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Old 02-02-2009, 15:20   #1
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Radar Detector

Is an automobile type radar detector, like those used to detect police speed traps, of any use on a boat to detect radar coming from another boat?
thanks
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Old 02-02-2009, 15:42   #2
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Quote:
Is an automobile type radar detector, like those used to detect police speed traps, of any use on a boat to detect radar coming from another boat?
No. It's not even close to the same thing unless you a local sheriff out chasing speeders. Radar on your boat would be the better solution. AIS receivers are fine for commercial boats as in the big ones since they are required to to broadcast AIS these days.
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Old 02-02-2009, 18:59   #3
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Here's a radar detector built for boats. I just know that it exists, have no idea how well or if it works.

SURVIVAL SAFETY ENGINEERING

John
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Old 02-02-2009, 19:26   #4
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Agree with Paul.

Price and performance may be much better on an AIS unit. They give you closest point of approach, time and bearing information, as well as details of the ship you are looking at (stuff you do not get from car mounted units or marine radar detectors). An aerial mounted high will give better range than any unit with an internal receiver. AIS are marinised. And the cheaper stand alone units may cost less than some auto radar detectors and nearly all marine radar direction finders.

There are marine radar detectors out there - at a price. E.g. Google "marine radar detector yacht".

Re: units for mounting in cars, any frequency mismatch will mean auto radar detectors do not see radars on the bands marine radars transmit within, they will not be marinised. They generally have internall antennae which will be low on the boat, limiting range.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:38   #5
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My personal feeling is that if you are going to spend the money on a radar dectector, spend a little more and get a functional Radar Display and Raydome. Some may argue that it is wise to have both on board. But really, Any Radar system now has alarms and well tell you within the rings who far off another vessel is and from what direction.

If you are not going to have a functioning radar, then yes buy at least a detector. I know I have found some great deals on used radar systems on Craigslist, and I picked up a JRC 1000 for under 400.00. The JRC 1000 is a base model but all I need for the sailing I will be doing.

Cheers

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:59   #6
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Hi Bopabel,
There was once a 'radar detector' which did work very much like those detectors sold for cars. It has a circular run of LEDS and when triggered, illuminated the LED closest to the ship that was transmitting the radar signal. Alarm got louder as it got closer.
I saw them advertised but never ever saw one installed or used in anger.
As others have intimated, best not to rely on the other vessel for a warning - as many may not be operating their own radar anyway or even have one fitted.
Best to install your own transmitter and that way plot what else it out there irrgardless of what they have.
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 04-02-2009, 19:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Here's a radar detector built for boats. I just know that it exists, have no idea how well or if it works.

SURVIVAL SAFETY ENGINEERING

John
That unit sells for $650 on their website. (Thanks for the link. I didn't even know that existed.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by waverider View Post
My personal feeling is that if you are going to spend the money on a radar dectector, spend a little more and get a functional Radar Display and Raydome. Some may argue that it is wise to have both on board. But really, Any Radar system now has alarms and well tell you within the rings who far off another vessel is and from what direction.

If you are not going to have a functioning radar, then yes buy at least a detector. I know I have found some great deals on used radar systems on Craigslist, and I picked up a JRC 1000 for under 400.00. The JRC 1000 is a base model but all I need for the sailing I will be doing.

Cheers

Todd
Exactly. And even if you don't want to go used, new basic units are less than $1000.


So, Radar Detector for $650 which will only tell you the direction of another boat, and only if it has radar, and then only if it's on.

Or Radar for less than $1000 which will show you direction and range of all boats and objects big enough to be picked up.

That extra $350 seems like a no-brainer.

And for a few hundred more, you get them that will show speed and direction of travel and alarms for collision situations.

-dan
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:03   #8
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A true story

This anecdotal evidence may help you understand why a radar detector won't make you safe at sea:

When Ann and I started voyaging in 1986, we wondered just how good a radar target we made with our shiny new Davis reflector. So we started calling merchant vessels and asking them... and one rotten night when visibility was definitely impaired we called a dimly perceived ship with our query. The reply??? " Hang on,Mate, I'll turn it on and have a look". That was a good learning experience for us!

I reckon nowadays that if you don't want to have your own small radar, then an AIS receiver will be FAR more use than a detector in avoiding ship/yacht collisions.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld OZ
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:39   #9
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I've been thinking about getting one of these Sea-Me radar detectors that enhance radar returns and also notify you when you are being painted: SEA-ME: Active Radar Target Enhancer

The only problem, I think, with them is it won't work properly if you have your own radar on.
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Old 06-02-2009, 19:33   #10
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Thanks for your input everyone. I agree with the consensus that the cost/benefit just do not work. I found a French marine product on goggle for about $550 US but I think the price would have to be around $200 for me to buy.
bob
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Old 06-02-2009, 20:45   #11
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Automotive radar and marine radar work on entirely different frequencies, equipment designed for one service is useless on the other.

Jim-
"The reply??? " YOU GOT A REPLY? Someone was on watch?! You're already ahead of the game.
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Old 24-11-2010, 08:44   #12
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Actually, many marine radar systems are 'X' band radar...the same wavelength that can be detected by many inexpensive automobile radar detectors. So the correct answer would be, 'yes', an inexpensive automotive-grade radar detector can be used to detect some marine radar systems.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Here's a radar detector built for boats. I just know that it exists, have no idea how well or if it works.
SURVIVAL SAFETY ENGINEERING
John
It is the C.A.R.D. system and I have had one for over a decade. Sounded like a neat idea at the time. It has an antenna that is divided into 4 quadrants and a display that lights up LED's for a radar signal received in a particular quadrant. A series of LED's in each quadrant are supposed to indicate a strong or weak signal under the assumption that the stronger signal is closer.
- - Problem is most 3rd World and small country vessels do not operate their radars underway (many don't have radars that even work). A huge amount of other boats simply do not have radar on board. So there is no signal to detect - as was mentioned in an earlier post.
- - Other problem is that in areas where ships do operate radar there are too many around so you cannot discriminate as to what is where. Also land radar from airports activates the units (mine for sure) and again you have LED's lit in all quadrants.
- - I would surmise that shipping that does have and use radar also now has AIS so the C.A.R.D. system is, sort of, obsolete and the AIS systems more valuable and useful. With the advent of the VHF plus AIS radios on the market you can have a good VHF and AIS for about US$400. Much more cost effective. With the saved money over buying a new radio and then a C.A.R.D. you can instead have 3 things - radio, AIS and a real radar.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:07   #14
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The key question for me is why do you need such a detector?

Using your own radar and an AIS is pretty much better. AIS is under carriage requirement for commercial vessels so you have a good chance to be detected and to detect your collision enemy quit early. Take in mind that the information received by AIS can also be manipulated; e.g. the ship's navigational status can be set to "on anchor" when sailing.

Don't forget to maintain a good luck out and trust nobody except yourself.
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Old 24-11-2010, 09:12   #15
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Notsure, I am sure. Checked into the specific frequencies used by systems, confirmed by an electronics engineer who was in that field. You may find some overlap and some detectors that pick up some radars--But automobile detectors, especially the obsolete x band ones, are essentially useless on a boat.

Anyone who disagrees, is free to do the research as to frequencies that equipment actually uses, they're regulated by the FCC in the US, by similar bodies in every country, and publicly available.
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