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Old 02-01-2017, 21:51   #46
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

While the flood of innovations in marine nav systems is great I'm a little cautious on options like wireless radar.

With a background in defence engineering, including radar testing, and now cloud computing two issues spring to mind.

The first being security. It continues to be an afterthought. Easy to hack and vulnerabilities are being exploited frequently. A wifi coonnection as the primary connection is just asking for trouble imho.

We consider our instrumentation to be both mission and safety critical. Our B&G gofree wifi allows us to have tablet and phone access for convenience. We can disable it if we wish and still use our instrumentation.

The second issue is robustness. These newer systems are little more than consumer hardware with marine branding. These nmea 2k systems are overly chatty and lack the robustness of milspec kit.

B&G use ethernet for sonar and radar data flow. The B&G radar head even does MARPA calculations further increasing traffic flow. Probably because the Zeus units don't have the necessary performance.

The installation benefit of wireless radar is attractive but I'd expect there to be usability issues.
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Old 03-01-2017, 16:48   #47
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

Well... Today I am leaning away from Furuno's wireless. It has to do now with power. Thr Furuno "Watchman Mode" is not described on any brochures for the wireless.

Strangely, that feature sounds simply like software and the wireless App in the Apple should be able to do the same with just a few lines of coding.

Watchman mode turns off radar dome for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Then it turns on dome automatically for 1 minute. If something has entered the guardzone, then an alarm will sound.

This feature is on the fixed display of Furuno 1623 range 16 nm and 1715 range 24 nm.

Consumption is just 8 watts while in Watchman mode.

With wireless dome looks like consumption will be full power plus power draw of Apple display.

Question: Anyone have the Furuno wireless??? Does it have Watchman Mode?

How does Apple alert you when target is within guard zone?

Does 1623 and 1715 have built in sound alarm or is external buzzer mandatory?

Furuno rep here claims customers having problems with signal distance between Apple and wireless. Further, says customers of his changing out wireless after not being happy. Any comments?
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Old 03-01-2017, 16:58   #48
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Well... Today I am leaning away from Furuno's wireless. It has to do now with power. Thr Furuno "Watchman Mode" is not described on any brochures for the wireless.

Strangely, that feature sounds simply like software and the wireless App in the Apple should be able to do the same with just a few lines of coding.

Watchman mode turns off radar dome for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Then it turns on dome automatically for 1 minute. If something has entered the guardzone, then an alarm will sound.

This feature is on the fixed display of Furuno 1623 range 16 nm and 1715 range 24 nm.

Consumption is just 8 watts while in Watchman mode.

With wireless dome looks like consumption will be full power plus power draw of Apple display.

Question: Anyone have the Furuno wireless??? Does it have Watchman Mode?

How does Apple alert you when target is within guard zone?

Does 1623 and 1715 have built in sound alarm or is external buzzer mandatory?

Furuno rep here claims customers having problems with signal distance between Apple and wireless. Further, says customers of his changing out wireless after not being happy. Any comments?
My previous comments stand. Radar is a sensor / effector with high bandwidth demands relative to other network traffic.

I'm not surprised users are having issues. Note that wireless signal strength is inversely proportional to distance squared. Double the distance results in a quarter the power.

Wireless is a poor transmission technology for mission and safety critical systems. Beware brochureware.

I'd also be wary of having an ipad as my main interface. They're power hogs and like all consumer electronics are overly chatty and prone to consume cpu, memory and io for other services running.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:31   #49
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Well... Today I am leaning away from Furuno's wireless. It has to do now with power. Thr Furuno "Watchman Mode" is not described on any brochures for the wireless.

Strangely, that feature sounds simply like software and the wireless App in the Apple should be able to do the same with just a few lines of coding.

Watchman mode turns off radar dome for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Then it turns on dome automatically for 1 minute. If something has entered the guardzone, then an alarm will sound.

