Furuno TZtouch2 and FI-70, back in the game!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

19 Responses

  1. Howard says:

    Do you think the build quality is the same between the TZT and TZT2? Does the 15″ screen include multiple Ethernet ports like the 14″ TZT?
    After a year of use of the 9″ TZT I wish it was not widescreen. I wish it was larger on the vertical axis.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    In terms of sheer ruggedness, probably not. That’s what happens when you substitute plastic for metal, etc. But built plenty well enough for yachts, probably yes. Plus fast processor, bright hi res screen, etc. etc. Note the weight drop from Garmin 8xxx to 76xx too.
    The TZT2 MFDs only have one Ethernet port and one USB port, though both can be easily expanded with off-the-shelf switches/hubs. They also have only one SD card slot, on the back, but there is a remote USB dual SD card accessory available. These and more specs are easily found at Furuno links above.
    Widescreen MFDs seem to be a function of what’s available in high bright LED backlit screens and also what fits well on many helms. I don’t think it’s going to change. I agree that it’s not always the best aspect ratio, especially for head-up navigators like me, but it’s surmountable by using split windows and putting data/menu bars at the sides (as supported by most manufacturers).

  3. Mike says:

    SO is there any word on whether the TZT2-15″ is shipping, or if not, when?
    Likewise, are the Simrad NSO ev2 processors and displays shipping?
    I’ve been looking at the FI-70 and can’t decide whether or why it is
    superior to the RD-33. The screen on the -33 is a bit larger, although
    the overall box is as well, but they both seem to have the same display
    technology. Have you seen them side-by-side?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    TZT2 shipping “spring this year” is what I was told, Mike. Pretty sure NSO evo2 has been available for a while.

  5. Mike says:

    oy. was hoping to get refit done before summer season really gets here. Looks like Furuno isn’t an option. There’s a lot I like anout Simrad, but the are still incredibly snooty about some things, esp cartography. Iff one is willing to jump through a lot of hoops, it is possible to use NOAA RNC and ENC charts along with the commercial ones, but Furuno can use them right off a memory card without a bunch of curation and format conversion.
    Furuno seems a lot less “top-down” than Simrad, who reminds me of my first satnav in a BMW. Clearly a product of the Prussian Army – “you will use it exactly as we have provided with no unnecessary flexibility.”
    I guess that is consistent with NMEA’s world view. (grin)

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Geez, Mike, Fugawi has NOAA and Canadian raster chairs for NSS evo2 you can buy on SD cards or download to your own from the GoFree Store, Ditto for nice NV Charts custom rasters of US East Coast, Carib, etc. Mapmedia NOAA charts are free for NavNet owners but Simrad is first to let you download new charts direct to MFD.
    PS. There’s news in the works that may cause even you to get over your NMEA distaste 😉

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Furuno TZTouch2 is coming. Some online outlets say they can ship TZTL15F or TZTL12F MFDs next week, and some say the week after (and some don’t mention actual availability at all ;-).

  8. Quitsa says:

    I am waiting for a pair of TZT 2 15s. This has made me a bit of an expert on the topic of when they will be available. The story as I understand it is that the first batch of the units has been in the US for at least a couple of weeks. However, they are not being released because of some software updating that is in process.
    At one level if this is the correct explanation, I think it is commendable that Furuno does not use its customers as beta testers. On the other hand, it is pretty bad for those of us who live up north with a short season and relied on the “spring 2015” release date.

  9. Hans says:

    Furuno and Nobeltec are indeed using customers as Beta testers. Bought in April the full TZT14, hub, radar, gps package and upgraded Nobeltec to Trident from Odyssey (which I loved!). After multiple hours of tech assistance, the Furuno system still does not integrate with Nobeltec as advertised. I have now received an apology and acknowledgement from both companies that “there are software issues that they hope to have solved shortly”. End of summer boating season? Much of the system is great, but without reliability, how can you cruise in Northern BC and Alaska?

  10. Howard says:

    Maybe that is why Nobeltec and Furuno are as closely tied anymore. Furuno has stopped their support of the software and refers everyone to Nobeltec. It is hard to point the finger at Furuno when they are not the software vendor.

  11. Quitsa says:

    So will there be a Furuno TZT 2 tester on the bridge of Gizmo soon? They seem to be available finally. I should have two myself installed in about two weeks.

  12. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I’d be willing, Quitsa, but I haven’t made any plans with Furuno. Might you write a review or notes? Are you possibly in Maine?
    What I am working on right now is an entry about Nobeltec PC Radar, which is looking fine, plus the TZ v2 app which now support AIS, etc plus Furuno WiFi radar. The TimeZero engine has many cylinders!

  13. Quitsa says:

    I am in Massachusetts. I would be willing to write a review or user notes once I have a little time on the water with them. I have been using a TZT 9 that is supposed to be mounted on the tower helm at the main helm so I can easily compare to the 1st generation TZT. I have a complete system with a DFF1-UHD sounder box, 12kW open array and Furuno 711C autopilot (I have become really good at switching screens on the TZT 9 having just the one small screen!).
    The Android OS underneath will also be very interesting as a point of comparison to the Windows based TZT and the NavNet 3D that I had a few years ago.
    Will be in touch.

  14. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Sounds great, Quitsa, thanks!

  15. Don Joyce says:

    I look forward to both your report on the Nobeltec PC radar and Quitsa’s report on the TZ v2 MFD’s since I’m debating whether to install an Intel NUC/Nobeltec TZ system or the new Furuno TZ MFD’s.
    While I like not having to explain much to guests on the use of MFD’s to get them started, I also like the ability to put together a system that “just right” using multi-source components.

  16. Quitsa says:

    I think one of the central questions is system longevity and adaptability. The processing capability of the higher end NUC boxes has to be a multiple of the chips powering the TZT displays. The dividing line between hardware and software is getting less and less clear. There is a lot of signal processing going on of what comes out of the radar sensors and sounder boxes. I have not seen it in action yet, but the “Rez Boost” feature of the TZT 2 built-in sounder circuit is a good example of the enhancements. They are taking the signals from what look to be similar circuits to their FCV587 sounder and then applying processing to produce a higher definition output. The same was true of the UHD radars introduced with the NavNet 3D system.
    If I had a boat that was more suitable to that type of installation, I think a PC based system would offer more capability over a longer period of time — if Nobeltec keeps pace with its software. On the other hand, if you want simplicity and integration, the TZT displays would be the way to go. It’s sort of like the difference between using an iPad and a desktop computer. For many purposes, there is 100% overlap in functionality but the desktop can do many things the iPad can’t, which only matters if you actually use those capabilities. And it is easier and cheaper to just dump your iPad and get a new one as Apple upgrades the performance and features.

  17. Don Joyce says:

    Fully agree. Regrettably there are lots of tradeoffs that make the decision of which way to go muddled.
    Look forward to your notes and report!

  18. Don Joyce says:

    Are your issues resolved?
    Don Joyce

  19. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    TZTouch2 is officially shipping and here’s a new video illustrating it:
    And here’s new Panbo entry on related Nobeltec PC Radar:

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