As you probably have guessed I’m obsessed with automation and technology enhancements for my boat, given that my house has already been fully automated for almost a decade now.
I’ve added GPS, Temperature, water level — you name it — sensors to my NMEA 2000 bus that all display nicely on my Lowrance HDS multifunction display and now on my own display.
Since my boat came with a Clarion M505 head unit and a MW1 remote control unit I’ve been looking at either upgrading it to a Fusion stereo unit that offers a built-in NMEA 2000 interface or even building my own interface to NMEA 2000 so I can get track/source details and control it via my Lowrance MFD.
Come to my surprise when I googled “Clarion NMEA 2000” and the returned results show a new product from Clarion with a model number of “MW6”. The details are pretty slim except for the following:
- Control a Clarion Source Unit via a Multi-Function Display (MFD) Device on the NMEA 2000 Network
- Control Functions Such as Source Switching, Volume Control, Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, etc.
- Two Way Communication Displays Artist/Album/Track Info, Current Radio Frequency, etc.
- Conformally Coated PCB
This press release from Oct 2016 has a bit more details and now it makes sense that in a recent Lowrance HDS firmware update they added NMEA 2000 Audio Enhancements and control as shown below:
Checking around various online stores, no one seems to have the MW6 in-stock, Crutchfield has it listed as “Pre-Order”. So I called Clarion and found that it’s not out yet but perhaps it will launch in a few weeks at the IBEX 2017 show… you can be sure that once it’s released, I will get one and will post a review.
I think this will be the last bit I’ll add to my NMEA 2000 network this season… but my list is already growing for the next season! 😋