This feature is on the fixed display of Furuno 1623 range 16 nm and 1715 range 24 nm.

Consumption is just 8 watts while in Watchman mode.

With wireless dome looks like consumption will be full power plus power draw of Apple display.

Question: Anyone have the Furuno wireless??? Does it have Watchman Mode?

How does Apple alert you when target is within guard zone?

Does 1623 and 1715 have built in sound alarm or is external buzzer mandatory?

Furuno rep here claims customers having problems with signal distance between Apple and wireless. Further, says customers of his changing out wireless after not being happy. Any comments?
You might try asking your questions to Furuno support at:

Furuno USA Forum
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Old 07-01-2017, 14:09   #50
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

Thank you for Furuno forum link. Posted questions there.

#1 Furuno wireless indeed has no Watchman Mode. Hence it along with the apple display will consume far more power than the dedicated display combination for the 1623. In fact, since solid state units dont go into standby and have power hungry displays it looks like the 1623 will draw least power of all options. Any solid state displays go into automatic standby?

#2 I now have idea of getting remote display using a wifi camera that is looking at dedicated device. It would enable me to have my cake and eat it too? Further remote could be existing android phone and have several aboard already.

#3 I found Neptune's Gear 2013 post saying he connected directly from 3G into laptop running OpenCPN. He then had waterproof display in cockpit wifi connected to laptop. Sounds good.

#4 I also found 2016 post by Neptune's Gear saying his 3G radar died just out of warranty and needed replacement. I found another post saying they had 3G die because not waterproofed dome (sounds like misinstallation).

New Questions:

I too run laptop with OpenCPN. I will post new question on that thread regarding merits of using 3G or 4G directly Ethernet to dedicated OpenCPN laptop.
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Old 16-01-2017, 17:04   #51
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

I have had a Furuno DRS4W wireless radar for a short time, I am primarily Coastal cruising these days and todate cannot fault the unit ie the scanner. The only criticisms I have are with the Ipad as the are a bit of a nuisance in a glare however this is a small price to pay for the ability to roam around the vessel!!(bridge to heads to bunk etc) The operation via Ipad took me a bit of getting used to however I am a geriatric and these fangle things take some learning
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:03   #52
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

I'm toying with the idea of adding radar to my trailer sailboat. It's outfitted nearly like a cruising boat already, radar would probably be a bit of overkill most of the time, but under $1000 seems doable.

We cruised the Bahamas and into the Caribbean on our 37' cutter, never had radar then. Price was out of our range. There were a few times, particularly in fog, where we wished we had it, but we survived.

On our trailer sailer I currently have a mast head VHF antenna which just screws off when I remove the mast. With this wireless radar I can make radar work easily. Needing a data cable would make it far more difficult.

Since we sometimes spend a week or so cruising Gulf coastal waters it could come in handy, especially if we're forced to move at night or get caught in fog.

I guess the questions would be, does anyone have thoughts of the practicality of this? Installation thoughts?
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Old 19-04-2018, 07:42   #53
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

I have the Furuno first watch radar which I installed myself. This was not difficult as it is just a matter of installing the power cable. Albeit a thick one. Having a wooden mast helped as I was able to use cable clips which I dipped in sikaflex.
I have had the radar 2 years now and used it only a few times to supplement visual watch keeping on my Gibraltar to Caribbean crossing and recently again to the ABC Islands.

The pros are easy installation, low cost and ease of use.
I don't have any other experience of radar but I wonder if this device is as powerful as the non WiFi versions.
I've never seen any return over 8 miles including land. The shorter range returns appear good however.

When I left Las Palmas in the canary Islands at night, my watch included a radar check which exposed a container ship transiting our area whilst not transmitting on ais which surprised me.
The return was very clear so I popped up and made visual contact as well.

