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Old 31-01-2016, 10:10   #1
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Help to connect a radar to a PC

Hi! This is my first post here so i hope i am posting this at the right place

Me and my girlfriend are going sailing to the Caribbean, leaving from Oslo this july. We are planning to go north from the Caribbean to explore Canada, Greenland and Iceland before going back home to Norway.

We are thinking about getting a Radar antenna. As we do not have a chartplotter, but use an ipad and a PC with OpenCPN. The best for us would therefore be a radar we can connect directly to the PC. I have found that some radars have ethernet cable (?? I cannot remember which ones ??) to go directly to the PC. OpenCPN does have a plugin for various radar antennas, but far from all.

My question is, is there a Plug-And-Play solution? Can a buy a completely different (older, used for example) radar antenna and use a USB adapter from its original cable? If so, is there other (than OpenCPN) software that can display the data?

Basically, i am looking for the best, and preferably cheapest, radar to PC solution there is. Either for use with OpenCPN with chart overlay, or without.

All help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 31-01-2016, 10:16   #2
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

I don't think a USB adaptor is going to do the trick. USB is only a serial connexion and AFAIK not capable to transfer the ethernet throughput. Maybe some othet solution exists?
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Old 31-01-2016, 10:33   #3
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

There is a thread here and plugin for use of Garmin 18 hd.
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Old 31-01-2016, 12:27   #4
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Do you have a link to that forum?
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Old 31-01-2016, 12:41   #5
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Here's a link to Panbo covering this

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2013/0...or_tablet.html

And you'll need a new radome, the technology is completely different than older units that must be mated to their proprietary controller/display.


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Old 31-01-2016, 13:13   #6
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

As Panbo says:
"But as you can imagine, the story is not yet complete. Many features that radars offer such as guard zones, EBL (Electronic Bearing Line) and (M)ARPA aren't implemented yet. The display algorithms that convert the data stream can be further improved. Resolution and sharpness can be improved. - See more at: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Radar on your PC, laptop or tablet "


These might be reasons to simply buy a complete radar system, fully separate from the other navigation displays.
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Old 31-01-2016, 13:37   #7
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

That article is a bit old. With opencpn much of the "missing" stuff is now done. But, you have to have a supported radar unit, currently Garmin HD or Navico broadband (Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, 3G or 4G units).
There are fully functioning other (commercial) packages, such as Nobeltec, that have had pc radar for over 10 years.
As far as I know, they ALL use Ethernet, no serial connections - too much data for serial.


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Old 31-01-2016, 13:58   #8
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by syhakunamatata View Post
Hi! This is my first post here so i hope i am posting this at the right place

Me and my girlfriend are going sailing to the Caribbean, leaving from Oslo this july. We are planning to go north from the Caribbean to explore Canada, Greenland and Iceland before going back home to Norway.

We are thinking about getting a Radar antenna. As we do not have a chartplotter, but use an ipad and a PC with OpenCPN. The best for us would therefore be a radar we can connect directly to the PC. I have found that some radars have ethernet cable (?? I cannot remember which ones ??) to go directly to the PC. OpenCPN does have a plugin for various radar antennas, but far from all.

My question is, is there a Plug-And-Play solution? Can a buy a completely different (older, used for example) radar antenna and use a USB adapter from its original cable? If so, is there other (than OpenCPN) software that can display the data?

Basically, i am looking for the best, and preferably cheapest, radar to PC solution there is. Either for use with OpenCPN with chart overlay, or without.

All help is greatly appreciated!
See opencpn forum about this: OpenCPN SIMRAD/LOWRANCE Radar Overlay PlugIn

3G and 4G radars is working excellent with opencpn. A heading sensor might be added to get proper alignment of the radar image to the seamap.

In a sailboat, power consumption is often important and modern 3G and 4G radars use a fraction of the power compared to old style traditional radars. Regards from Třnsberg.
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Old 31-01-2016, 16:15   #9
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Probably not your cheapest solution, but I'm planning to use my B&G 4G radar plugged into an Intel NUC 5PGYH with either a Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 or ASUS MB168B+ monitor that will be mounted at the nav station. I already have a chartplotter for the helm.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:36   #10
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Here is a link to a system on eBay, I shared this with a friend who uses a PC but he has enough projects without adding another one. Have no interest in this and know nothing about its condition or usefulness, I do have si-tex radar and I'am pleased with its performance. http://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/321991160277


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Old 01-02-2016, 10:42   #11
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

You need a new radar system. The new ones provide a combination radar/gps mapping so you have both on one screen. Old radar system, well your out of luck.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:17   #12
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

here is the link.
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...rlay-plugin-79
I just purchased this unit and hope to install this week.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:56   #13
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Also
List of Antenna only Radars which work with Opencpn under Windows?
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Old 01-02-2016, 14:23   #14
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

Consider this:

FURUNO 1st Watch Wireless Radar

I will exchange our radar system and buy this one.
Regards from Germany
Ingo
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Old 10-03-2016, 17:20   #15
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Re: Help to connect a radar to a PC

I'm in the market too - This unit looks interesting:
SI-TEX MDS-8R Nobeltec TimeZero Radar Package

That it includes the TimeZero package is a big plus - but does that integrate with other setups? OpenCpn, Navionics, MaxSea, etc?

This from its features list:
  • A powerful, reliable and fully integrated PC radar solution ideal for a wide range of boats
  • Connects directly to your computer via Ethernet
  • No need for a dedicated multifunction display - just hook the MDS-8R to your onboard PC and navigate
  • Surpasses conventional radar performance by combining Nobeltec's state-of-the-art TimeZero charting and sophisticated navigation features with professional-grade SI-TEX radar functions
  • Your computer acts as the radar display and provides full control of all radar functions
    • Software will display the radar image
    • Gives you full control of the radar
    • Allows you to overlay the radar image right onto your charts
  • Numerous display setting options are available, including a split screen function - Displays radar on one half of computer screen, side by side with the navigation charts
  • Full integration with Nobeltec TimeZero software
  • MARPA for advanced target tracking network capabilities (requires heading sensor)
  • Chart overlay and stabilized radar presentation (requires heading sensor)
  • Displays on any size computer monitor
  • Dual monitors display possible
Might be an option.


Cheers - Jim
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