Panbo

Fusion Marine Stereo 700 series, holy mackerel!

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Oct 4, 2011
Fusion_Marine_Stereo_700_series.jpg

Pardon the lousy show booth photography, but you've got to see what Fusion Audio debuted at NMEA, and it's not fully online yet. The new MS-IP700 at upper right obviously has a color screen, but it also has both NMEA 2000 and Ethernet ports on its backside. Which means that it will be easy to install that new MS-NRX200 wired remote and it will even be able to display instrument info on its 2.7-inch monochrome screen (which is the same size as the 700 screen, because the collaged images are not to scale). And, yes, the Ethernet port is connected to a WiFi router which is being used by a Fusion app on that iPad at left to choose tunes, adjust volume levels on four possible zones, etc. But that is not all!...

The 700 series stereos -- there's also an MS-AV700 model with a DVD player inside and an optional iThing dock, quite like Fusion's 600 series -- are the first to include something called Fusion-Link. The idea is vaguely like the Simrad/Lowrance SonicHub (which Fusion builds), but now any marine electronics manufacturer can license Fusion's SDK and put full 700 series control on their device via Ethernet. And that means they can compete to design the niftiest MFD audio video interface. And, yes, the 700 series can output iTunes video just like SonicHub can, plus DVD video if you have the AV model. (What I don't think it can do is stream audio or video over Ethernet, but I'll bet that's on Fusion's development road map, along with the multi-sourcing.)

Fusion-Link2.jpg

So let's review. Either of the new waterproof 700 stereo heads -- which have nice controls themselves anyway -- can also be operated by a full-featured N2K wired remote, or by a phone/pad app, or possibly by an MFD at your helm...or any mix and multiples of the above. And Fusion claims that each of those new control types is a "World First innovation," and I think they're right.
   And they're not done! If you check out this mini site about Fusion Ethernet, you'll find Fusion's promise to provide wireless controls not just via Apple apps but also Android, PC, and beyond. There's also a mini site for Fusion-Link (actually what you get if you scan the QR code in the just printed 700-series brochure), and there you'll learn that Fusion plans to include SDK developer access to all future products, and hopes to see multi-manufacturer connectivity in everything from mega-yachts to trailer boats.
   There are more nice details -- and even other new products -- that I haven't covered here, but Fusion will be holding the major debut at the Fort Lauderdale Show, including the introduction of Fusion-Link partners. So while I'll have more on all this in the months ahead, what I hope I conveyed here is the big picture, because it seems really big. Of course I'd like to see how all these new interfaces actually work in the field, but I tentatively agree with Fusion's claim (on that Fusion-Link page) that it's working not just on the cutting edge of marine stereo, but of all integrated marine electronics.

Fusion_700_series_Ethernet.jpg

Comments

Wow. These folks have redefined what a marine radio is. Use to just be coated circuit boards and a splash proof cover. Now N2K, MFD integration, ...

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at October 4, 2011 9:10 PM | Reply

I have been using the Fusion 600 series head unit with the ipod dock inside for about 6 months now and it's probably my most used and favourite gadget on board. Great stuff.

I finally got around to installing the remote unit last weekend and had a hell of a time snaking the remote's CANbus cable through the engine room up to the flybridge. It did occur to more than a few times how much easier it would be if they could just tap into the NMEA2000 network. Also, the remote's screen is a bit limited...

Well, it looks like the new units have nailed it. Well done Fusion.

Posted by: Pi in reply to Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at October 4, 2011 10:11 PM | Reply

I'm excited, but at the same time my customer service and product quality experience with Fusion has been less than stellar.

My 600's iPod port died after the radio had been used about 6 total times... it charges the iPod/iPhone but makes no data connection. ("No iPod connected")

Calling their customer service, I was directed to the voicemail of apparently an engineer, as the CS department can only handle basic usage issues. No call back. I left another message and no response as well.

I'll give it one more try, but it's probably my last Fusion product. I had just purchased a SonicHub with all accessories prior to this issue, if it's not resolved I'll take it all back.

Posted by: Patrick at October 4, 2011 10:22 PM | Reply

Curious how many separate ethernet networks/routers/WiFi networks we will have on board, because right now most MFD manufacturers want stand-alone systems.

The immediate problem comes as an iDevice can only connect to one WiFi network, where we now have a potential for three, for example: Raymarine E7 internal router, Fusion Audio Router, Dockside Internet. What to choose?

I'm also not convinced that we want audio/video on the same pipe as navigation-critical items such as radar or cartography.

But, I'd love to be proven wrong, because the gear looks great!!

Posted by: AaronH at October 5, 2011 7:05 AM | Reply

I agree that onboard WiFi may become a new area of confusion and possible frustration. I do note at the Fusion-Link site that it wants a "3rd party Ethernet router supporting DHCP" so I think it could even work with NavNet. And remember that Fusion-Link does not involve streaming audio or video, just the passing of control messages, playlists, cover art, etc.

I don't understand the WiFi architectures of the Raymarine and Standard Horizon MFDs yet, but it's getting obvious that we really need a standard for encapsulating NMEA 0183 and 2000 over Ethernet/WiFi. I joked at NMEA that I'm looking for a pad with five WiFi radios in it.

Posted by: Ben in reply to AaronH at October 5, 2011 9:21 AM | Reply

I don't understand the issue. I can understand why an MFD would include all the necessary software and electronics so all the WiFi magic can happen sans a router, but why wouldn't every MFD with WiFi be configurable to use another available router?

If there is a good answer to that, then I would ask

1. If users on a boat want to surf the internet, receive email, etc. etc. wouldn't it be their choice not to connect to your MFD WiFi.

2. If users want to do both (surf internet and run an anchor application), wouldn't a smartphone (or iThing with 3G) recognize that the MFD isn't offering Internet, and rely upon the smartphone's built in Cellular radio to surf the internet and the WiFi to pickup instrument info?

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at October 5, 2011 11:51 AM | Reply

As far as I know, Raymarine SeaTalk HS is not dhcp assigned, each unit has a hard-coded IP address.

Posted by: AaronH at October 5, 2011 1:58 PM | Reply

My new boat came with a good head unit from the factory. The first thing I did was put a great speaker / amplifier (with subwoofer) system in and connected it to a $10 bluetooth receiver I purchased on ebay. It sounds amazing and the music source can be my phone, tablet or computer.

There is nothing proprietary about it. Low cost and high functionality.

For example all the music is controlled on the smartphone in my pocket and if a call comes in the music fades down and the phone rings.

I also have an apple Airplay system (which is a little more involved), but I highly recommend the $10 bluetooth setup to readers.

