Furuno TZT3 on the Water

40 Responses

  1. John Michaels says:

    Good morning,

    Thank you for the great article!!!!
    Also for having a good laugh this morning about the “manufacturer who will remain nameless”!!
    I thoroughly enjoyed the photo of your “old regime” boat…
    Thank you for all your hard work!
    As a sales manager of a large retail boating chain, I enjoy your writing!!

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Yes, isn’t it great to have Fred Khedouri back on Panbo with all his experience owning and using serious fishing electronics? Please honk if you’re grateful, and especially if you hope he’ll share more detail about how to use the tools to find the fish you’re after (and get back to harbor safely)…

  3. Bill Schwabe says:


    After I finished up this installation I only had two days of running her while I ran his boat back home to play with the new system. I deliberately left almost all of the final configuration to his expertise. “Out of the box” the system did everything anyone could ask for and from his excellent descriptions and screen shots I can tell I was hardly utilizing half of it’s capability. I might have to find a reason to go do some warranty work after this virus situation calms down, an extended fishing trip, err, sea trial, might be in order!

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Bill, one pleasure of editing this article was looking closely at Fred’s photos showing how cleanly and beautifully this boat is built, even when you were further challenged with replacing most of the electronics. Tip of a Panbo cap to you, sir.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    With radar that can see a thunderstorm 95 miles away, even with a lot of rain in between, Fred practically has his own mobile NEXRAD station. But even a DRS4D-NXT radome does quite well at rain cell imaging (within about 12-16 nm), plus some of the screenshots I’ve put up over the years are good at illustrating the difference between the Target Analyzer and Fast Target Tracking (ARPA) features:


  5. Vaibhav says:

    very interested article… really appreciating your work… thank you for sharing this kind of information…

  6. Orin Guidry says:

    Great article. I particularly appreciated his comments about the SCX-20 Satellite Compass.

    I have a relatively new Simrad system. We could never get accuracy and reliability from the Precision-9 electronic compass.

    Replaced both the electronic compass and the GS-25 GPS antenna with a HS-60 satellite compass and it made all the difference. Probably not as accurate as the Furuno SCX-20 Satellite Compass but a huge improvement.

    My question is why don’t the manufacturers and installers push satellite compasses rather than electronic compasses and GPS antennas? The cost is equivalent and the installation much easier.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      I agree that satellite compasses are generally under-appreciated, but most MFD systems include GPS these days and the suggested retail for an HS60 is $1,000 vs $645 for the Precision-9 (which has 9-axis rate compensation that likely works well on many vessels). Conventional sat compasses are also subject to multi-path interference that can really hurt performance.

      But the SCX-20 at $1,195 retail seems to be truly different, and Furuno has also addressed the issue of configuring and updating a device like this when their own MFDs are not on board, as explained at the end of this entry:


  7. John Michaels says:

    Very interesting article!!
    I’m in the process of changing to B&G Zeus3S with wireless 320, and not the DST indicator. Instead, I could use the the SCX20 and for depth, I could use a stracture 3D transducer that not only will give me depth and temp but a nice view of where my anchor will settle!!!!
    And no more speed wheels to change!!
    Any thoughts are welcome…

  8. Albert Diaz says:

    Great article. I also have a tzt2 and replaced an old navnet unit with the tzt3. I am really happy with the setup. New transducer b275lhw is amazing on the new tzt3 unit.
    One point you mentioned in your article is something I’ve struggled with for a while. I want to be able to set fuel tanks to manual so that I can see actual fuel burn but when I do that the tank % disappears. Seems that you found a work around but I am not sure I fully understand what you did. Would be great if you shared your insight. Many thanks.

