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Old 08-02-2016, 19:32   #16
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
Nope not confusing anything. I have moonlighted on work boats for many years, as crew and coxswain. Think pilot boats etc.,

There is a big difference in the ergonomics if the gear e.g. There are rotary knobs for gain, sea clutter etc.

I am also a professional high-latitude charter skipper and those boats tend to be equipped with pleasure industry gear as they are sponsored by various manufacturers ( think the big R etc..)

The workboat (commercial) gear by Furuno, JRC etc is by far the easiest to use and easiest to view.

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I see what your saying now, I thought you meant software features.. But yes definitely easier to get around with all of the access buttons and gain knobs. Menu navigation is pretty straight forward too.

Rec stuff can sometimes have all the technical stuff buried or non existent. But I imagine that the companies aren't selling to professionals on rec boats. So they have to dumb it down or hide technical items so as not to confuse or overwhelm the typical user.

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Old 09-02-2016, 04:03   #17
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
I see what your saying now, I thought you meant software features.. But yes definitely easier to get around with all of the access buttons and gain knobs. Menu navigation is pretty straight forward too.

Rec stuff can sometimes have all the technical stuff buried or non existent. But I imagine that the companies aren't selling to professionals on rec boats. So they have to dumb it down or hide technical items so as not to confuse or overwhelm the typical user.

See more @ redemptiverepair.com

Yes exactly so my advice to the OP is that if Radar is important enough to him that he is considering building a system around his choice of radar he should perhaps look outside of the pleasure market products and check out some of the workboat gear.

Especially true if the OP does a lot of night sailing as the leisure market plotters a demons for destroying your night vision.


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Old 09-02-2016, 04:19   #18
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
Rec stuff can sometimes have all the technical stuff buried or non existent. But I imagine that the companies aren't selling to professionals on rec boats. So they have to dumb it down or hide technical items so as not to confuse or overwhelm the typical user.
A bit generalizing and patronizing, I would say. It's not that every cruiser is clueless about his or her equipment.
I think it's much more about available space. Most sail yachts have very limited space for equipment, leading to owners looking for multi functional electronics. That in itself leads to menu-driven user interfaces as no-one likes to have electronics with huge number of buttons and knobs.
So there is a trade-off between clutter and directness of control.

At the same time, not every professional seafarer has extensive knowledge about the equipment he/she uses. Many of them simply remember "when I turn this dial, this and that happens on the screen". That is not a bad thing. These people have a lot to remember about the operation of the vessel.
Most of the time they do have the space in the navigation area to have separated screens and controls for different systems, like radar and AIS.
So for them it's paramount to to be confused into all kind of menu systems.
For "us" it's a different setup. But I resent the argument that most cruisers are clueless and just want to see a pretty picture. I'm sure it's valid for some of them but if you take navigation seriously you will know your stuff.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:37   #19
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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A bit generalizing and patronizing, I would say.

Yes I agree that it's generalising but the statistics speak for themselves - the average pleasure boat in the US and Europe is used for less than one day a year.

This is why manufacturers have dumbed down the displays and gone for mode oriented controls; think harbour or coastal mode etc..

Anyway I'm going sailing and will be off the grid for about three months from when the phone signal drops tomorrow.

Chau


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Old 09-02-2016, 06:20   #20
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

Dockhead, for what it is worth, I found a work around for the false echoes on a 2KW Pathfinder, which was to always use a range of 2NM or up. The alarm could be set for a closer range and not sound continuously but the range on the radar had to be set at at least two miles....less than that and the alarm was useless. There must have been some filter or other that turned on or off at that range. That said, the automatic functions on that radar (and many other radars) was borderline suicidal. When I brought it up specifically the automatic gain with Raymarine's President (or VP, can't remember which) at an boat show">Annapolis Boat Show, he immediately dialed his top "radar guy" on his cell phone and put me on the line. The radar guy's initial answer was "of course, you should never use radar unless you also have good visibility!!!" After I protested, he did acknowledge the feature that I was complaining about and said it was a known fault, and no, they weren't doing a revision - or notice to users, as far as I could see. Which is why, when I bought a new radar a few months ago, I disqualified Raymarine, out of hand, despite the fact that it, along with B&G, claimed the best features. I feel justified in saying that it will be a long time until I buy a Raymarine radar, based on that single conversation (and the radar assisted collision that prompted it).

