Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Marine Electronics’ Category

…has a new…

We just recently launched a new design for our Twitter Page, and we want your feedback so please feel free to post a reply to this post with your input!  Since we love to keep our customers informed of new information and deals on AccessoryDepot.net, our new Twitter page will serve as the official liaison between our customers and Accessory Depot.

Please feel free to become a follower of us on Twitter or even Tweet us!  Either way, we are always working to ensure the best possible communication and service.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

In response to all of our customers’ emails, we have decided to create a knowledge base dedicated to outlining the main components that are included with various marine electronics.  Our hopes are that before you make your big marine electronic purchase, you  utilize this guide so that when you package does arrive, there will be no surprises and you will be able to purchase the correct accessories.

This post will separate into various categories of marine electronics, and it will outline the most standard accessories that you can expect to have included with certain marine electronics.

I will note that this guide does not outline every single nut and bolt that is included in the package; however, what it does do is gives you a broad overview of the main components and cables that are included.

Chartplotters

The majority of chartplotters, made by manufacturers such as Furuno, Northstar, Raymarine, Garmin and Lowrance, for the most part only come with the display unit itself, a power/data cable, and a built-in GPS antenna.

The one thing you have to be careful about is whether or not the chartplotter itself has built-in maps.  In general, not a lot of units will have preloaded maps, but many of the Lowrance HDS units come with available “Inisght”, wnich features US maps preloaded onto the system.  If the unit does not come with preloaded maps, it’s nothing to worry about as there are hundreds of different maps available, both domestic and international, for the area that you are looking for.  All you will need to really know is the chart number of your area.  If you should have any questions regarding that, please feel free to shoot us an email at marine@accessorydepot.net.

There is one thing you have to look out for and keep in mind when purchasing a chartplotter.  There is another type of chartplotter, called a black box unit, which is quite different from your normal chartplotter unit.  Black box configuration enables you to choose virtually any VGA screen to display your information on   A black box chartplotter, such as the Furuno GP1920CBB, only comes with a control pad, a black box, and the GPS antenna.  Notice there is no display included, and this will throw a lot of people off, because in the product picture, it shows a display unit, like below:

Furuno GP1920CBB Black Box Chartplotter

Furuno GP1920CBB Black Box Chartplotter

Some chartplotters have various accessories that you should know about that could enhance your boating experience:

  • Radar: One of the major accessories that most people purchase for their chartplotter is a radar.  This enables you to have instantaneous weather updates, which can be crucial for the off-shore fishers.
  • SD Cards: Most chartplotters come equipped with an SD card slot, which enables you to upload chart without connecting to a computer
  • XM Weather / Audio: Delivers US graphical weather data and/or audio to your unit without the need for a black box
  • Digital Sounder Modules: It offers a greater output of power and often times produces precise target echoes and eliminates clutter.  Also enables more components to go into one unit

Fishfinders

Most of the fishfinders made by the popular brands noted above include a particular transducer in the package, in addition to the power/data cable.  The sole purpose of a fishfinder is to pick up sonar echoes from the water below and in turn give you a read back to further enable you to fish the right areas in the water.  Fishfinders are best suited for people fishing inland in lakes or ponds.  Fishfinders are really straight-forward, and there is not a lot of ambiguity involved, like there is with chartplotters.

Fishfinder/Charplotter Combos

Now that we have covered both chartplotters and fishfinders, it is only fitting that we bring both of those together to create a broad overview of the fishfinder / chartplotter combos that are on the market today.  In general, a combo is going to have a high sensitivity GPS antenna either built-in or included in the package.  In addition, most combos will come with preloaded US maps, but be sure to double check.  The one thing that is mistaken by a lot of people is that combos do not include a transducer, unless it is specifically stated in the title or description. A good example is the Lowrance HDS-7 Insight USA Multifunction Fishfinder/Chartplotter w/ 83/200 kHz Transducer:

Lowrance HDS-7 Insight USA Multifunction Fishfinder/Chartplotter w/ 83/200 kHz Transducer

This unit specifically states that there is a 83/200 kHz transducer included in the package.  Likewise, take a look at the Raymarine A70D Fishfinder / Charplotter Combo.

