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Old 21-02-2012, 04:11   #31
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

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On our first date my future wife and I took her boat out early on a pitch-dark morning in pea soup fog. Couldn't see the bow from the pilothouse. She had a Furuno 1715 though and I was able to wweave my way through the harbor following the channel makers on the radar, all of them less than 50' away at some point. Just needed to fiddle with the buttons a bit.

I won't say I married my wife for her radar, but it didn't hurt.
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Old 21-02-2012, 06:39   #32
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

I am curious as to how much power is saved with broadband over pulsed radars. I am beginning to believe that this aspect was trotted out by marketing and just gets blindly repeated as an "advantage" by everyone without any quantitative understanding.

I'm not arguing any other advantages/disadvantages between the two types of systems - just the power draw and its relative meaning.

We have a new 4kw Furuno radar. The radar itself draws 0.6A, and I suspect that much of that is in rotating the antenna. Broadband must also use some power to rotate the antenna.

The chartplotter display draws 3.2A. So while there could be significant power savings through a more miserly display, it doesn't seem like there is much to be gained on the radar end.

So those of you with broadband - how much power does the radar draw? And is the difference between 0.6A and (say) 0.3A significant? If I was cruising and a 7.2Ahr daily difference was a make or break, I would forgo radar altogether and spend money on upgrading my battery bank and charging system.

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Old 21-02-2012, 07:19   #33
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

The broadband radar uses 20 watts.

My 4kW Pathfinder radar uses 34 watts.

It's more than you save by putting in an LED anchor light. It's not life or death to a boat with decent batteries, but every little bit helps.

The plotters use a lot less power, too.

It's maybe even more important than anchor lights and so forth, because at anchor it's not really a big deal to crank up the genset for an hour before going to bed to charge up, if you're not going to make it all night. But if you're sailing all night, and heeling, you've got no good way to do any extra charging, without shortening sail so that you can crank up the engine. A typical situation for me crossing the Channel at night on a boisterous close reach.
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Old 21-02-2012, 09:19   #34
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Furuno 4Kw radar power consumption in Standby, Anchor, or Watchman mode, 28 watts.

Simrad 4G in Standby, 2 watts, and zero time needed to show an image.

Sailing along, all night long, using the radar to occasionally check things out, it's pretty clear who wins on power consumption.

I think Simrad Broadband owns the night.
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Old 21-02-2012, 14:29   #35
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

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Furuno is a good product. The problem is that is not the best value for some of us without independent incomes. .
Roy,

I'm confused about the value thing. I can get a Furuno 1715 for $1531 or a Navico 4g dome for $1721 and a Lowrance HDS7 for $842. The broadband comes to an entire boat unit more. I will be in the market for a radar in the next year or so and so have been watching with interest the development of broadband, but so far can't figure out how to afford it on a tight electronics budget.
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Old 21-02-2012, 14:38   #36
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Range is still a most important issue for me navigating amoungst coral reefs of GBR, Coral sea and Pacific. Will be a consideration when the time comes for a decision.

Meanwhile been a good thread discussion so far.
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Old 21-02-2012, 17:11   #37
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

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And what was your ad-lib solution?

We have a row of on-deck lockers between the cockpit and the mizzen mast. The mizzen base is on a 9 inch riser and the cables pass into the lockers. I bought an extra cable; ran on from the radar to the lockers and on from the lockers to the nav station. I installed a water-poof plastic J-box in the locker and landed all wires on terminals. I would have prefered a proper molded waterproof plug set but this works. Wires are tiny.

I bought the radar for fog mostly. We are 58 feet and 50 ton masters so the radar is prety much a requirement for us. On the Great Lakes most boats outside of 10 miles are commercial. They all carry AIS as you know. I see them at 20 miles and know more instantly than radar will ever tell me.

BTW, AIS is my favorite instrument. I can network mine but I left it as totally stand alone so nothing else needs to be powered to use it. I installed a Watchmate 850 last spring and it is fantastic. power is only 3 watts and it also does anchor watch. A child could install it and it operates on any DC less than about 30 volts. I find its operation the most simple and intuitive of any device on board. You may never read the book and just follow the LCD text as functions are activated.
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Old 22-02-2012, 06:32   #38
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Per the Furuno brochure at:

http://www.furunousa.com/ProductDocu...20Brochure.pdf

The DRS4D draws 48-50 watts.
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Old 22-02-2012, 07:39   #39
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Yes, I know what the brochure states, and I don't have an explanation for it.

However, I can assure you that our DSR4D radome is not drawing 3-4 amps (48-50W) when it is running. The entire MFD8/DSR4D package draws 3-4 amps when operating at full brightness level and with all transducers and communication active. The radome itself draws 0.6 amps when operating. This is ~7-8 watts.

When in standby mode, the whole system draws 2.3 amps (28W) - almost all of this is from the MFD8, which just turns off its display, while still staying active with everything else. The radome draws next to nothing.

These are actual measurements from the system in use.

It is possible I am not making these measurements correctly, or that my ammeter is incorrect. However, both me and the ammeter seem to be making correct readings on other systems.

DotDunn, you have the DRS4D don't you? Nick does also. What power does yours draw?

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Old 22-02-2012, 08:54   #40
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

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Yes, I know what the brochure states, and I don't have an explanation for it.

However, I can assure you that our DSR4D radome is not drawing 3-4 amps (48-50W) when it is running. The entire MFD8/DSR4D package draws 3-4 amps when operating at full brightness level and with all transducers and communication active. The radome itself draws 0.6 amps when operating. This is ~7-8 watts.

