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Author Articles

by Tim Bartlett

PMY Electronics Editor:
Based out of the U.K., Tim has a lifetime of experience running and writing about boats. For more than ten years, he served as the technical editor of Motor Boat and Yachting—the UK’s leading powerboat magazine. Since leaving that position in 1997, he has penned articles for various boating publications, including Power & Motoryacht’s sister magazine, SAIL Magazine. Read more here...

What’s a Navico?

By Tim Bartlett | Posted July 2010 | Add a Comment

What’s a Navico?Deconstructing and defining an emerging marine electronics giant.When I was first introduced to Simrad’s new NSE displays last fall, I just had to ask a company rep what the letters NSE stand for. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I was told that it means “Northstar Edition.”Like many of you, the fate of Northstar has been a

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A Sense of Direction

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2010 | Add a Comment

The strange and tortuous search for a way to improve GPS reliability.Last December CrossRate Technology introduced its first (and so far only) product: a combined GPS and Loran receiver called the eLGPS1110. Two months later, Loran was switched off. CrossRate’s timing could have been better, but their concept was brilliant. GPS provides an

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Lowrance Elite

By Tim Bartlett | Posted June 2010 | Add a Comment

“Elite,” according to my dictionary, means “the most powerful, rich, gifted or educated members of a community,” which makes it rather an odd choice of name for a range of five-inch plotters and fishfinders whose list prices range from a very reasonable $449 for the Elite 5x fishfinder through $499 for the Elite 5m plotter to a far-from-bank-breaking $549 for the

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Controlling Power

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2010 | Add a Comment

Twenty-first-century technology has changed the way your electronics communicate.It’s more than ten years now, since we learned to spell “millennium,” stocked up on canned food, and braced ourselves for the computerized apocalypse that was supposed to happen as we rolled over into the 21st Cen-tury—but never did. Yet while Y2K never lived up to its

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Garmin 6000 and 7000 MFDs

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2010 | Add a Comment

There are new models at the top of the Garmin series, as well, in the form of two new ranges of large-format multifunction displays known as the GPSMAP 6000 and GPSMAP 7000 series. Like the 4000 and 5000 series, they offer a choice between touchscreen control (in the 7000 series at right) and more conventional soft-key and cursor operation in the 6000s.

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Garmin 700 series

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2010 | Add a Comment

A recent addition to Garmin’s range is a series of touchscreen plotters whose size and price slot them neatly into the significant gap between five-inch GPSMap 600 series, whose prices start at about $1,000, and the 8.4-inch GPSMap 5008, which has a list price of $2,899.At $1,499.99, the GPSMAP 740 (right) is pre-loaded with navigation-quality charts for

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Stay Safe WITH AIS

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2010 | Add a Comment

Why a collision-avoidance system is must-have technology.Vesper Marine’s AIS Watchmate RX displays data from its built-in receiver on a simple, radar-like display or as a prioritized list. ($700; www.vesper marine.com) Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard publishes its Recreational Boating Statistics—70-odd pages of

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Ultrascan PC90

By Tim Bartlett | Posted March 2010 | Add a Comment

One of the drawbacks of forward-looking sonar has always been that sound travels much more slowly through water than radar waves travel through air. At a sluggish 5,000 feet per second, it takes half a second for a sonar “ping” to travel out and back to an object a quarter of a mile away. So for a scanning sonar to build up even a crude picture of what's ahead can easily take several seconds.

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Jotron AIS SART

By Tim Bartlett | Posted March 2010 | Add a Comment

Jotron's Automatic Identification System (AIS) SART is a search-and-rescue beacon based on AIS technology; it transmits a dedicated identity code and GPS position to produce a distinctive red cross icon on the bridge display of every AIS-equipped ship within range, marking the position of a liferaft or a vessel in distress.Jotron was instrumental in carrying

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Follow the Birds

By Tim Bartlett | Posted March 2010 | Add a Comment

What's the secret to piscatorial success? Simple. Just follow the birds!Terns and pelicans don't go fishing for fun. They do it because of their need to survive. And because they do it almost all day, every day, it stands to reason that they get pretty darn good at it.Okay, I've never heard of a bird tackling a marlin or tuna—they're

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