NEWEST – Most Final-ist Update for the Ghost called the Marcum RT-9 Dec. 2016
First, I reported that the RT-9’s were coming out (and they did not), and then my next report was that they were coming out the next season, (and they did not- again), and then my final report that they are never coming out because Marcum is notorious for hyping the crap out of new products and then at the last minute, finding an issue that prevents them from doing so. Well, for at least three years, Marcum did not disappoint. They declared something and produced nothing regarding the RT-9.
Unbelievably, the Marcum RT-9’s are now available with our supplier. They have a few in stock in Dec. 2016. If you want to order one, you can order it right here . Note that we have a fast supplier and special-order these in so there will be no returns. All warranty issues must be handled by Marcum and buyer’s remorse is on you.
NEWest (and final) NEW, NEW UPDATE – In October 2015, after I wrote that the Marcum RT-9 was essentially a pipe dream that is never going to EVER materialize, I got a phone call from the national sales manager at Marcum. I’ve known him for many years and always found him to be a pleasant guy. After politely correcting my assertions that the Marcum RT-9 is NEVER, EVER going to materialize, he pointed out that they are sitting on a substantial parts inventory specifically for this unit and were just waiting for final clearances for the WIFI aspect and whatever. Meanwhile, I took calls from clients as far away as Saskatchewan and the US East Coast (the only places with ample money apparently) regarding this unit. I assured them as I was assured that the Mrcum RT-9 was “comin’ around the mountain when she comes”. That’s kind of a stupid song when you think about it. If the only road was around the mountain, how else would she get there?
I waited the entire winter of 2015/2016. She never came around that mountain. I have seen neither hide nor hair of the Marcum RT-9 fish locator to date (4-7-2016) and I’m going back to my original posit that this thing DOES NOT EXIST. Might as well stop looking for it. They never ever got it together and looking beyond this very website which brings you all this information, is a waste of time. There is no RT-9 in any of our supply catalogs and we have 6 or 7 current, 2016 wholesale catalogs.
So there you have it. I have officially quit holding my breath. The RT-9 is back to “pipe dream status” for me.
NEW, NEW UPDATE (10-12-2015 @ 11:15 AM): Well, about 5 minutes after I wrote the below “update” regarding the Marcum RT-9, the phone rang and a friend of mine from Marcum, Jon Marshall, called me up and gave me the new low-down on the RT-9.
Turns out they are going through the government paperwork with the FCC regarding A & B transmission wireless signals. It sounds confusing as all get out but could be best summed up by saying that they have to be licensed by the FCC to prove that the RT-9 doesn’t accidentally start somebody’s microwave oven, or open the neighbor’s garage door by accident, or bring down an Airbus that is flying overhead at 35,000 feet. According to Jon, Marcum actually has inventory in stock and is waiting for approval. They intend to be shipping these puppies out this winter yet. He gave me actual targeted months,but I’m not giving you that until I actually see “some pudding”. No offense to Marcum, but this is not my first rodeo with announcing Marcum product arrivals. I’m going to need tangible proof which I believe to be coming, but then, I have ALWAYS believed that product was going to arrive when they said it was. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me three times, fool me four times – apparently I’m a slow learner, but not this time.
So, you can read all about it below, and then below that. Jon says it’s coming. Inventory is in stock. I just want to see the pudding because they tell me the proof is in it. More when they send me a unit to test out and review. (Hint to Marcum)
NEW UPDATE: This thing is dead. The Marcum RT-9 is never going to be developed and it’s now a figment of your imagination. It was neat, but Marcum couldn’t get the licensing for -I don’t fully know- Android platforms, and this, and that, and etc. One would think they’d have had all their ducks in a row BEFORE they pulled the trigger and gave me a demonstration of the unit. But, that is how Marcum has consistently operated for 12 years. You should have seen the problems we had with their 560 underwater viewing system when it first came out! Fortunately, their camera tech improved dramatically over time and they ended up with some truly great cameras like the 485 VS and the 825 VS. To Marcum’s credit, as far as I’m concerned, they make the best underwater viewing systems and their current line of flashers and LX 6, LX 7, and LX 9 are pretty hard to beat in reliability and performance. (See Marcum’s flashers & cameras listed here)
So, given that the RT-9 project is floating belly-up, you can stop looking. It does not exist other than in prototype and from what I can tell after talking with various reps from Rapala, it’s not going anywhere soon. Update: Oct-12-2015
If the MARCUM RT-9 did exist, this is what you would have:
September 18, 2014 – I just got back from a buying show and literally walked in the door grabbing for may laptop. Steve Hanson, the expert at Marcum regarding equipment operation just showed me the mind-blowing demo regarding the new Marcum RT-9. I will try to impart that information in this here blog post.