I also considered Furuno, which has a huge advantage of making their own parts and keeping them in stock for a long time after a radar or whatever is no longer manufactured, unlike the other manufacturers. I once had a Furuno SSB fixed by the agent in the smallest, dustiest little town in Mexico, which would never have happened with the other manufacturers. It's a big reason you see so much Furuno gear on commercial vessels, as Jim Cate has pointed out. For my recent decision on a radar, I disqualified the Furuno because it takes a much more expensive model than I was budgeting for to enable two separate displays (I like to have one inside, as well as at the helm), unless you get the new model that displays on a tablet or Ipad. But, inexplicably, that model does not support an alarm! So Furuno came off my list.

Incidentally, all of the other three manufacturers support a Wifi connection to a tablet, which allows not only a second (or third) station, but for it to be moved around. What you can control over the WiFi differs between the manufacturers, but you can do everything with the B&G.

I had a list of requirements as I do lots of singlehanded sailing and radar is extremely important to me. At the start of my search, Garmin was at the top of my list, simply because I have always loved their GPS's and plotters....have had them since about 1993. Here is what the final decision in favor of B&G (and, for that matter, Raymarine) was based upon. I looked very carefully at all the features, and in other regards the features that mattered to me came out basically equal, other than the B&G's superior close in resolution. All three enabled two screens at two different ranges. The B&G allows different alarms for the different screens....think one screen at long range, alarmed for weather and another at quite a close range, alarmed for collision avoidance. So did the Raymarine, which I might have considered apart from the previous interaction as described. For some reason, the Garmin reverts to one screen at one range if you want to use the alarm and that seemed to be giving up something quite useful.

I have owned three radars and operated various others: an Apelco 1000 dating from 1990 (and actually made by JRC), which was a wonderful little low power radar, with very functional controls and a great alarm. I would still be happy with it, believe it or not. The second was the Pathfinder from Raymarine, a set I was never truly comfortable with. The third is the B&G 4G broadband, and I think I am going to like it, a lot. It's still early to tell since it takes me about six months to really get my arms around a radar. Although I sail all the time (charter boat) and usually have the radar switched on, I like to really get to know the manual controls so that I understand the optimal settings and what I can reliably expect to see under any conditions. Sometimes you can trust the automatic settings (the Pathfinder's automatic tune feature was great, but the gain and sea clutter were fatally flawed (as in tuning out the hard stuff!). The B&G's auto settings are much better, but I still do lots of manual setting of the gain and sea clutter. Tuning is not an issue.

All the manufacturers would like you to believe that radar is simple plug and play and they tout their auto settings. Any radar instructional course you might ever take will tell you to use the manual settings.....they are far better. I think the difference between "commercial" and "recreational" use is that the recreational sailor is much more likely to be seduced by the auto settings, whereas the commercial user more likely understands what he or she is doing and so uses the manual settings.

For reference, the old Apelco (JRC) could easily pick out a small inflatable with small outboard at 1 NM. That still remains a standard for me, despite all the new features.

One last advantage of the B&G is that it doesn't use a magnetron. A magnetron has a lifespan which is very difficult to predict. Then it needs replacement, something I have had to do. It's inconvenient and expensive. All the sets other than the B&G use a magnetron. It will be interesting to see if the B&G has something similar that needs eventual replacement, but I don't think it does.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:24   #21
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by aluijten View Post
A bit generalizing and patronizing, I would say. It's not that every cruiser is clueless about his or her equipment.
I think it's much more about available space. Most sail yachts have very limited space for equipment, leading to owners looking for multi functional electronics. That in itself leads to menu-driven user interfaces as no-one likes to have electronics with huge number of buttons and knobs.
So there is a trade-off between clutter and directness of control.

At the same time, not every professional seafarer has extensive knowledge about the equipment he/she uses. Many of them simply remember "when I turn this dial, this and that happens on the screen". That is not a bad thing. These people have a lot to remember about the operation of the vessel.
Most of the time they do have the space in the navigation area to have separated screens and controls for different systems, like radar and AIS.
So for them it's paramount to to be confused into all kind of menu systems.
For "us" it's a different setup. But I resent the argument that most cruisers are clueless and just want to see a pretty picture. I'm sure it's valid for some of them but if you take navigation seriously you will know your stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
Yes I agree that it's generalising but the statistics speak for themselves - the average pleasure boat in the US and Europe is used for less than one day a year.

