70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

CELL PHONES Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first call on a portable cell phone in 1973. The company introduced the first commercially available cell phone, the DynaTAC, in 1983. The phone weighed 16 ounces and cost $3,500. Seven years later there were a million cell-phone subscribers in the United States, and for the first time, fishermen could chat privately on the water. Intro and Part I: Tackle
Part II: Boat Stuff
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

CHART PLOTTERS Navionics founders Giuseppe Carnevali and Fosco Bianchetti, in partnership with C-Map, developed the first crude vector charts and the Datamarine chart plotter in 1985.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

FLASHER SOUNDERS In 1957, Carl Lowrance of Joplin, Missouri, designed the world's first high-frequency transistorized sonar for fishing.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

GPS Garmin introduced the first portable GPS for boaters in 1991. Keep in mind this was even before all the GPS satellites had been launched. When the system became fully operational in 1993, Garmin introduced the first portable GPS with a moving map.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

LORAN-C The Loran-C system was brought to operational status between 1952 and 1956 and had military origins. It replaced the crude Loran-A system, and the first commercial unit for small boats, the Texas Instruments TI 9000, debuted in 1977. Early Lorans were expensive and provided only TD numbers - course computers appeared in the 1980s, but Loran revolutionized navigation. Before it arrived, boaters had only a compass and a stopwatch to guide them, along with primitive radio direction finders to bring them home.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

PAPER CHART RECORDERS Furuno developed the first paper chart recorder for commercial use in Japan in 1948. The consumer version was introduced in the U.S. in 1965, and for the first time, fishermen could see an actual graph of the bottom contour, written out on carbon-impregnated paper.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

RADAR RADAR was coined in 1941 as an acronym for radio detection and ranging. Following World War II, it began appearing on charter boats. Though radar was intended as a safety aid to navigation, inventive fishermen learned how to use it to find birds and catch more fish.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

SAT NAV The Transit Navigation Satellite System was the first satellite-based navigation system. The first transit satellite was launched in 1964, and the first commercial Sat Nav units reached the market around 1976. Sat Nav was expensive and you could only get position fixes during certain hours of the day, but it's noteworthy as the predecessor to modern GPS.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

SIDE-SCANNING SONAR Interphase introduced phased array equipment in 1992 - an economical way for anglers to adopt forward-looking sonar. Previously, mechanical scanning technology required a hole in the hull and a lot of money.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

VHF RADIOS In 1969, Standard-Horizon introduced the Horizon I, the first transistorized, fixed-mount VHF radio for marine use, replacing the old marine radio band and providing fishermen with reliable short-range communications capabilities.
70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

70 Years, 70 Innovations III: Electronics

VIDEO DEPTH SOUNDERS The first cathode ray tube (CRT) sounder may have been the KODEN 3000, which was marketed as the Ebsco sounder and appeared in the mid 1970s. Shortly thereafter, many companies began producing CRT sounders, which slowly began to replace paper chart recorders. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, introduced in 1972 and developed for the computer industry through the '80s and '90s, provided better illumination and resolution, and have virtually replaced CRT as the screen technology of choice. Intro and Part I: Tackle
Part II: Boat Stuff