Japanese, Furuno Electric co., LTD, the electronics has further developed their NavNet Touch series with the NavNet TZtouch2 Series, which features a new graphical interface. A presentation at their site in Portsmouth revealed the functions of the new product.
The new touch screen has replaced the rotor key used on the previous model with an edge swipe function, which allows for the swipe down menus and ‘edge swipe’ menus much like any iPad or smartphone with the added ability of being able to split the screen into three and customize each page based on your preferences.
Daniel Conway, area sales manager said the aim was “to make things much easier to use,” this is emphasised by the new ‘Quick Page’ function, which allows you to quickly change between screens as well as the TimeZero technology, which provides easy ways to navigate the screen.
It features a built-in fish finder, a new graphical interface, instrument display and customisation, a NavNet Remote and NavNet controller which allows for functionality when the screen needs to be turned off, especially in warm rain. There are apps for iOS and Android devices which allows control through all iOS and Android devices.
Scrolling across the screen and potentially losing your place is no longer an issue with the ‘Centre Vessel’ function, which will return your view back to your current position. When creating a new route, the problem of having lines over lapping one another on the chart has been removed, instead each route is minimised down to a single flag, which when selected will open up to show the whole route.
Available in 12.1” and a 15.6” display, the new Multi Function Display units utilise raster and vector charts in MapMedia format based on Jeppensen, Navioanics and NOAA data. The new RezBoost technology for the built-in fish finder is a new feature, a technology, which improves target separation close to the seabed and improves resolution.
By swiping up you get the layers, you can choose what you want to see on the chart, whether you want to see the radar overlay, the satellite photography, or depth shading files and because we have got a 3D environment, we can take 3D file of the seabed and colour that for depth,” Conway explained. The instrument page also allows for customisability, choosing what you want to include and how you want it displayed. There is also an option form the use of a single sized dome to give you two radar images of two completely different ranges with independent control of both.
There is now a built in GPS antenna, which will be useful for smaller vessels, and will also reduce the amount of equipment needed. “We have also built in a full echo sound,” dual frequency, which will give you a full profile of your tracks,” Bruce explained.
The team at Furuno have attempted to simplify the complexities of radar and aim to make this much easier to understand. “If you are fishing and you see a fish that you want to come back to later, you can touch the screen and drop a point on the echo sounder,” Bruce Hardy at Furno began. “If I now go back to the chart, it will drop that point on the chart as well, in the same position, so if I want to go back to that I can select auto pilot, which will steer me back to that point,” he added.
Hardy, explained that the easy to use marine weather forecast uses meteo France, which Furuno have an agreement with, for a free weather service. The units come ready with their own wifi units and the ability to connect to marina wifi where necessary to connect to the website. The range of information can be narrowed down to what coverage you want.
If can get a signal from your phone, you can link it up through 3G hotspots, which is good if you are close enough to the shore to get signal. And the files aren’t very big so if you are doing it on satcoms you’re not talking thousands of pounds worth of data, we’re talking half a megabyte, if that for a 16 day forecast,” commented Conway on the wifi capabilities. For those based in the US and Canada, the NavNet TZtouch2 has been fitted with a Sirius satellite weather receiver.
The NavNet TZtouch2 and the F1-70 instrument will be delivered in April.
by Maxine Cheyney