Posted by: dean at October 5, 2011 5:26 PM | Reply

Dean, I agree that Bluetooth Music Receivers are a cheap and neat audio accessory, and I covered the Belkin model last January: http://goo.gl/XpvXC

But a couple things to note. One, using an iPod's or smartphone's headset jack simply can not get you the audio quality possible through an iPod/iPhone USB port. Two, I've had access to my iTunes playlists, artist searches, and even videos via a high bright 12-inch display on my flying bridge all summer (NSE12 & SonicHub) and that's a quantum leap beyond any stereo head, remote, or smartphone interface I've ever tried on a boat.

And I understand that Fusion feels that the MFD interface can be done much better with more of their guidance (the Fusion-Link license) and Ethernet, and I'll bet they're right.

Posted by: Ben in reply to dean at October 5, 2011 6:15 PM | Reply

Off subject but important: As some of you know, Panbo has been causing a malware alarm in several virus scanners over the last few days. I now know that the Mad Marine ad server has been infected but I am told that no malicious ad URL's were propagated and therefore no one is in danger browsing this site. They are of course working to cleanse the server, but if you see an alert please don't hesitate to let me know by emailing ben (at) panbo.com. Please include screen shots or warning text captures. Thanks!

Posted by: Ben at October 5, 2011 9:19 PM | Reply

Thanks for your reply Ben,

I'm not sure I understand your point "One" but I can say my experience is that the sound quality from the sources I use (iPhone, iPad, BT receiver, Airpot Express, DVD player and MacBook Air) all sound the same to me. My speaker set up is a Sony / Bose combination and I arrived at this after auditioning many alternatives on board.

The most common source I use is the PC (iTunes) and I control this from anywhere on the boat with the iPhone or iPad using the free remote app. This also gives you complete access to playlists and even provides you with album artwork on the screen. It even lets me select different speakers on the boat for different zones and control these separately (e.g. outside, dining, bedroom).

A tap on the screen then brings up my charting application, weather information and web browsing etc.

The only reason I don't tend to stream directly from my phone or iPad to either bluetooth or Airport Express is because it uses a little more battery on the phone. This is not aways a problem.

The best part about this set up is that it seamlessly manages your music across all devices and even in the cloud in two weeks time.

Posted by: Dean at October 6, 2011 1:37 AM | Reply

Patrick my name is Chris Baird and I am the CEO of FUSION based in Auckland and I am very sorry that you have trouble getting onto us for technical support......this is not normal but needs to be addressed immediately. Please contact me direct on my email chris@fusionelectronics.com and I will personally make sure your issue is solved !!

Posted by: Chris Baird in reply to Patrick at October 6, 2011 3:45 AM | Reply

Ben, the audio connections in the iphone/ipod cable/connector are merely analog audio out, with no better quality then the headphone socket. Theres no specific digital output

Dave

Posted by: Dave in reply to Ben at October 6, 2011 3:45 PM | Reply

I understood different, Dave, but I'm checking. Actually I emailed Fusion's CEO about it, since he was brave enough to put up his address here!

Posted by: Ben in reply to Dave at October 6, 2011 4:32 PM | Reply

Dave,

You're only partially correct. The audio output connections in the cable are standard analog, however the Fusion connects to the iPhone/iPod through a USB data connection. It transfers the actual MP3 contents digitally, decodes and plays right from the receiver. So the only losses are from the MP3 itself and then the analog outputs on the receiver, none between the device and the head unit.

The way Ben described it, there is an analog vs digital difference.

Chris,

Thank you for following up. I have a lot of Fusion gear so it'd be great to get this resolved, or at least a response.

Posted by: Patrick at October 6, 2011 4:33 PM | Reply

Thanks, Patrick. That makes sense as that's how Fusion must play music off a USB stick. There's a USB port built into the IP700 dock, incidentally, and two on the separate dock. I presume that Poly Planar and other stereos that work with USB, Apple or otherwise, do the same thing. At any rate, I think there's a good chance that the resulting audio quality is better than simply amplifying the headset jack output.

Posted by: Ben at October 6, 2011 5:30 PM | Reply

Confirmation from Fusion engineer Alistair:

"The best audio quality is obtained from those sources which connect via USB, namely iPod, iPhone, and USB thumb drives, whether internally docked, or via an external dock. The MS-700 streams audio data direct from these devices to its internal audio DAC, providing the most direct path from source device to the MS700’s speaker and line outputs."

A DAC is a digital to audio converter.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Patrick at October 6, 2011 11:27 PM | Reply

An update for everyone... Fusion is taking care of me and assisting with my MS600 issue, thank you very much Chris for following up. The top of the line product in a vertical should be backed by top-of-the-line customer service, and that's exactly what Chris has done.

Kudos to him as well for keeping an eye on blogs like Panbo which are ever so important to the industry.

Posted by: Patrick at October 7, 2011 11:00 AM | Reply

I bought a Fusion MS-CD500 with an iPod dock in 2008. It wasn't long before Apple made a change in iTunes that made the Fusion's ability to control the iPod very kludgy and limited. I'm waiting for iTunes to render the Fusion useless.

I understand that I bought a stereo, not a computer, so assume there is no way to "upgrade" my Fusion, and I understand that the installed base of devices like this is so tiny that Apple has no reason to care, but three seasons is a little short on stereo lifespan for me to be happy.

Will the new Fusion gear allow for upgrades in the future to keep up with Apple?

Posted by: Jesse Deupree at October 14, 2011 8:43 AM | Reply

Ben: That is a great piece you put together for Cruising World on the multiple Fusion and other audio entertainment products.

Anyone who digs this entry should get a copy of the latest Cruising World.

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at October 16, 2011 10:08 AM | Reply

Thanks, Dan!

Hopefully the article will also go up on CW's site after a while:

http://www.cruisingworld.com/gear/electronics

Posted by: Ben at October 16, 2011 11:26 AM | Reply

Being in the thinking process about a future boat electronics, I naturally am used to cruise on Panbo.

And now, these news, with nice pictures of the new Fusion Electronics. First thing which came to my mind was: hum, NMEA connected, and indeed, it seems to pick up the time it is from whatever source (GPS, I'd guess).

So, any piece of information, as to if it could serve as a music alarm clock for the berthes? At home, I use Squeezeboxes for the rooms (best alarm clocks geeks could dream of), but I'm a tad more reluctant for it at sea (corrosion, and the need to maintain a Squeezebox server; the latter which would be doable, as the boat will certainly be Ku-Band internet served, but which I'd prefer to avoid).

Basically, I'd like to board on, put a USB drive in a USB port wherever (I hate ipods: proprietary crappy itunes instead of the proper UMS for music, unreliable, poor quality, proprietary connectors even for the headset ... lowest of the low, IMHO), and access my music everywhere: pilothouse, flybridge, and sleeping cabins; imperatively through a music alarm clock for the latter.

If this latest Fusion thingie (about which pretty much no information can be found on their websites; except advertisement useless junk, and that is, if you really search for it; quite disappointing from them, I'd like to tell) cannot serve as an alarm clock, I'll forget about it right now. Else, it may be something I could dig...

