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Old 14-12-2013, 15:49   #31
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post

No. Solid State radars do not have a magnetron.

-Sven
I mentioned HD SHd & UHD. , these are all conventional magnetron pulse radars. I specifically did not mention FMCw , which is exclusive to Simrad and marketed as 3G/4G or confusingly " broadband" radar.

Only Simrad has a solid state leisure radar option

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Old 14-12-2013, 15:53   #32
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One more thing to be aware of ...

I'm not sure exactly why, but the Broadband/Solid state/HD radars are more susceptible to interference from other radars. Maybe just because they are more sensitive.

The way it manifests itself is that you can tell if you have an aircraft carrier sneaking up on you because you'll see an x-mas tree shoot off in the direction of the ACC when its radar beam hits you. The only time it is a real issue is if you are in a busy harbor with a bunch of coastal tugs in poor visibility and they are all running high power radars.

In reference to the power draw, I think our now-older Simrad HD draws under 1 A for the radar.

-Sven
HD radars ( like Garmin) are conventional magnetron pulse radars not to be confused with FMCW radars like simrads 4G ( broadband ) radars.

Dave


Ps ; FMCW( frequency modulated continuous wave ) are more susceptible to interference for a number of reasons , firstly the receiver is very sensitive because the CW wave is quite weak, secondly the receiver has a much wider frequency response , hence filtering is not as effective.
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Old 14-12-2013, 15:56   #33
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So what I am reading, is that Ray, Garmin, Furuno, are all about the same, assuming they are all Broad Band 2-4kw. It only gets down to, how user friendly and personal preference. ...and of course price?

It would be nice to find a marine electronics store, with knowledgable staff, where I can physically compare.
Only Simrad had a FMCW , broadband radar. The jury remain out as to whether its superior to good quality pulse radars , especially since digital processing has been added.

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Old 14-12-2013, 15:58   #34
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post

No. Solid State radars do not have a magnetron.

-Sven
HD,SHS, and UHD. Radars from Garmin, Raymarine and furuno all are conventional magnetron based pulse radars. You are confusing this with FMCW radars like Simrad 4G

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Old 14-12-2013, 16:11   #35
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Re: Opinions on Radar

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
HD,SHS, and UHD. Radars from Garmin, Raymarine and furuno all are conventional magnetron based pulse radars. You are confusing this with FMCW radars like Simrad 4G
Ok, now I understand your confusion ... I don't blame you, I got confused too !

I think all three brands under Navico offer what was the Simrad solid state radar. I assume they are all the same except for the name sticker: Lowrance, Simrad, B&G. When initially reviewed in the year before we got ours they were listed as HD, Solid State, Broadband and I think also FM (?). It was a long time ago so I may be wrong about FM.

In any case, they are incredibly high defenition for very low power up to 25 Nm (in out experience), with no calibration or warmup needed.



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Old 14-12-2013, 16:20   #36
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Ok, now I understand your confusion ... I don't blame you, I got confused too !

I think all three brands under Navico offer what was the Simrad solid state radar. I assume they are all the same except for the name sticker: Lowrance, Simrad, B&G. When initially reviewed in the year before we got ours they were listed as HD, Solid State, Broadband and I think also FM (?). It was a long time ago so I may be wrong about FM.

In any case, they are incredibly high defenition for very low power up to 25 Nm (in out experience), with no calibration or warmup needed.

-Sven
Simrad / Navico in the early days of their FMCW , used several monikers , HD , which they dropped because it clashed with HD pulse radar , they the used FM , again which disappeared. , they occasionally used" broadband " even if that word is entirely misleading

I have sailed quite extensively with both Gen1 Simrad 3G and Gen2 Simrad 4G units. They are certainly different , bit theres little difference in real life between the 4G and modern post processed radars like SHD or UHD pulse. I don't like the fact that they generally dont see water in clouds either.