Raymarine A70D 6.4" Fishfinder / Chartplotter Combo - No Charts

By the title and description, you would never know that there is not a transducer included in the package.  It would only make sense to include one, since the chartplotter usually has an antenna built-in or included; however, most manufacturers want to give their customers versatility in choosing a transducer, since there are so many different types on the market.

Just like chartplotters, the combos have various accessories that you should know about that could enhance your boating experience:

  • Radar: One of the major accessories that most people purchase for their chartplotter is a radar.  This enables you to have instantaneous weather updates, which can be crucial for the off-shore fishers.
Garmin 18" Digital Marine Radar

Garmin 18" Digital Marine Radar

  • SD Cards: Most chartplotters come equipped with an SD card slot, which enables you to upload chart without connecting to a computer
Navonics Maps for New Zealand

Navonics Maps for New Zealand

  • XM Weather / Audio: Delivers US graphical weather data and/or audio to your unit without the need for a black box
Garmin GXM 51 Weather and Audio XM Satellite Receiver

Garmin GXM 51 Weather and Audio XM Satellite Receiver

  • Digital Sounder Modules: It offers a greater output of power and often times produces precise target echoes and eliminates clutter.  Also enables more components to go into one unit
Raymarine DSM30 Digital Sounder Module

Raymarine DSM30 Digital Sounder Module

Read Full Post »

Since we sell a significant amount of chartplotters, fishfinders and combos, most if not all of the units that we sell do not come with transducers; therefore, it can be somewhat difficult and sometimes overwhelming to choose the perfect transducer for your needs.

What does it do?

First, you should know why a transducer is important and what it does.  Essentially, a transducer is the part that sends out sounds waves in order to determine what is below the surface of the water.

Cone Angle

The important part of a transducer that allow this is the cone, and it is coined as the “cone angle”.  This term refers to how wide the beam or sound wave is that is sent out.  The wider the cone degree is, the larger view you will receive of the below.  In addition, as you get into deeper waters, the angle will naturally increase as you will be able to see more.  Transducer cone angles come in ranges of 9 degrees to 60 degrees.  The most popular transducers usually fall in the range of 16-20 degrees.  Generally, you want to use a wider cone angle in shallow waters and a narrow cone to penetrate deeper depths.

Additional Features

One of the great features of most transducers is the ability to add more than one cone to transmit from the same starting point.  This is advantageous because it allows you to cover more water in order to make it “visible”.  The common terms for this are dual beam, triple beam, and side beam.  One thing that is worth noting is that on most transducers, this is an upgrade and does not come standard, but it’s worth looking into.

Frequency

Another factor that comes into play, in addition to the cone angle, is the frequency of the transducer.  The common frequencies of a transducer are 50, 192, or 200 kHz In most cases, high frequency sonar units, such as 192 or 200 kHz, provide you with the best resolution and definition of the waters below. They are best at showing the minute details.  The 50 and 83 kHz frequencies are a lot better for deeper waters as they have great depth perception; however, they do not show as much detail.

Installation Types

There are various types of transducers that are on the market, which are compatible with most chartplotters, fishfinders and combos; however, it is important that you choose the correct type for your boat, as it will make a difference in the performance of the unit.

*Transom Mount

  • Most popular and generally easiest to install
  • Mounting this type of transducer is only recommended for outboard and stern-powered boats only
  • No drilling and is mounted on the outside (the Transom of the boat)
  • Ideal for high speed operation and for boats with “kick-up” feature
  • Can combine depth, temperature and speed sensors

transom_installRaymarine.com

*Thru-Hull Mount

  • Transducer goes through the hull as it is drilled through
  • Tough installation as it cannot be installed on a hull with multiple layers (must remove them)
  • May require professional installation
  • Can combine depth, temperature and speed sensors
  • A number of high quality and high powered Thru-Hull models are available

B60-Transducer-DrawingTigerGPS.com

*In-Hull Mount

  • Epoxied directly to the inside of the hull
  • Only used with fiberglass hulls (as the signal has to pass through)
  • Does not require a hole in your hull so that is an advantage
  • You do tend to lose some power as the signal has to pass through the hull
  • Can combine depth and temperature sensors but not a speed sensor

inhullVexilar.com

______________________________________________________________________

Check out Panbo, the Marine Electronics Blog, for more information

Also, for a large selection of transducers, check out AccessoryDepot.net

 

Read Full Post »