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Old 11-01-2016, 12:33   #16
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

This is my two bits worth.
I am also installing a new 4G radar on my 30' Catalina and did a lot of talking to some very serious sailors.
My conclusion is the gimballed mount is a waste of money, and installing the unit on the mast only leads to more head achs......
Reasons: How often are you really going to be using the radar when sailing? Here in Puget Sound, Inland Passage, or Alaska, most time when the radar is needed, you are motoring.....for me, not under sail. Fog and poor visability leaves me wanting to keep an eye out and not worrying about sailing. I also have a new AIS with a mic at the helm.
The new 4G unit has so much detail in it, I am mounting my unit about 8 feet high above the cockpit and will also install another aluminum post on the opposite side so I can mount my solar panels in the future. I am not going to worry about any shading from the radar unit because it will not affect the overall output of the solar panels that much.....

My Catalina has a telephone pole for a mast, but with all the gear, lighting wires, and so forth in it already, I am not going to add any more stuff inside the mast. Just not worth it to me.....and besides, I have no leaks coming from the mast area.

I believe in the KISS adage......"keep it simple stupid." I have modified my helm with a Navpak so my Zeus2 is sitting in front of the wheel, radio/AIS is mounted on the side of the Navpak, and running all the wires and cables from the radar's transceiver will be a whole lot easier. The main cable from the radar unit will go down inside the pole directly into the cabin, then to the transceiver, making the routing and access to all the parts a whole lot easier. This pole will also allow me to remount my GPS antenna a bit higher and out of the way.

This is what I am doing and I hope I have given you some reasons to help with what you are doing.

Darrel
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:42   #17
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

We have a B.g 4g radar system with zuess chartplotters auto pilot etc.radar dome is mounted above spreaders on a solid mount works awesome no need for gimbal mount.
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Old 11-01-2016, 15:34   #18
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Radar goes out at a 25 degree beam, 12.5 up and 12.5 down. Typical angle of heel while sailing is 15 to 20 degrees and that is comfortable. If you are looking for birds or fish, a fix mount works well. If you want to see channel markers or other boats while sailing, a gimbaled mount makes your radar much more effective. Radar mounted on the backstay eliminates damage to your headsail and radar every time you tack (whether it is a fix mount or gimbaled mount). Please feel free to contact me directly if you want more definitive info on the gimbaled mounts.
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Old 11-01-2016, 16:32   #19
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

I have no experience with either at this stage - just my apptitude for things mechanical, electrical, and electronic.
Looking at that video, it indeed impresses that a level RADAR is an advantage, but then I see the clip of the thing swinging around up there, and that really concerns me. No matter how well designed and fabricated, it cannot be as solid as a fixed mount. Given that the critical stuff is generally not on the horizon (for us, the main justification of RADAR is to be seen better by ships who are actually monitoring their screens - yes we do transmit AIS, to see close at hand vessels who are not transmitting AIS, and as a nav aid in chart overlay mode - especially when one loses GPS coverage for periods of time as has happened to us). I would be prepared for the compromise of solid mounting over better coverage.
If there was a mount that enabled levelling when heeled, but then to be locked off remotely, then that would be worth looking at, but otherwise, I like things solid - very solid.
Also - when we do feel the need for RADAR, it is at night, with little wind, so we are motor-sailing on a reasonably level keel.
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Old 11-01-2016, 16:36   #20
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4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

One thing that is important.
He has an IP, and if his 40 is like my 38, much over 10 degrees heel is actually counter productive. I've sailed at 20, used to often, then realized she is faster if I reef her back to 10 or a little more. Way easier on us and I believe the boat too.
Best use so far for me for my Radar has been looking for squalls on a moonless Summer night. We just don't get that much fog in the Gulf and when we do as someone posted, there is little wind.

Eb, call B&G and talk to them about mounting location and mounts, one of their techs, not a sales guy.


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Old 11-01-2016, 19:09   #21
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
See if you can find what the vertical beam width is for that unit. Thn compare that number with your typical heel angles. For the sort of pulse radars used on small yachts, +/- 15 degrees or so is normal. Some rotors have sharper cutoff angles than others... I've noted that our Furuno, which uses a flat "circuit board" rotor has pretty soft cutoffs, whilst an Aritsu that we had before, with a small parabolic rotor was quite sharp. I haven't heard anything about the FM radars in this respect.

If you find out about this, I'd be interested to have it posted.

Jim
Sounds like you did plenty of,,,,,,,,,, dancing at the festival Did you enjoy yourself ??
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Old 11-01-2016, 19:24   #22
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

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Originally Posted by lilolme55 View Post
Sounds like you did plenty of,,,,,,,,,, dancing at the festival Did you enjoy yourself ??
Not much of a dancer, but I enjoy the music and the people watching... takes me back to Berkeley in the sixties! We had a great time.

