by Des Ryan
If you have the space and can afford it, an instrument such as Icom's Marine Commander is the way to go. On one screen you can see all of your systems integrated, giving you information at your fingertips and a great ease of control of the boat in a robust, waterproof navigational system.
ICOM Marine Commander - all your screens in one
You can ‘connect’ compatible VHF radios, AIS transponders and radars, even fish finders, so that it brings together, in one multifunctional display unit, all of your essential safety and navigational electronics.
Much thought has obviously been put into the design of this equipment. Central to the system and the main user interface is the 12.1-inch MXD-5000 multifunctional display(MFD). This is slim and IPX7 waterproof, allowing water submersion up to one-metre for 30 minutes.
The colour LCD's anti-reflective coating is optimized for day and night operation, offering vivid detail even under direct sunlight. The MFD is sturdy and lightweight making it relatively straightforward to flush mount.
Each display splits into four customizable panes – organizing the radar screen, chart plotter, dual frequency modes and more. The MFD has ports for both USB drives and SD cards, allowing the MarineCommander to display chart information (C-MAP), and backup important data. Connect a compatible VHF radio and AIS unit and the marine commander system will allow DSC calls to be initiated through the main display unit.
MarineCommander black box processor units – The Central Information Hub:
The main processor is the driving force behind this new system and connects your configuration of compatible marine electronic equipment.
For instance, if you have a particularly large vessel, there is the capability to connect two MarineCommander black box processor units together allowing up to four displays to be used.
Connecting a Radar:
The MarineCommander increases safety at sea and streamlines navigational operations. Used in conjunction with the MXR-5000R/T Marine Radar , displayed waypoint, Automatic Identification System (AIS) target and radar images improve collision avoidance. With the simplified Automatic Tracking Aid (ATA), up to 10 targets are plotted, automatically tracked and overlaid on the plotter screen.
Connecting an AIS Transponder/Receiver:
The MarineCommander exchanges real-time boat traffic information with other AIS-equipped vessels using Icom's MA-500TR transponder or MXA-5000 AIS receiver.
Connecting a VHF/DSC Radio:
When the MarineCommander is coupled to a compatible Icom VHF marine transceiver, the available DSC function establishes and receives various types of calls including individual, group, all ship and position/polling requests.
Connect Essential Monitoring Systems:
You can also connect to engine/environment/positioning sensors with an NMEA 2000 interface. The MarineCommander will show current data on screen or in the status or data bar. For a larger yacht, the MarineCommander's video input ports with RCA connectors offer up to four video inputs for surveillance cameras, TV, DVD or even thermal cameras for low light conditions. This will allow you to monitor your vessels surroundings and crew members on the large MFD.
Finally, you can even connect a Fishfinder:
When connected to an MXF-5000 Fish Finder, the MarineCommander is capable of a dual frequency sounder function. Using the 50kHz/200kHz dual frequency mode, the system determines a common area of fish over a large volume of water while identifying waypoint information with speed, depth and temperature data.
Icom has a strong reputation for providing communications products of unsurpassed quality and reliability. All Icom radios are manufactured exclusively in Japan, adhering to ISO9001/ISO9002 and ISO14001 quality procedures.
For more information, and to find the ICOM where you are, http://www.icom.co.jp/world/!click_here.