Sep 03, 2014
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.