The Sitex ColorMax 11 is a large screen all-in-one chartplotting system. It will interface with the Sitex ES502 sounder, a couple different models of Sitex radar, AIS, and video.
This unit will take up some panel space as it measures just under 13-inches wide by nearly 9 inches high.
ColorMax 11 has two map cartridge slots and is compatible with C-Map MAX cartography. It can store 3000 waypoints and 50 routes.
Screen Size and Viewability
This Sitex chartplotter is equipped with a 10.4-inch color screen and 640 x 480 pixels of resolution.
Though it is not nearly as bright as some of the more expensive big screen displays we’ve tested it still managed a fair rating for daylight viewing when we its Sunlight color palette.
Other selectable color palettes include Normal, Classic, and Night Vision. The Sunlight mode noticeably lightens the map colors and enhances the screen viewability in direct sunlight.
While viewing the screen with polarized sunglasses we noticed it darkened ever so slightly. It is still viewable to about a 45-degree angle, more than enough for normal operations.
Normal and Classic modes prove most valuable when the display screen is not in direct sunlight.
Night Vision mode darkens the screen colors to reduce glare and improve low light viewing. Nighttime viewability was rated good.
The Sitex ColorMax 11 has an adequate range of screen brightness adjustment when its 6 levels of brightness are used together with its 11 levels of contrast adjustment available. Panel lights are preset at the factory to one level.
With a total of 14 push button controls and a joystick we found the Sitex ColorMax 11 easy to operate and gave it a good rating for plotter user interface.
One disadvantage we found was the lack of an alphanumeric keypad. This slows any manual data entry of names or numbers.
Four soft keys add operational flexibility on certain pages where they are functional. Soft key labels (functions) are displayed above the soft key in an easy to read font.
In the Home mode if the soft key functions are not displayed pressing any soft key will make the function labels appear onscreen. Soft key functions are user customizable.
Hitting the enter key followed by another button push or two will yield a waypoint at the current or selected cursor position, bring up a soft key menu allowing editing or navigation to the new waypoint, or get an instant range and bearing on anything you select with the cursor.
Odds and Ends
We found chart redraw speed to be 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 1/8 of a mile, not the lowest weve seen but certainly adequate and showing plenty of map detail.
The course predictor on the ColorMax 11 is easy to see and totally adjustable, we really like it. It displays not only your course, but also gives you an indication of your future position via the length of the line. Its adjustable in several settings from 2 minutes to 2 hours.
The number of data blocks shown on the map page can be set to off, 5, or 8, contents are user selectable.
Previously input waypoints can be selected for activity via the cursor or main menu and the user waypoint list.
Waypoint names can be 8 characters long and use one of 16 symbols in any one of 8 colors.
Adding a camera or two to your system will allow the display of video information. A camera placed in a critical area, like the engine room, can instantly display activity in that area on the screen by pressing and holding the Enter key.
No split screen capability is available for video inputs, each selected source is displayed full-screen.
Though it lacks an alphanumeric key pad the Sitex Colormax 11 is quite easy to operate and a value pick in its price range.