I sure as hell would never connect such an unit to my MFD's ethernet (which will surely be NSE12... whose ethernet has been designed from the start for much more serious information, like radar input), not anymore than I'd really want to waste literally vital MFD visual space with music control (seriously?), but such a thing as music alarm clock would just readily be what would sell the idea to me.

Also, if you have several 700 units, could they pick up the music from one and only USB drive?

... any information about all that?

Oh, and finally, first time poster here: thank you for your website. Only have been reading it till now, but I sure appreciate it a lot ;)

Posted by: Whynot at October 19, 2011 10:46 AM | Reply

I just bought a new (to me) 2007 Carver 466 to replace my 1989 47 Marine Trader. On the old boat, I used SONOS units to serve up music. It worked well, but with the NAS unit running all the time,and the SONOS units running all the time (they do not perform well if you turn them off when not in use), it was a power hog.

I can also attest to using the SONOS remote apps on the iPhone and Android (and iPad). Once you connect to the boat's wireless, you stop getting email and cannot browse the internet (unless you're using something like the Bay Boy Extreme AND you're located in a marina or close to one).

My new boat had a Clarion CMD4, which didn't play MP3 files or iPods, so I upgraded to the CMV1. This was okay for a few weeks until I tried scrolling through to find the artist ZZ Top among the thousands of artists on the ipod.

I had to reject the current Fusions, because I want wireless control.

I found out that the alpine had a quick scroll feature, so I bought one. I'm finding it incredibly hard to figure out, but it does sound WAY better than the Clarion (even though all the speakers are powered by JL Audio amps)

Neither unit gives me the flexibility to find a song if I want to. They both play playlists pretty well, and the Clarion has the definite edge on displaying what's on a playlist.

The new 700 unit from Fusion looks like it might be a real good fit. If not, it may be back to the SONOS

Posted by: Cameron at October 19, 2011 4:09 PM | Reply

I have a Fusion 600 series on my boat and have added the amp and sub woofer. Best I have ever owned. However I am having an issue keeping the sub woofer line that goes directly to my battery from corroding. I is not a solid wire but a straded. Everytime I get on the boat it has corroded at the battery terminal and I was wondering if I could use a different to avoid this issue in the future. The line does have a fuse in it.

JW

Posted by: John Watkins at January 20, 2012 6:10 AM | Reply

John, that sounds like a much bigger problem than the type of wire used. If the connection is corroding fast, it may also be generating a dangerous amount of heat and/or be part of an electrolysis situation that's damaging other parts of your boat! I suggest that you unhook that sub woofer amp until you find out why the fast corrosion is happening and fix it.

FYI, marine wiring is supposed to be stranded, and built to marine specs. It should also be sized for the maximum current load and distance traveled, and wires going to battery should be fused within 7 inches of it. To avoid fire!

Good info from Maine Sail here: http://goo.gl/6A7dS

Posted by: Ben in reply to John Watkins at January 20, 2012 8:48 AM | Reply

I got my IP700 on Friday and installed it yesterday. It does function very nicely, and it sounds very good.

I started last year on my boat with the Clarion CMD6 but hated the lack of navigation through my iPod tracks (try getting to ZZ Top when you have 9000 songs!) I moved to an Alpine unit, and it had more navigation options but it was difficult to figure out, and it looks cheap (even though it isn't). The Alpine sound was much better than the Clarion. Both were going into JL MHD amps to JL Audio 7.7 M series speakers.

The Fusion sounds as good as the Alpine, with very good iPod navigation. The screen is very nice and the whole unit is quite responsive.

I have one wired remote, but I didn't get the nmea adaptor cables to wire it into my nmea2k network. I'll have to get those this week and then we'll see how it works as a nmea repeater. I'm hoping to have depth and temp on the transom on the wired remote.

Also, I can't find the Fusion App in the iTunes music store, so no remote yet.

I hope they get that up soon.

Posted by: Cameron at April 15, 2012 4:28 PM | Reply

I just spoke with Fusion and they say the iPhone app will be release May 1, and the Android app June 1. The apps are going to be $40 each, with a separate iPhone and iPad app.

I'm going to buy it, but I really wish they'd just added $40 to the cost of the unit and made the app free. Not sure why this rubs me the wrong way but it does.

Posted by: Cameron at April 16, 2012 7:05 PM | Reply

I'd be shocked and highly disappointed if Fusion chose to sell these basic remote apps for $40 each. This also would mean the SDK would be extremely overpriced and/or extremely limited by license, or people would develop free replacements for the Fusion apps. I expected these to be free, or at the least maybe a buck... what kind of business model charges $40 for such a basic app?

I'm hoping the customer service rep got it wrong.

I installed my IP700 yesterday, if this turns out to be true and Fusion is on such an ignorant path, I can tell you right now it's going to be sold and replaced with something else!

Posted by: Patrick at April 16, 2012 9:48 PM | Reply

I just installed an IP700 as well. The sound is great. The interface works well. I love being able to have separate volume levels for the cockpit and salon. I thought that the price was great as well, but perhaps the idea is to make money on app sales. :)

I could do without the shiny chrome style bezel, but that is just a matter of taste.

What I can't fathom is why Fusion would elect to create yet another NMEA 2000 connector style. I also purchased the wired remote and find after opening the box I also need to get 2 adapter kits at around $50 each.

Charge another $100 for the main unit if you need the margin, but stick with standard connectors. Now I have to either wait another week for the adapters to arrive or cut off the Fusion connectors and install "real" connectors.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 16, 2012 11:15 PM | Reply

I've asked Fusion about those app prices, as I too am hoping that Cameron was misinformed. I can see charging for the app instead of spreading the development cost to all customers, especially as there are so many ways to run these systems, but $40 seems quite high. Particularly for users with multiple devices they might want the app on.

Meanwhile there's no question about needing a special adapter -- the MS-N2KCONN -- to get from an NXR200 remote or an xx700 head unit to a standard N2K backbone. I missed it on first glance at the manual, but check out page 30 after the PDF download here: http://goo.gl/pyFSO

Note that the NRX200 can be installed directly to an IP or AV-700 without additional parts, but I don't know why Fusion couldn't have made that possible using standard micro devicenet connectors. I've asked about that too.

Also, to my knowledge no marine electronics manufacturer has yet announced use of the Fusion Link SDK to make control of this system possible with an MFD, which is surprising given what Fusion was hoping for six months ago.

On the other hand, Fusion bit off a huge chunk of new technology here and we're just starting to see the first pieces. Glad to hear that early adopters are happy so far with sound quality and interface.

Posted by: Ben at April 17, 2012 8:29 AM | Reply

Jeremy,

I agree about the connector kits... if they're actually $50 each, I will probably end up making my own by splicing some Lowrance cables (inexpensive) in.

