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Old 04-12-2007, 09:52   #1
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Koden MDB621 radar/plotter

Hi all;

I ran across what seems to be a relly good deal in a radar/plotter. It is a Koden mdb-621, which can be had online for less than $1100 for the unit. I verified that it can be used with a standard NMEA 0183 GPS, and I have a nice Garmin 16A looking for a use. So I could add a C-Map MAX cart for the east coast for $180, and for less than $1300, I would have radar and plotter.

I know nothing about Koden. They sent me a pdf of the manual, and it seems to be a nice unit, perhaps a radar that was modified for chartplotting, vs. most of the chartplotters out there, that are adding radar.

This would be for our new to us 1985 Westerly Fulmar, a 32 foot sloop. I was not going to be shopping for electronic this early (we closed on it Sunday) but my Mother In Law bought us a Garmin 478 as a Christmas present. I have used an earlier model Garmin of the same series, and I was always zooming in and out. She is fine with us exchanging/ getting something else, so it really is our choice what to do with the $$$.

So for a few extra hundred dollars, I could have both chartting and radar. But is the Koden any good? Easy to use? Durable?


Her is a link to the unit in question: Koden Electronics Co., Ltd. / Products

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 04-12-2007, 11:49   #2
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I sold and installed Koden some 16-18yrs ago now. Here in NZ, it was not sold as an amature product. It was always Commercial and very expensive equipment and of the highest quality. They specialised in equipment for Commercial fishing like 360deg sonar and net monitors and sounders and large radar etc. Recent years I have seen the product advertised in the amature market, but I don't think they push it very hard in that market. It is rare to see it anywhere in the amature field. As to the quality, in my few years working with the product, I never had a failure. The operation was flawless and left anything available to the amature market at the time, compleatly in the dust. Complexity of control and use was OK and no worse than any other product. But then, they were all rather complex back then. Much of the controls on today's equipment is either Automatic or at least more user friendly. I am sorry, I do not know the particular model you are refering too, but I suggest it should be a good piece of equipment.
HOWEVER, Radar uses a magnatron in the scanner. It has a limited number of hrs of life. Be careful you are not buying an ex commercial machine that the magnatron is worn out in. Or at least, ask a supplier for a replacement cost of the part. The purchase price plus the part cost may take the overall cost of the unit toward the cost of a new one unit.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:29   #3
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Alan;

Your comments mimmicked my general feelings about the products, just basd on web surfing as my research tool.

The gear I am looking at is new, not used.

One thing that is interesting, and I want to follow up on, is that the radar scanners seem to be the same as used in the Sitex RadarPC. So in theory (in my head) you could add the RadarPC control box, and have the radar show up on your PC, as well, using compatible software. Could be a nice backup, and useful for planning?? Nobletec Admiral works with RadarPC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
I sold and installed Koden some 16-18yrs ago now. Here in NZ, it was not sold as an amature product. It was always Commercial and very expensive equipment and of the highest quality. They specialised in equipment for Commercial fishing like 360deg sonar and net monitors and sounders and large radar etc. Recent years I have seen the product advertised in the amature market, but I don't think they push it very hard in that market. It is rare to see it anywhere in the amature field. As to the quality, in my few years working with the product, I never had a failure. The operation was flawless and left anything available to the amature market at the time, compleatly in the dust. Complexity of control and use was OK and no worse than any other product. But then, they were all rather complex back then. Much of the controls on today's equipment is either Automatic or at least more user friendly. I am sorry, I do not know the particular model you are refering too, but I suggest it should be a good piece of equipment.
HOWEVER, Radar uses a magnatron in the scanner. It has a limited number of hrs of life. Be careful you are not buying an ex commercial machine that the magnatron is worn out in. Or at least, ask a supplier for a replacement cost of the part. The purchase price plus the part cost may take the overall cost of the unit toward the cost of a new one unit.
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