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Old 21-06-2013, 10:53   #31
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

[QUOTE=delmarrey;1266505]
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Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post

That's the point of this thread, is to find a happy medium w/o spending a small fortune on electronics that I may never use. I'd like the GoFree wifi but one needs the NSS (touch screen), but I'd rather have the NSE, and Furuno doesn't use wifi at all. But sometimes I hate touch screens!
I still need to get a good laptop too.

I've waited until the last (on boat rebuild) to buy electronics. Now it's time. I just don't want to over do it.
LOL

I well understand.

But you are going on an odyssey which all of us dream about, and exceptionally few actually do. You deserve at least basic marine electronics.

If I were you, I would buy a Simrad 4G radar and a 7" B&G Zeus plotter. Sell the Garmin stuff. It's vwry little money and brilliant function. Less than 3k.
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Old 21-06-2013, 10:58   #32
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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If I were you, I would buy a Simrad 4G radar and a 7" B&G Zeus plotter. Sell the Garmin stuff. It's vwry little money and brilliant function. Less than 3k.
The garmin radars are quite good as are their plotters, Very good bang for your buck. The Op will not go wrong with garmin gear.
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:22   #33
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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The garmin radars are quite good as are their plotters, Very good bang for your buck. The Op will not go wrong with garmin gear.
I agree - long-time Garmin user here - but he doesn't have an MFD. He will start from scratch on any case. Starting from scratch, I would probably not go Garmin, which is not to say that there is anything odious about the Garmin stuff.
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:51   #34
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Off the top of my head I think the Philippines fishermen platforms are often about 10x10ft, maybe 15x15ft. Hard to tell when you are sailing by quite fast on a multihull! (which makes them even more of a worry)

On the note of 4G broadband radars, are those better for this kind of small target scanning <1-2mi vs. what Raymarine/Garmin market as HD? We currently have Garmin GMR 18 radar on board, and could easily upgrade to Garmin GMR 18 HD, just not sure it would be worth it, or even comparable to 4G... Panbo reviews of Garmin GMR HDs seem underwhelming but date from 2008-09...

I have been informed by a fellow who services both the older pulse type and the current "digital/HD/broadband/4G" (whatever!) type that given the same height of radome, the older type excel at spotting weather and land (reefs, in this case) and the newer ones are better at short (under 4 NM) ranges for birds, small vessels, awash contaniers and other objects of interest.

The short version: Want range? Stay old-school. Want definition? Go new radar.

That's a very broad generalization, but I've heard the phrase "don't be so quick to chuck out the old Koden/Furuno/JRC unit" to give it some consideration.

The newer radars draw considerably less amperage, and "fire up" faster, but if you have a 4G on constantly due to range concerns, this advantage lessens.

So I suppose the absolutely best solution would be a mast-mounted pulse radar you fire up when you suspect uncharted reefs or the barometer's dropping and you want to steer between squalls, and a stern-pole mounted, gimballed 4G unit for seeing the guys in the panga at 3 AM, or the gap in the reef entrance 500 metres ahead in the mist.

If I were in East Coast fog, I would opt for 4G, as the waters are well charted and the weather can be known by other means, and the harbours are crowded and the pilings and rocks are hard.

In the S. Pacific? I think I would want early warning for squalls and a good sense of where the reef is 16 NM out. I'm not saying a well-installed and tuned digital unit couldn't manage this, but I get the strong impression a good operator of a more traditional radar in the 2-4 KW range might get better results. Even on early '80s, elderly radars, I've seen well-defined squall lines and thunderheads well offshore and have been able to steer between them. Keep the water out of the drinks!
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Old 21-06-2013, 11:58   #35
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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I'm going to post in more detail on this, but my Simrad (B&G) 4G radar has turned out to have a lot more range than I expected, actually a lot more than the Pathfinder 4kW radome system it replaced.
Interesting to me as it contradicts (or rather debates) what I just posted.

Maybe you're right and the range nut has been cracked. If the range and performance is now equal in some models with conventional radars, I think the newer units have a clear advantage.