The RT-9 IS ridiculously awesome. First, it is a plenty-big tablet built for brutal conditions. It does EVERYTHING a tablet does with an Android system and a really zippy processor under the hood. To impress my socks off, when Steve saw me coming, he found and had our website redrockstore.com up and running in clear-as-a-bell splendor. The screen resolution is sharp as a razor blade and quite stunning. The top of the thick, protective edge that surrounds the sides of the tablet pops open and has a slot for a Navionics (only) micro-SD card, plus a slot for up to 32 GB chip to increase the onboard memory capacity of 8 GB. Why would you want to do that? If you shoot underwater video, that will burn up the chip space quickly. There is also an HDMI slot so you can run a gargantuan flat-screen on the wall if you happen to be lugging one of these around. There is also a USB port and I’m, pretty sure you could run a keyboard on this unit even though it is completely controlled by a touch screen. I asked Steve how this gadget works in exposed cold weather and he said just like it works in front of us at room temperature. Apparently, cold temps do not affect it – which is a good thing given that it was made for ice fishing. There are no moving parts, so…
Then, we moved on to the actual operation of the unit. For the initial price, you get an ice ducer, the tablet, the tablet holder on a RAM type mount and the 9 amp Hour 12 V battery. The battery, depending on what you are doing, will run the unit for about 7 hours. It does use some juice to run that big screen, the GPS, the wireless doohickey, and the fish locator. Oh, and you can convert your own smartphone to be a wireless hot spot so you can surf the net if you need to check the stock prices and state of the world while ice fishing. (You ought to disconnect that part)
If you down load the Marcum PanCam app like we did which was a piece of cake under Steve’s expert guidance, you can make this RT-9 actually show up on your smartphone and everybody around the unit for about 150 feet away would be able to see the fish-finders, camera, and etc. The app is free and I honestly can’t can quite remember how we got the big picture to show up on the little smartphone, but it can be done.
You can buy a camera for this unit. Included along with the optional underwater camera is Marcum Camera panner with an electronic fitting specific to the back of the tablet. What is really incredible there is that the camera can be controlled by swiping your finger across the screen. You simply drag your finger across the picture and stop it where you want the camera to stop. You don’t push a directional button or anything – swipe your finger to where you want to look.
You can also put down a second transducer with the Marcum RT-9 (you’d need to buy the second one) and this unit will actually run TWO transducers independent of each other!!!!! That means that your buddy could be in one hole with his ducer and you in your’s and neither of you would be experiencing anything but what is happening below. No interference. Now, what the RT-9 does to any other fish-finder remains to be seen.
Along with running both transducers, you can also run a camera and overlay the flasher screens or showdown screens over the top of the image like the LX-9. Then, if that isn’t enough stuff to do, you can always take a video-out cable ( you probably have one laying in a drawer – yellow ends) and plug it into a Marcum PanCam and send the signal to your smartphones as well. The big cheese (first guy who turns on his phone – I think) is the one who can control the built in camera panner. All the rest of you guys/girls have to watch whatever he aims the camera at but it’s still pretty great.
The only reason for mentioning the RT-9 to PanCam conversion is to emphasize that there is a lot of cross-over capability through Marcum’s current product line. If you have a more current Marcum camera laying around, chances are good that it can be stuck onto a PamCam and utilized to send a signal to your smartphone after you download the app and assign the wireless part thing-y after going to your settings. It wasn’t hard but I simply can’t remember all the details. You’ll figure it out.
The one other option for this unit is that you can attach your high-speed Marcum transducer to your boat transom, plug it in and use it all summer long.
So, to sum up, there are 2 transducer marine plug-ins with like 5 pins in each of them on the back of the tablet. There is a plug-in for a camera, and also a marine plug-in for the camera panner. Under the watertight hood are two slots – one for a map chip (navionics) and one for extra memory, up to 32 GB’s which you would also need to buy additionally. The tablet does comes with 8 GB of memory on board. Also included is the 12V 9 AH battery, the mounting housing that holds the tablet securely and in an infinite number of angles, the case, and one ice transducer (bell style). The GPS does everything that an advanced GPS would do. You can marks spots, track the waypoints to guide you to the “secret hump” in the middle of the lake, etc. There is an HDMI cable output jack available that would allow you to come home and relive the video footage you shot with the camera to figure out exactly what you did to scare off that 43 pound northern from biting your lure. And, if you want to listen to say, the radio over the internet, Pandora, your own mp3’s, etc, it has two external speakers built in as well.
The Marcum RT-9 is really advanced as far as fishfinders are concerned. It has almost unbelievable capabilities being integrated in with the internet and your smartphone. It offers unparalleled flexiblity between Marcum electronics and pretty much any camera that has a video out (yellow) jack. If you are not a Luddite like me, you will be able to do a ton of stuff with this unit and will become rather proficient at it.
There is nothing else like this in ice fishing electronics from what I could see. Vexilar has a system that you can put together with a waterproof case that would sort of be similar but you have to bring your own tablet to the game and it would not be a rugged tablet unless that is what you own. I don’t think there are as many fishfinder options available with it this system and I don’t believe there is the same level of integration. That’s a review for another day.
It is amazing where the world of fish locators is going these days.