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Old 21-09-2004, 09:21   #1
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Radar choices?

It's time to replace my ancient - but still functional - Furuno radar,
which is not color, has no bells & whistles and can't be cockpit mounted.

I'm interested in the opinions of experienced radar users:
Are there any real advantages to a color LCD monitor as opposed to a 'mono' screen? Is it worth the almost-$2,000 cost difference for a 10" color monitor vs a same-size mono screen?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of LCD vs CRT for a cockpit mounted unit (if both are water-resistant)?

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Old 21-09-2004, 15:03   #2
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CRT will tend to be a larger unit to mount. LCD is not as deep and you can surface mount if need be.
LCD has a back light. Some can be replaced and some can't. CRT has a limited life of hrs anyway. Either will probably outlive the life of the Magnatron. To me, Radars are so cheap now and come out with more and more realistic and usable features, that I would consider a new Radar system when the magnatron dies, rather than replace the magnatron anyway. So you would end up with a new screen.
LCD is susceptable to pixel dropout, although that is improving.
Color (Colour for us english speaking people ) Will show you the density of the ehco. If density is the right choice of word. In other words, how strong the reflection is. Not all mono, nor for that instance color screens are created equal. So the best thing to do, is go to a dealer and have a look at what is on display, and see if the differences are worth the cost difference to you.
To me, the main buying points for me wouldn't be screen color so much, but features like tracking and ease of use. Another really cool feature available today is the dual Radr/Plotter. Being able to overlay the radar with map is a very cool feature.

It would be interesting to hear others comments, but something I would like to see and systems are leaning this way, is a "Black box" type radar. Thus you have a seperate screen that is coomon to plotter/GPS and other instruments. It is available, but still way to expensiv and a little crude from what I have seen so far. But seperate components mean cheaper replacement of one item, than replacing a whole system. Like just the magnatron, or Black box for instance. And Large LCD computer monitors are very cheap and you can have two or more linked. Like one at the helm and one att he nav station.
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Old 21-09-2004, 16:08   #3
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plotter/radar

Got this new toy recently and it proved itself the first trip. I have the Raymarine C80 color plotter with the 2 kw radome. You can split the screen (8") or have an overlay on the plotter or view full size plotter or full size radar. I was anchored in a bay off the Ortega River, never been there before. I was going into the river the next morning. The marks (none) are not the best (actually there is one mark) and there's only 6+ feet going in. The approach is very wide with a small narrow piece of good water. As I lay at anchor I heard another sailboat calling for a tow. He had grounded going in. I switched on the radar, overlaid the chart and noted his position. I later watched Towboat US tow him in and noted the track taken. The next morning I took the same track in. I had not intended to get radar but the price has come down quite a bit and with this unit all that was needed was the radome as it displays on the C80. This system is cockpit mounted, LCD, 8" display . Snakebird, don't know how a CRT would stand up in the cockpit. Ruggedness and size. Look at a color and a monochrome display side by side, I think you'll end up taking the color and in other makes the $ difference is not as great as you indicate. If it's a stand alone radar, I would not pay the extra for color but in a plotter yes.
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Old 24-09-2004, 06:43   #4
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Thank you, Alan & Rick for that
useful info. boat show">Annapolis boat show is coming up and I'll look at the differences there, then make a decision.
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Old 24-09-2004, 09:58   #5
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Personnally, I dont like the combined instruments. Choice of radar will really be dependent on your own method of operation
I am happy with a lower power set, so that I dont feel that I always have to have the engine running to use it (2kw) this means that the accuracy and power to work in really wet weather is not as good as some of the more expensive options. On the otherhand, the scanner is much lighter, so can go up the mast, and thus give me greater range.

The next decision is what extra bells and whistles you want with the radar. If happy with a head up, then that is cheaper, as a proper north up display requires a decent gyro (and thus more power). Another gizmo that is finding a lot of pundits is the Marpa/arpa system which will help you work out what the other boats are doing. Again an expensive option, and I personnally dont like it cause it clutters up the small screen and can overlay other contacts. There is a new system that will be available in a couple of years (AVIS) that operates from a signal pushed out by the merchant ships and gives their position course and speed which should be simpler tha marpa and cheaper, and more accurate.

IMHO a couple of 6-7" displays with radar on one (preferably North up) and plotter on the other, both visible from the helm, provides a good set of instruments.

On the otherhand, I have seen a boat with 2x15" displays that were able to be used for anything, and on a long journey, the helm has been known to watch a dvd on one!
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Old 24-09-2004, 11:33   #6
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Marpa

The Raymarine system has Marpa. Quite an eye opener. I fiirst used radar when you had to plot a couple of bearing and do all sorts of calculations to properly ascertain what the other vessel was doing. Now, bingo!
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Old 25-09-2004, 19:50   #7
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If you look real closely at my radar screen you can see the grease pencil marks from all the times I tried to work out CPA's.
MARPA/ARPA would be very cool, but too expensive and too involved. I have a gyro in my Autohelm 6000, but it won't "talk" to the radar, so North Up isn't gonna happen and neither (I think) is ARPA.

When I get the new one, the old one will be free to a good home - if somebody wants to pay the shipping. Extra points if you come over and help me get the antenna off the mizzenmast!!

This radar is a 2.2kw, 7" round screen monitor with a humongous dome antenna. (My brother calls my boat the AWACS). I think it's 30-36 inches. Really good target discrimination, though.

If anybody's seriously interested in having this radar, let me know and I'll send you the serial number, etc.
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