There is a guard alarm on the app now and it works.
Ipad uses more power than usual so needs to be on charge if you only have one device.
Hopefully this system uses less power but others will no doubt comment on that.
You can overlay the radar on ipad charts like time zero which I bought but never use because I prefer Navionics.
In order to overlay the radar and ais, you have to feed the ais through the radar as well which means that the radar has to be on standby at least to receive the ais. I use a multiplexer from a feed off my standard horizon ais radio which is definitely a product I'd recommend.

I now have a dedicated ais transponder as well so the above issue could be circumvented by hooking a WiFi on that as well I should think.


Cons, No Android app and both ipad minis I purchased failed just outside of warranty.

Also recently, the one ipad mini I now have seems to have problems with seeing the WiFi connection transmitted by the radome. Whilst my android devices can see it.

Radar overlay issue above.

Device vulnerability. I don't like apple products much in light of the poor reliability issues I have experienced.

Conclusion:


I think if you a a high user of radar, I'd opt for a full installation with a data cable and dedicated display.
Otherwise the Furuno WiFi solution is good value for money. The introduction of and android app is however long overdue and leads me to wonder if they'll ever bother.
I've no idea how many have been sold.
I'm a sucker for gadgets. 🤐
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Old 19-04-2018, 10:27   #54
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

I have the Furuno first watch radar which I installed myself. This was not difficult as it is just a matter of installing the power cable. Albeit a thick one. Having a wooden mast helped as I was able to use cable clips which I dipped in sikaflex.
I have had the radar 2 years now and used it only a few times to supplement visual watch keeping on my Gibraltar to Caribbean crossing and recently again to the ABC Islands.

The pros are easy installation, low cost and ease of use.
I don't have any other experience of radar but I wonder if this device is as powerful as the non WiFi versions.
I've never seen any return over 8 miles including land. The shorter range returns appear good however.

When I left Las Palmas in the canary Islands at night, my watch included a radar check which exposed a container ship transiting our area whilst not transmitting on ais which surprised me.
The return was very clear so I popped up and made visual contact as well.

There is a guard alarm on the app now and it works.
Ipad uses more power than usual so needs to be on charge if you only have one device.
Hopefully this system uses less power but others will no doubt comment on that.
You can overlay the radar on ipad charts like time zero which I bought but never use because I prefer Navionics.
In order to overlay the radar and ais, you have to feed the ais through the radar as well which means that the radar has to be on standby at least to receive the ais. I use a multiplexer from a feed off my standard horizon ais radio which is definitely a product I'd recommend.

I now have a dedicated ais transponder as well so the above issue could be circumvented by hooking a WiFi on that as well I should think.


Cons, No Android app and both ipad minis I purchased failed just outside of warranty.

Also recently, the one ipad mini I now have seems to have problems with seeing the WiFi connection transmitted by the radome. Whilst my android devices can see it.

Radar overlay issue above.

Device vulnerability. I don't like apple products much in light of the poor reliability issues I have experienced.

Conclusion:


I think if you a a high user of radar, I'd opt for a full installation with a data cable and dedicated display.
Otherwise the Furuno WiFi solution is good value for money. The introduction of and android app is however long overdue and leads me to wonder if they'll ever bother.
I've no idea how many have been sold.
I'm a sucker for gadgets. 🤐
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Old 19-04-2018, 14:53   #55
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Re: Any Experience with Wireless Radar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
So "plain" Wifi? Probably just won't do, especially inshore where there will be other users.
I rather disagree. Over on the OCPN forum we've had a few discussions about radar over wifi and people have measured data rates of 1-2Mb/s from navico radar which uses multicast. This becomes an issue over wifi because multicast will crank everything down to a basic rate. However, whilst both my local Furuno dealer and Furuno themselves failed to get back to me when I asked them what this product uses at the transport layer, I'd be surprised if it wasn't tcp. Even if we double Navico's data rate that's going to be easily within the the capabilities of 802.11n. Curiously none of the product literature seems to say what kind of wifi the furuno wifi uses...
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