I was a bit disappointed as well as the SonicHub has both a standard Fusion remote connector and a Micro-C For N2K... but I believe the reason they "made their own" connector format (mini-DIN) is because the Micro-C connectors are very expensive compared to mini-DIN, and would be completely unnecessary for the majority of consumers who simply have a wired remote.

Ben,

I had hoped that since Fusion already had a nearly complete N2K command set linking the HDS/NS* with the SonicHub, that the Navico software could already be set up to communicate with the IP700. In retrospect this was probably wishful thinking, as Navico wouldn't want to hurt SonicHub sales, but I had hope.

Either way, $40 an app (I have an iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire I had wanted to connect!), plus $50 a connector kit are a substantial added cost, and it seems like no mistake that they didn't bother releasing these prices until after people bought the first wave of radios.

Posted by: Patrick at April 17, 2012 9:17 AM | Reply

I actually like the shiny bezel. The Alpine doesn't have that and it just looks and feels a little cheap compared to the Fusion or Clarion (even though it isn't).

I really like the crisp feel of the buttons and dial, they have a solid (not hard) key press and just feel well made.

I'm waiting to hear whether I can get the nmea2000 connectors or whether it will be weeks of waiting. I'm interested in Jeremy's idea of cutting the connectors and putting on Maretron micro NMEA2k connectors. I'd imagine that would actually be cheaper (and I know I could get the parts today).

Does anybody know what the wiring would be?

As to why they aren't standard connectors to begin with, I believe that the connectors are the legacy Fusion proprietary connectors from past units. The decision could have been made for the upgrade market so IP600 users could simply plug in to existing cabling.

I do agree that a simple Fusion to NMEA2k connector should have been included n the box. The wouldn't need to include the other NMEA2k components, those are already readily available.

Posted by: Cameron at April 17, 2012 10:24 AM | Reply

It's funny how the chrome trim can strike people in opposite ways. We've had at least one commenter who thinks Raymarine's new e-, c-, and i70 trim looks cheap, while I know a guy who recently bought i70 and p70 displays largely because he likes their looks and also thinks they will match his new Furuno NN TZ Touch displays better than anything Furuno offers! (NMEA 2000 being what makes this mix quite possible.)

As for a homemade Fusion adapter cable, I'd be quite hesitant to cut the existing stub cable for fear of finding very small gauge or otherwise hard-to-splice wires inside. Maybe Patrick can source a cable with a mating mini-DIN connector? It could be spliced to a standard N2K cable with less risk, though someone needs to come up with a pin out diagram.

It is true that Fusion has long been using these connectors for its CANbus remotes. The last system I installed even had terminators. But is this terminator really that much cheaper than a Micro-C in manufacturer numbers?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Cameron at April 17, 2012 10:55 AM | Reply

I think the chrome looks fantastic, though my radio is inside a freshwater cabin cruiser. Given the instructions for "chrome care" I would be a bit concerned about how it holds up in a true marine environment, but time will tell for those people!

There are certainly low-gauge wires inside... I wouldn't cut their existing cable (always a warranty pain), but would cut my extension cable that I use for my current remote. I'll have to re-look, but mini-DIN cables are easy and cheap, but the pin count must be correct for it to work.

I didn't know that the old remotes were CAN as well... perhaps the old remotes already spoke N2k?

Last I checked, a Micro-C in small production quantities was like 8x the cost of the mini-DIN... this will change as N2K becomes more and more popular, but it adds up. My package also came with the cheapest RCA splitter I've ever seen (the IP600 had two subwoofer outputs for left/right, they include a cheap splitter for the single subwoofer output on each zone on the IP700), so clearly cost savings is a priority and I'm sure these radios are not inexpensive to produce!

Posted by: Anonymous at April 17, 2012 11:34 AM | Reply

I think my problem with the chrome is that I have the unit installed inside the salon at the nav station. It looks very "shiny." It would probably look better in the cockpit.

I did cut one of the connectors off the extension cable that came with the N2K emote. The gauge is very small. Also, the colors are as follows:

1/ Red
2/ Black
3/ White
4/ Green
5/ Shield

Assuming that red/black are NMEA 2000 power and that white is Can Net High, would leave the Green as Can Net low. (Instead of the standard blue.)

I am just going to try some Maretron connectors instead of waiting for the adapter kits.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 17, 2012 2:03 PM | Reply

I checked on the app ETA and it is indeed May 1st for the iOX app and the Android app June 1st.

Price was quoted at $29.99.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 17, 2012 4:44 PM | Reply

I emailed Chris Baird at Fusion and he responded with the correct $29 price tag for the remote.

He cited development costs of $41k for the apps, which is actually pretty reasonable for such an undertaking. After Apple takes their cut, Fusion gets about $20, so they need to sell quite a few apps to return on their investment.

I can't really complain about the costs, and I'm not. The Clarion CMD6 was about $700 and it just sucked at everything it did.

Posted by: Cameron at April 17, 2012 5:13 PM | Reply

Just a quick update on the cable issue. My frustration was based on the labeling that the IP700 was "NMEA Certified." I assume that this means a device has NMEA 2000 connectors. (Not to stir up the whole NMEA certification issue again.)

Anyway, Fusion is saying that removing the connectors can damage the device. Not sure how, as the wires look straightforward. Wanted to pass this along as I saw some folks were planning on just this fix.

If you need adapter kits, you might want to connect Fusion directly. I don't think there are ready for retail sales just yet.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 18, 2012 10:37 AM | Reply

I asked Chris Baird about the wiring so I could cut and make my own ends, and he emailed back telling me that he will make sure that the connectors are available to me this week.

Nobody can ask more than that from a company.
A good product with good support. I only buy Furuno for that very reason. Looks like Fusion is keeping good company in my books.

Posted by: Cameron at April 18, 2012 10:38 AM | Reply

I heard from Chris Baird too, and the rational for mini DIN connectors instead of Micro-C is that it will be less expensive for customers who just want to hook a remote to a 700 head unit. It's certainly not a deal breaker -- the 700 series is a fascinating deal -- but I think Fusion may regret this connector decision. Here's why:

1. While it is still legal for a NMEA 2000 certified product to have a proprietary connector, the concept has not done well and I've heard N2K standards people say they hope they can make it go away altogether eventually. Consider how SimNet and SeaTalkNG used to be marketed as if a NMEA 2000 connector and cabling didn't exist. Now Simrad is putting Micro-C connectors on its new devices, and Raymarine lists a Micro-C adapter cable at the top of its accessory page.

2. One of the claimed reasons for SimNet and SeaTalkNG was that standard DeviceNet type cabling was too expensive, but that never seemed a reality. Check the prices; all marine cabling is expensive and the oddball ones like N2K adapter cables are particularly annoying as they're often hard to find. And while N2K connectors may be more expensive, but they are certified waterproof and they're reusable when you switch gear.

