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Old 27-03-2016, 18:27   #16
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Best mount for a Radar?

A64Pilot: Thanks for the input. I have the Trackvision 4 and it got outdated this weekend and after 13 years of flawless use, it has now become obsolete. Called my repairman and got the bad news since it wouldn't pick up the signal. I have looked over the TV3 and TV5 footprints for Dish and they are close. The TV5 is the replacement for the Trackvision 4, but for about the same price as the 5 alone, I can make an extension of my current pole to hold radar and the KVH TV3. I will probably go to the Dry Totugas on my next Flordia trip and I would like to get TV there. Everywhere else seems to be in the footprint for the 3. Do you or anyone else on this forum, know if the TV3 will get signal at the Dry Tortugas and Key West?

Also now thinking about upgrading all the electronics. Pretty confusing since mine are all 2003 versions.
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Old 27-03-2016, 19:32   #17
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

I have my radar on a pole with a device that permits me to tilt it to one side or the other when on a tack where I am leaning. Not the same as a self-leveling device, but helpful. My # 1 issue with it on the pole is the way in which the pole, my stern pulpit, and bimini all come together to provide a wiggle in my pulpit pipes that may create a point of failure after some period of time, so, would suggest that if you do mount it on a pole, include a self leveling device and make it very sturdy, it is a fair amount of weight and windage high on that pole and therefore capable of moving fittings or stressing joints at the deck level. I have read about someone losing their entire pulpit suddenly off the back of the boat from just this kind of stress.
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Old 27-03-2016, 20:25   #18
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

For all but extreme conditions heel is not a big issue... swivel mounts try to solve what I think is not a big issue as radar are not that narrow a beam in the vertical axis.

Any rotating electrical connection will over time fatigue and perhaps degrade a cable... that you can bank on.

Back stay mounts may involve more fiddling when you unstep the mast...

Pole mount seem OK... perhaps some additional ht as in a mast mount will extend the range a bit???

My experience is with a mast mount and have had good results. I didn't have to incur the expense of a pole nor find a place for it... I had a mast which was fine.

KISS...
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Old 27-03-2016, 21:48   #19
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

Sandero
I agree with you that the tilting mounts are an unneeded complication. The radar moves around more if it is high on the mast, while it gets more shadowed by waves when lower on a pole.
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Old 28-03-2016, 06:22   #20
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

I have both a 28' (for mostly local Chesapeake Bay inland sailing) where I designed/ installed a 3" dis x 7' radar mast/ and versatile custom mounting plate. For me/ my normal sailing area where 5-10 mile radar view of big ships going up and down Bay and 3-4 mile view of smaller vessels/ Nav markers was perfectly ok. Also since I'm a ham operator I designed the radar antenna mounting plate with two extra lobes on port and starboard sides to allow easy mounting of standard 1" VHF antenna screw mounts. One of these I use with an extension for the GPS antenna (I have an older chart plotter with external antenna). The other side I have a 2m/ 440 MHz vertical for ham use (and could use as emergency marina VHF). I think a properly design/ installed radar mast looks very good on any boat!

I have a split back stay plus I converted it to insulated backstay so didn't want to mount radar there. Plus, I always had concern about swinging backstay radar eventually breaking there power/ data wires (when you most need them!)

Long distance cruising boat is a ketch and different from your choice. I put steps on mizzen and have radar, ham vhf, uhf, wifi, tv antennas plus radar and spare vhf marina and spare tricolor/ strobe at top. All accessible because of steps.

If your are planing a lot of far offshore sailing where long periods of limited visibility are encountered (rain, storms, nights), I think it I would lean for height/ range of main mast mount. Despite the 'little boat, big ocean' theory... nearly everyone of our nine Chesapeake - Caribbean non-stop trips has had a close encounter with a BIG ship that would have been way too close if we hadn't seen, plotted, watched carefully and eventually had to changed course. (Not that I expected/ wanted them to change course but interesting that there was no response on ch 16 from any of them!).

Depending on your boat use, having a lifting arm/ installed on an aft radar mast is very handy for dink outboard and MOB retrieval. Also MUCH easier installation if you are doing it yourself.

Good luck with your decision.


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Old 28-03-2016, 06:39   #21
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

Do you get a shadow from the mast if you pole mount? I'm confused about that.






