Marine Electronics


Adding additional fuse blocks can ensure you have adequate power for your boat’s electronics, as well as making it easier to track down problems. Power where you need it
364 Views - Posted: January 15 at 9:00 am

Most boats come equipped with fuse blocks bearing just enough fuses to power their factory-installed 12-volt equipment, and you are on your own if you want to add accessories.

First published in 1981, Thayne Smith’s book, “In a Time of Need” detailed the use of Lowrance paper chart recording sonar units for search and recovery work. Electronics serving in times of need
517 Views - Posted: December 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

Search and recovery divers were pretty much on their own back in the early 1980’s; I know because I was one of them. I spent 10 years on the Dallas Fire Department’s dive team and worked from the department’s drag boats before the dive team came to be. Fireman Thad Moore, owner of a SCUBA shop in Dallas, thought we could do better for the families of drowning victims than recovering them with drag hooks. He developed a search and recovery class for SCUBA divers, canvassed the department for volunteers and the Dallas Fire Department’s SCUBA Search & Rescue team was born.

Charging your trolling motor batteries as you run can extend your fishing time and the lives of your batteries. Battery charging on the run
732 Views - Posted: November 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

From the Complaints You Will Never Hear department: “I fished in the wind all day and still have too darned much power left in my trolling motor batteries!”

To discover how much deeper your engine’s skeg runs than your transducer, park your boat on a level surface and measure the distances. How to keep your electronics from hurting you
528 Views - Posted: October 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

“Garbage in, garbage out” was a watchword with computers long before they were integrated into marine electronics. We rarely enter full-blown garbage into our stuff out on the water but expensive problems can stem from not giving some “minor” details the attention they deserve.

Minn Kota’s Ulterra offers auto stowing and power trim functions, as well as the ability to virtually anchor a boat in a specific location. Hot new electronics are coming
1363 Views - Posted: September 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

Here is a look at a cross section of the new electronics coming our way:

High-tech smart chargers are smaller, lighter and take better care of our batteries, but sometimes it takes a boost from an old-tech transformer charger to save the day. Old tech to the rescue
442 Views - Posted: August 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

My town doesn’t allow people to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving, but hands-free talking is OK so I keep our phones paired through Bluetooth to our two vehicles.

Are you ready for an on-the-water emergency? A floating ditch bag can hold everything you need to call and wait for help. EPIRB plus PLB equals SOS
2299 Views - Posted: July 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

Standing in ankle-deep water on deck while too far from the shore to see it? Congratulations: You are behind a marine-grade 8 ball.

Side- and down-scanning units are amazing scouting tools for anglers. Get the picture?
557 Views - Posted: June 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

Strangely enough, the reservoirs on our nation’s river systems were not originally constructed to give us places to fish; they were built to control traditional spring floods that destroyed crops and homes.

There are so many choices in boat batteries — which one is right for you? Marine batteries 101
1442 Views - Posted: May 19, 2014 at 9:00 am

Learning that all batteries are not created equal can be an expensive lesson. Power your trolling motor with batteries designed to start your engine and they will last for weeks rather than years. Buy full-maintenance batteries and treat them like maintenance-free versions and you will be lucky to get a single season out of them.

New Humminbird ONIX and ION units equipped with certain LakeMaster maps can use a plug-in SmartStrike program to help you pattern a lake. Manufacturing luck
787 Views - Posted: April 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

The Dallas Fire Fighters Bass Club was formed in the 1970s and as a casual angler just turned serious fisherman I was a charter member.

Garmin’s GPSMAP 1000 series units offer the company’s best technologies in a keypad-controlled design for those who aren’t ready for touchscreens. Garmin catches up (and then some)
826 Views - Posted: March 17, 2014 at 9:00 am

Garmin is bringing its down- and side-scanning sonar technology to the marine electronics market, calling them DownVü and SideVü. You can expect near-picture-quality views of the fresh- or saltwater world beneath and off to both sides of your boat like those you’ve been seeing on the screens of other manufacturers’ units.

SpotlightScan Sonar from Lowrance lets you pinpoint fish and see structure around your boat after a do-it-yourself installation. New SpotlightScan side-looking sonar
1124 Views - Posted: February 18, 2014 at 9:00 am

Classic bass-fishing destinations like Toledo Bend Reservoir and Lake Sam Rayburn had a lot more standing timber in them back in the 1970s. In fact, once you got above their lower basins the only way to get around was to follow the many boat lanes cut through the trees.

Schools of bass used these boat lanes, too, as cover-free areas where they drove schools of shad to the surface in feeding frenzies.

The sight would raise the hair on the back of my neck, and I wasn’t alone; chasing these “schooling” bass in the boat lanes became a popular way to fish. The fish crashed to the surface, and then almost before you could cast they went deep again, leaving you wondering which direction to fire your lure until they popped back up.