3. Regardless of the rules but given the prominence of NMEA 2000 compatibility in the marketing for the new Fusion gear, lots of users feel frustration like Jeremy's. They are not likely to care that stand alone users got a better deal or that they paid a bit less for a 700 and NXR when they discover that they'll need two Fusion MS-N2KCONN kits at $39 apiece (Chris's price) to put the two devices on their backbone.

Given all this and the extra ordering, stocking and question-answering hassle the adaptor kit will push through Fusion's entire dealer and installer network, I really wonder if using the DIN connector will save anyone money in the long run.

Obviously the connector isn't going to change anytime soon, but I think there are a few things Fusion could do to soften the impact. A big one is simply not surprising customers about it. How about an asterisk and "adapter cable needed" for every NMEA 2000 reference in the brochures and online?

And, by the way, how about a big shout out for Patrick, Jeremy, and Cameron, who are making this thread a terrific resource for readers interested in how the actual 700 system installs and works.

Another thing Fusion might consider is dropping the Tee that's apparently included with the adapter cable. Lots of boaters and installers have extra tees around already, and different brand tees don't screw together well anyway. Plus some users are going to N2K breakout boxes like Actisense's and Furuno's. At any rate, making the adapter cable surprise less expensive would be good.

Finally, I'm hoping Fusion will get the NXR200 and xx700 units NMEA 2000 certified as soon as possible, and that includes posting a list of PGNs sent and received. One of the downsides of using a proprietary connector is that consumers are less confident that the gear really will mix with other manufacturer's devices. I'm confident that the new Fusion stuff will (sort of) plug and play pretty well, but would like to see some proof (and try it myself).

And let's remember we're just talking about wires here, not all the innovations built into this system. I'm really looking forward to what the main development effort -- 1.7 million dollars worth, purportedly -- yielded.

Posted by: Ben at April 18, 2012 12:12 PM | Reply

Ben is eloquent as always. :)

Fusion has been super responsive to any inquiries. Add to this the fact that the unit is very innovative and sounds great. (I also added a Fusion sub woofer to my system when upgrading to the IP700.)

As Ben points out, the main issue is just aligning expectations. Overall, though, I am very happy with the unit.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 18, 2012 2:24 PM | Reply

I haven't heard back yet from Chris, but Robert emailed me to tell me they received some of the NMEA2000 kits in. The MAP price is $59.99. When I asked how I would go about getting them so I could actually utilize my replacement radio, he said they'll be available from marine retailers. Great help!

I'm looking at shelling out $300+ for new remotes, $150+ for cables to plug those remotes into the network standard they're supposed to utilize, and $90 for two basic remote control iPhone apps and an Android app (for my Fire).

Ben, both the remote and IP700 are already NMEA2000 certified.

Very disappointed with Fusion. Hopefully at the very least the IP700 will outlast the IP600's 8-uses-before-dying, and I can go through the fun of trying to get support for it.

Posted by: Patrick at April 18, 2012 5:32 PM | Reply

Patrick, I don't see Fusion listed in the NMEA 2000 certification database or on the page of new 2012 certifications, all at http://www.nmea.org/

I also can't find a list of supported PGNs on the Fusion site, which is a minimal certification requirement.

Don't know what to say about the adapter pricing; it seems confused.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Patrick at April 18, 2012 10:15 PM | Reply

Ben - Both product pages advertise NMEA 2000 certification (not NMEA certification pending OR the "NMEA2000 compatible" which I think we learned NMEA is willing to litigate), so I hope they are certified and can't imagine Fusion making that kind of slip-up.

If Fusion can't tell me how and when I can get my hands on some adapters, I'll make my own... for $50 you can get a Lowrance network starter kit and a 6-pin female mini-DIN, which gives you not only the cable you need to make the drop but also two terminators, a 2' cable, a 15' cable, and two tees. The power cables in the kits actually have all necessary pins and wires, they just cut the data wires before they break out the power wires, so it makes a perfect end for a device. For a buck more the kit and three mini-DIN connectors would give you 3 complete cables and two tees, you'd just need one more tee to connect to remotes and the head unit to your network.

These Lowrance network starter kits are how I've built my network so far as Scheels carries them locally, and at $40-50 each, they're cheaper than buying the parts separately. I'll drop a how-to guide for anyone who wants to make their own connector, I went the same route with my SimNet cable for my NSE8.

Since there is no information on a SDK, I'll also publish the PGN list and data format for the SonicHub which I already have captures for, and the format for the IP700 once I have a remote hooked up, if it differs substantially from the format SonicHub uses.

Hopefully the ethernet protocol is simple enough to sniff and decode, and it takes advantage of the available bandwidth and not just replicates the NMEA2000 protocol - the device apps should be able to download and cache song names/album art/etc. so it does not have to be transmitted, so I'm assuming it's a completely different protocol. Once this is complete, the community can distribute free remote control apps :)

The Fusion hardware (other than the "True Marine" mini-DIN connectors which are as waterproof as a piece of paper) has FANTASTIC build quality, but I think it's important to note that the $1.7 million in R&D costs are shared between the entire line. Like Navico's operating system, the IP700 probably runs a modified version of the same software in use by the IP600 and SonicHub, and most of the functionality already existed in the previous devices - SonicHub supported NMEA2000, and the IP600 already supported NMEA2000 in hardware and exposed the physical interface, it just would need a software update to be able to do so. Ethernet and color LCDs are relatively simple to implement, and both could have been supported by the micro controller already present in the IP600, just not utilized. (Color LCD almost certainly would have been)

Posted by: Patrick in reply to Ben at April 18, 2012 10:59 PM | Reply

Patrick, I agree that if Fusion has not actually gotten N2K certification yet (and posted the PGNs), they certainly intend to. I was just encouraging them to get on with it.

Speaking of NMEA 2000 testing, it's worth noting that Lowrance N2K cabling and connectors may not be "NMEA Approved". But the Garmin gear in its Starter Kit is listed in the N2K database:

http://www.nmea.org/content/nmea_standards/certified_produ.asp

I've used the Lowrance stuff myself without an issue, but folks should know that when an N2K network gets big, exact cable standards, especially impedance, are important. Panbo discussion here: http://goo.gl/c0mxG

I say "may" about the Lowrance cabling because pictures I see of the current starter kit make me wonder if they're now using Amphenol LTW cables and connectors, many of which are N2K approved. LTW makes a lot N2K gear (and waterproof Mini DIN connectors too): http://goo.gl/Ziqsm

At any rate, it's neat that you can now get both Lowrance and Garmin NMEA 2000 Starter Kits from Amazon (and many other outlets): http://goo.gl/xQhlz

Posted by: Ben in reply to Patrick at April 19, 2012 8:57 AM | Reply

Maretron makes field useable micro connectors. They are fairly easy to use and would make a fantastic connection. That's what I intend to use if I don't get some connectors from fusion.

