Choosing a Combo (Combination of Different Functions) Product
A Combo product has a single display that shows two or more functions, such as radar and chart images on the same display. To enable this functionality you require not only the display but also the transducer. By transducer we mean the measuring element of the system, whether that is the radar antenna, the sonar-transmitting device or the GPS antenna.
Why a combo product?
The majority of people who choose a combination product do so for space reasons. A single unit often fits better in the dashboard layouts of smaller cockpits. It’s also more economical and allows the user to add functionality over of period of time.
What combo units are available?
The most common combinations are Radar/Chart or Fishfinder/Chart. However, this is a constantly changing area of the market and it’s not unusual to find Radar/Chart/FF/weather and video capable displays.
Is it right for me?
If space is tight and you want to build a small system slowly, then it should be considered a good solution. However, combining too many functions on a display less than 7”, and using the display in a multi-window mode by splitting the screen will reduce the unit’s usefulness. This is especially true when you are underway and trying to read small details on a cluttered display. This can of course be overcome by using the full screen mode.
Are combo products only for small boats?
Many of the products listed in the comparison section of the website offer displays greater than 12”. These displays allow side-by-side view of the functionality discussed above, and excellent overlay of data without loss of clarity. On large boats these displays can be mounted in front of the captain providing excellent viewing and easy access to the buttons.