As for integration, I prefer that a stand-alone radar have the ability to send its display to a PC of some description so that a nav program can optionally overlay some sort of chart. I think if you are aware of "operator error" issues like heads up vs. North display, it's really not hard to co-ordinate what is (the RADAR and AIS information) with what should be (the electronic chart and lat/lon.). Charts, after all, are representation of reality, not reality. The bridge crew on USS Guardian were steering to a chart, I think, not looking out the window.
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Old 21-06-2013, 12:01   #36
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

I have a Garmin setup and like it:

If i were doing this today I would be hard pressed not to look at the Raymarine e7D (the smallest one they make, as I wouldn't be using it much) which I would then connect by wifi to as many iPads as I want around the boat.........
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Old 21-06-2013, 12:19   #37
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

It makes no sense to have seperate radar and nav screens and increasingly anyway its impossible to have such a setup anyway. Most newer radars todays are "smart" which means the picture processing , etc are all done in the radome and essentially the MFD is just a "telly".

The advantage of networking is that now you can have multiple display each displaying what you like, DOnt like overlays, then display chart on one radar on another, loose one display and you still retain all the functionality of the system as you can display all data on one screen.

There is simply no advantage to not integrating and many disadvantages.
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Old 21-06-2013, 13:45   #38
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

Not to be a "nit picker", but just to clarify things....terminology is getting mixed up here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I have been informed by a fellow who services both the older pulse type and the current "digital/HD/broadband/4G" (whatever!) type that given the same height of radome, the older type excel at spotting weather and land (reefs, in this case) and the newer ones are better at short (under 4 NM) ranges for birds, small vessels, awash contaniers and other objects of interest.
1) S/V Alchemy, "digital" and "HD" radars ARE klystron-based pulse-type radars (i.e. "older types"), with digital signal processing and higher definition/higher resolution processors.......the "broadband" / "4G" are solid-state FMCW-type radars (Frequency-Modulated-Continuous-Wave), the "newer ones" as you put it...

I just didn't want others here to be further confused....



2) Also, some more details...
a) Although a fairly irrelevant point as most here never need or use ranges in excess of 16 miles....
When affordable "broadband" marine radar first came out, it WAS significantly worse in "ultimate range" and long-range target reliability, but the newer "4G" FMCW radars are better in this regard, but the newer "digital or "digital HD" pulse-type radars are still better in long-range target acquisition and reliability...
Although some anecdotal info does run contrary to these facts, most of this is comparing apples to oranges....meaning that many are comparing their new "4G" radar to an old (aged and possibly worn-out klystron) basic analog pulse-type radar....when compared on even footing the pulse-types still win in the long-range acquisition / reliability, and the "4G" wins in the very close range / target separation...

b) Overall power consumption has always been a very over-hyped issue...as most of the power consumption comes from the "display" and not the radome...(a 12" full-color, full-sunlight-readable MFD uses about 60% - 65% of the power with its associated 4KW/24" pulse-type radome using about 35% - 40% of the power consumed....approx.!!!)
So, if you reduce the radome's energy use by 2/3's, and still have a power-hog of a display, you've only saved about 20% of your overall radar energy consumption....(this IS good, but not as much as the marketing-hype suggests)

c) The instant-on / no-warm-up feature of solid-state FMCW radar, means that you do not need to keep the thing in "hot-standby" (using quite a bit of power) like you do with a pulse-type radar that takes approx. 70 - 90 seconds to come up on transmit...
This further saves on power consumption...





3) There's a lot more to all of this....
But, I don't want to drift the thread....just wanted to clarify some terminology..


Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-06-2013, 13:58   #39
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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Consider the boat he has and you will understand why his sense of scale is a bit skewed.
Point taken. On a constructive note though i'm very happy with my old Furuno. Still going strong after an estimated 20 years and does everything it's supposed to. When it dies i won't replace it though - i don't think a radar is that important in the tropics.
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Old 21-06-2013, 14:21   #40
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

I like Furuno 1623 best. I used many bigger and fancier units and did not find them any better than that most basic and 100% reliable, readable unit.