Ben, I totally agree with your suggestion of maki a simple adaptor available. I will use maretron drop and T just to ensure a good fit with the rest of my maretron stuff.

A simple adapter should not be a significant cost. If they don't want to add them in the box with the stereo, add 2 in the remote boxes or make sure the dealer stocks them.

I must say that I am missing the remote. I wish they would simply release it. I may remove mine for the old alpine until the app is out. I need to be able to mute the stereo so I can take a call or answer somebody on the dock. It's annoying.

Ps. One cool thing I discovered. My iPhone has the iCloud feature and my boat has wifi Internet. I was listening to songs that I had not downloaded to my iPhone. The iPhone was streaming it from the Internet. That's cool

Posted by: Cameron at April 19, 2012 9:34 AM | Reply

That is cool!

Note that Garmin also offers field installable N2K connectors (which look surprisingly similar), though I think only Maretron has right angle ones as well.

Cameron, couldn't you temporarily install the NXR remote just using the included miniDIN cables?

Posted by: Ben at April 19, 2012 9:52 AM | Reply

The distance between the head unit and remote is oner 40' with bends, etc., so I just don't have the wiring.

I really want to see it more for the nmea functions right now anyway.

Posted by: Cameron at April 19, 2012 3:45 PM | Reply

I temporarily installed my remote to my NMEA 2000 bus as follows:

I install the tees provided with the remote, one to the remote and the other to the ip700. I then cut the connectors off the Fusion backbone cable that also came with the remote. (Leaving at least 6 inches of cable on each connector. Next I installed Maretron field installable connectors to the wires on each connector.

Each Maretron connector was then added the the NMEA 2000 backbone via the standard drop cable/tee combo.

This is a messy, but it works. My network is a bit busy and there is sometimes a delay when using the remote in getting to the menu where artists, playlists, etc can be selected. Volume control and track advance controls are immediate.

To be fair, I should mention that I have the remote on my secondary, low priority NMEA 2000 bus. The ip700 is on my primary bus and both are bridged with a Maretron NBE100. I would imagine the response would be even better in system without all this complexity.

For my purposes it works well. I installed the remote within easy reach of the saloon table to control volume and tunes when eating. (My wife is picky about phone being used while eating, so the app is not an option. :)

The plan is to swap out my temporary adapter fix as soon as the Fusion adapters are available.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 22, 2012 10:31 AM | Reply

Thanks, Jeremy. So two standard N2K tees and a miniDIN backbone cable come with the NXR200 remote? It sounds good that someone can try making their own adapter cables without cutting the cables coming out of the 700 and NXR. I also see that Overton's has the needed male Maretron Field Attachable micro connectors (and all the other models) for just $15 a piece, shipping included: http://goo.gl/0epHM

Posted by: Ben in reply to Jeremy at April 22, 2012 10:55 AM | Reply

Not quite. The kit that comes with the remote includes:

(2) Fusion style N2K tees. (DIN connectors)
(2) Fusion style terminating resisters. (Din connectors
(1) backbone cable. (Din connectors.)

Note, Fusion uses different pin layouts for their drop cables and backbone cables. (As does Raymarine.)

I ignored the terminating resistors and cut the backbone cable to make the adapters. The tees connector to each device via the short drop cable that is attached to each. I then connected the adapter cables to the tees and then to the network.

As I said, a bit messy but it works.

Posted by: Jeremy at April 23, 2012 11:58 AM | Reply

Does anybody have the pin-out for the DIN remote cable and what type of Mini DIN plug Fusion uses? I currently have a clarion m309 installed with remotes in 2 places and given the 8 pin din connector of these units it should be possible to make up an adaptor cable so I don't have to pull in new cables for the remotes.

Posted by: Thomas at April 26, 2012 1:55 PM | Reply

Jeremy had the color codes figured out I think.

The mini-DIN is your very common 6-pin. The head unit has a male end, I am assuming remotes do as well making them all "devices" on the bus.

Posted by: Patrick at April 26, 2012 4:19 PM | Reply

Patrick wrote:

> Since there is no information on a SDK, I'll also publish the PGN list and data
> format for the SonicHub which I already have captures for, and the format
> for the IP700 once I have a remote hooked up, if it differs substantially from
> the format SonicHub uses.

You're most welcome to fork https://github.com/canboat/canboat as a starting point. Send me a pull request once you have the Sonichub PGNs added, or email me a diff, to contribute your enhancements.

Posted by: Kees in reply to Patrick at April 27, 2012 3:11 AM | Reply

Hi guys, the FUSION-Link app for iPhone and iPad is now available on iTunes, simply search fusion-link. I'm based in NZ so it may or may not be available to those in the US until the 1st.

{Nope, not available in the States quite yet -- ben}

Posted by: James at April 30, 2012 3:38 PM | Reply

I downloaded it also. I'll be on the boat tomorrow or Thursday and will let everyone know how it works when I try it.

Posted by: Cameron at May 1, 2012 9:03 AM | Reply

I am probably overcritical at this point, but I'm not impressed with the iOS app whatsoever. If they had hit a home run, MAYBE I could justify spending the $30 I spent... but they didn't.

Instead of a standard iOS interface, they made their own... I suppose so it's consistent between the Android and iOS versions. But it leaves a lot to be desired. Buttons are small and nothing is very intuitive. It's easy to use, but not intuitive like most iOS apps are. There's a "menu" button at the top right, and a little "up arrow" around the playing controls.

You can't select a zone and have the volume on the screen, you have to go in and select a zone and then change the volume. I forgot to try the volume button on the phone, but I'm guessing it does nothing in Fusion-Link's app. (It may be Apple doesn't let you receive events on it and not modify the phone's volume)

They require iOS >= 5.0, which means your original iPhone won't play ball... I keep mine around solely to use as a remote. (Apple's "Remote" is a perfect example of a good remote). It works fine on my 4S and 3GS though. On the 3GS, I started it still connected to my home WiFi, launched the Fusion remote which couldn't find the radio, and then switched to the correct WiFi. But the Fusion remote app wouldn't find the stereo, I had to restart the iPhone for it to be detected.

Having the power of a larger device at hand with a great user interface, I expected something similar to Apple's Remote app in terms of searching and playing songs. Instead, you are stuck with the same interface as the radio and radio remote - select Artists, select the first letter, find the artist, etc. It would be great to start typing and have it search like iTunes - no dice.

There is no local caching of information, so you can watch as you scroll it downloads the information it needs each time.

Overall, it's what they should have given away for free. It's not terrible, but it's mediocre - not great like the hardware is, and certainly doesn't justify a $5 price tag let alone $30. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but compare Fusion-Link to Apple's iTunes Remote app (free), which is simpler but works far better. IMO as simple as it is, it's the benchmark in this category.

Posted by: Patrick at May 1, 2012 12:33 PM | Reply

I have the app running on both my iPhone and iPad. (Both use the same iTunes account, so two devices required only one purchase.

