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July 03, 2008

Speed and Power

This month we profile the Furuno FCV-1150 digital fish finder, the Garmin Colorado 400C and new Standard Horizon floating handheld VHF radios
100-07elec furuno

Speed and Power
The FCV-1150 is the first digital 3kW fish finder from Furuno. The unit is a stand-alone sounder with a 12.1-inch screen, adjustable to display the return image in 8, 16 or 64 colors. A true two-channel receiver utilizing FFS (Furuno Free Synthesizer) allows the operating frequency to be "slewed " with a slider, which means it can be set at any frequency from 20 to 200 kHz. This tweaking allows the signal frequency to be tailored to the power output and transducer response at a particular depth, and even tuned for the echo-return characteristics of a particular species of fish. The FCV-1150 also boasts a boost in traditional transmission rate to 3,000 pulses per second, which provides improved detail at depth and accurate bottom tracking in shallow water. About $4,000. Furuno USA;


Pocket Plotter
The Colorado 400c is Garmin's newest portable marine GPS. The 400c comes preloaded with coastal charts for the entire United States and the Bahamas, and it displays shorelines, depth contours, navigational aids, harbors, marinas, port plans and adjacent coastal roads. Its innovative controls include the Rock 'n Roller wheel, which puts all functions and selections under your thumb for one-hand operation. It's fully compatible and communicative with other units via wireless exchange for sharing of waypoints and courses. The optional BlueChart g2 vision cards add high-res charting and satellite imagery, above- and below-water 3D views, auto-guidance technology, aerial photographs for real-world reference and coastal roads with points of interest. Integral is a barometric altimeter, electronic compass and SD card slot. Garmin; 913.397.8200;


Radio Overboard!
When the going gets wet, Standard Horizon rises to the occasion with three new, floating handheld VHF radios, all of them stepped up to 6 watts. All three are completely waterproof and feature rugged polycarbonate bodies over die-cast internal chassis. Each radio provides selectable power output of 6, 5, 2 and 1 watts and is powered by a Li-Ion battery.  A cradle charger and 12V and 115V adapters are included.
? The HS750S ($149.95) includes thermometer, SOS strobe light, NOAA Weather alert and a 10-channel preset key.
? The HX760S ($349.99) adds Bluetooth wireless headset capability, which allows VOX (voice activation for hands-free operation).
? The HX850S ($249.99) has an integral 12-channel GPS, which gives it fully-functional DSC (SC101) and position polling.  Standard Horizon; 714.827-7600;