I also like the new Simrad (red label, I believe 4G (?)) - with which I have played extensively in port - it feels light ages ahead of a standard color radar found commonly on many sailing boats.

My general advice is to get:
- proper radar operating course/skills,
- a unit that is 'compatible' with your interface preferences ( I love Furuno, I hate Ray, I tolerate Simrad, etc.),
- a small dome and hang it (if at all applicable) on a hinged (preferably self-adjusting) tower on the stern.

The last comment probably not important if you have a cat.

b.
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Old 21-06-2013, 19:11   #41
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

Just a quick question for clarity regarding 4g features.
Does 4g have anything to do with cellular connections or wi-fi?
Is the 4g feature limited for coastal use so as to be able to pick up a land based signal?
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Old 21-06-2013, 19:32   #42
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

1) For your clarification....
Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Just a quick question for clarity regarding 4g features.
Does 4g have anything to do with cellular connections or wi-fi?
Absolutely NOT....




Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Is the 4g feature limited for coastal use so as to be able to pick up a land based signal?
2) NO...Nothing at all to do with any land based signals....







3) Simrad "4G" radar is a solid-state (as opposed to a Magnetron) FMCW (as opposed to pulsed) radar....
And, for further info, FMCW radar has been in use in aircraft (radar altimeters) for decades and decades....and recent advances in technology has allowed this to be "affordable" for marine target radar...




4) Quite honestly, I've never understood the "3G" and "4G" nomenclature (nor even "broadband") in regards to solid-state FMCW radar....
I know "3G" and "4G" are generically used for "third generation" and "fourth generation", but considering the over-use of these monikers these days (and usually in regards to data comms with phones/pads/computers), their use in describing a "new" marine radar seems like a mistake (at least in my opinion..)



I hope this helps..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-06-2013, 20:26   #43
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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1) For your clarification.... Absolutely NOT....




2) NO...Nothing at all to do with any land based signals....







3) Simrad "4G" radar is a solid-state (as opposed to a Magnetron) FMCW (as opposed to pulsed) radar....
And, for further info, FMCW radar has been in use in aircraft (radar altimeters) for decades and decades....and recent advances in technology has allowed this to be "affordable" for marine target radar...




4) Quite honestly, I've never understood the "3G" and "4G" nomenclature (nor even "broadband") in regards to solid-state FMCW radar....
I know "3G" and "4G" are generically used for "third generation" and "fourth generation", but considering the over-use of these monikers these days (and usually in regards to data comms with phones/pads/computers), their use in describing a "new" marine radar seems like a mistake (at least in my opinion..)



I hope this helps..

John
s/v Annie Laurie

John,
Excellent and consise.
Thank you,
endoftheroad
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Old 21-06-2013, 20:39   #44
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

i an a happy Garmin user. Have a 4210 plotter and the 18hd radar which i switch on and off all the time as needed when offshore. It has worked perfectly (in fact it is startingly clear) all the way to the Carib where we cruised for a year and back and forth to Bermuda and up and down the east coast. wouldnt hesitate to get it again. Customer service hasnt been needed for any malfunctions because there havent been any but they were great when my laptop got stolen with all my charts on it. I would suggest you go to a boat show and play with all the demos the various manufacturers have. I did that and picked Garmin and have never regretted it.
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Old 22-06-2013, 00:12   #45
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Re: Which Radar? Offshore/S. Pacific

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LOL

I well understand.

But you are going on an odyssey which all of us dream about, and exceptionally few actually do. You deserve at least basic marine electronics.

If I were you, I would buy a Simrad 4G radar and a 7" B&G Zeus plotter. Sell the Garmin stuff. It's vwry little money and brilliant function. Less than 3k.
I'll keep the Garmin plotter on my pedestal and buy an MFD something or other. If I go with a Garmin MFD I can still use the maps/cards that I have, for the overlay.

So far it seems I'm going to need a MFD, Radar, AIS and GPS combo. But today I was also looking at the electronic compass on the Garmin unites. Here we GOOooo! There seems to be sooo much stuff one can add to the MFD's now. I found too that a 10" is about as big as I really want to go.

I wonder if the Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS Transponder would integrate into these systems?
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