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Furuno 1st Watch Wireless Radar DRS4W

The Furuno DRS4W is the first wireless radar that can connect to your iPhone or iPad from up to 10 meters away. The radar is very similar to the Furuno 4KW dome radar, with a 36 mile range but the DRS4W has a built-in WiFi module. You still have to run a power cord but no thick radar cable. Two iDevices can connect at the same time and you get full touch interface using the free downloadable app. On first glance, I thought this was the coolest thing but upon closer examination, maybe not. The device uses a proprietary WiFi interface that only connects to iDevices, it cannot connect to another network. That means that the iPhone or iPad would either be your main navigation equipment or completely separate from your existing navigation equipment. If you have tried to use an iPad or iPhone on a sunny day on the bridge of the boat, it’s not easy to see - not to mention what happens when they get wet. If Furuno allowed other WiFi networks to connect it would help because you could use it with your existing marine navigation equipment. However, the downside is that radar streaming takes a lot of data. As it stands today, an iDevice should not be your only navigation equipment. It should serve as a back-up only. However, if you did not want to spend the money to purchase a traditional radar system, this is a good alternative. The North American pricing has not been announced but we suspect it will be around the $1,200 mark, roughly half of a wired radar.

Garmin Acquires Fusion Electronics

In our previous two Marine Electronics roundups we have been discussing the importance of integrating technology and platforms for marine products. These partnerships help further accelerate advancements in technology by improving connectivity, creation of turnkey devices, and even lower prices. In recent news, Garmin completed their acquisition of Fusion Electronics, a supplier of marine and car audio electronics, and has been rebranded as Fusion Entertainment.

Boater’s Test – Cell Phone Booster

Quite often we boat up at the end of Indian Arm, behind Croker Island and across from Granite Falls. The cell reception is spotty at best and it really depends on where you are standing on the dock or where you are in your dinghy out in the bay. There are a number of cellular to WiFi modem solutions, such as the Rogers Rocket Hub or the Telus Smart Hub, but I didn’t want to sign up to a monthly service. I also didn’t want to spend a lot on the initial hardware purchase or have something hard-wired to the boat.

Garmin Helm and Marine Wi-Fi Adapter Kit

In an earlier post, we looked at two very cool apps from Pocket Mariner, Boat Beacon and Boat Watch Pro. This time we would like to look at a new app from Garmin called Garmin Helm. This free app allows you to control a Garmin GPSMAP 8000 series with your iPhone or iPad when paired with the Garmin Marine Wi-Fi Adapter.

Garmin Glo Portable GPS and GLONASS Receiver

Recently we were looking at an AIS App developed by Pocket Mariner Inc. called Boat Beacon. This App provides AIS on any iProduct with iOS 6.1 or later and most Android smartphones and tablets. This led us to a product called Garmin Glo which enables GPS on iPod and WiFi only tablets via Bluetooth. The Garmin GLO Portable GPS and GLONASS Receiver locks on to satellites approximately 20% faster and remains connected even at high speeds.

Boat Watch Pro and Boat Beacon

Today I am going to look at two very cool Apps. If you don’t have your AIS up and running or perhaps, you don’t have AIS on board, there is a new app that allows you to point your iPhone camera at a boat and...

Battery Composition

Ever wonder how a battery stores electricity? The following article tries to summarize the system for our readers.

More Energy: Reducing Your Power Needs

Anyone that has ever lifted a battery knows that they are quite heavy and bulky. In many cases the demand for power on a boat is greater than the space that is available to hold the battery banks. In these instances...

The Four Stages of Charge

A charge controller or voltage regulator is an important addition to any boat that lacks one. The advantages of the existence of a voltage regulator include: longer life expectancy for the battery banks, faster and...

Battery Failure Part 2: Sulfation

In a previous article we discussed one of the causes of battery failure being the shedding of the active material. This shedding is inevitable with the age and normal usage of a battery. As all batteries have...

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