A bit like " there ain't no substitute for cubic inches " there is actually no substitute for bigger arrays and hence smaller beam width. I've sailed with 1degree radars , not that takes done beating.
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Old 14-12-2013, 16:20   #37
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Re: Opinions on Radar

,It`s the KW.power ,the bigger the array ,the more power.All the electronics made nowadays are good and reliable.It depends on what you think your needs for safety and comfort is.Also, how much money you want to ,or can spend.My last boat I had a $15,000 radar ,chartplotting and Marpa system combined and I loved it.I lost that boat in a storm.When I bought my replacement boat which never even had a VHF radio on it ,I bought a JRC 1,000 MK 2 radar I thought it would be a piece of junk.I am happy with it,It picks up ships at 9 miles and I only ever put my outside guard at 6 miles.
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Old 14-12-2013, 16:25   #38
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Re: Opinions on Radar

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I don't like the fact that they generally dont see water in clouds either.
I have heard that but so far we have not had to contend with squalls so I have not experienced it myself.




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Old 14-12-2013, 16:32   #39
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I have heard that but so far we have not had to contend with squalls so I have not experienced it myself.



-Sven
It's seems to have improved slightly, with the 4G , but it will never match the ability that 9hz radars have in that regard. The inference rejection of the 4G seems to have improved and you seem to no longer get the fuzz of interference from X and S class radars that was very evident on the early 3G models.

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Old 14-12-2013, 16:48   #40
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I did a quick search and the Garmin 740s, with the radar package can be had for about 1800 usd at West Marine's web site, and there is an optional "Marpa" which gives you CPA and TCPA, for up to 10 targets. It is also a sonar, so if you have a 50/200 transducer you can use the depth finder feature also. Pretty complete package for a nice looking chart plotter. I have no experience with this unit, but I like the specs. I think, I'll ask Santa to put that on my gift list.
I've had a 740S for I think two years. I've been very happy with it, make sure you have the latest firmware loaded. I went with the Xducer that shoots thru the hull as I din't want another hole in the boat. It works as good as a thru hull xducer.
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Old 15-12-2013, 03:27   #41
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Re: Opinions on Radar

Thanks for the info, I was wondering how the unit worked in real life, and check on the latest firmware. I'm not ready to buy yet, but soon, I like the idea of having a back up to my old furuno. Thanks.
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Old 15-12-2013, 15:32   #42
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Re: Opinions on Radar

Many cruisers use Opencpn on a PC. This is what I have. My system is using a Lowrance 3g radar, same as Simrad, Navico, B&G. It also has AIS, Radar overlays, weather overlays, AP control etc - all the same features as a proprietary plotter/radar. The software is open source (free) and it will run on a Windows, Linux, or Mac system. You can have a basic setup for under $600 USD (For the laptop). The supported radars are the Garmin HD range, and the navico 3g and 4g. If you use the Navico solution, all you need is the dome, no display, and no interface box.

The Navico software plugin for open CPN is the br24 plugin. It is still in development, and features are being added. It is not yet as stable or as feature rich as the Garmin, Furuno or Simrad systems, but it is getting there. Upgrades and support for OpenCPN is free.

We also run a waterproof monitor - as a repeater - in the cockpit, by the helm. It is sunlight viewable, and there is a touchscreen option.

Personally, I chose this system to replace my Nobeltec system (also PC based). I like the PC solutions on a cruising boat because they are flexible (do your email, Office apps etc, and a laptop can be replaced virtually anywhere in the world for little cost.

It's worked really well for us. :-)

Feel free to ask any questions about it. I know a PC based solution is not for everyone.