    • The work around requires “fooling” the TZT 3 into recognizing your fuel tank by configuring it as another type of tank. I have Garmin GFL-10 NMEA 2000 tank senders. They allow designating the tank type as “fuel”, “fresh water”, “waste” or “oil.” I changed the setting from fuel to “oil”. The tanks miraculously reappeared while still in manual fuel mode on the TZT 3. Unfortunately, they are labelled “oil” now but at least I can display the readings. Mades the boat seem Italian — “gasolio” being what they call Diesel fuel.

  9. ilhan says:

    Very beautiful and carefully crafted article. Thank you
    Furuno Commercial fishing and maritime produces great products. This knowledge and experience will make feel more in sport fishing in the coming years.

  10. Anonymous says:

    FYI – The desired manual fuel management calculation while showing fuel tank levels is under discussion by our developers. We will try to provide the capability in the next TZT3 software revision. Thank you.

    Furuno Product Dept.

    • Great, it’s one of those minor annoyances that one hopes is an easy fix. We all enjoy watching the fuel slosh around bouncing the gauges around as well as knowing how much we actually have on board.

  11. Wolfgang Jansen says:

    Very nice article, personally because of the good review of the DRS25A-NXT. Thank you.
    (The DRS25A-NXT is on my shortlist. It requires an investment in Furuno MFD and/or TZ, but in my case this counts for other brands too.)
    I am also following Furuno’s electronics comparison on youtube particularly because of the radar part.

    • Perhaps I should have spent more time discussing the target tracking performance of the DRS25A-NXT, which is one of its most impressive aspects for someone who operates in waters with a lot of boat traffic. I was out fishing this morning and heavy fog rolled back in. Using the dual range screen at 6 miles on one side and 0.5 miles on the other, the radar was automatically acquiring and displaying the course vector lines of about 30 boats that ranged from 18′ center consoles to a 300′ survey ship. I tried cancelling all targets a few times to see how long it took for the radar to display them again. In just a few passes (less than 15 seconds), it had reacquired them all. The ARPA is one of the major differentiations between the Furuno radars and other companies. I think they do it a much better.

      • Wolfgang Jansen says:

        Maybe an additional article?
        Currently we have an inland radar (conform EU Rhine regulations), since 1995 or so. In this field there ar not much changes, approved radar systems are still magnetron based.
        Back then it was ownsome, it required (and stil does require) a resolution to separate close targets at 1000m. (In essence a 6-7ft antenna is needed for that.)
        Digital revolution for inland (Rhine) radar is more focussed on overlays, chart, ais etc.
        In my opinion sea radars improved much more, from the transmitting side, up to now with the current doppler radar systems.

        • I should think that for inland canals and rivers the DRS6A-NXT would be more than sufficient with a 1.8 meter antenna for best target separation. It has all of the target tracking and other related functions of the DRS25A-NXT at less than 2/3rds the cost. The performance improvement with the DRS25A-NXT mostly affects ranges greater than 8-10km, which is not so relevant to inland waterways. That is unfortunate that the EU has not revised its regulations to permit the solid state radars. The low radiation would seem an especially positive feature given the density of people on the banks and the proximity of other boats. We used to joke that with the 25kW magnetron radar, I could see birds at long range and cook them at close range!

  12. Don Joyce says:

    V7 firmware update for the “old” TZ2 MFD’s comes with a fly in the ointment: The installation instructions note that the unit will need to be rebooted at least every 12 hrs or else….. Apparently the features added with v7 are pushing the TZ2 hardware close to the edge. While not the end of the world for those of us out for multiple days, it does necessitate extra planning when approaching more challenging navigation situations to be able to avoid having the MFD fail and reboot on its own. I’ve already experienced this unanticipated reboot on two occasions with V6.21, albeit in the middle of no where and only after several days underway. I certainly hope this can be resolved.

    • I have two TZT 2 units, one on a small skiff and the other on my larger boat on the network with the TZT . Both were running the beta v 7 and now the released version. I have never had a reboot on either in many hours of operation since April when I got the beta.

      in fact I would say that v 7 appears to run faster than 6.26. I saw the reference in the update instructions to do the “housekeeping” restart, which is something I have never done. It seems very unlike Furuno to release software with a known problem. They tend to do fewer updates than some others and more testing before release. Have you had reboots with v 7 yet?

