Radar teases: Garmin goes big, Panbo gets wet
Thanks to Rich Owings, who runs the excellent GPSTracklog site, we now know that Garmin will soon introduce four new open array radars. The photo above comes from deep within the FCC equipment authorization database (sorry, linkage not possible), where anyone as patient as Rich might have discovered that four new Garmin radars were granted approval on Friday. The model designations are GMR 604, 606, 1204, and 1206 — which strongly suggest that they range from a 6 kW 4 foot array to a 12 kW 6 foot unit (hello, big yachts and sport fishermen) — and which will probably be sold in two parts like Garmin’s existing open arrays. But what the heck is “xHD”…?…
Well, frankly, I can only guess that “xHD” means Garmin thinks they’ve reached a performance level near Furuno’s “Ultra” and Raymarine’s “Super” in the valuable but vague world of High Def radar imaging. We’ll probably have to wait for the actual product introduction to know more, though perhaps some enterprising Panbot can glean further details from the testing files posted at the FCC. You go to “FCC ID Number Search” at the bottom of the general FCC search tools page, where a 2009 Date Range and “MDR Marine Radar” Equipment Type will get you both Garmin’s and Navico’s new radars. (Note that leading zeros are required in the date fields, because that’s how the FCC rolls 😉
Speaking of Navico, I was so keen to try the Broadband Radar test unit — and was so tired of the endless rain we’ve been having (not to mention the flakiness that’s haunted the Panbo server for days) — that I bolted the thing to Li’l Gizmo and headed to the lake. While you would normally back down alongside ramp and float, launching a boat yesterday was a freeform operation! But I wasn’t the only one determined to go boating regardless. I came across plenty of kayaks and outboards, and even water skiers, all of which showed up pretty impressively on Broadband. More soon.