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Old 15-12-2013, 19:09   #43
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Re: Opinions on Radar

I have the Lowrance version. I have had it a little over a year now. It is really easy to use, easy to see, even in direct sunlight. I was able to identify a kayak in the water at a one mile range. While it might not be good at telling me water content in clouds (something that I believe I will be looking for in my next radar), it is a very low power unit. The breaker that feeds the radar is a 15 amp breaker, and it feeds three 5 amp fuses, one goes to the GPS display unit, one goes to the structure scanning sonar, and the third to the radar. A major advantage to the low power draw of this type of radar is that I am not afraid to use it continuously, which means that since it is on all the time, I am comfortable adjusting it, and in recognizing what it is (and is not) showing me. One downside, for this particular model is that to use the radar as an overlay on the chart plotter, I need to purchase a new (different) Fluxgate compass. Since the one that I have is working, I have not so far made that purchase.
I believe that I could see at least two reasons to have not one but two radars on my boat, one being that I am a geek and love technology. Two being that I want the radar on all the time, but I also want it to have lots of power. So, either I go for a power boat (not gonna do that) or perhaps huge batteries, or run the generator much more. Since all of those options are pretty expensive, I could see just going with the two radar plan, one a very low power to have on all the time, and the other a very high power model to use in bad weather when I would probably have the motor on anyway.
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Old 15-12-2013, 20:40   #44
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Re: Opinions on Radar

There is not much difference in price or power consumption between a 2kw and 4kw pulsed radar such as Raymarine or Furuno so I feel it is good to go with the 4kw units. This gives you better resolution of close together targets since the antenna is larger and gives you more power to punch through rain. While the broadband radar scanner uses less power than the pulsed scanner there is still the power consumption of the display to consider. This actually uses more power than the scanner.

I previously had a JRC 3000 on my boat which was a 4kw pulsed radar with CRT monitor. I was surprised at how well it picked up small power boats and sailboats. I now have a Furuno 4kw UHD radar because I wanted to get radar overlay on my plotter display and side by side chart and radar. You do need a separate fluxgate compass to get overlay so that the chartplotter does not rely on the GPS for heading. Still working on that.

This past September I crewed on a boat from Victoria to San Diego, 13 days offshore. The boat had a Simrad NSS8 display and 3G scanner. This did not do anything to impress me. Boats that were visible did not show on the radar and the gaurd zone function was pretty much useless due to constant false alarms. I couldn't find any adjustments that made any difference. It did pick up a rain storm at 6 miles though. Perhaps more experience would get better performance out of the unit.

The idea of going to a boat show to check out units is a good one. You really need to consider how the chartplotter and radar display are operated. This is probably more important than what type of scanner you get. If the operation is clunky, especially for the plotter as you will use that more, you may not be happy. A big decision these days is touch screen or no touch screen. The NSS8 had a touch screen and I would say it was bit faster to operate than my Furuno which is push buttons and knobs. On the other hand the NSS8 had a tendency to open up menus that you did not want and sometimes it was hard to get where you wanted to go. Probably more experience would solve this.

Another thing to consider is how much assistance you can get from the manufacturer or authorized dealer. Furuno is pretty good in this regard. The Furuno USA website has training videos and a user forum where you can ask questions. I think Raymarine is similar. Don't know about the others.

As for AIS not being mentioned in the COLREGS, I'm curious as to the last time the COLREGS were updated? Did they have computers when those regs were written? Probably didn't have AIS. Since certain parts of the world, Singapore for example, insist that you have AIS but don't seem to insist that you have radar I have to wonder which is ultimately more useful. We had AIS on the NNS8 and it was very much appreciated. Some of those ships the radar didn't see did show up on the AIS display. I wouldn't go offshore without an AIS receiver.
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Old 15-12-2013, 21:26   #45
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Re: Opinions on Radar

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While the broadband radar scanner uses less power than the pulsed scanner there is still the power consumption of the display to consider. This actually uses more power than the scanner.
But ... your display is probably running anyway for the chartplotter and AIS overlay that you overlay the selectively transparent radar image upon.

The chartplotter user interface makes me feel like I've been transported into MSFT land, but otherwise I'm pretty much swearing by the Solid State/HD/Broadband/FM Simrad radar.


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