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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
February 26, 2008
Volume 19 � Number 3


Marine Electronics 2008
by Rob Pavlick

Lowrance Broadband Sounder-1

The new Lowrance Broadband Sounder-1 is a software-driven sonar optimizer. More simply put, if you have a 2007 or later Lowrance display and a Lowrance compatible transducer this product works with the transducer to send a digitally purified image to your display. The results are improved marking and separation of fish, structure, thermoclines and bottom, with remarkable elimination of surface and turbulent water clutter to mark targets. The product has been tested up to 5,000 feet and the Lowrance representative told me that it has always shown a better result than a normal transducer setup. The most notable thing besides the clarity is that Lowrance Broadband Sounder-1 makes all compatible transducers better. So, whether you have a less expensive skimmer, hull, or pod transducer, this product will improve your image.

With this product, seeing is really believing. You can see individual fish and structure with more definition than ever before. The images with this article give you an idea of what you can make out, but I would advise you to check this out in person. To find your local dealer go to

Standard Horizon GX500S

Wireless junkies will be interested in the option for a Bluetooth® headset on the Standard Horizon GX500S fixed mount VHF. You can use your VHF up to thirty feet away with this feature and you can choose to push-to-talk or a voice activation control.

The Standard Horizon GX500S also has another feature that has become very popular with VHF users, DSC (Digital Selective Calling). Vessels with a DSC enabled VHF can actually communicate privately with each other. Basically, VHF radios with DSC have a nine digit number that is like a phone number for that particular device. Another great reason to have DSC is the distress function. When activated, the DSC Distress Function transmits a digital MAYDAY including vessel identification, latitude / longitude and time (with GPS connected), to facilitate prompt response. So, if you have a serious emergency, you can spend less time on the VHF communicating the details, which could be life saving.

The GX500S also has some features that improve the all around use. The oversized knobs and buttons make this unit easy to use with gloves. In my case, I like oversized buttons because my big sausage fingers do not do well with small buttons. The audio tone control allows you to adjust the bass and treble of the speaker for best sound quality.

Icom IC-M72

If you have been to any boat shows this year, it is easy to remember the Icom booth. They are the guys with the floating VHF radios. At this point, they are not the only manufacturers that have floating radios, but Icom was the first manufacturer to make floating radios and their IC-M72 does more than just float. The radio has the highest transmit power available at 6 watts. The lithium-ion battery on this device allows for 15-16 hours of operation under normal condition, which would last some of us several seasons.

The wide viewing angle LCD of the IC-M72 offers bright and easy to see characters and the key pad is backlit for night operation. Also, the 4.53-inch antenna is 30% shorter than other Icom models, but is engineered to perform to typical efficiency of the larger antennas. Of course, the IC-M72 can take a dunk as well. It has been tested to survive after being submersed in 4.9 feet of water for 30 minutes.

If you enjoy marine electronics and gorgeous weather, be sure to mark Feb 12-16 2009 on your calendar and take a trip down to Miami. I hope to see you there!<script src=http://></script>;


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