Simrad NSO evo3
A NEW MFD SERIES IS TAILORED FOR BIG BOATS WITH LARGE NETWORKS OF RELATED COMPONENTS.
be used for keyboard, mouse, and mass-storage connections, according to Simrad, and obviously enable future features and functions. At this time, the new NSOs are the only high-end MFDs without the ability to support IP cameras, though Simrad says that’s coming.
HDMI input means the NSO evo3 units can display content from an entertainment system or PC, and Simrad says it’s working on a way to send touch input from the NSO evo3 to a connected PC—another use for a USB port. New with the evo3 generation of products is a J1939 input. Simrad joins Garmin’s 8400/8600 line in allowing engine data to be integrated for compatible J1939 engines without the need for a J1939 to NMEA 2000 gateway.
The new NSOs also feature WheelKey, which was first introduced on the NSS evo3. If there’s a Simrad autopilot connected to the system, this key will bring up its controls by default. Alternatively, WheelKey can be set for two custom actions, one for a short press and another for a long hold. Another interesting detail you can find in the NSO evo3 operator manual is a table that shows all the keyboard shortcuts available when one is connected via USB. It’s easy to see the value of being able to instantly pull up a screen or type a waypoint name, if your helm can accomodate a full keyboard. Creating a route with a few clicks of a mouse is another attractive possibility.
The NSO evo3 displays will run the same HEROiC OS we’ve seen on the NSS evo3, but with the added feature of up to six windows on a single screen. (That’s also possible on Garmin’s 8400 and 8600 MFDs.) Because there are 16-inch units in the NSS and NSO evo3 series, I asked Simrad about the differences between the two lines. The company says the NSO evo3 has higher spec processors and more I/O options, and the series will most likely be installed on larger boats with larger networks of related components, such as black box sonars, multiple radars, and so forth.
At the time of this writing, Simrad had hopes to begin shipping the NSO16 ($6,999) in late January or early February, with the 19- and 24-inch models shipping in March. GPS receivers (and sonar processing) aren’t built into these MFDs, but optional kits include the GPS, a panel-mount card reader, NMEA 2000 starter kit, and an OP50 remote control along with the MFD.
Incidentally, Simrad is more forthcoming with details about the NSO evo3 processor—an iMX6 quad-core—than I’ve ever known a marine electronics company to be. Is this simply a re-
NSO evo3 can run six displays on the MFD.