This is why manufacturers have dumbed down the displays and gone for mode oriented controls; think harbour or coastal mode etc..

Anyway I'm going sailing and will be off the grid for about three months from when the phone signal drops tomorrow.

Chau


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http://tweedsworld.com
Exactly, thank you. I'm not patronizing you or cruisers.. By just being a cruiser you are already a small fraction of rec boat operators in the world. I would say most cruisers are of the elite boat users whose knowledge extends past motoring out the harbor, enjoying the day, and motoring back which is what the majority of the world's owners do.

The fact is companies build products to cater to the majority because that what will make them the most money. Sure they try to pack in as much stuff for the more technical crowd but that's not who their target is. Some companies do offer different levels of equipment, take B&G for example. They have the hydra for the weekend warrior, the Hercules for the more technical and their race series whatever it's called for the top racers. All different targets and the price reflects that.

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Old 09-02-2016, 11:25   #22
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by Littlechay View Post
Yes I agree that it's generalising but the statistics speak for themselves - the average pleasure boat in the US and Europe is used for less than one day a year.

This is why manufacturers have dumbed down the displays and gone for mode oriented controls; think harbour or coastal mode etc..

Anyway I'm going sailing and will be off the grid for about three months from when the phone signal drops tomorrow.

Chau


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Enjoy the trip, I follow along on your website. (:

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Old 09-02-2016, 12:31   #23
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
I see what your saying now, I thought you meant software features.. But yes definitely easier to get around with all of the access buttons and gain knobs. Menu navigation is pretty straight forward too.

Rec stuff can sometimes have all the technical stuff buried or non existent. But I imagine that the companies aren't selling to professionals on rec boats. So they have to dumb it down or hide technical items so as not to confuse or overwhelm the typical user.

See more @ redemptiverepair.com
OK, I see the point, but I really don't think recreational radars are "dumbed down". They have three controls -- gain, sea clutter, and rain clutter. On my Zeus plotter (non-touch), this is a physical rotary knob which is quite straightforward to use. Then you have EBL and VRM -- also totally straightforward to use. I don't think the ergonomics would improved with more physical knobs.
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:42   #24
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by contrail View Post
Dockhead, for what it is worth, I found a work around for the false echoes on a 2KW Pathfinder, which was to always use a range of 2NM or up. The alarm could be set for a closer range and not sound continuously but the range on the radar had to be set at at least two miles....less than that and the alarm was useless. There must have been some filter or other that turned on or off at that range. That said, the automatic functions on that radar (and many other radars) was borderline suicidal. When I brought it up specifically the automatic gain with Raymarine's President (or VP, can't remember which) at an Annapolis Boat Show, he immediately dialed his top "radar guy" on his cell phone and put me on the line. The radar guy's initial answer was "of course, you should never use radar unless you also have good visibility!!!" After I protested, he did acknowledge the feature that I was complaining about and said it was a known fault, and no, they weren't doing a revision - or notice to users, as far as I could see. Which is why, when I bought a new radar a few months ago, I disqualified Raymarine, out of hand, despite the fact that it, along with B&G, claimed the best features. I feel justified in saying that it will be a long time until I buy a Raymarine radar, based on that single conversation (and the radar assisted collision that prompted it).

I also considered Furuno, which has a huge advantage of making their own parts and keeping them in stock for a long time after a radar or whatever is no longer manufactured, unlike the other manufacturers. I once had a Furuno SSB fixed by the agent in the smallest, dustiest little town in Mexico, which would never have happened with the other manufacturers. It's a big reason you see so much Furuno gear on commercial vessels, as Jim Cate has pointed out. For my recent decision on a radar, I disqualified the Furuno because it takes a much more expensive model than I was budgeting for to enable two separate displays (I like to have one inside, as well as at the helm), unless you get the new model that displays on a tablet or Ipad. But, inexplicably, that model does not support an alarm! So Furuno came off my list.

Incidentally, all of the other three manufacturers support a Wifi connection to a tablet, which allows not only a second (or third) station, but for it to be moved around. What you can control over the WiFi differs between the manufacturers, but you can do everything with the B&G.