When in standby mode, the whole system draws 2.3 amps (28W) - almost all of this is from the MFD8, which just turns off its display, while still staying active with everything else. The radome draws next to nothing.

These are actual measurements from the system in use.

It is possible I am not making these measurements correctly, or that my ammeter is incorrect. However, both me and the ammeter seem to be making correct readings on other systems.

DotDunn, you have the DRS4D don't you? Nick does also. What power does yours draw?

Mark
Is yours 12v or 24v?
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Old 22-02-2012, 08:59   #41
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

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Is yours 12v or 24v?
OK, I now see, you must be running 12v.
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:59   #42
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Per the Furuno brochure, the MFD12 alone should draw 41 watts and with DRS4D should draw 91 watts (MFD8 would be 13-14 watts less).

Here are my Furuno NavNet3D measurements taken with multimeter connected between main distribution panel and Furuno power lead.

Ships main battery: 13.4v
Scanner rotation speed set to 'auto'.

MFD12 running without DRS4D connected: 2.7a (36 watts)
MFD12 without DRS4D connected in sleep mode: 1a (12 watts)
MFD12 with DRS4D connected in standby mode: 4a (54 watts)
MFD12 in sleep mode with DRS4D connected in standby mode: 2.3a (31 watts)
MFD12 with DRS4D transmitting .0625 range: 4.55a (61 watts)
MFD12 with DRS4D transmitting 36nm range: 4.9a (66 watts)

So it appears the DRS4D takes ~18 watts in standby mode and ~30 watts when transmitting. Per Furuno brochure, the DRS2D would be ~5 watts less.

My test did not include sea trials, I'm not sure if SOG affects scanner rotation speed, hence underway could draw more power and may explained the discrepancy between my measurements and Furuno's advertised numbers.

I am very pleased with the DRS4D, I've seen markers @ less than 100' and weather @ 60 miles. The main bang appears to be ~50'. Of course, less power draw would be nice, zero power draw would be better!
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Old 10-05-2013, 22:01   #43
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Hi All,

I had a 4 g fitted last year before sailing the Tasman from Brisbane-AU to Opua-NZ and found the low power usage meant I used it all the time which was great the only real problem I found was Albatross would set the alarm off at close range to the boat and had to adjust the inner guard ring out to 100 meters.
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Old 10-05-2013, 23:33   #44
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

For what it's worth, I'm sitting at the nav desk on a rainy day at Bums Bay on the Gold Coast, so I flicked my Simrad NSE 12 plotter on and it drew 2.0 amps, then I turned on the Simrad 3G radar to transmit mode and it added another 1.5 amps, then the Simrad AIS added 0.4 amps. I don't know how these figures compare but they are real world figures current as of 10 minutes ago.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:50   #45
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Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

OK, so I made measurements like DotDun above with an ammeter directly connected. I did not make measurements without the radome connected at all, because I did not want to access the plug and don't see the point for real usage.

Ships main batteries 13.8V and scanner set to auto

MFD8 running with radar off: 2.5A
MFD8 and DRS4D in Stdby: 1.8A
MFD8 with DRS4D at 0.0625 miles: 3.1A
MFD8 with DRS4D at 36 miles: 3.3A
MFD8 in Stdby with DRS4D operating: 2.5A

I also took measurements at house voltage of 12.6V, and all measurements are 0.3A higher.

So again, the operating radar itself is drawing 0.6-0.7A, which I assume is the motor used for rotation, and the power used for the magnetron is already supplied in stdby.

DotDun's measurements above suggest that the total power to operate the 4KW radar is ~2A.

Greg's measurements on the 3G suggest that it draws 1.5A.

So it looks like my assertion a year ago that there was only a 0.3A actual difference between the two is pretty much correct, although a bit low. So the low power draw of 3G is mostly marketing that gets repeated as fact, and not an actual fact.

Am I misreading or misinterpreting something here?

As for the Furuno brochure values, these must be maximum possible values at the minimum voltages supported (10.8V?). In fact, every single piece of instrumentation we have on board draws much less than the value sited in their specs. Our AP is spec'd at 30A, but only uses 3-5A in rough conditions.

I also like this Furuno radar (hate the chartplotter). I watch kiteboarders 1 mile away and see two returns for each - the human body and the nylon kite. This surprised me, since both are small targets with low return potential. Greater than 1 mile, I only see a single return, but also find it surprising to get a return at all. I see Kunas in ulu's 3-4 miles away. An ulu is a 8' dugout canoe that sits 6" above the water and is paddled by a single human. I have also watched birds fly through our radar sweep.

That is far more resolution that we need for navigating. I keep seeing the marketing pictures for 3/4G showing remarkably detailed shots of objects 30-50' away and wonder why that would be useful at all. At 50', you should not have your head buried in a radar display. Especially at night or in fog. They never show the fast moving rain squalls at 6-12 miles (which is our major use for radar), or what a unlit fishing boat looks like at 2-3 miles (is the higher definition helping then?).

So if the power draw difference is minimal, and the higher resolution is for pretty pictures only, what is the real advantage of 3/4G? Dockhead mentioned that he could see the shape of channel markers, but I would argue that one should not be entering a channel at all if one did not already know which markers were on which side.

I'm not knocking 3/4G - it is a valid choice, but I don't see the huge advantages (or any at all) over the other choices out there. And it does seem that Simrad has thrown huge marketing misinformation and confusion into all of this. I have yet to see a comparison of radars in a manner that matches actual navigation usage - not even Panbo (who seems to think navigational use of his radar is for backing into his slip).

Mark
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