      One thing that helps clean up hidden issues when all else fails is to go into the Service Manager and do a true hard factory reset back to out of the box default condition.

  13. Always a risk. You are probably right to wait to do the update until next release. I did not have a choice because of having a mixed TZT 2/TZT 3 network. The TZT 2 has to run v 7 to be on the same network because the TZT 3 incorporated a change to the file system.

  14. Bill Schwabe says:

    I had the system powered up for long periods several times and never saw any issues. One time I left it on more than 24 hours to see if the SCX-20 would acquire a satisfactory signal while under our steel roof. During the delivery one leg was a 360 mile haul and it was on for over 12 hours, none of those times did I see any errors or any other problems.

  15. Cindy says:

    Where did you download TZT2 v7 from? I don’t see it on Furuno.com or Furunousa.com.

  16. A further note on the impressive performance of the DRS25A-NXT radar. I was out fishing today in relatively calm conditions. I ranged the radar out in overlay mode and was amazed that I could see Nantucket, which was 36 miles NE, Martha’s Vineyard, which was 40 miles north, Block Island, which was 42 miles NNW, and eastern Long Island, which was 56 miles NW. These weren’t little speckles but well defined shoreline laid over the chart for miles of coastline.

    • Wolfgang Jansen says:

      Probably you had a lot of refraction today, to see shorelines so far out. Nice it can be done with this radar.
      The shortlist gets shorter

  17. Maldwin M Drummond says:

    There is a similar discussion about the rebooting issue going on on the Nordhavn owners group currently. Based on that, I had decided to replace my TZT2 system on my Nordhavn with TZT3 rather than having a hybrid system. I am also leaning towards replacing my radome Doppler Radar with the DRS25A-NXT, as well as addIng the SCX-20 Sat compass As I run a lot at night , I am also considering switching to the Raymarine system because of the way it integrates with color FLIR, and the augmented reality. I would still get the SCX-20. I like the Furuno Radar better, so I am in a quandary.

  18. Sven-Bertil Carlsson says:

    Why not a combine radome radar antennas with GNSS-compasses? It might of course make the radome a little bit higher with some radiation shielding materials between the antennas… 🙂

  19. Here is some clarification on the V7 update for TZT2 regarding a power cycle recommendation….the information provided by the Furuno USA Service Department was not clear in that this issue ONLY applies to large systems with IP Cameras and the Sirius/XM BBWX4 weather receiver….
    Note: Only for Large TZtouch2 networks with Version 7 software
    TZT2 v7 software requires a slight increase in memory. We have noticed that there is a slowing of very large systems after a few days of constant “on time”. It is recommended that users with very large networks cycle power once every 24 hours. Very few users will have all of this equipment in a system. A large network includes ALL of the following, not just one piece by itself:
     4ea or more TZtouch2 12” and/or 15” MFDs
     2ea or more Axis IP cameras
     BBWX4 SiriusXM receiver (not a BBWX1, 2, or 3)
    If your TZT2 network, or mixed TZT2/TZT3 network, system does not have 4ea TZtouch2 MFDs, Axis IP Cameras, and a BBWX4 Sirius/XM receiver, there is no need to cycle power on a TZT2 12/15 MFD. You may update to V7 Software without worry about this memory limitation. Even if the MFD does slow down and/or reboot, any TZT12/15 will still recover automatically without any intervention by the user.
    This power cycling recommendation DOES NOT apply to TZT2BB or TZT3 MFDs as they have expanded memory and hardware.
    Furuno USA Product Department

  20. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Furuno TZT3 MFDs and the TZT2 BlackBox now supports Victron glass bridge integration (HTML5) and Victron has a sensational illustration of it here:


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