Fishing & Boating News

Magellan's new ColorTRAK GPS sets a new standard

The world's first portable GPS receiver with a color display

(January 31,1998 - SAN DIMAS, Calif.)

The first hand-held GPS satellite navigator to feature a color display, Magellan's new ColorTRAK boasts 12-channel GPS reception, 30 hours of continuous-use battery life, a fishing time calculator, a built-in thermometer and a host of other functions outdoorsmen will truly appreciate, according to Margaret Goodall, Magellan's outdoor products marketing manager.

"The most feature-rich hand-held GPS receiver to date, the Magellan ColorTRAK puts a wealth of vital navigation information at the user's fingertips, and makes it easy to read too, even in the harshest outdoor conditions. ColorTRAK's ultra-sharp, four-color display — 25 percent larger than comparably priced hand-held units — lets boaters, fishermen, hikers and hunters color-code track history and symbols, enhancing the visibility and readability of critical points like landmarks, fishing hot spots, trailheads and more.

"Priced at just $279.99, this first-of-its-kind unit is the ultimate combination of functionality and affordability," states Goodall. The versatile ColorTRAK also features these innovations:

  • Auto Backtrack uses the unit's track log to plot a route back home — without having to manually mark waypoints. Automatically marks up to 1,200 track points based on changes of speed and direction.
  • Built-in thermometer and altimeter.
  • Best fishing/hunting time calculator determines sunrise/sunset times and moon phase for any place in the world on any date.
  • Northfinder (displays sun and moon positions), allows users to quickly determine their desired direction while stationary.
  • Internal proximity and tracking alarms; supports external alarms for anchoring, cross-track errors and arrival at a destination, providing greater safety and peace of mind.
  • Trip odometer allows users to know how far they've traveled, so they can estimate the time and distance to return to dock or camp.

With a powerful 12-parallel-channel receiver and detachable quadrifilar helix antenna, this pocket-sized unit provides outstanding lock-on tracking in any environment. The ColorTRAK stores 500 user-entered locations and 20 reversible/editable routes with up to 30 legs. Auto position averaging reduces the effects of Selective Availability (SA) for a more accurate position fix.

Saved landmarks, routes and fishing hot spots can be uploaded and downloaded between the ColorTRAK and an IBM-compatible personal computer with Magellan's Map ‘N Track CD-ROM software, allowing boaters and hunters to edit and delete information, or create new landmarks and routes. Once edited or retrieved, the data can be uploaded to ColorTRAK as needed.

ColorTRAK's EZstart initialization feature eliminates the need to input coordinate numbers when first using the unit. An easy-to-learn menu interface uses an intuitive operating system and on-screen instructions to make it as simple to operate as a push-button phone.

Nine graphical navigation screens including a real-time multiple route track plotter with adjustable scale show you where you're going, the path you've traveled and distance to your destination. Navigation screens provide directional arrows and information on Distance To Go, Bearing, Course Over Ground, Time To Go, Speed Over Ground, Cross-Track Error and Velocity Made Good. For anglers accustomed to using the LORAN radio navigation system, ColorTRAK can convert their LORAN TD numbers into latitude/longitude or other grid system coordinates.

The GPS ColorTRAK is differential-ready, and when linked to the Magellan DBR differential beacon receiver or similar device and receiving differential corrections broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard or other sources, it is accurate to within 5 to 10 meters.

The unit's power management engineering allows an industry-record 30 hours of continuous battery life and the internal lithium battery back-up will keep the unit's memory active for up to 10 years. Built to withstand the rigors of outdoor use, this waterproof receiver has wraparound rubber armoring, water-sealed battery compartments and an all-rubber backlit keypad that keeps water and salt spray from penetrating the housing.

Measuring just 6.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches, the sleek ColorTRAK weighs a mere 10 ounces — just put it in your pocket and go. Keypad and display backlighting make the unit easy to read at night, and a four-way cursor key allows mariners to change screens and move the cursor quickly and easily. Full-featured and highly affordable, the ColorTRAK ships with carrying case, wrist strap, four AA batteries, and user and quick reference guides. The optional power/data/external antenna kit allows for operating the unit below deck.

A subsidiary of Orbital Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: ORBI), Magellan manufactures satellite communications and navigation products for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor recreation, survey, systems integration and wireless communications markets around the world. For more information, contact Magellan Systems, 960 Overland Ct., San Dimas, CA, 91773, (909) 394-5000, (909) 394-7050 (fax), or visit the company's web site at