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Old 19-04-2008, 05:09   #1
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Radar scanner etc, Query?

Hi, just about to get back into cruising after 30 years away. I am looking for a 38 to 45ft centre cockpit ketch(preferably but a good sloop will do). Everything has moved on rapidly since then and I haven't yet caught up with all the technology so I have a few niggling questions which I need answering. First can any radar scanner work with any radar receiver (eg Garmin to Raymarine etc) or can the scanner alone interface with a PC, given the right software.
If the answer is that "some can" then which ones are they?
Chartplotters, which plotters use which mapping system (C.Map etc).
Which autopilots can provide a remote control facility, and which anchor winch provides likewise ?
I can understand that a plotter can overlay a radar image but is it possible to also overlay a Google Earth image?
Just a few questions to indicate the depth of my ignorance, others will no doubt follow as they occur to me.
Any and all help and suggestions appreciated.
Brian Owen
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Old 19-04-2008, 08:29   #2
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Your questions (bg9208) are so good I don't have the answers!However, if you have a big budget you will end up with latest Raymarine kit including AIS (Automatic Information System) overlay of ship's (so fitted and turned on) positions overlaid, and able to query their name and mmsi No. to contact them if need be on your DSC radio VHF. Your radar and chart will also overlay.Scanners vary by manufacturer type and within this also vary by age of equipment (i.e raymarine have changed format of signal.I have used some new Raymarine equipment this week under pressure and ther is no doubt that many of the features are valuable and innovative.
For myself, having changed vessel about 9 years ago, matters are more simple.
A lorenz 7 suncolor chartplotter has two positions and drives the autopilot.A PC laptop down below drives another chartsystem, and accepts input from a normal MLR GPS. Passage planning is done here and tricky pilotage too.Depth is output from an Airmar transducer NMEA type bonded to the hull inside with modelling clay. This is in addition to the Raymarine transducer going directly to the seatalk bus.The Airmar shows up on the Lorenz 7" suncolor plotter screen as a graph like a fishfinder, but without the fish! Paper charts are also carried to mark our track at hourly intervals in case of power outage. In addition another backup laptop is carried with its own mouse GPS.Quite often in challenging situations, another producers electronic chart is cross checked if queries arise. A handbearing compass is often used to check that the bearing of nearby vessels does in fact change.
Little has changed, except that your underlying earlier navigation skills are still essential to the safe operation of the vessel.Under pressure you will find yourself reverting to the Douglas Protractor and paper charts.

I intend to fit a stand alone radar this season a Furuno 1623 and hope that when this is interfaced with the GPS it will be as useful as AIS. I notice that four trawler on my last voyage in my vicinity did not have AIS fitted, so would have been invisible in fog.

Positively, AIS can see a vessel like a Ferry around the other side of a headland!

Radar sees rain squalls, AIS does not.

The more NMEA listners and talkers one connects, the more the neccessity of haveing a small interface box (Actisense make them) or a Raymarine interface box to convert Seatalk or its successor to NMEA instruments. Even NMEA is changing to a faster protocol so look this up too!Best of luck!
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Old 19-04-2008, 09:25   #3
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Radar scanners etc.

Thgank you for the information Paul, a copy will go into my 'masterplan'file.
Unfortunately I don't have a bottomless budget and my choice boat at this moment is a Dufour 12000CT, secondhand of course closely followed by the Amel Maramu.
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Old 19-04-2008, 09:26   #4
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Radar scanners etc.

Thank you for the information Paul, a copy will go into my 'masterplan'file.
Unfortunately I don't have a bottomless budget and my choice boat at this moment is a Dufour 12000CT, secondhand of course closely followed by the Amel Maramu.
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