Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-02-2012, 02:30   #1
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Simrad Radar & Plotters

I am inching closer to pulling the trigger on new electronics I will need for my Iceland adventure this summer. Sailing at night beyond the Arctic Circle will mean that it is crucially important to have effective, high resolution radar, effective at close ranges, in order to pick up the dreaded bergy bits which might be floating anywhere.

The current issue of Yachting Monthly has a terrific radar test which has confirmed my decision that the Simrad (Navico/Lowrance) 4G broadband is the overwhelmingly clear choice for my use, compared to conventional radar.

My roughly 10 year old Pathfinder radar is working poorly, and I don't think it's worth spending money changing the magnetron or whatever is needed to bring it back to life. The RL80CRC+ and RL70RC+ plotters are excellent and work perfectly, but they won't display AIS data, nor will they network with NMEA2000 equipment, so it's probably not bad to change them, especially since they still seem to be sellable despite their age (good equipment, still popular among some).

In order to use the terrific Simrad 4G radar -- which has been considerably improved compared to the 3G version, for anyone who hasn't been following it -- I need Simrad plotters. The good news is that they seem to be really nice. Moreover, the 8" Simrad plotters look like they are a drop-in fit at my helm -- they have the same footprint as the Raymarine 7" monochrome plotter I have at the helm.

There are two basic types -- NSE and NSS.

NSE is non-touchscreen, with lots of buttons, like I like. However, the NSE plotters are more expensive. They also do not have the built-in GPS.

I really like the idea of the GPS built into the plotter. It eliminates the whole wire run which is a failure waiting to happen, and the vulnerable GPS antenna on the pushpit. And it saves $300.

But the helm position is exactly where you really don't want a touchscreen, it seems to me. Especially in a cold climate where I often sail in gloves.

Is anyone using a touchscreen plotter at the helm? Anyone using the Simrad plotters? Any comments on my plan?
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 03:24   #2
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Firstly be aware that 3G/4G radars are very poor at seeing water droplets, Much poorer then conventional radars. This is due to the frequencies. I'd stay with a high resolution 3degree or better open array for best performance

As to NSE NSO NSS I'd go with the NSE. touch screens are hard to use. I found the NSE. Very good to use

Dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 04:17   #3
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Well, I don't have any place to put an open array, unless it were on a stern pole, which I don't really want (windage, hassle, chopping up fiberglass again). I guess dodging squalls on long ocean passages might be a good use for radar, but not nearly as important to me as precise close-in work.

I care very little what is happening more than 10 miles off, generally -- now that we have chart plotters, I don't need to see cliffs or islands 30 miles off for navigation purposes. What I primarily need out of my radar is to see ships which represent a risk of collision and get a precise range and bearing on them. To see channel markers and other objects in bad visibility. And to see ice and bergy bits at night. For those purposes, the new 4G radar is, according to everything I've read, superlative -- the range has been pushed out (compared to the 3G version) so that out to 10 miles, at least, it is fully competent for all purposes, and the target discrimination and resolution, especially at closer ranges, are superior even to large open arrays, according to everything I have read.

I'm glad to have the report on the NSE plotters. They look very good to me, too.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 04:40   #4
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
I mean it will be poorer at seeing bergs then conventional radar.
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 04:57   #5
Registered User
 
Strait Shooter's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Straits of Juan De Fuca
Boat: Ingrid
Posts: 786
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I mean it will be poorer at seeing bergs then conventional radar.
Could you explain that in more detail?


John
__________________
"Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” (Michael Leboeuf)
Strait Shooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 05:18   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I mean it will be poorer at seeing bergs then conventional radar.
Oh, really? Is that true? Bergs don't consist of water droplets; I'm not sure that the task is the same as spotting squalls.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 05:38   #7
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Dockhead, how close range do you need? Are you really going to use radar to check ice at 50' distance from your boat?! I refuse to believe that, you would use your eyes. Anything beyond 50' is also visible on a traditional radar like Furuno.

About target discrimination: don't let reviewers take you down that path as it leads nowhere. If you see an echo on a radar or two echo's very close, it leads to exactly the same results. Lots of talk is based on not seeing tugboat and it's tow as separate targets but that has been tackled 30 years ago and any modern radar will give you those targets clearly separated.

On accuracy: the targets on traditional radar are very accurate; better then you will ever need for navigation.

I would wait at least 5 years before buying 4G as I am almost sure it won't exist anymore, just like 3G before it. For technology as important as this, I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig and only use proven, solid gear.

ciao!
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 06:10   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Florida
Boat: FP Belize, 43' - Dot Dun
Posts: 3,428
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

I can't comment on the 4G vs. conventional radar except to say my Furuno does a really good job, I've never noticed short range issues.

WRT to the Simrad chart plotter, I've got some experience with the NSO, which is the BB version of the NSE. The user interface is very intuitive, easy to use. Very nice display and presentation. Performance of the NSO is very good, I assume the NSE would be close to the same. I've never compared charts but my C-Map charts on Furuno seem very accurate and you might consider that only Navionics is available on Simrad. A last word of caution - using the NSE, GS15, and AT10, your 0183 autopilot (if you have one) won't work. Simrad will tell you to use someone's GPS as theirs does not produce mag variation. The problem lies with the AT10 failing to convert mag variation from a source other than the GPS, a flaw in design IMO.