I had a list of requirements as I do lots of singlehanded sailing and radar is extremely important to me. At the start of my search, Garmin was at the top of my list, simply because I have always loved their GPS's and plotters....have had them since about 1993. Here is what the final decision in favor of B&G (and, for that matter, Raymarine) was based upon. I looked very carefully at all the features, and in other regards the features that mattered to me came out basically equal, other than the B&G's superior close in resolution. All three enabled two screens at two different ranges. The B&G allows different alarms for the different screens....think one screen at long range, alarmed for weather and another at quite a close range, alarmed for collision avoidance. So did the Raymarine, which I might have considered apart from the previous interaction as described. For some reason, the Garmin reverts to one screen at one range if you want to use the alarm and that seemed to be giving up something quite useful.

I have owned three radars and operated various others: an Apelco 1000 dating from 1990 (and actually made by JRC), which was a wonderful little low power radar, with very functional controls and a great alarm. I would still be happy with it, believe it or not. The second was the Pathfinder from Raymarine, a set I was never truly comfortable with. The third is the B&G 4G broadband, and I think I am going to like it, a lot. It's still early to tell since it takes me about six months to really get my arms around a radar. Although I sail all the time (charter boat) and usually have the radar switched on, I like to really get to know the manual controls so that I understand the optimal settings and what I can reliably expect to see under any conditions. Sometimes you can trust the automatic settings (the Pathfinder's automatic tune feature was great, but the gain and sea clutter were fatally flawed (as in tuning out the hard stuff!). The B&G's auto settings are much better, but I still do lots of manual setting of the gain and sea clutter. Tuning is not an issue.

All the manufacturers would like you to believe that radar is simple plug and play and they tout their auto settings. Any radar instructional course you might ever take will tell you to use the manual settings.....they are far better. I think the difference between "commercial" and "recreational" use is that the recreational sailor is much more likely to be seduced by the auto settings, whereas the commercial user more likely understands what he or she is doing and so uses the manual settings.

For reference, the old Apelco (JRC) could easily pick out a small inflatable with small outboard at 1 NM. That still remains a standard for me, despite all the new features.

One last advantage of the B&G is that it doesn't use a magnetron. A magnetron has a lifespan which is very difficult to predict. Then it needs replacement, something I have had to do. It's inconvenient and expensive. All the sets other than the B&G use a magnetron. It will be interesting to see if the B&G has something similar that needs eventual replacement, but I don't think it does.
Interesting; thanks for posting that.

As I wrote, I don't think that the 4G radar is revolutionary in any way, and it has some drawbacks, like real crap MARPA.

But it does have one killer advantage -- and that is target discrimination, and very low rate of false targets, which means the guard zones are extremely useful. I think that would be reason enough to go with one of these. I would have thought that the new Raymarine sets would be pretty good too, but I will defer to your experience. My old Raymarine Pathfinder set was solid, military-type, made by JRC (Japan Radio Corporation), something you'd be happy to take into battle with you, and very good in all respects by the standards of its vintage (2001).
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Old 09-02-2016, 20:15   #25
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

