Marine Electronics

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New Garmin combo units CHIRP and draw their own maps

Garmin bills its new echoMAP CHIRP models as a series of “entry-level” combination sonar/GPS units with built-in CHIRP sonar technology, but I think the term “affordable” fits better.

We covered CHIRP here a while back, but let’s take another look at it and review why it’s important to our boating and fishing.

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January 19 at 9:00 am
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Sometimes bigger and better are separate improvements - Big-screen GPS units allow for greater fishing flexibility

Back when big-screen LCD fish finders started appearing on professional tournament anglers’ boats I discussed them with walleye pros Scott and Marty Glorvigen.

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December 19, 2015 at 9:00 am
568 Views

‘Marine-grade’ means more than you might think

Owning a boat long enough to pay it off has a dark side. I usually own a fishing boat about 15 years — long enough to get it set up just right for me and, unfortunately, long enough to see electrical problems develop.

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November 19, 2015 at 9:00 am
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High-tech developments haven’t changed sonar basics

Current-generation sonar units show the underwater world with a level of realism fishermen could only dream of 30 or 40 years ago.

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October 19, 2015 at 9:00 am
429 Views

New trolling motors solve old boat-handling problems

One of fishing’s truths is that more casts mean more fish in the boat. And anything that eliminates distractions and saves time helps you make more casts and lets you pay more attention to your fishing.

Minn Kota’s new Ulterra motor was designed to do just exactly this.

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September 21, 2015 at 9:00 am
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What is Meosar?

Delving into the COSPAS-SARSAT system can quickly have you drowning in alphabet soup.

Governments love acronyms, abbreviations and virtually unknown terminology in general, but bear with me and we’ll spoon through it to reveal a coming improvement that should excite anyone who goes where they might need rescuing.

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August 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
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Simrad’s new Halo radar solves problems

Some things about radar that used to be considered common knowledge are no longer valid — and some, of course, never were.

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July 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
654 Views

Smart battery charging 101

Fishermen learn the easy way or the hard way that how long a trolling motor battery lasts depends on how competently they charge it. I’d go so far as to say that proper charging can be more important than how well the battery is built and how much you paid for it.

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June 18, 2015 at 9:00 am
549 Views

Portable power

The last time you were miles from anywhere, turned your boat’s ignition key and heard nothing, what did you do?

No, I mean after you ran through the appropriate part of your vocabulary.

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May 18, 2015 at 9:00 am
1380 Views

Almost live TV

One of the most-difficult aspects of teaching fishermen and boaters to interpret conventional sonar screens has been getting them to understand how a screen picture is made.

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April 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
1233 Views

New high-tech night-fishing light

Crossing a bridge over a southern reservoir on a summer night can treat you to a light show that really makes you want to wet a line.  When the bite is on and the word is out, the flooded timber can be dotted with enough lights to look like a field of stars.

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March 23, 2015 at 9:00 am
1730 Views

One size doesn’t fit all

Every now and then, as I poke along through life, I’m hit with small blasts of clarity. Usually, it isn’t over anything new, just a clarification of a fuzzy thought that’s been lurking in the back of my mind.

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February 16, 2015 at 9:00 am
1400 Views

Power where you need it

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.

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January 15, 2015 at 9:00 am
1625 Views

Electronics serving in times of need

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.

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December 15, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Battery charging on the run

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!”

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November 16, 2014 at 9:00 am
3293 Views

How to keep your electronics from hurting you

“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.

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October 16, 2014 at 9:00 am
944 Views
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