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Old 11-12-2009, 19:50   #1
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Two Broadband Radar Issues

1) Where is the power(-saving) benefit? E.g. the smallest antenna from Simrad is 17 W and the smallest screen is 22 W += 39 Watts. The small Furuno is 36 W.

2) Since the new radar: "...transmits at 1/20,000 the power of typical pulse radars..." (source: Simrad) will it still fire the radar warning devices like the SeaMe, C.A.R.D., Merveille, etc?

Anybody with facts and educated guesses PLS share your insights.

barnie
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Old 11-12-2009, 20:21   #2
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I hope this thread doesn't come up with unintended consequences.

An example: LED traffic lights which save energy also have to be cleaned off of snow by overtime paid union workers after horrible traffic accidents.

Just sayin'
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:30   #3
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Anybody ??? Any clues? magazine discussions, maker's comments?

PLS
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Old 12-12-2009, 13:50   #4
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The 'broadband' FMCW radar transmits at about 0.1 watt, compared to 2000 to 4000 watts for a conventional pulse radar. But remember that the pulse radar's peak output only occurs for a tiny fraction of a second, followed by a long period of sit-and-listen. Add the consumption of the display, and the power savings of a FMCW radar in continuous duty are probably not as large as is sometimes claimed.

Where significant power savings may be possible is in shutting the radar off when not in use. Having no magnetron, the FMCW technology has virtually no warm-up time: reviews I've seen to date suggest that it provides useful data within a few seconds of touching the power switch. I think the idea is that, on a cruising boat offshore, you'd just turn it on for a moment if you suspected something was out there- feasible with FMCW, but not with an old pulse radar that needs a few minutes to warm up and so must be left running in case it's needed.

Several published reviews of the system have suggested that it does not seem to trigger RACONs, etc. and that, if a lot of pulse radars are in the area, it can sometimes pick up a bit of interference from them.

Steve B. - not sure if they do this in your area, but in my part of Ontario (very cold/icy) we can easily solve the ice-on-the-LED-traffic-light problem simply by having a sufficiently large metal glare shield above the lamp. Your point about unintended consequences remains a good one- in the case of FMCW radar, I think the main unintended consequence will be when people try to pick out targets at long range and realize that the thing really can't see all that far. It's meant for ultra-high resolution at close range, and if telling a freighter from an island at 16 miles is important to you, the FMCW system will probably have to be supplemented with a good long-range pulse radar.
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Old 12-12-2009, 14:02   #5
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As far as I know it doesn't broadcast in the K band (I could be wrong) so I doubt that it will trigger radar detectors. As far as power saving goes, there are a couple of things that come to mind. The radar is 'instant on' so if you tend to use it intermittently, it saves you 90 to 120 seconds of power every time you turn it on, the other thing is, you can interface it with a MFD so you are using just one display.

For me, there are other plus factors. The power output is very small (less than a cell phone) so where you place the antenna is no longer a health and safety issue. The close range discrimination (without a 'bang' area) is amazing and it's become my coastal and harbour radar of choice. For ranges over about 8 miles I prefer the standard radar, especially for weather. Being instantly on, should I not have it on and need it quickly, it's there NOW.

P.
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Old 12-12-2009, 14:28   #6
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If I'm not mistaken, the FMCW system offered by Simrad and corporate siblings operates at 9.3 to 9.4 GHz, ie. X-band. The transmitted signal is certainly not strong enough to set off most active radar markers, even those that do respond to X-band. Even if it did, I doubt the system would be able to make sense of the reply. It's not like a pulse radar, that will just display whatever shows up on the appropriate frequency- this thing depends on the precise combinations of echo frequency and echo timing to figure out what to display.
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Old 12-12-2009, 18:56   #7
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So, if I read the info correct:

- power saving only if used instantly rather than in full time duty,

- boaters with passive radar detectors (like the CARD) may not get the warning and,

- boaters with active radar transponders (like the Seame) may not get the warning, nor get spotted by the HD radar.

Sort of like a disappointment.

b.
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Old 12-12-2009, 23:17   #8
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Hi,

I think it's relative, sure if you want a 2KW standard radar then probably there's not a lot in it but 2KW is not exactly useful. If you want a radar that gives really good definition and separation up to about 10 miles, that uses less power than the 2KW, and you intend using it for close navigation, the broad band takes some beating.
Incidentally, 2KW is not going to give good rain squall definition.

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Old 12-12-2009, 23:30   #9
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Hi again b.

I tried to post a direct link but that won't work so if you go to this Panbo page and scroll down to the comment by 'Labozza' there is a link to a comparison pdf.

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2009/1...xpedition.html
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Old 13-12-2009, 04:05   #10
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Useful offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
So, if I read the info correct:

- power saving only if used instantly rather than in full time duty,

- boaters with passive radar detectors (like the CARD) may not get the warning and,

- boaters with active radar transponders (like the Seame) may not get the warning, nor get spotted by the HD radar.

Sort of like a disappointment.

b.
Though maybe better offshore. I have a 2kW raymarine which is only really used in timed mode with the alarm set for single handing. If broadband uses very little power when not transmitting it would help a lot. Also sounds like clutter is less, with my unit Ill set the alarm zone from about 1Nm or more if its rough to about 5 or 6Nm. Being able to set the inner edge to less would be nice in case there is any small boats around that dont show until close. Never really thought about card detectors, I just assume no one can see me and will run me down given half a chance
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Old 13-12-2009, 10:51   #11
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Thanks for the link! Some good reading there. I also contacted one of manufaturers (Mer-Veille who make the CARD in EU) and asked them if their device will or not detect the broadband radar.

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Old 13-12-2009, 12:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
- boaters with passive radar detectors (like the CARD) may not get the warning and,

- boaters with active radar transponders (like the Seame) may not get the warning, nor get spotted by the HD radar.

Sort of like a disappointment.

b.
Couldn't we combine it with AIS?

JohnC
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Old 14-12-2009, 15:21   #13
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That's exactly why I will put Mer-Veiile's AIS detector on my boat as the primary alarm device.

I did not know they make such a nice thing - learned only now looking for radar-detector options. Their black-box AIS receiver/alarm calculates the CPA/TCPA and beeps if anything approaches, it also shows the sector where the thing is. It also puts out the NMEA for our plotter. Cool. More expensive than NASA black box, but also more bang.

The radar detector I will still try to get but I think now not the priority once I know it is not likely to be triggered by the broadband radar and I believe many new radar buyers will go for the broadband.

But it is not all bad news as the new radar is far more likely to detect my boat - better return and resolution close range and from small objects.

I believe manufacturers like SeaMe MarVeille, Card and Echomax WILL listen to the market and update their products soon. Then I will immediately buy one.

barnie
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