.C. C Link provides the advantages and security of satellite communications that were formerly not accessible to smaller boats.
The system uses a tiny antenna that’s usually no larger when compared to a football, a transceiver about the extent of an average marine radio and, most often, a laptop computer, to store and forward messages via telex and electronic mail networks. Additionally, it may be utilized for sending and getting information; remote observation and control; and reporting location, gear malfunctions, and crises. But, the system will not allow normal phone voice service.
Earth based stations and Inmarsat satellites supply two way communication. (Inmarsat is a worldwide venture that provides satellite services for cellular communications.) Normally, a PC feeds messages into the on board terminal, which carries the info via satellite to an earth station at a speed of 600 bits per second. A store and forward business prepares the message for delivery by electronic mail, telex, or facsimile. Delivery time is generally less than five full minutes. Time costs are predicated on volume of information sent. Typical on board hardware costs range from $6,000 to $15,000, depending on the maker and choices.
Many marine electronic equipment makers are joining formerly stand alone products into multifunction instruments, making the devices easier to use while reducing litter. By way of example, Apelco Marine Electronics. Tampa, Fla., joins three instruments in one with the LFC 6550 fish finder, Loran, and plotter. The apparatus constantly scans for and displays the location of bottom and midwater fish and other objectives, in ranges from 5 to 995 feet, fathoms, or meters. Digital readouts show underside depth, boat speed, and surface water temperature. Fish appear as LCD squares or as fish symbols, in step-by-step sizes proportional to the power of echo sounding returns. The unit also has a 4X zoom attribute and depth and fish alarms.
The LFC 6550 additionally has a total attribute Loran navigation system, programmed for all global chains. Up to 99 waypoints symbol path and destination. Added readouts show location, distance and bearing to waypoints, and directing guidance to correct for errors.
The plotter mode provides a split screen display that reveals fish finding graphs and navigation path. The user’s boat appears on screen as a flashing symbol. Scale ranges from 1 to 100 nautical miles, and an electronic line provides a visual trail of the route followed. The devices match new waterproofing standards at which units are subjected to waterjets of 65 gpm, at a distance of 10 feet, from all sides. Maker’s list price is $1,325.
A fish finder with discretionary Loranc capacity has been introduced by Lowrance Electronics, Tulsa, Okla. The LMS 150 screens fish symbols in various sizes and an audible fish alarm may be set to sound whenever the fish finder screens a symbol. The unit also distinguishes between things on or close to the base such as brush, weeds, or fish from the real bottom. A 45 [degrees] transducer gives broad area coverage while a 20 [degrees] transducer supplies more detail on a chosen region. Double transducer procedure enables a split screen display of both readings.
An add on LC-1 Loran module converts the unit into a complete attribute navigation and path plotting system. Screens contain a display revealing current location; a navigation display for location bearing and distance to go; a lead display using a pointer that reveals if the boat is off path, and by how much; and a plotter display revealing the path traveled and space to the destination. The LMS 150 is watertight and dry-nitrogen filled to prevent display fogging and internal corrosion. Recommended retail price is $499; the add on Loran module is $199.
Depth sounders and fishfinders have become common, but most are restricted in they give a 2D look below the surface. Measurement 3 Sonar from Humminbird Marine Information Systems, Eufaula, Ala., alters this with a 3D, live sonar screen. Three views are accessible: 3D views looking at the underside from a three quarter angle or directly forward, and a 2D view similar to other depth sounders.
Fish are displayed as small, medium and big symbols, and are revealed in accurate relative size no matter depth or standing from the boat. An alarm might be set to sound for a great many fish, or selectively by size. Other advice comprises submerged spaces, a bottom hardness index, boat rate, and water surface temperature. Two variants are available. One attributes 3D depth readings to 120 feet; the other gives 3D readings to 240 feet and 2D data to 600 ft. Recommended retail prices are $575 and $625.
Another invention bringing innovative, large boat abilities to the owners of trailer boats and even little sailboats is raster scan radar from Raytheon Marine. R10X Radar, with radome antenna, has a range of 1/8 to 16 nautical miles; the R11X, with a streamlined open array antenna, from 1/8 to 24 nautical miles. The close in range is specially helpful for navigating in narrow channels, inlets, and rivers, particularly when sailing during the night, during thunderstorms, or under limited visibility.
Front end receivers have low noise levels of 6 dB, compared with 10 dB typical of other radars, doubling the potency of the 1.5-kW transceiver. When coupled with navigational aids for example Loran, the radars supply readouts of bearing, range, and time to any chosen waypoint, plus visual steering system images.
To preserve electronics boat safety, especially significant on sailboats, the transmitter might be programmed to turn on at chosen time intervals to save power while keeping a security test of encircling waters. Other characteristics include a caution when objectives enter or leave user chosen regions; a 2X zoom function for a closer look at any given target on the display; and away centering up to 66%, to enlarge the forward perspective without altering range settings. The radome antenna weighs about 12 pounds and measures less than 18 in. in diameter. The open array antenna is 2.5 feet long and weighs 22 lb. List prices are $2,195 for the R10X and $2,995 for the RX11.
While products for example electronics boat safety , radar, navigation systems, and depth gages have helped to boost boating safety, most marine electronic equipment lose their worth when the boater or angler is overly busy or preoccupied to observe a display screen. The Depth Talker from Beede Electrical Instrument Co., Penacook, N.H., removes this issue by enabling boaters to continuously track changing water depth without referring to a display. The apparatus is an add on sound depth sounding accessory that verbally calls out depth readings at preset time intervals.
It links to present liquid crystal graphs, digital depth gages, flashers, and video fish finders, interpreting sonar signals from the boat’s depth gage and supplying precise readings down to 150 ft. Management alternatives include volume allowance, readout intervals from 4 to 20 second, a mode that reacts only when the depth shifts more than a chosen number, and a mode where the unit stays silent until depth is less than ten feet. Recommended retail cost is $150.
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