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SIMRAD BSM-2

Simrad's radically new BSM-2 Broadband Sounder Module uses a new "CHIRP" technology that enables their echo sounders to reach deep down where few recreational sounders have gone before.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
SIMRAD BSM-2
Simrad recently unveiled its next-generation sonar system, the Simrad BSM-2 Broadband Sounder black box module, over the recent winter boat show circuit. When I was down at the Miami Boat Show last February, I was able to get some hands-on experience with this fascinating black box module component fishfinder. The BSM-2 provides enhanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP), similar to Navico's revolutionary BR24 solid-state radar that was introduced a few seasons back under both the Simrad and Lowrance banners. However, the BSM-2 black box module is the first recreational sonar to incorporate "Frequency Sweeping Pulse Compression" technology, aka "CHIRP", in a recreational application. CHIRP technology enables the BSM-2 equipped Simrad multi-function displays to produce higher resolution, deeper depth penetration and less noise when in the fishfinder mode.

Designed with serious sport fishing anglers and dedicated commercial fishermen in mind, the Simrad BSM-2 offers the most detailed mid-water definition and penetrates some of the deepest waters on the planet, with digital readings possible for depths down to 10,000 feet. The BSM-2, next-generation Simrad Broadband Sounder module, coupled with the new AirMar Broadband transducer lineup, provides anglers digitally purified, crystal-clear images of individual fish markings and clear separation of fish from other targets, structure, thermoclines and the bottom, in both shallow and deep canyon waters. Solving the problem of high-powered sonars that can also produce plenty of noise and interference, the BSM-2's CHIRP function uses longer pulses resulting in improved object discrimination at greater depths. A bonus of this CHIRP features is the elimination of surface clutter and turbulent water clutter, as well as interference within the water column, resulting in an easier-to-interpret image. The enhanced Simrad CHIRP technology also outperforms traditional 3kW sounders, returning highly detailed images of drop-offs, deep-canyon bottoms, other structure and fish while maintaining bottom lock even at high speeds.

HOW IT WORKS
The Simrad BSM-2 is fitted with dual transceivers and uses two separate transducers to transmit simultaneously on high and low frequencies. The longer pulse is transmitted for greater depth penetration and as it requires less power than a higher frequency signal, it makes less noise. The result is a "whisper" into the water that locates the fish without disturbing them. The higher frequency signal gives even finer detail at shallow to mid-water depths. Users with broadband transducers can select from a range of frequencies to best suit the conditions in which they are fishing.

Housed in a rugged die-cast aluminum waterproof black box, the BSM-2 is easy to install, mounts anywhere and is plug-and-play compatible with the full-featured Simrad NSE and NSO multifunction navigation systems.
CHIRP maximizes the sensitivity and resolution of the sonar systems by modifying the frequency of the transmitted pulses to improve their auto-correlation properties. The return signals, already superior to those generated by conventional sounders, are then processed by the new DSP software and displayed in ultra-sharp detail on the display unit. Together the combination of extremely efficient pulse generation and advanced digital processing has created an efficient 250W RMS system that will outperform many 3kW systems and will do so with lower power consumption and decreased noise.

The Simrad BSM-2 features dual transceivers with two depth transducer ports. It also supports dual temperature sensors, plus an independent speed input. The BSM-2's low-frequency transceiver operates at 25-45 kHz and 40-60 kHz; the high-frequency transceiver supports 40-60 kHz and 130-210kHz. The new sonar module is compatible with a wide range of AirMar transducers, including Broadband transducers, BSM-1 narrowband, plus Simrad Combi-C models with frequencies of 28/38/50/200Khz.

RUGGED CONSTRUCTION
Housed in a rugged die-cast aluminum waterproof black box, the BSM-2 is easy to install, mounts anywhere and is plug-and-play compatible with the full-featured Simrad NSE and NSO multifunction navigation systems via a high-speed Ethernet connection. The compact module measures 11.4 inches long by 13.4 inches wide by 3.9 inches high and weighs 10.6 pounds and has an MSRP of $2,495. I have seen the street price vary for these BSM-2 black box sounders anywhere from $2,050 to $2,250, depending on the seller. Compatible with 12V or 24V power systems, the module is water-resistant to IPX6 standards and is protected by a two-year warranty.

To enable operators to see all that they can see in the vast submarine world, Simrad has also introduced a new series of large multifunction display systems to support the graphics potential of the BSM-2 Black Box Sounder, specifically the Simrad NSO Offshore. Based on the highly acclaimed Simrad NSE (North Star edition) platform, the system combines a powerful NSO marine processor, compact keypad controller and a range of 10- to-19-inch display options with proven software that offers easy integration capabilities for breakthrough performance. The new Simrad BSM-2 black box sounder module is the real deal. For more information, call 800-628-4487, or visit www.simrad-yachting.com.

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