Patrick is probably correct in his criticisms, but to me, just being able to control the stereo from anywhere in the boat is pretty cool. I do think the iPad app is better than the iphone version--just a function of more screen real estate.

Overall I am very happy with the Fusion 700.

Posted by: Jeremy at May 1, 2012 1:30 PM | Reply

I've been using the app for the last hour or so. I have to agree with Patrick that it's not as intuitive as the Apple Remote App, or the Sonos that I used to use on the boat. It gives you exactly the same interface as the head unit, which is really all I expected.

It works and is easy to use. The one feature I miss from the Sonos is being able to add tracks to a playlist on the fly. That was great and sometimes at the end of an evening you had a great playlist you could save for later. The nice thing with the App is that it's version 1.0. version 2 may have all these features.

You have to start somewhere, and personally, I'll take limited features that all work over lots of features that don't.

I'm not happy about $30 but I'm not broken up about it. Really, in boating, $30 may be the cheapest thing I've ever bought.

Posted by: Cameron at May 2, 2012 1:48 PM | Reply

I've been using the app for the last hour or so. I have to agree with Patrick that it's not as intuitive as the Apple Remote App, or the Sonos that I used to use on the boat. It gives you exactly the same interface as the head unit, which is really all I expected.

It works and is easy to use. The one feature I miss from the Sonos is being able to add tracks to a playlist on the fly. That was great and sometimes at the end of an evening you had a great playlist you could save for later. The nice thing with the App is that it's version 1.0. version 2 may have all these features.

You have to start somewhere, and personally, I'll take limited features that all work over lots of features that don't.

I'm not happy about $30 but I'm not broken up about it. Really, in boating, $30 may be the cheapest thing I've ever bought.

Posted by: Cameron at May 2, 2012 2:35 PM | Reply

Cameron, Jeremy, and Patrick,

I'm probably not the only one wondering if there were any issues getting the Fusion 700 unit to work with a WiFi router. Also, thanks again for the team review (though I'm still hoping to try the new Fusion system myself). As a matter of curiosity, where are you guys and what sort of boats are involved?

Posted by: Ben at May 2, 2012 4:22 PM | Reply

Ben,
My boat's a Carver 466. I have the Fusion hard wired with Cat6 cable to a Netgear N600 wireless router. I have that router connected (through its WAN port) to a 3G router (called a Rocket Hub by the local carrier here). I've played with a number of wifi routers both on the boat and at home. I've had problems with almost all of them that range from DHCP issues (almost all have had this problem), bandwidth and range and other dropping issues that require a router reset. I bought one of the Netgear units for home in January and haven't restarted it or dropped a connection since it was started. I figured if it worked that well at home, it would work at the boat (where the unit is installed behind the wall mounted TV and not easy to get to).

One issue I've had with iPhone apps that control devices is the connection time. Whenever I start the app (Sonos and Panasonic come to mind), it takes 15-20 seconds and sometimes fails to connect. This makes the app useless for what I want (to mute it quickly or adjust volume, etc). The Fusion app connects very fast and so far has connected every time.

My boat is on land right now getting bigger trim tabs installed and I was able to connect and control the Fusion from about 100' away inside a building.

Posted by: Cameron at May 3, 2012 3:25 PM | Reply

We've also been reviewing the 700 series with a lot of interest. One question that has come up from customers has to do with Apple's recent connector change (new iPhone, Gen 6 iPod, etc). Are there any plans for Fusion to include Airplay support in the future? I don't think the MS-IP700 supports the new "lightning" interface for Apple. Does it?

Posted by: Jacques at November 5, 2012 2:43 PM | Reply

Jacques, Fusion told me that they learned about the Lightning connector just about when we did, which seems quite rude of Apple. I doubt that there's any way that an adapter can be fashioned for the 700 Series but maybe they can come up with a way to support both connectors in a future model. And I don't know about Airplay support.

I guess it doesn't matter now but interesting that Guy Kawasaki says Apple should have gone with micro USB: http://goo.gl/tmN5X

Posted by: Ben in reply to Jacques at November 5, 2012 3:44 PM | Reply

Chris Baird of Fusion writes:

Fusion is working on a number of areas to do with the iPhone 5 and Lightening connector. Put simply the IP-700 is an iPod & iPhone inside product but the iPhone 5 is too long to fit inside the stereo and also of course there is nowhere that we can fit an Adaptor for the Lightening connector.

There are certainly plans for us to implement Airplay with the 700 series (the 700 can be software up-graded in the market using a USB Stick ) and other future products. We are also designing a Bluetooth 'Dongle' that can be used with our existing 600 series and another one that will plug into our 700 series and future products.

Hope this helps,

Chris.

Posted by: Ben at November 5, 2012 8:48 PM | Reply

Chris,

I would be very interested in hearing more about your airplay plans. I think this would be a great idea and resolve my complaints about the iPhone interface. It's slow and can't queue up songs- a big problem for me.

Posted by: Cameron Hancock at February 8, 2013 9:18 PM | Reply

Most of the Ethernet protocol is pretty easy to sniff. (Last year Fusion charged $4500 for the SDK. That could be different now.) In most cases the protocol is very similar to the NMEA 2000 version. Last year, I used this information to write a pretty simple iOS app.

Posted by: Mike Foley at May 8, 2013 12:47 PM | Reply

I would echo Patrick's complaint. The telephone support is less than I would expect. I bought the new MS- IP700i but I also bought the remote wired control MS-NRX200. Unknown to the rest of the universe the cabling changed. Just try to get someone on the phone. The first call, I was told he was at lunch, the second call went to voice mail. I am on a boat trying to debug this thing and I there is only ine person in the entire USA. thta can help and he is at lunch.

I finally got the new cable postage due. The only thing world class about FUSION is the hype.

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Patrick at June 7, 2013 4:52 PM | Reply

I agree that Fusion is poor at communications, press included, but I think it's undeniable that they are world class in terms of innovating marine stereo.

I just learned a bit about the MS-IP700i today and know that one major change is an exterior USB port able to support the new Unidock: http://goo.gl/NgDQF

Did they also change from a proprietary NMEA 2000 cable/connector to a standard port (like they should have done in the first place)?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Anonymous at June 7, 2013 8:10 PM | Reply

I hope they do something to improve the iPhone support. When I put my iPhone in the "oven" (the connector in the radio below the front plate) after about 45 minutes, the iPhone over heats and shuts down. And this is in Seattle with an outside temperature in the 50's... A much better solution would be to enable streaming music via Bluetooth to the 700 such that the phone doesn't cook.

Posted by: Mike Foley at June 7, 2013 8:17 PM | Reply

Hey, Mike, Fusion Bluetooth streaming is here, with a choice of two modules, just got the press release. "...the new MS-BT200 allows streaming of audio files and metadata for on-screen track display with play, skip, and stop stereo control, while the BT100 module simply streams audio requiring a mobile device for control." The BT100 plugs into the auxiliary port while the BT200 uses the Sirius port.

