Marine Electronics



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First published in 1981, Thayne Smith’s book, “In a Time of Need” detailed the use of Lowrance paper chart recording sonar units for search and recovery work. Electronics serving in times of need
1 Views - Posted: 5 hours ago

Search and recovery divers were pretty much on their own back in the early 1980’s; I know because I was one of them. I spent 10 years on the Dallas Fire Department’s dive team and worked from the department’s drag boats before the dive team came to be. Fireman Thad Moore, owner of a SCUBA shop in Dallas, thought we could do better for the families of drowning victims than recovering them with drag hooks. He developed a search and recovery class for SCUBA divers, canvassed the department for volunteers and the Dallas Fire Department’s SCUBA Search & Rescue team was born.


Charging your trolling motor batteries as you run can extend your fishing time and the lives of your batteries. Battery charging on the run
68 Views - Posted: November 20 at 9:00 am

From the Complaints You Will Never Hear department: “I fished in the wind all day and still have too darned much power left in my trolling motor batteries!”


To discover how much deeper your engine’s skeg runs than your transducer, park your boat on a level surface and measure the distances. How to keep your electronics from hurting you
238 Views - Posted: October 20 at 9:00 am

“Garbage in, garbage out” was a watchword with computers long before they were integrated into marine electronics. We rarely enter full-blown garbage into our stuff out on the water but expensive problems can stem from not giving some “minor” details the attention they deserve.


Minn Kota’s Ulterra offers auto stowing and power trim functions, as well as the ability to virtually anchor a boat in a specific location. Hot new electronics are coming
349 Views - Posted: September 18 at 9:00 am

Here is a look at a cross section of the new electronics coming our way:


High-tech smart chargers are smaller, lighter and take better care of our batteries, but sometimes it takes a boost from an old-tech transformer charger to save the day. Old tech to the rescue
274 Views - Posted: August 19 at 9:00 am

My town doesn’t allow people to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving, but hands-free talking is OK so I keep our phones paired through Bluetooth to our two vehicles.


Are you ready for an on-the-water emergency? A floating ditch bag can hold everything you need to call and wait for help. EPIRB plus PLB equals SOS
291 Views - Posted: July 21 at 9:00 am

Standing in ankle-deep water on deck while too far from the shore to see it? Congratulations: You are behind a marine-grade 8 ball.


Side- and down-scanning units are amazing scouting tools for anglers. Get the picture?
274 Views - Posted: June 19 at 9:00 am

Strangely enough, the reservoirs on our nation’s river systems were not originally constructed to give us places to fish; they were built to control traditional spring floods that destroyed crops and homes.


There are so many choices in boat batteries — which one is right for you? Marine batteries 101
393 Views - Posted: May 19 at 9:00 am

Learning that all batteries are not created equal can be an expensive lesson. Power your trolling motor with batteries designed to start your engine and they will last for weeks rather than years. Buy full-maintenance batteries and treat them like maintenance-free versions and you will be lucky to get a single season out of them.


New Humminbird ONIX and ION units equipped with certain LakeMaster maps can use a plug-in SmartStrike program to help you pattern a lake. Manufacturing luck
264 Views - Posted: April 17 at 9:00 am

The Dallas Fire Fighters Bass Club was formed in the 1970s and as a casual angler just turned serious fisherman I was a charter member.


Garmin’s GPSMAP 1000 series units offer the company’s best technologies in a keypad-controlled design for those who aren’t ready for touchscreens. Garmin catches up (and then some)
574 Views - Posted: March 17 at 9:00 am

Garmin is bringing its down- and side-scanning sonar technology to the marine electronics market, calling them DownVü and SideVü. You can expect near-picture-quality views of the fresh- or saltwater world beneath and off to both sides of your boat like those you’ve been seeing on the screens of other manufacturers’ units.


SpotlightScan Sonar from Lowrance lets you pinpoint fish and see structure around your boat after a do-it-yourself installation. New SpotlightScan side-looking sonar
611 Views - Posted: February 18 at 9:00 am

Classic bass-fishing destinations like Toledo Bend Reservoir and Lake Sam Rayburn had a lot more standing timber in them back in the 1970s. In fact, once you got above their lower basins the only way to get around was to follow the many boat lanes cut through the trees.

Schools of bass used these boat lanes, too, as cover-free areas where they drove schools of shad to the surface in feeding frenzies.

The sight would raise the hair on the back of my neck, and I wasn’t alone; chasing these “schooling” bass in the boat lanes became a popular way to fish. The fish crashed to the surface, and then almost before you could cast they went deep again, leaving you wondering which direction to fire your lure until they popped back up.


Humminbird’s ONIX unit is perfect for freshwater applications, offering myriad options. Humminbird touchscreens
713 Views - Posted: January 20 at 9:00 am

Two years in development, Humminbird’s new ONIX and ION models offer anglers something different in marine electronics. The two models are the most-powerful Humminbird has ever offered, and were introduced at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October.


The old days of having to buy new units to take advantages of new functionality are long gone, since modern electronics are fully upgradable. Software updates
364 Views - Posted: December 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

Brand-new, highly desirable sonar and GPS features are announced at least once each product year by the makers of marine and outdoor electronics.


ProMariner chargers can be set to charge either flooded/standard AGM batteries or gel batteries. Battery chargers with a pulse
443 Views - Posted: November 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

The chemical process that produces electrical power in a battery can also damage it without human intervention.


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