Heard in Miami: “Got any engineers?”

Yeah, yeah, a Uniden Mystic that plotted AIS targets would be cool; so would a CVP that was also a Class B AIS transponder (see these comments). But it’s not that easy. An AIS receiver might lose targets if you’re transmitting through its antenna, and a transponder definitely needs a separate antenna. And aren’t all the tuners—2 for AIS, 2 for class D VHF—essentially separate? There’s also the hassle of FCC and European certifications. I do ask VHF makers about such things and sometimes they say, “We’re looking into it.” but mostly they shake their heads. Several times at this show—usually when I was asking obnoxious questions like “When are you adding NMEA 2000 support” or “How about a GPS chip and DSC in a small handheld VHF?”—manufacturers would say something to the effect of “We need more engineers! Got any?” In fact, I learned that Garmin also bid on Lowrance, (it’s in the public record, Raymarine too), which seems more about acquiring engineers than products, which overlap quite a lot. Got any engineers?

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.

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have asked VHF manufacturers to add NMEA support allowing me to select on an AIS target then press a “Call” button in my nav software. So I don’t have to manually enter the MMSI. Does anyone know of a VHF that supports this?

  2. Neal Foxworthy says:

    From some of my conversations they (engineers) certainty weren’t at the show. When I asked ICOM if they planned to add a wireless mike anytime soon the clown in the booth said “they cause too much interference because you are blasting about on your boat at 25W”.
    Neal Foxworthy
    Director ASIC Engineering
    Maxtor Corporation

  3. Anonymous says:

    The “clown” in the booth was a sales person. They don’t let the engineers work the booth for the very reason that everyone and their brother will give them a product suggestion. The trick is to get invited to the focus group meeting they hold there every year.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published.