Do you need to convert LORAN TDs to GPS coordinates? Since LORAN is now dead for real, many anglers will need to make the conversion or lose their old fishing spots. You have the feds to thank for this; after years of on-again, off-again, LORAN is really dead this time… just as e-LORAN looked like it had a bright future. PREDICTION: After the next time GPS is knocked out (yes, it has happened before), the feds will realize what a big mistake this is and will bring LORAN back. GPS is simply too shaky, because it’s easy to jam and can be flummoxed by solar flare-ups. As soon as the military can’t tell exactly whom they’re dropping their bombs on, you can bet they’ll have the LORAN system fired back up.
In the mean time, you’ll need to make those conversions, and Furuno has just introduced a new and easy way to go about it. The GP33 is a GPS which automatically converts your old LORAN TD’s into GPS, and displays where you’re going on a 4.3 inch color LCD display. It’s NMEA 2000 and 0183 compliant, so you can integrate it with the rest of your system, and it’s pretty darn inexpensive at $595. If you’ve been using TDs and will have the need to make lots of conversions, check it out at www.FurunoUSA.com/LearningCenter/Product-Guided-Tour-Videos.aspx. Furuno’s put up a “guided tour” of the GP33, so you can see exactly how it’ll help you out. But this unit remains untested by yours truly, so I’m not yet willing to say just how close it’ll get you to your original hotspot. And we need to note that in the past, conversion programs haven’t been satisfactory. Still, at least with the GP33 you don’t have to do a darn thing beyond plugging in the numbers. Stay tuned; the request is in for a unit, for hands-on testing.