marine computer monitors

Argonaut Offers Android-Powered Smart MFD

Argonaut Offers Android-Powered Smart MFD

Love all those Android apps but wish there was a more integrated way to use them at the helm?  Argonaut Computer last week announced the A615 smart multifunction display (MFD) — a fully marinized Android MFD with built-in GPS and lots of delicious inputs to take advantage of all the other data sources on your boat.

The A615 Android-Powered Smart MFD from Argonaut Computer.  Image courtesy of Argonaut Computer.

The A615 Android-Powered Smart MFD from Argonaut Computer. Image courtesy of Argonaut Computer.

The A615 — a 15-inch, waterproof, sunlight-viewable unit — is also directly web-connected via its own WiFi connection, so if you are docked or have Internet access while underway, you can access live data for your apps beyond just the GPS.  Here’s a quick rundown of the specs:

  • Built In Android Processing For Web, Apps
  • Powerful Navigation App With U.S. Charts
  • Weather Monitoring with Live Radar Plot
  • Full Featured AIS App with Alerts/Status
  • On Dash Access To Over 875,000 Apps
  • Built In 2.4G WiFi Network Send/receive
  • Multiple Input/Output Signal Connectors
  • Tflex 15” Bonded Sunlight View LED
  • Precision Lock TouchPad User Control
  • Unmatched Low Power Consumption
  • Includes 48 Channel GPS Receiver
  • Shock Isolated Design, 360 Waterproof
  • Industry Leading Three Mounting Options
  • Comprehensive Two Year Warranty

The A615 is not cheap.  MSRP is $2,999, which seems like a lot until you consider that this is not just a monitor, but a fully-powered MFD, with its own Wi-Fi, GPS and waterproof, marinized construction.  That makes it on a par, cost-wise, with other stand-alone marine MFDs.  One tremendous advantage is that you can load it up with free and low-cost apps that, in many cases, are as capable as their PC- and MAC OS-based sister products.

The A615 can also be mounted in a number of different ways — surface mount it like any other fixed helm display; in an optional U-bracket, or an optional RAM arm mount.

Here’s a LINK to the detailed specs for the A615.

This is a product to consider if you’re building a new helm or looking to update one and you need a lot of bang for your buck.  It’s a great way to build in functional redundancy in your helm, or even as the centerpiece of your helm.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics, GPS, Marine Electronics, Navigation, Radar, seamanship, Technology

Looking for New Helm Displays? Nauticomp’s Genesis Might be Right

Genesis Series of LED-LCD Displays from Nauticomp

Genesis Series of LED-LCD Displays from Nauticomp

Nauticomp, the Ontario, Canada-based electronics manufacturer, is showing its new Genesis line of 15″ and 19″ sunlight-readable displays at the boat show circuit and if you’re in the market for new displays, they just might be the right solution.  Marine display technology is gradually catching up to land-based consumer displays and these two Genesis units are LED-backlit, which means much better contrast and significantly lower power requirements — both good features on a boat.

Nauticomp first revealed these publicly at the 2010 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and from what I’ve seen, they’re technically among the best displays available.  There’s even one feature on the 15″ model that I can particularly appreciate, and that’s the ability to handle higher-than-normal temperatures and maintain the display integrity.  I had an older Northstar display that would frequently overheat on my flybridge because of sunlight and high ambient temperatures.  The key symptom is a screen that quickly fades to black and the only cure was to wait for it to cool down.  I’m not disparaging the Northstar unit, because for all I know the installation may not have been ideal for that unit; but the problem was real.  The 15″ Genesis model from Nauticomp can handle ambient temps up to 158°F (70°C), which is almost 20°F higher than most displays (and even the 19″ Genesis).

The Genesis models are also waterproof to the NEMA 6/IP67 standard, which means (I looked it up) that there will be NO dust ingress to the unit and that it can withstand 30 minutes of water pressure equivalent to a 1 meter depth.  My flybridge rarely got that wet.

You can download the Tech Data Sheet for the 15″ Genesis here, and the 19″ Genesis here.

The one area marine electronics — and displays in particular — have not caught up to consumer standards in is price.  You’re still going to have to ante-up for these capable units.  MSRP for the 15″ Genesis is $4,120 and the 19″ Genesis lists for $5,470.  Of course, since you will be buying these from a qualified marine electronics dealer, I’m guessing that there is a bit of negotiating/listing room in that price.  You’re also going to get the well-regarded Nauticomp service and support, though, so you’re not gonna have to worry about getting a consumer-reject lemon.

You can see the Genesis displays at the upcoming Seattle and Miami boat shows.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Electronics, Technology