New Furuno Software Features Ability to Make Custom Shaded Relief Charts

Marine electronics provider Furuno, which produces radar systems, GPS receivers and other navigational instruments, has added the ability for users of its latest navigation software to build their own custom shaded relief charts.

Users of the company’s NavNet TZtouch3 touchscreen electronics monitoring system with the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar can now build their own charts using the PBG (Personal Bathymetric Generator) functionality now available in Furuno’s recent version 2.01 software update, which is free to all customers.

Captains can use the technology to create precision bottom maps quickly and easily thanks to the 120-degree beamwidth of the DFF3D transducer, according to Furuno Marine Electronics. PBG allows the operator to create custom high-resolution shaded relief charts of the seafloor using their DFF3D.

TZtouch3’s PBG incorporates inertially stabilized and tide-compensated calculations that can result in highly accurate bottom mapping that was previously available only with elaborate, survey-grade acoustic measuring systems.

The company said that it took the technology built into its DDF29 multi-beam sonar and combined it with its TZtouch3 for its new version 2 software update to provide users with the PBG. In a promotional video, Furuno USA Senior Product Manager Eric Kunz explained the PBG’s benefits.

The area shown above is equivalent to over 250 football fields and was mapped in 22 minutes at 6 knots using PBG. Image courtesy of Furnuno.

“Unlike other quick drawing map features on the market … it’s drawing very high resolution shaded relief maps that contain roughly 50 data points across the screen at roughly double your depth,” Kunz explained. “So you’re making a chart the width of double your depth with this new PBG feature.”

“It’s amazing what comes out of this system – shaded relief maps that are of unbelievable quality with a single pass,” Kunz added. “In fact, when you combine the FF3, the multi-beam sonar with our SCX20 heading sensor, it’s the perfect combination to give you highly accurate bottom maps anywhere you go in the world.”

He also commented that there’s a “lifetime” of memory built into the company’s MFD navigation software at the same time. Bottom mapping data is saved to a 256GB microSD card that comes in every NavNet TZtouch3 Multi-Function Display.

“You could literally fish in new spots every day for 10 years in a row and still have plenty of memory in the MFD to save PBG data, your own custom underwater charts,” Kunz said.

Furuno says that its new technology allows users to record “unbelievable” areas in a short period of time, as opposed to similar products on the market which only use single-beam technology, thereby only allowing users to collect a single data point per second.

“With Furuno’s multi-beam 3FF 3D technology combined with our TZtouch3, we’re actually collecting 50 data points across the bottom of the boat per second – that’s 5,000% higher than our closest competitor,” Kunz stated. “The great thing about PBG technology is that you make charts wherever you go; you don’t have to rely on buying data for a given area that you want to fish. PBG makes the charts wherever you go.”

“You may think you know an area, but when you’re making real time survey-grade shaded relief maps, it’s unbelievable how ledges and structure that holds fish just pops out at you in new ways that you’ve never realized,” he said.

“When you’re serious about fishing and you really want to understand the kind of structure you’re over, or the kind of detail that you need to see where fish are holding and where to put your bait, you need PBG technology,” Kunz added.

Furuno has said that although PBG is simple to use and the detailed bottom maps it produces are easy to understand at a glance, company engineers spent years developing the hardware and software to make it accurate and intuitive.

PBG works with the NMEA Award-winning DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar connected to a NavNet TZtouch3 TZT9F, TZT12F, TZT16F, or TZT19F MFD.

The version 2.01 software for NavNet TZouch3 also includes a host of other new features and enhancements; a complete list of which can be found in the NavNet TZtouch3 Software Version 2.01 Feature List.

The PBG can be seen in action in the Furuno First Look video available on YouTube.