Category: Fishing & Sonar

New Garmin: Fantom radomes & Panoptix thru-hull FLS, plus radios & "budget" MFDs

Nov 2, 2016

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Were you hoping that Garmin would bring its Fantom solid-state radar technology down to radome size, including the Doppler-assisted target motion highlighting they call MotionScope? How about two sizes, 18 and 24 inch? Or maybe you're a Garmin owning cruiser jealous of Simrad or B&G users with ForwardScan forward looking sonar? That's also taken care of, sort of. And these are just two highlights of all the new products Garmin announced today, many of which will ship soon...

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Raymarine LightHouse R17 part 2: hands-on Navionics Dock-to-dock, SonarChart Live & more

May 23, 2016

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When Raymarine's significant LightHouse software Release 17 became public last Thursday, I'd already had a chance to test a beta R17 version on the water and was able to discuss the new global weather display feature along with the LightHouse WiFi capabilities that can make weather data access fairly easy. In this part 2 entry, I'll share my experiences with the new Navionics SonarChart Live display and Dock-to-dock Autorouting, and also discuss R17's new NMEA 2000 Audio app and other improvements...

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Garmin demos: GPSMAP 8600, ForwardVu, Fantom, Virb XE, Quatix3 & more

Apr 15, 2016

Garmin_GPSMAP_8617_on_Contender_25_aPanbo.jpgAt this moment in time, the Garmin GPSMAP 8600 multifunction display announced in February may be the most powerful premium MFD available. That's the "little" 8617 model of the series above -- apparently now shipping at $7,500 retail -- and that Quatix 3 smart/fitness/boat watch is not trivial technology either. So even given two full days with four Garmin-loaded boats, I feel like I only grazed the surface of all that's going on. And frankly, the story is similar across the four major electronics brands and beyond. Next week, for instance, we hope to share some startling new features that may be coming to an MFD already on your boat. Today, though, let's look at some Garmin demo highlights...

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Kite fishing for sailfish with Ben and Garmin

Apr 11, 2016

Garmin Media Event 2016 Miami Ben Ellison Adam HydeMy first official Panbo trip wasn't what I expected; it was much better. Garmin smartly decided to expand on their Miami Boat Show Fantom radar demo and many recent product introductions by inviting electronics writers to spend two full days with four well equipped saltwater fishing boats in Miami. While Ben suggested some topics to cover, the story I must tell largely involves kites and sailfish, though the electronics could not be ignored...

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Iris NightPilot, Humminbird SmartStrike, Vesper AIS update, and Icom 7300 HF Radio

Apr 7, 2016

Iris NightPilot thermal camera at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 2015Stormtroopers will be pleased with a new value-priced gyro stabilized thermal camera from Iris Corporation. The Iris255 NightPilot looks like an accessory from Star Wars and includes some pretty hi-tech wizardry considering its $4,895 suggested retail price. Specs include 320 x 240 resolution, 8x digital zoom, and built-in heater with automatic temperature control for cold conditions. And since Panbo wondered if the Iris NightRunner PTZ cam "was too good to be true" in 2013, the company seems to have established itself as a serious player in lower priced thermal cameras...

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Hobie/Lowrance fishing "kayak" & Simrad TripIntel

Feb 18, 2016

Lowrance_Ready_Hobie_Pro_Angler_14_BenE_cPanbo.jpgAfter four marine events (and three round trips to Florida) in five weeks, I've toured or ridden a lot of nice boats or at least interestingly equipped ones. But some solo time on a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 during the Navico writer's event at Hawk's Cay easily stands out. I think the design is only filed in Hobie's kayak section because "fishing kayaks" have evolved so fast a better category name hasn't emerged yet, and that thought doesn't include the unusual Mirage pedal-to-fin propulsion. Whatever you call it, this is a cool boat, and not just for fishing (though it must be a blast to play a big one from that low throne)...

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Lowrance & Simrad StructureScan 3D, hello interferometry

Feb 6, 2016

Lowrance_Simrad_StructureScan_3D_kit_cPanbo.jpgWhen I wrote about the StructureScan 3D announcement last July, I recall feeling a dite skeptical. Sure, the screenshots suggested that new users could more easily understand the 3D presentation of the sidescan data, but I wondered if they wouldn't go back to the apparently more detailed 2D presentation once they got a handle on it. But I was wrong. On-water demos have taught me that SS3D is much more than a visual gimmick. The 3D view can be really useful, especially for fishing, even though the new 3D transducer also produces the best 2D StructureScan imagery yet, plus there's some interesting and potentially valuable science going on behind the screens...

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Garmin 2016: Quickdraw sonar charting, smaller Panoptix, Striker, and lots of CHIRP

Nov 4, 2015

Garmin_Quickdraw_aPanbo.jpgGarmin put up a Marine 2016 site this morning and one thing many current Garmin owners will be excited about is the Quickdraw Contours sonar charting that will come to many current Garmin displays in January. Yup, you're going to be able to easily collect soundings as you cruise, sail or fish and, if you want, you can watch the resulting high def sonar chart materialize in your wake, as suggested above. Quickdraw is no surprise given the tussle over Navionics SonarCharts for Garmin, but naturally Garmin added some special sauce...

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Sonar wars: Lowrance StructureScan 3D, Raymarine SonarChart Live & GoFree Hooked

Jul 27, 2015

Lowrance_StructureScan_3D_split_screen_aPanbo.jpgThe competition around sonar burns hot on many fronts and the more the merrier, I say. At the recent iCast show Lowrance introduced StructureScan 3D, which displays in many ways like the Garmin Panoptix Down looking sonar which I saw demonstrated last February in its Forward looking version. Trade Only's Chris Landry noticed the similarity too and reports that SS 3D will also be supported on Simrad NSS evo2 displays. The necessary StructureScan 3D transducer and module are due out in December and purportedly improve on SS HD's standard down and side views as well as enabling the new 3D mode...

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Digital Yacht Sonar Server, keeping it simple!

Apr 20, 2015

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I'm really impressed with the Digital Yacht Sonar Server introduced last week, though it has almost nothing to do with the technology involved. In fact, I think the DY developers could have engineered this product in their sleep, as could several other companies that specialize in NMEA 0183 utility hardware. What's brilliant here is a simple, reasonably priced, and fast-to-market solution for certain boaters who are understandably hot to use the Navionics SonarCharts Live app feature on their phone or tablet. And Digital Yacht has backed up their marketing smarts with deep info on how to install the Sonar Server...

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