Raymarine ST70+, good idea!
Photographing a brochure leads to distortions (thanks regardless to Richard “Widescreen” Brain), but use your imagination to square up and sharpen the new Raymarine ST70+ image above. Then understand that this 6.5” 640 x 400 pixel screen is capable of showing all the SeaTalkNG/NMEA 2000 navigation, engine, and systems data promised in the original ST70, and I think you’ll agree that this is a welcome product indeed. But where are the control buttons?
Well, frankly I’m a little confused—despite a thorough reading of the brochure Richard sent—but there definitely will be three keypads available to run ST70+ displays. Shown below are an instrument keypad, a powerboat autopilot keypad (the ST70+ can also be a pilot display), and a sailboat pilot pad. What I don’t understand is whether the instrument keypad can also run an autopilot, or the pilot pads can run instruments, or what. But I’m sure we’ll learn soon, if not very soon thanks to Panbo readers who were at the London Show. One thing that’s obvious in the brochure is improvements on the already neat ST70 data screens (and here), which I imagine will migrate to the original instrument.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m also hoping for data type additions—like rudder angle and fuel management—and, even more important, improved system integrity. I like the ST70 series a lot, and the test unit in the lab’s network plays well with others, but apparently Raymarine has been recommending not connecting them via NMEA 2000 to networked E Series displays until certain software glitches were fixed. Which has caused some pain out there in the field. Hopefully that STng/ST2/N2K embarrassment is about to become history.