Page 28: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (September 15, 1985)

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Furuno Introduces New Low-Cost,

High-Performance Loran Navigator

Furuno USA, Inc. has recently introduced a new loran navigator,

LC-90, which is housed in a rugged diecast aluminum case and provides all the features necessary for safe and efficient navigation aboard any size boat, ranging from freshwater bass boats to the largest world- cruising yachts. Reportedly, the unit's performance matches or ex- ceeds even the most expensive loran

C receivers on the market today, yet it is inexpensive and compact, mea- suring 11 inches wide, 5.75 inches high and 3.5 inches deep, including mounting bracket. The LC-90 weighs 6.4 pounds.

Sealed membrane touchpads pro- vide positive, splashproof control of all functions displayed on the large five-line liquid crystal display (LCD). Both touchpads and display have variable back-lighting for nighttime operation.

Once local position has been en- tered, operation of the LC-90 is completely "hands-off." It automat- ically selects the proper GRI and



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Circle 212 on Reader Service Card optimum slaves, compensates for

ASF to give accurate latitude/longi- tude readout, compensates for local magnetic variation for accurate magnetic bearings, and sets the six internal notch filters to eliminate interference. If desired, these auto- matic features can be manually overridden by the operator.

In addition, entry and readout for all position functions may be either

Lat/Lon or TD, making Furuno's

LC-90 extremely simple to operate.

The LC-90 is highly sophisti- cated. For example, with 100-way- point memory and route planning capability, up to 10 individually de- signed routes can be entered (each consisting of up to 10 waypoints) and the LC-90 will automatically guide a vessel along the pro- grammed course. It will compute and display range/bearing from present position to any waypoint or between waypoints, crosstrack er- ror, course offset and steering indi- cation. It also has off-course, border, arrival and anchorwatch alarms.

Additionally, the unit will compute and display speed and course made good, velocity to destination, time and distance to go, plus complete loran system status information.

Connecting to other onboard equipment is simple and straight- forward. The LC-90 has a built-in interface that provides Furuno CIF output for course plotters, printers, sonars and color video sounders;

NMEA 0180 simple format output for autopilots; and NMEA 0183 complex format output for plotters.

The LC-90 will operate from any 10-42 VDC power source and draws only 9 watts. It comes complete with antenna coupler and cable, installa- tion material and basic spares.

For more information and free lit- erature on the Furuno LC-90 loran navigator,

Circle 61 on Reader Service Card

NMEA Plans Expansion

Of Interface Standard

The National Marine Electronics

Association (NMEA) is currently studying plans for the revision and expansion of the NMEA 0183 (1.1)

Interface Standard for Marine Elec- tronics. This Standard is a uniform data communications protocol pro- viding a common "language" that permits information to be ex- changed digitally among various pieces of marine electronic equip- ment such as Loran C, satnav, speed logs, compasses, track plotters, depth sounders, and autopilots.

The NMEA is a professional trade association made up of marine electronics manufacturers, distribu- tors, and dealers. The association took the lead in creating interface standards in the early 1980s, in response to a generally perceived need for standardization in the in- dustry, according to NMEA presi- dent Gerald A. Gutman. "There is a clear trend in the industry away from the separate use of individual items of electronic equipment in the direction of greater integration," he said. "Prior to the creation of

NMEA 0183, there were no stan- dard data protocols for tying to- gether products made by different manufacturers."

The upgrade program for NMEA 0183 is aimed at expanding the for- mat so that multiple pieces of equipment can be tied together in a local area network (LAN). Current- ly the NMEA 0183 Standard only permits data to be sent from one "talker" to multiple "listeners."

The new format will allow interro- gation and reply for multiple listen- ers and talkers via a dedicated pair of cables. "Many manufacturers, both in the U.S. and overseas, have already adopted the NMEA 0183 Standard, and it is hoped that the planned revisions will help to advance the cause of standardization in an in- dustry that truly needs it," said Mr.


The NMEA Standards Commit- tee, which is currently studying the proposed revisions, is chaired by Dr.

Robert M. Freeman of Metal

Marine Pilot, Inc., a pioneer in auto- pilot technology and a long-time leader in the movement toward standardization.

Complete copies of the NMEA 0183 format are available from the

Office of the Executive Director,

National Marine Electronics Asso- ciation, P.O. Box 57, Oronoco,

Minn. 55960; (507) 367-2568. The cost is $9.00 postpaid.

MIROS To Market

New Products In U.S. —Literature Available

MIROS A/S of Asker, Norway is a budding company with interests geared towards the offshore market.

The company has developed a new generation of instruments for re- mote sensing of directional ocean waves and surface currents. The system represents a breakthrough for reliable and accurate long term measurements of ocean parameters from offshore installations. The MI-

ROS system is utilized on stationary offshore platforms, and a version for floating rigs and vessels will be com- mercially available later this year.

Typical real-time applications of the system are for support of sub- sea, crane and anchor operations and for marine traffic control.

MIROS is being represented in the U.S. market by C.A. Richards &

Associates, Inc. of Houston, Texas.

This company was formed by

Charles A. Richards Sr. in 1971 as a manufacturer's representative of marine electronics and instru- ment systems for the offshore petro- leum market. The firm has report- edly maintained a steady growth on a profitable basis annually. The sales group consists of the founder, along with Charles A. Richards

Jr. and Marshall J. AuCoin, who both have over 10 years' experience at the firm. C.A. Richards' sales activities cover U.S. oil centers and operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Ar- kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

For further information,

Circle 93 on Reader Service Card 32 Maritime Reporter/Engineering News

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