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! 😋

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