Category: Navigation

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Hands-on with Raymarine’s Axiom+, improved MFDs and software

Last June Raymarine announced and I wrote about new Axiom+ multifunction displays (MFDs), plus new charts and an updated version of their LightHouse 3 MFD operating system. Each is a significant update, and so far I’ve been able to explore two out of three. What follows are my thoughts — and I must say that I’m more impressed by the upgrade than I was expecting — after testing an Axiom+ 9 and LightHouse 3.12, plus an update on the delayed charts.

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Testing Vesper Cortex M1: excellent AIS, monitoring, and much more in one box

What a box! If possible, I’d expand the headline to “excellent AIS transceiver, dual antenna splitter, high-performance GNSS, AIS display and collision avoidance, NMEA 0183 & 2000 data multiplexing, nav app WiFi support, anchor watch, and general off-boat monitoring.” And even that long list leaves out the powerful VHF radio that’s also inside the M1 hub, accessible with the innovative multifunction Cortex handsets, and understandably the most prominent feature in Vesper’s marketing. But that’s my plan for this review…

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Humminbird Introduces the APEX Series: A Premium MFD with a Full-HD Display, First-Class Sonar and Networking Options

Humminbird announces the next level in fish finder technology with the launch of the new APEX series. Now combining Humminbird’s best-in-class sonar technologies and full networking capabilities on a full-HD display, APEX delivers the clearest and most-detailed display of sonar and chart technologies and represents the pinnacle of marine electronics innovation…

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Quark-Elec A026: AIS receiver with WiFi, GPS, and NMEA 0183 multiplexing

Quark-Elec offers quite an array of problem-solving marine electronic devices. I’ve been testing their A026 AIS receiver with built-in GPS; data output via WiFi, USB, or NMEA 0183; plus an 0183 input that can be multiplexed into its output stream. This little box could be the perfect answer for day sailors, delivery captains, and any boater looking for an easy way to get AIS target and GPS data to a navigation app running on a tablet or phone, or to a PC or MFD. But, how does it perform?

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Simrad Go12 XSE and Halo20, capable and cost-effective small boat navigation

Simrad’s Go12 XSE may be from the value-oriented Go line, but I’m impressed at its performance and capabilities after installing it aboard Panbo(at). Plus, paired with Simrad’s Halo20 radar this 22-foot center-console has great nighttime and foul-weather visibility. All of this from an electronics package with a list price of less than $4,000.

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Garmin announces 250 watt, solid-state, open-array Fantom 254/256 radars

Garmin today announced the GMR Fantom 254/256 open-array radars delivering 250W of pulse compression power, its highest-powered solid-state marine radar on the market. The new Fantom 254/256 series uses Garmin’s signature MotionScope™ technology to detect and highlight moving targets in different colors, helping users avoid potential collisions, find flocks of birds and track weather.