They're already listed at some outlets and are supposed to ship this month:

http://www.boemarine.com/fusion-ms-bt200-bluetooth-dongle-f-ra205-ip700i-map-69-99/

http://www.imarineusa.com/fusionms-bt100bluetoothdongle.aspx?gclid=CL78lPH01LcCFSJqMgod-msABw

By the way, I don't think that your overheating problem is normal. Have you asked Fusion about it?

Posted by: Ben in reply to Mike Foley at June 8, 2013 12:50 PM | Reply

Thanks for the pointer to the BT100/BT200! I'll get one on order. That will solve the overheating issue as well as allow me to control the stereo from the phone which wasn't possible while it was in the oven.

I didn't ask Fusion about the overheating problem. In my fist communications with the company, I just got the run around, so I didn't try with this issue...

Posted by: Mike Foley at June 8, 2013 1:17 PM | Reply

More Fusion discoveries: the "FUSION-Link wireless remote control app for iPad and iPhone is available for FREE for a limited time from iTunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fusionlink/id520377783?ls=1&mt=8

and the "Android app will be available from June 2013."

Posted by: Ben at June 8, 2013 1:42 PM | Reply

I contacted Garmin today after the installation of a Fusion IP700 and a Garmin 8015 with the hope that the Garmin S/W relaese 3.20 would have the Fusion compatability included, no such luck. I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer to get funtionality. Same goes for furuno's TZTouch line.

Posted by: Rascal at June 10, 2013 5:38 PM | Reply

Garmin 6000 and 7000 Series got the Fusion Link update in February or March, in V. 4.60, as indicated here:

http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4749

I was excited about trying it too, but then found out I needed a software update for my early run IP700 test unit, which I haven't figured out yet. Doh!

On the other hand, I took the currently free Fusion Link iThing app out to the boat today, put an Ethernet cable from IP700 to boat router, and the app just worked. I think it's quite well done too.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Rascal at June 10, 2013 8:31 PM | Reply

Ben I also have an early version of the Fusion IP7000. I want to use it with my Garmin 6212 and 4210. I'll have to check my latest software version in the Garmin plotters. I wonder if it would also work on my Garmin 740s that is networked via NMEA2000?
Bill Lentz

Posted by: Bill Lentz at June 10, 2013 10:03 PM | Reply

Bill, I think that so far Garmin is the only company doing Fusion Link over NMEA 2000. Raymarine and Furuno are using Ethernet:

http://www.fusionelectronics.com/marine/innovation/innovative-connectivity/fusion-link

According to the Garmin link in my comment above, your 6212 got FusionLink in V4.50, but your 4210 doesn't have it yet. The latest update for the Garmin 740 was last November and doesn't include Fusion Link:

http://www8.garmin.com/support/ch.jsp?product=010-00835-02

I don't know how far back in hardware models Garmin is able or willing to add FusionLink.

Posted by: Ben in reply to Bill Lentz at June 11, 2013 12:51 PM | Reply

«More Fusion discoveries: the "FUSION-Link wireless remote control app for iPad and iPhone is available for FREE for a limited time from iTunes.»


Ummmhhh... paid $9.99 for it on 2/22/12.

Posted by: Xavier Itzmann in reply to Ben at June 11, 2013 2:50 PM | Reply

I too am waiting for Fusion Link support on my Garmin 4212. From the Fusion/Garmin press release on Oct 25, 2012:

"Available in 2013, FUSION-Link will be compatible with Garmin 6000 and 7000 series MFDs,
with expansion throughout the Garmin product range to follow. For more information on
Garmin and its GPSmap 6000 and 7000 series displays, visit www.garmin.com. "

Unfortunately I can find nothing on the Garmin site that mentions this "expansion throughout the Garmin product range" for Fusion Link. Not surprisingly it only talks about the released functionality on the 6000 and 7000 series, but here's hoping.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 14, 2013 5:44 AM | Reply

I just emailed the marine media person at Garmin hoping he can find out which models will get Fusion Link. Garmin has a great track record for adding new features to older products when possible, but I think that press release should have said "...with expansion throughout the Garmin product range to follow as possible."

At any rate, I hope the range is wide because I got Fusion Link going on my test 7212 yesterday and it's really, really well done. I was using touchscreen of course, but everyday IP700 remote control was very easy from the "Media" data bar but you can also go quite deep into Fusion tweaks and setup details, like the audio equalizer and even typing zone names on the Garmin screen keyboard.

Posted by: Ben at June 14, 2013 9:49 AM | Reply

Well, maybe good news that Fusion Link on Garmin 4/5000 series is "very possible"... but not so good that actual update plans are uncertain at best. From Garmin:


"Although we don't currently have plans for 4000/5000, it's not out of the realm of possibility to integrate this. I believe our current plans will constitute the 8000 series and new standalone units but once those are done, it's very possible to have the 4000/5000 integrated with Fusion."

Posted by: Ben at June 14, 2013 11:17 AM | Reply

Has anybody seen any progress from Navico on supporting the IP700 from the touch based units. We have the B&G Zeus Touch 12 - sure would be nice if it played well with the Fusion.

Posted by: Ken Hamric at June 14, 2013 4:44 PM | Reply

Thanks, Ken! Simrad and Lowrance Fusion Link are going to happen, though no telling yet when, how (N2K or Ethernet), or which models. The news just came out:

"Fusion-Link is now available on a variety of devices from Furuno, Garmin, Murphy Instruments and Raymarine with others manufacturers, including Lowrance and Simrad, rolling out compatible products later this year."

http://goo.gl/yG15u

Posted by: Ben in reply to Ken Hamric at June 14, 2013 5:07 PM | Reply

Good to see that announcement Ben - appreciate the heads up!
Ken

Posted by: Ken Hamric at June 14, 2013 6:55 PM | Reply

«Lowrance and Simrad, rolling out compatible products later this year.»

So, these guys have been running promotions, rebates, "buy this get that free" for a while now. Are we about to see new generation MFD technology replacement from the Navico guys?


(so wrote the guy who just today finished installing current-generation Navico stuff all over the place in his own boat....)

Posted by: Xavier Itzmann at June 14, 2013 10:54 PM | Reply

Don't feel too bad I remember when I installed my Garmin 3210's and built the entire network to only find out the 4200/ 5200 series were coming out with NMEA2000. Then I went to 4200 displays to have them launch the 6200/7200 series I upgraded one of the plotters to a 6212 then the old 3205 was eventually replaced by the 740s. I am at the point that I am happy with the equipment I have. The 8000 series look real nice but I'm not buying.
Bill

Posted by: Bill Lentz at June 15, 2013 12:52 PM | Reply

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