Features February 1, 2005 Issue

Standard Horizon CP1000C

A new player enters the crowded and competitive field of color chartplotters; that's welcome news for consumers.

With its big screen, soft keys, and alphanumeric keypad, the CP1000C covers all critical areas and is a user-friendly, intuitive chartplotter. We particularLy liked its viewability—both during the day and at night—and the fact that it carries a three-year warranty.

Standard Horizon stormed into the GPS chartplotting arena in 2001 with the introduction of its monochrome CP150. At the time, it was the least expensive fixed-mount unit capable of using cartography-on-a-card technology. Standard Horizon's new CP1000C is a large-screen colorized version of that original. Measuring just over 13-1/2" wide by nearly 9" high, the CP1000C is equipped with a 10.4" color screen with 640 x 480 resolution.

We mounted the demo unit to our test stand using the metal mounting bracket shipped with the unit. We found the supplied bracket a little wobbly, and the knobs that secure the unit difficult to tighten firmly.

We rated the screen Excellent for day viewability. Its screen brightness and sunlight color palette helped achieve this rating. It is viewable to a 60-degree angle when not wearing polarized glasses. With them on, the screen darkens slightly, but is still viewable to about a 45-degree angle, though it blanks at 60 degrees.

We rated nighttime viewability Excellent. Exceptional control is possible with the use of the unit's six varying levels of brightness in combination with its 21 levels of contrast. Panel lights are preset at the factory to one level.

Our previous experience operating the original CP150 proved valuable on the CP1000C as the software, menus, and operation are similar. With 25 pushbuttons and a joystick, operating the CP1000C is a breeze.

The real interface advantage of the larger unit over the original is the addition of an alphanumeric keypad and five soft keys. The keypad makes manual data entry far easier. However, any large list of waypoints or routes would still be much easier to transfer from a home computer.

The CP1000C is compatible with C-Map PC planner software. This software is supplied with a card reader that allows data from a computer to be transferred to a blank memory card then inserted into the CP1000C for download. The system also operates in reverse, allowing data transfer from the CP1000C to a home computer for trip planning or simply to back up your list to another device.

The five soft keys are set by factory default in the Home mode to select various pages available, like Chart, Navigation, Highway, or Video. In other modes, the soft keys change function to suit the mode. Each soft key function is also user customizable. Chart redraw speed was fast, normally taking less than a second to fully redraw the chart after a map range change.

Minimum range with a C-Map card installed is approximately a tenth of a mile to an inch of screen space, not the lowest we've seen, yet more than adequate. With no card and only the internal map, the minimum range is two miles. Four preset color palettes are available: normal, classic, night, and sunlight. A celestial page displays tide data from the nearest tide station in both graphical and digital format, moonrise and set, sunrise and set, lat./lon., and current time.

As technology advances, the CP1000C continues to receive software and hardware upgrades. Currently it's shipped with a pair of video inputs. These allow the display of video information from a camera or VCR. A camera placed in an area like the engine room can instantly display activity there.

No split screen capability was available on our test unit, so each source is displayed full-screen. Upgrades will include the capability to add a sounder. Of course, this will require the purchase of the sounder box as well as a firmware upgrade. The new software will be supplied with the sounder at no charge and will upgrade the CP1000C to allow it to work with the sounder.

We found the CP1000C on line for $1,899—comparably priced to other units with similar capabilities, like the Garmin 2010C or Si-Tex ColorMax 11, both of which we've yet to review.

Bottom Line: Those with less than perfect eyesight will love the large screen and large type capabilities on this screen. With the addition of the FF520 sounder, we expect this Standard Horizon unit to become a real player in the big screen plotter/sounder field.

Update
To most readers and consumers it should be evident that keeping up with chartplotter developments is nearly a full-time occupation. In the past year alone, PS has published articles covering no less than 14 separate chartplotters, plotter-sounders, or networked chartplotting devices from nine separate manufacturers. The chart on page 22 is a refresher of those we've evaluated to date, including the CP1000C. We've also included the most important ratings: Day Viewing, Night Viewing, User Interface, and Installation.

Contact - Standard Horizon, 714/827-7600, www.standardhorizon.com.

 

Also With This Article
"Specifications"
"Value Guide Update: Color Chartplotters"

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