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Old 24-08-2017, 18:07   #1
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Which Garmin radome??

Planning to add a radome to my Garmin plotter to replace the ancient Raytheon. BUT there are several different 18" domes and I'm not clear which one to pick.

I'm looking at the GMR HD, HD+, xHD and Fantom.

Initial thoughts.

- HD. Basic model, oldest technology. Only benefit is it's cheaper. At the bottom of the list.

- HD+. Has low power standby mode, lower average power draw. However only model without dual rotation speed. Do I care? What does that get me?

- xHD. Garmin calls it the next generation from the HD and HD+. Claims higher resolution but no standby mode, higher power use than the HD+. Slightly smaller and lighter than the other 18" domes.

- The Fantom. The latest model. Doppler radar (shows objects moving toward or away from you in different colors), doesn't use a magnetron, lower power consumption, instant on, reads as close as 20' to the boat (but don't think I care about that). Read a few less than glowing reviews so unless I hear some raves this is also at the bottom.

Based in initial research the HD+ and xHD sound like the best options. I like the standby mode and lower power use of the HD+ but if the resolution of the xHD is a lot better then I can budget the power.
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Old 24-08-2017, 19:45   #2
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

You will most probably be blown away by the resolution by any of them going from your old Raytheon.. I have no other advice to give you, but I figured I would state the obvious. I'd probably get the HD+ for the reasons you state.
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Old 25-08-2017, 04:48   #3
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

The old Raytheon still works and does a pretty good job but it takes a lot of tweaking the tuning to get a good picture.

I am expecting to be blown away. I'm sure any of the Garmin models will be an order of magnitude better than the Raytheon. Plus a new Garmin will overlay on my plotter in the cockpit where it will be much more accessible and useful.

Just need to figure out exactly where I'm going to drop my next boat buck.
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Old 25-08-2017, 10:26   #4
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

I used the hd last year on a delivery and was blown away by how BAD the resolution was. But then, I'm used to furuno.
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:35   #5
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

Based on replies here (thanks Don) I'm narrowing the choice down to the xHD or the Fantom.

Anyone with experience on either?
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:56   #6
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

My understanding is that the HD, and the HD+, the old Raymarine analog and digital radars all offer similar performance. Digital vs. analog is not such a big differentiator by itself.

The Garmin xD and the Raymarine Digital HD are truly better radars with sophisticated circuitry that are probably the best radars offered today.

The Fantom (and the Ray Quantum or the 3G/4G) are lower performance radars than the Garmin xD/Ray HD but have instant on.

Thus, if you want to best recreational stuff, then it is Furuno, then Raymarine HD, then Garmin xD. Next is Fantom, Quantum, etc.

Just stay away from the simpler first gen digital radars that offered no benefit to the old analog.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:09   #7
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

Thanks Pizzaz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
My understanding is that the HD, and the HD+, the old Raymarine analog and digital radars all offer similar performance. Digital vs. analog is not such a big differentiator by itself.

That's been my opinion on a lot of things. Digital can be just a marketing buzzword and doesn't necessarily mean better in any way.

The Garmin xD and the Raymarine Digital HD are truly better radars with sophisticated circuitry that are probably the best radars offered today.

The Fantom (and the Ray Quantum or the 3G/4G) are lower performance radars than the Garmin xD/Ray HD but have instant on.

The instant on, lower power, etc are certainly in the plus column but NOT at the expense of resolution and better overall perrformance.

Thus, if you want to best recreational stuff, then it is Furuno, then Raymarine HD, then Garmin xD. Next is Fantom, Quantum, etc.

Just stay away from the simpler first gen digital radars that offered no benefit to the old analog.