Well, this has provided some food for thought.
I don't have any reservations about the complexity of a unit, but do appreciate the main functions being easily accessed and handy to use, my main complaint with some systems from certain manufacturers was that the controls and page layout/system mapping for the human interface was not intuitive or logical. I worked for an OEM machinery manufacturer for many years and found the same problem with the electrical engineers who laid out the touchscreens and control/ maintenance/tuning access screens for the equipment. They would have two flaws, usually the engineers doing the work laid out the screens in a way that was the lowest effort way for them, and also for their own convenience, not for the end users convenience. This often led to the end user having to swap through 4 or 5 different screens to complete a simple operation, sound familiar? ever tried to set up a chartplotter from scratch? It's ridiculous.
I often had to put them in a headlock and give them noogies until they would reorganize their human interfaces to make them easy for the end user to negotiate and function with. Apparently many of the marine electronics manufacturers haven't caught on to this.
I'm a seasoned professional from the engineering sector, with a background in both mechanical and electrical engineering application in the real world and have found some of the marine electronics I've had over the last 25 years absolutely infuriating to use. I have no problem installing, setting up and tuning complex systems but I find some manufacturers equipment much more user friendly. Maybe this is why some commercial units are simpler? The commercial captain should not also need a technical degree to use his equipment?
I was looking to see what the capabilities of my current SSB unit were to see if it was possible to send and receive weather faxes and emails with it, after talking to several manufacturers I found that it is limited in that area, so I'm looking for a more modern unit, but was also advised by more than one manufacturer rep that my old unit is quite prized by commercial boats (fishing, transport) for it's simplicity and rugged nature, so selling on the used market would be easy.
What I'm getting at here is that what is prized by the commercial users is not always what is needed by the cruising/recreational market. Commercial boats have an actual wheel house with lots of room to have separate systems with larger screens and redundancy, not so for the average cruising boat. Even though my boat is 47', I still have a limited amount of space to mount and access electronics.
Being able to use a pad as a second screen when below? Now there's a plus. Sharp target fixes? definitely. Being able to integrate both my GPS (chartplotter) and radar togther. A huge plus. Being able to have a main and anciliary screen with the same info or custom pages? A huge plus.
Ease of use, ease of setup, ease of user interface navigation, all important.
Durability and support? Irreplaceable.
Looks like I've got a lot more homework to do.
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Old 10-02-2016, 00:03   #26
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Well, this has provided some food for thought.
several manufacturers I found that it is limited in that area, so I'm looking for a more modern unit, but was also advised by more than one manufacturer rep that my old unit is quite prized by commercial boats (fishing, transport) for it's simplicity and rugged nature, so selling on the used market would be easy.
.
That old SSB wouldn't be a Furuno, would it?
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Old 10-02-2016, 00:13   #27
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, I see the point, but I really don't think recreational radars are "dumbed down". They have three controls -- gain, sea clutter, and rain clutter. On my Zeus plotter (non-touch), this is a physical rotary knob which is quite straightforward to use. Then you have EBL and VRM -- also totally straightforward to use. I don't think the ergonomics would improved with more physical knobs.
I agree those controls are all easy to use. There are three more that make quite a difference in what you see, which have to do with target enhancement and separation. You have to figure out what helps under what circumstances and adjust accordingly, but it's fairly obvious. It also seems to me that weather is most clearly displayed on the red on white palette (daytime) or the red on black palette (night), which is also very easy on your night vision. I don't find the green on black or yellow on black pallettes to have any advantages.

I do like this radar and have gotten good tech support.
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:28   #28
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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That old SSB wouldn't be a Furuno, would it?
No, I'm afraid not, it's an SEA unit.
It doesn't have some of the advanced features you find on more modern units but will receive weather faxes with the aid of a laptop.
Rugged, simple and easy to use.
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Old 12-02-2016, 18:10   #29
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

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Yes exactly so my advice to the OP is that if Radar is important enough to him that he is considering building a system around his choice of radar he should perhaps look outside of the pleasure market products and check out some of the workboat gear.

Especially true if the OP does a lot of night sailing as the leisure market plotters a demons for destroying your night vision.


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Done tons of night sailing and am outfitting this boat for extended voyages in the near future. My current Simrad chartplotter has a night vision screen that uses a totally different color/light level set up than the daytime screen. I've found it doesn't affect my night vision too adversly, unlike my older Raymarine radar.
I'm replacing the whole setup because the current electronics are made up of different brand/vintage gear that doesn't integrate.
The Furuno radar I had on the previous boat was not too hard on night vision either, but the Garmin chartplotter was.
Maybe I can get a unit with both and night vision mode too? Would be nice.
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Old 12-02-2016, 18:29   #30
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Re: Broadbans vs conventional radar

I installed B&G 4G last summer, having installed their Zeus2 the prior summer. It replaced a 2000-vintage Raymarine b/w display pulse radar.

My objective is to see, in fog, the 16-19' fishing boats running on electric trolling motors within a mile of harbor entrances. They sound no fog signals and their motors are silent. The Navico 4G displays them. Sometimes faintly, but they are there. Such was never the case with the old Raymarine, which was blind to anything small and close.

We navigated in thick fog for the better part 4 days while returning home from our cruise last summer - the 4G made it safe and possible. I can't comment on newer pulse radars I haven't used, but this one accomplishes my mission. If I want to detect T-storms at a distance, I'll put a suitable pulse unit up on the mast.
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