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Old 02-03-2014, 13:38   #31
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
Matt,
How do you get the radar to talk to the PC? When I bought my radar I researched this but was told the only way was by using software that cost more than my MFD. We also use OpenCPN so the MFD is used only for the radar (and the stereo).
Hi Mike, is pretty easy, but the br24 radar plugin for Open CPN still has some issues - development continues...
If you look on the OpenCPN radar thread, I've posted some wiring diagrams. As you have an MFD though, yours would be different. Does the MFD have a "spare" ethernet port? If so, then a patch cable to the PC should work I think - but there are others who have done this. I don't want to hijack this thread, so send me a PM or have a look at the other thread.
Cheers
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:06   #32
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

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The advantage in power consumption of 3G radar is not so great in use, but 3G radar is truly instant on, so some people save power by keeping their 3G radars in standby most of the time.
That would be appealing to me, not so much in clear daylight, but on nightwatch or with a guard zone set up.

On the old KODAN and Furuno sets I've played with, considerable fiddling with gain settings was required to "see" thunderheads and squall fronts, but once you've figured it out, you can get a great deal of information from radar "avoidance bearings". There have been occasions when the boat's been bracketed by lightning strikes and downpours on either side while motoring in a dry corridor, thanks to "radar weather reporting".
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:29   #33
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

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That would be appealing to me, not so much in clear daylight, but on nightwatch or with a guard zone set up.

On the old KODAN and Furuno sets I've played with, considerable fiddling with gain settings was required to "see" thunderheads and squall fronts, but once you've figured it out, you can get a great deal of information from radar "avoidance bearings". There have been occasions when the boat's been bracketed by lightning strikes and downpours on either side while motoring in a dry corridor, thanks to "radar weather reporting".

I have never managed to see weather with radar. I think there was something wrong with my old radar set, which was somehow limited in range despite my having replaced the magnetron.

It sounds very useful, so I'll try to figure it out with the new radar.


I generally leave my radar running all the time. The 4G radar is more free from clutter than pulse radars I've seen -- I guess better signal processing. This greatly improves the practical effectiveness of guard zones since there are many fewer false alarms, and so I've starting using guard zones quite actively. It really helps backup the watch, I think, by sounding off in case some object appears. For example, I almost smashed into a big channel marker buoy in Brittany a couple of years ago -- just didn't see it for some reason -- would have been an utter disaster -- the radar guard zone really gives you some backup against such cases.

I have even used the guard zone at anchor -- I spent five days at anchor in Ushant last year in a howling gale, anchored out with the big ships in deep water, and I was concerned about the Douane cutter swinging into me in the night, so I just left the radar running and set a guard zone.

So I don't really use the instant-on capabilities of this radar, myself.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:26   #34
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

Fair enough. I am familiar with those big Brittany channel markers: the ones at Port Navalo and the one near the pink house approaching Vannes. The dings they would leave wouldn't buff out.

There's an interesting test of new radars vs. rain here:

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Simrad NSS8 & Raymarine e7, with radar in the rain

I agree about the guard zones, which of course when set properly can show when it's you swinging into someone else, as can happen, alas.
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Old 03-03-2014, 17:05   #35
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

Hello,

This is a good read !

I am planning an upgrade from a very old Raymarine radar.

With the 3G or 4G, does that still require a sat dome to be above or below (not in direct signal path). Kids are at the age they want to be in the saloon with the TV and Computer until we set anchor and dive in the water. The best baby sitter while adults gather top side :-)

Alan
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Old 03-03-2014, 17:26   #36
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

By sat dome do you mean the actual radar dome or a unit down below for visibly showing the radar?
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Old 03-03-2014, 17:33   #37
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

Hello,

An actual Intelian 45cm satellite TV Dome.

I would like to buy one, and I am aware that the traditional radar is best above or below a sat dome.

Was curious if the 4G is the same.

Alan
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Old 03-03-2014, 18:53   #38
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

Are you mounting your satellite TV on a mast? I would never mount radar above a satellite TV antenna.
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Old 03-03-2014, 23:10   #39
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Re: Any Lowrance 3G radar feedback?

Hello,

That has always been the rule for traditional radar, and reason I Ask if that has changed with the 4G radar. As it is a broadband radar. Does that still hold true, or not matter any more ?

Alan
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