Jim
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Old 11-01-2016, 19:42   #23
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Where we sail - Great Lakes, we have not operated the radar except for fog. In fog, typically no wind - no heel - no problem. Also, I am more interested in what is straight ahead +/-. Heel is not an issue ahead.
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Old 11-01-2016, 19:52   #24
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

I doubt that Navico would approve of flexing their RADAR cable that much.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:33   #25
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

I have had both fixed mount and now a gimbaled Scanstrut mount on the mast with the same Garmin HD radar.
Boat is 40' cutter rigged sailboat. While sailing using the fixed mount, the radar screen was beautifully clear. Mostly because we were looking at the sky on one side and water on the other. When I installed the gimbaled mount we started to see targets, very annoying!

Much of the time the radar is used while motor sailing, however, last summer I was sailing off the coast of Maine in 18 -22 knots of wind and less then 1/4 nm of visibility, (not the first time). The boat was healed over and I had excellent radar coverage and lots of traffic.

The same Garmin network data cable has been in the mast for several years and there has been no issue with chafe. When I did the install I shielded the power and data cable with split loom and wire ties. This keeps the sun off it and protects it agains chafe. For me there has only been benefits and no downside.

One more thing, we use the radar for much more then when in fog. Tracking commercial shipping while sailing in the ocean is helpful as well as finding squall lines. This is all while the boat is healed over and the radar dome level.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:07   #26
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcassano View Post
I have had both fixed mount and now a gimbaled Scanstrut mount on the mast with the same Garmin HD radar.
Boat is 40' cutter rigged sailboat. While sailing using the fixed mount, the radar screen was beautifully clear. Mostly because we were looking at the sky on one side and water on the other. When I installed the gimbaled mount we started to see targets, very annoying!

Much of the time the radar is used while motor sailing, however, last summer I was sailing off the coast of Maine in 18 -22 knots of wind and less then 1/4 nm of visibility, (not the first time). The boat was healed over and I had excellent radar coverage and lots of traffic.

The same Garmin network data cable has been in the mast for several years and there has been no issue with chafe. When I did the install I shielded the power and data cable with split loom and wire ties. This keeps the sun off it and protects it agains chafe. For me there has only been benefits and no downside.

One more thing, we use the radar for much more then when in fog. Tracking commercial shipping while sailing in the ocean is helpful as well as finding squall lines. This is all while the boat is healed over and the radar dome level.
rcassano,

Thanks for sharing your first-hand observations. They are very helpful.

From a quick search, your RADAR has a 25° vertical beam. Therefore I'm guessing you typically heel beyond 15°? Can you share at what angle of heel your fixed mount stopped displaying targets?

To go with that, how high above the waterline was the radome when not heeled?

And one last question RE: "While sailing using the fixed mount, the radar screen was beautifully clear." Am I interpreting your statement correctly in that you saw no targets at all, including ahead or astern? If so, can you describe the sea states you were sailing in when those observations were made?

I ask this not to challenge you in any way, but to learn more from your experiences...

Thanks!

Bill
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:43   #27
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

OK, this is likely a very stupid question, but I'm curious. Since our backstay is used for the SSB, I'm hesitant to mount radar there and a pole mount above panels will result in shading. What about mounting the radar lower maybe to the side of and on the same plane as the panels to eliminate shading? The panels will be mounted flat and are fairly thin, particularly when compared to the mast (where we've been planning to mount).

I'm picturing something like this. Arch with 3 panels mounted in a fore and aft orientation. With radar and wind-gen offset to the starboard side. Radar below wind-gen. The only realistic place for us to mount the wind gen is on the arch, which will result in some shading, so my goal is to minimize shading potential from the radar. Our sail maker is trying to steer us away from mast mounting, which had been the plan all along.

Stupid?
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:52   #28
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

I think I notice some degradation of the radar picture from our 4G radar when we are sailing upwind and heeled. My boat has a relatively modern underbody design which hates heel angles of more than 20 degrees. It's not unusable by any means, but there are some circumstances where you really don't want any degradation at all.

So I'm not sure it's a bad idea to use a gimballed mount. I bet you can find one for a lot less than $1000.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:59   #29
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Since your having the arch built, if shading is a big concern, maybe investigate some kind of folding mount or similar so that when at anchor the dome could be swung out of the way?
Of course you have seen mine, I just plan on living with the shading, and or adding additional panels if I have to.
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Old 13-01-2016, 18:20   #30
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Hello Bill,

My radar is a GMR24HD mounted 23'9" above deck. It's just slightly above the spreaders. Not sure how much more to add for "above waterline" - maybe five feet or so. When I said "Beautifully clear" I was certainly being sarcastic about the lack of image on the chartplotter screen. My observation was some years ago, but I remember seeing commercial traffic on the water and not seeing it on radar while healed over under sail. After installing the Scanstrut on the mast I felt we had much more to deal with as the chartplotter radar screen looked busy and we had to pay close attention. None of my observations are scientific or measured in any way.
I can say that I felt like I was missing radar traffic when the dome was fixed vs gimbaled.

The Scanstrut is a little temperamental and occasionally needs to be re-leveled. This is easy to do but requires a trip up the mast. I don't think having a gimbaled mounted dome has a down side. I bought the Scanstrut because it just made sense to me to have a level radar looking at a level horizon.
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