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Old 13-01-2016, 18:01   #31
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

We have the B&G 4G radar. Ours is mounted about 20ft above the water. Since it is mounted beside the mast (not in front of it because our gaff boom would have hit it there...) we did not have a choice to make regarding gimbal or not. Had we had the opportunity to mount it on the forward side of the mast--we'd have gone for the gimbal (I think!) but it works fine as it is. We've used it in very rolly conditions -- big quartering seas with rolls from 10-15 deg to port and then to starboard, back and forth, back and forth. Doesn't seem to make a big difference to the radar. We seldom sail at a constant heel but if so it is usually between 5 and 10 degrees no more than that because it's not efficient/leeway.

Ours was installed right before a big trip to the PNW/AK and we were happy to have it, for sure! Blog link

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Old 14-01-2016, 05:09   #32
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Questus is the original manufacturer of the gimbaled mounts and has a great solution whether it is on the backstay, radar pole or mast. No matter how you look at it, it makes your radar more effective. You can find more info at: Questus Marine radar automatic leveling system prevents target loss when heeling. I have been using one for years without any problems.

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Old 14-01-2016, 05:09   #33
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
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.


If you mount your radar on the arch using an aft offset mount (short pole slanted backwards), the only shading will be when the sun is very low on the horizon directly behind you, when it really doesn't matter much.


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Old 14-01-2016, 08:56   #34
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Originally Posted by rcassano View Post
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.
Thank you for the additional information, Rcassano. I appreciate you taking the time.

As I had mentioned in my first post in this thread, I can absolutely see the advantage of leveling the Radome when it is either lower to the water or to off-set heeling angles that exceed half of the vertical beam width of the RADAR in question.

From your description, it sounds like your your need for leveling is due to the latter circumstance (angle of heel) and I wouldn't hesitate to do the same as you have given those circumstances.

On a vessel I had in the past [Valiant Esprit 37] I had a pole mount Radome and had designed and fabricated a manual leveling system that worked quite well [unless I forgot to re-level the Radome after changing tacks or after stowing the sails...]

Thanks again.


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Old 15-01-2016, 05:22   #35
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

The people who don't want to spend the money on self leveling mount will find lots of reasons why they don't need it.
The people who don't care about spending the money will find lots of reasons for buying it.
The science of the question answers the question for you.
The beam you are projecting from your radar is similar in many ways to a flat flashlight beam, if you want a large portion of your beam pointing into the water and up at the sky then get a fixed mount for your mast. Radar antenna arrays are MADE to be mounted and kept horizontal for a reason. This question is best answered by speaking with the manufacturer, ask them if it is a good idea to mount the antenna array sideways. See what they say.
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Old 15-01-2016, 07:27   #36
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
This question is best answered by speaking with the manufacturer, ask them if it is a good idea to mount the antenna array sideways. See what they say.
I actually did reach out to B&G and they won't give a recommendation one way or the other. Saying it was a "personal decision". So not a lot of help there.

If considering something like Mark recommended with getting the dome lower and offset from the panels on the arch. If I go this route then a leveling mount seems to be a good option, if I can find something cost effective. $1k for a mount just hurts for some reason.
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Old 15-01-2016, 08:02   #37
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Re: 4G Radar - Gimballed mount worth it?

I called B&G when I was deciding where to mount mine, and they recommended pole mounting on the stern, saying there was no performance advantage on the mast and if I ever had to work on it, I'd be glad it was pole mounted.
But I didn't ask about an articulated mount. I'd think if it boosted performance they would recommend it?
Why wouldn't you recommend something that made your product work better?

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