Another general philosophy I follow. Never buy the first generation of anything. Version 1.0 software, forget it. First guy on the block to buy a flat panel HD TV? No I'll wait till the bugs are out and the prices drop. I'm feeling more and more that the Garmin Fantom falls into this category.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:30   #8
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

If you get the XD, let us know how it works for you. The boat I delivered is based in Maine and I told the owner he needed an upgrade. I was thinking open array (its a powerboat), but a better dome would be an option.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:16   #9
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

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If you get the XD, let us know how it works for you. The boat I delivered is based in Maine and I told the owner he needed an upgrade. I was thinking open array (its a powerboat), but a better dome would be an option.
Got a strong recommendation on power boat forum from a Garmin dealer (who didn't try to sell me one) for the Fantom for navigation, close in work running a channel, etc. Also got a few very good reviews from owners of xHD units. I'm thinking either one will do the job and the differences not dramatic.

I do like the lower power draw of the Fantom for a sailboat.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:20   #10
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Got a strong recommendation on power boat forum from a Garmin dealer (who didn't try to sell me one) for the Fantom for navigation, close in work running a channel, etc. Also got a few very good reviews from owners of xHD units. I'm thinking either one will do the job and the differences not dramatic.

I do like the lower power draw of the Fantom for a sailboat.
Did you write earlier that the xHD did not have a standby mode? How about a watchman mode where you can put it on a timer?

I'm about to embark on weighing the pros & cons of trying to repair my old analog Furuno or just get the Garmin. I already have compatible Garmin plotters so it would be a fairly easy install and I would eliminate two monitors.
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Old 03-09-2017, 13:30   #11
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

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Did you write earlier that the xHD did not have a standby mode? How about a watchman mode where you can put it on a timer?

I'm about to embark on weighing the pros & cons of trying to repair my old analog Furuno or just get the Garmin. I already have compatible Garmin plotters so it would be a fairly easy install and I would eliminate two monitors.
Well, I am a little confused about the standby issue. If you look at the Garmin website and compare the various 18" radomes the data shows specs for standby mode only for the Fantom and HD+. However a member reports standby mode for his xHD. I tried to view a manual for the xHD and Garmin only has an installation manual and refers you to the chartplotter manual since that controls the radar. In the manual for my 740s in the radar section is refers to standby mode and does not mention any models that don't include this feature.

My conclusion based on this and my limited experience with a few older radars is all the radars will go into a standby mode.
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Old 03-09-2017, 14:04   #12
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Well, I am a little confused about the standby issue. If you look at the Garmin website and compare the various 18" radomes the data shows specs for standby mode only for the Fantom and HD+. However a member reports standby mode for his xHD. I tried to view a manual for the xHD and Garmin only has an installation manual and refers you to the chartplotter manual since that controls the radar. In the manual for my 740s in the radar section is refers to standby mode and does not mention any models that don't include this feature.

My conclusion based on this and my limited experience with a few older radars is all the radars will go into a standby mode.
That would be my conclusion too. I'm looking at the 24's and think I saw both standby & watchman listed but I'll check again & post back if I see anything on the 18's.
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Old 03-09-2017, 15:31   #13
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

I bought the xHD and couldn't be happier with it. Good resolution, easy to install and hook up. But, have to be honest, I haven't been able to use it much.
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Old 03-09-2017, 16:19   #14
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Re: Which Garmin radome??

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Well, I am a little confused about the standby issue. If you look at the Garmin website and compare the various 18" radomes the data shows specs for standby mode only for the Fantom and HD+. However a member reports standby mode for his xHD. I tried to view a manual for the xHD and Garmin only has an installation manual and refers you to the chartplotter manual since that controls the radar. In the manual for my 740s in the radar section is refers to standby mode and does not mention any models that don't include this feature.

My conclusion based on this and my limited experience with a few older radars is all the radars will go into a standby mode.
Just to confirm for others reading this, my xHD has a standby mode. After it goes through its initial spin up, which takes about 30 seconds, it goes into standby mode. It also has a watch mode and guard zones.

I have a 721 display, which I think is the Canadianized version of the 740.
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Old 03-09-2017, 19:13   #15
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Which Garmin radome??

Last boat I had a 740S with a GMR 18HD.
In truth I think it's as good a Radar as my B&G 4 G, and a whole lot easier to use and install. It's the ease of use that in my opinion that is Garmin advantage.
For instance my B&G required a heading sensor for the Radar overlay to work, and the B&G install is several boxes all connected together.
The Garmin was just the dome connected to the display unit.
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