I applaud Simrad for their support of N2k even with the bug mentioned above (their proprietary connectors is irritating but I can deal with). With this, if you have a lot of 0183 devices and want to interwork, the Simrad is a little light on 0183 ports requiring more gateways.
__________________
DotDun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 06:11   #9
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Another plus with using the 4G radar is the low power usage while your in sailing mode.
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 06:41   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Simrad's 4G radars will also work with the B&G Zeus plotters if you want another plotter option.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 07:02   #11
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Dockhead, how close range do you need? Are you really going to use radar to check ice at 50' distance from your boat?! I refuse to believe that, you would use your eyes. Anything beyond 50' is also visible on a traditional radar like Furuno.

About target discrimination: don't let reviewers take you down that path as it leads nowhere. If you see an echo on a radar or two echo's very close, it leads to exactly the same results. Lots of talk is based on not seeing tugboat and it's tow as separate targets but that has been tackled 30 years ago and any modern radar will give you those targets clearly separated.

On accuracy: the targets on traditional radar are very accurate; better then you will ever need for navigation.

I would wait at least 5 years before buying 4G as I am almost sure it won't exist anymore, just like 3G before it. For technology as important as this, I wouldn't want to be the guinea pig and only use proven, solid gear.

ciao!
Nick.
I'm always glad to have my preliminary conclusions challenged, as that gives me the inspiration I need to recheck them again. One doesn't like to make the wrong choice when spending this kind of money.

But I have to say that I have seen screenshots from the 3G and 4G radar compared to regular radar, and the difference is night and day. Even if the technology is at an early stage of development, and will certainly get better and better, it seems to have already far surpassed regular radar for those purposes which are important to - well, at least to me.

As to close-in performance, I have never seen a conventional radar that could see even 200' much less 50' away, because of the Main Bang which blots everythign out. And that means that you often can't see channel markers in a thick fog, if you're in the channel, and if you can see them, they are unrecognizable blobs. Whereas with the broadband radar you can even make out the shape.

I am basing this on a lot of different sources of information. The current Yachting Monthly big radar test says all the same thing. And the Furuno radar came out as the worst of the lot they tested.

Here's an old test including the 3G:

http://www.pronav.no/gendocs/Practic...2011_Radar.pdf

and one of the 4G radar when it came out:

http://www.pronav.no/gendocs/4G_PBO_Article_Nov2011.pdf

I can't find the current test online yet.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 07:06   #12
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Simrad's 4G radars will also work with the B&G Zeus plotters if you want another plotter option.

Mark
Are they better? I am not familiar with them.

The Simrad plotters look very nice, although I am somewhat hesitant about the Navionics cartography. I use Navionics cartography with INavX and an IPad as a backup plotter, and the charts are less detailed than the CMapNT+ charts on my main nav system.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 07:34   #13
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

I would advice you to read more tests and hands-on reviews. When Furuno gets tested as worst of the radars you just know that you have a flawed test. I advise to read Panbo.com on the subject.

Here is my radar image in the marina; rings are at 300' and you can see the individual boats in the slips and empty slips. You can even see the boat in front of me leaving the dock:

This is an automatic everything setting; if gain would be adjusted manually, you get better target separation and less "blot" around own position.

About Furuno being bad and 4G good: compare the two images below and tell me which is Furuno and which 4G:


The second is Furuno with 24" radome... it is the better image and should put "4G is so good" sentiments to rest.

The 4G is the 3rd generation of this new radar type in as many years. Flaws are discovered and fixed in the next generation. The question is if you want to become part of that or, like me, have a good radar and watch developments with interest while not being affected by it.

ciao!
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 15:09   #14
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Nick, you're a bit pessimistic, while FMCW is new to yachts, its a common technology used in aircraft and military systems for years. Like all systems it had its advantages and disadvantages. When SIMRAD release the dual scanner software, having 4G and a conventional HD radar will be a fantastic setup.

Im not knocking 4G , SIMRAD are setting the agenda at the moment in regards yachts electronics and more power to them.

Furthermore Furuno make good radars so do all the other big 4 .

dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 20:20   #15
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Simrad Radar & Plotters

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Nick, you're a bit pessimistic, while FMCW is new to yachts, its a common technology used in aircraft and military systems for years.
And I don't deny the potential and watch developments with interest. What I saw was the introductions of:

BR24 - Feb 2009
3G - Apr 2011
4G - Oct 2011

And this is why I don't understand how one can't see this is a product in development. I think 5G is here but they don't dare introduce it yet, must first sell some 4G units etc. blah blah commerce.

ciao!
Nick.
__________________

__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
radar, simrad

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Series Drogues & Heaving To Dpoissant Seamanship & Boat Handling 123 11-11-2014 09:29
What to Buy - C&C or Northshore 38's briesey Monohull Sailboats 13 23-10-2012 23:51
Crew Available: From Panama to South Pacific & Australia/NZ tom1986 Crew Archives 3 16-02-2012 19:53
c&c 39 Pierre M Monohull Sailboats 5 15-02-2012 15:37
Simrad, N2K, RS87 and WR20 akio.kanemoto Marine Electronics 0 14-02-2012 00:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:19.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.