Also no one seems to be getting into the health risk aspect, is there one? At what height on a pole mount would you be safe?
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Old 28-03-2016, 08:33   #22
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Clark H356 View Post
A64Pilot: I will probably go to the Dry Totugas on my next Flordia trip and I would like to get TV there. Everywhere else seems to be in the footprint for the 3. Do you or anyone else on this forum, know if the TV3 will get signal at the Dry Tortugas and Key West?

Also now thinking about upgrading all the electronics. Pretty confusing since mine are all 2003 versions.
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You didn't say if you were Dish or Direct TV, Direct I believe has better coverage. But I believe either will be fine, Direct, Dish TV3 or TV5

Call Sue at KVH sales, she can help you more than I can, the difference may be in HD reception, I don't know
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Old 28-03-2016, 08:52   #23
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

My 3G is on the mast under the spreaders and I can see very close objects no problem
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Old 28-03-2016, 08:55   #24
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Do you get a shadow from the mast if you pole mount? I'm confused about that.


Yes, of course you do, it's called blanking, but there is more blanking from directly behind on a mast mounted system, reason is the proximity of the antenna to the mast.

I think myself biggest issue with pole mounting is to make sure it's high enough so that the boom doesn't blank it out, the boom could block a large part of the signal.






Also no one seems to be getting into the health risk aspect, is there one? At what height on a pole mount would you be safe?


B&G advertises a lower RF output that a cell phone, if that is true, then I don't worry about RF from my RADAR, but I believe of course marketing can play games too. for instance the 4G RADAR is like a flashlight, meaning continuously on, normal RADARs are like strobe lights, bright short pules of light. Now you can say marketing wise the continuously on RADAR only draws 2 amps, while the pulse draws 10, so there is a huge savings, right?
Well not if the pulse while drawing ten times as much doesn't draw anything 90% of the time, then power consumption is nearly identical.

I came from a job that literally had my head wrapped in a high RF environment, so I worry about RF exposure, from what I can tell, the RF output of a 4G RADAR is nearly as negligible as it gets.
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Old 28-03-2016, 09:17   #25
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

No adverse radar shadow effects. Radar beam is pretty wide 3-5 degrees and our boats with either hand/ auto steering + wind/ wave effects results in random oscillations about the course much more than than that. You might miss seeing a far echo for a scan rotation or two but then it's back for 10 or so.

Actually problem is bigger issue on sloops with radar mounted traditional in front of main mast. Crease a much wider blocked wedge to the rear because the radar antenna is very close mounted to the mast. (Maybe more like 10 degrees of degraded transmission / reflected energy zone in that rear shadow wedge.

But our slow oscillation autopilot swung enough to still get an echo from fast approaching boat coming up from dead astern late one night off Cat Island Bahamas with intentions to do us harm! (This was back in high drug trafficking period in that region/late 70s. Had plenty of time to radio warnings not to approach closer/ would assume they had hostel intent, call several warning messages on 16/ 9, then CG on 16 & SSB and prepare everyone on-board to defend ourselves. Not a big fan of guns but on open water trips, it's worth the hassle of proper declaration. FYI- off topic, but even though we had pump shotgun with 'pumpkin balls' and scatter shells... used for warning shots over their now... nothing worked like two flare guns and plenty of white & red phosphorus flares (our our years of accumulated outdated flares sealed in ziplock bags) that fired directly at the 200' away and still closing boat at high speed directly behind us. This created an effective deterrent and cause them to turn around and never be seen again. When a flare is fired at water level it skips/ breaks apart and creates a shower of raining flesh/ fiberglass burning phosphor material that is not easily extinguished.)




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Old 12-04-2016, 15:12   #26
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

Not sure it has been stated above, but if you are in an area where you haul annually for storage, it is common for (non-short) sailboats to remove the backstay to get into a travel lift.. in this type of scenario, the backstay mount is the last option i would ever take.

mine would be.
1. mast mount with swivel
2. mast mount hard.
3. pole mount with swivel
4. pole mount hard.

i would not consider the backstay mount under any circumstances..to me it is an overly complex solution to a problem that does not exist.
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Old 21-04-2016, 12:12   #27
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Re: Best mount for a Radar?

We put our Garmin radar on a mast mount. Haven't had any problems with it, but it also is rarely used.
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