New Products From Furuno Enhance Safety, Communication On Waterways

For more than 70 years, Furuno has been manufacturing marine electronics that improve life on the water, from navigation and fishing aids to radars and radios. Over the past year, Furuno has released a trio of products designed with mariners on the nation’s inland waterways especially in mind.

FR1908VBB River Radar

Navigating the inland waterways of the United States is a challenging task, and for decades, Furuno’s “V” line of radars, with a vertical screen, have been built with towing vessels and other inland workboats in mind. The Furuno FR1908VBB River Radar continues that line, while adding modern functionality and advanced features previously available only in larger models.

The Furuno FR1908VBB River Radar features dual high-resolution video outputs, Furuno’s target detection, six NMEA input/output ports for helm interfacing, two SD card slots for capturing screenshots, and a direct connection to a voyage data recorder or simplified voyage data recorder.

The River Radar offers custom river modes to enhance bank, buoy and vessel detection. The system also features 10 preset towing configurations and customizable icons. Barge icons, for instance, can be displayed with length and width measurements in feet. Rudder position can be displayed onscreen with an NMEA0183 connection, and the unit offers a simple connection to a Furuno satellite compass for realtime navigation details. The FR1908VBB is a 4 kw. open array and is paired with Furuno’s gearbox and either a 6.5-inch or 8-inch antenna.

FM4800 VHF Radio

The Furuno FM4800 is an all-in-one 25-watt VHF radiotelephone with built-in Class D direct selective calling (DSC), GPS receiver, AIS receiver and a simplified loud hailer with intercom. The FM4800 is waterproof to an IP68 standard, meaning it can withstand full immersion for more than half an hour. Because of the unit’s built-in GPS receiver, its DSC function does not require an external GPS source. The FM4800 can also act as a backup source for positioning.

The built-in AIS receiver means AIS targets can be overlaid with networked GPS plotters. GPS, DSC and AIS information can also be shared via NMEA0183 or NMEA2000. When connected via NMEA2000 to any NavNet TZtouch2 MFD, the FM4800 allows DSC calling from the TZtouch2 display by tapping on an AIS target and selecting “DSC Call.” Also, the FM4800 can initiate a distress call when the unit is connected to a TZtouch2 display and MOB (man overboard) is activated.

The loud hailer feature offers eight alert sound patterns. The system includes loud hailer, foghorn and warning signal features. When connected to a second station handset, the FM4800 gains an intercom feature. In addition, the external horn speaker can be used to collect sounds and transmit them through the FM4800’s built-in speaker. This “Listen Back” function allows communication between the wheelhouse and deck personnel.

LH5000 Loud Hailer

Furuno’s LH5000 Loud Hailer ensures that, in case of an emergency, any vessel can draw attention to itself. The LH5000 can broadcast voice or eight warning signals from a vessel’s horns, regardless of visibility conditions. The LH5000 may be paired with up to six horn speakers, which each have an output of up to 30 watts. The LH5000 may also be connected to onboard intercom speakers, but the separate intercom feature means warning signals won’t be transmitted through onboard communication speakers.

Like the FM4800 VHF Radio, the LH5000 can gather sounds through its horns and amplify them through its built-in speaker. The system can be connected to a vessel’s fire detection system with “Siren Mode,” and the unit’s “Alarm Mode” can be incorporated into a vessel’s security system. The LH5000 can also be used to broadcast music or other audio through horns and intercom speakers.

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