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Old 13-08-2011, 20:02   #1
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Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

We're pretty excited about getting our new arch in the next month or so. We initially got the arch for a future solar panel install (using as much real estate as possible), and as a dinghy davit. But, we recently got a great deal on a new radar, new in box. The guy who sold it also included a custom (read: homemade) backstay mounting pole for the radome. However, I'm having some concerns about it's weight on the standing rigging-it has to be at least 20-25 lbs. as it is made from S.S. scaffolding tubing. Plus, I'll have to fabricate or find some sort of fitting for the tubing to terminate to the pushpit railing.

So, my question is should I use the free backstay mount or actually use at least part of the radar arch or (gasp!) a radar?? Anyone have an arch with solar and an arch that has some pics?

Thanks for the ideas/opinions!

Frank
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Old 13-08-2011, 21:17   #2
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Re: Getting a radar arch, now where do I put everything??

Frank,

I have two 85 watt solar panels mounted atop the radar arch with the radar mounted on an 18" extension. If you have ordered the Beneteau arch, it is too low and requires the extension.
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Old 13-08-2011, 21:28   #3
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Nice. Just don't let people tease you about having a "roll bar" on your boat. I got teased when I got my A-frame installed.
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Old 14-08-2011, 06:24   #4
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Jim, thanks for sharing those pics. Yes, I did order the Beneteau arch, so good to know about needing that extension. I know you cruise extensively- have you noticed any solar panel shading issues caused by the radome? Would you go the same route if you could start from scratch?

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Old 14-08-2011, 07:50   #5
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

My radar works fine without the extension.



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Old 14-08-2011, 15:02   #6
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Interesting Rick!

I hate making this decision. I'm so flipply-floppy on where to put the radome. I had originally planned for the radome to go on the mast, solar on the arch, and all was good. Then I got that mostly-complete backstay mount, did some research, and found that mast-mounting wasn't the best, but neither was a backstay mount.

Am I right in thinking that the mast will probably have to come down to run the wiring from the radome to the chartplotter?
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Old 14-08-2011, 15:06   #7
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoPowers View Post

Am I right in thinking that the mast will probably have to come down to run the wiring from the radome to the chartplotter?
Think it can be done with the mast up. Just a long wire run and another hole in the deck.

Think it would be easier to mount the radome on the port side of the arch and panels on the rest of the arch. Mounting the radome on the port side will minimize shadowing sailing in the Caribbean or Bahamas as most of the time you're facing east or southeast at anchor.
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Old 14-08-2011, 17:14   #8
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

I've seen radar domes UNDER the panels.
Makes sense to me if you must put the radar there.
I finally moved the radar to the mast and have only solar on the arch, with stern light under so no shadows.
Shade canopy attaches at the same height as the panel, so still no shadows.
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Old 15-08-2011, 07:05   #9
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

I raised the radar on the pedistal to get the radiation away from direct impingement on the heads of the crew and guests when standing on the seats. When the radar is mounted atop the arch, it is only 18" over the heads of the crew. When approaching a mooring buoy, I used to stand on the seat for a better view until I installed the bimini.
The additional height of the radar results in a mere tenths of a mile of greater range. I did it only for safety reasons. I am sure if I were to stand in front of the radar long enough, some damage would occur (some say not ).
Shading is not a problem. As you can see from the attached photo, I have four panels, two atop the arch and two atop the bimini for a total of 430 watts. If any shading should occur, the other panels handle the job nicely. You have to expect some shading at some point with all the gear above the deck and the vagaries of sailing and mooring. My solution to this is to have a lot of solar panels, a wind generator and if needed, a Honda 2000i generator and if all else fails, the main engine.
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Old 15-08-2011, 07:37   #10
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

[QUOTE=senormechanico;751137]I've seen radar domes UNDER the panels.
Makes sense to me if you must put the radar there.
/QUOTE]

The PO (and builder) of our boat did just this. It is a very tidy installation, looks great, avoids sun damage to the radome... but sadly, the panels interfere badly with the radar operation if the boat is heeled at all. Absolutely blind to leeward, over about a 60 degree arc (more or less depending on heel angle). There is also the worry, if not the actual hazard of health issues from microwave exposure.

In short, DON'T do this! Correcting the problem after the fact is not easy.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:29   #11
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Point well taken about the microwave exposure. That's why I moved the radar to the mast.

Re the blind to leeward, when sailing I keep forgetting about that heeling thing.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:53   #12
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Quote:
A conservative approach is to
mount the antenna high enough so the
bottom edge of the beam (12.5 degrees
below horizontal) just kisses the bow
or is higher than that. At the very
least, people in the cockpit and people
belowdecks should not be in the beam.
http://www.atlanticyachtdelivery.com...ar.March06.pdf

I was a radar tech. many years ago, and yes, prolonged exposure can cause damage, especially to the eyes, if in close proximity. I know the jury is still out on microwaves causing brain tumors, but why risk it if you don't have to. Now marine radar found on most pleasure boats is pretty low power but why take the risk of doing damage to yourself or to your guests/crew? I think mounting the radar under the solar panels is putting the radar in a position where it may cause people harm. It certainly is putting the radar in a direct line with peoples heads.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:34   #13
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

We had an aluminum arch built,it has two built in seats ,handles our AB inflatable 9.5/ 15hp honda +2 /120 watt solarpanels , and our gimbaled radome on an 22'' extension.we sail exstensively on the atlantic coast bahamas etc have not had any problems with the radar or the solar panels,we had an extra exstension welded on for wind generator but have not found a quiet one yet Happy Ole
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Old 15-08-2011, 19:51   #14
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Good info guys. I think it is down to putting the radar on the mast or, like Jim and olepederson, shared on the arch with the solar panels. Really, I've come this far in doing everything right, and there's no sense in halfassing it now and compromising on my plans for the boat. I'm leaning on putting the radar on the arch based on Jim's and olepederson's input about shading not being an issue. Jim, my wife and I drooled over your boat's set-up. I envisioned the same solar layout you have...can we just copy your boat?

If anyone wants that homemade backstay mount, check the free-cycle dumpster near HHS T-dock tomorrow night.
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Old 15-08-2011, 21:16   #15
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Re: Getting a Radar Arch - Now Where Do I Put Everything ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoPowers View Post

....... and found that mast-mounting wasn't the best, but neither was a backstay mount.
it's all about compromise... and opinion. I'd be interested in knowing where mast mount is ""not the best" comes from.

My panels are on the arch, along with a lot of other things. Radar dome is on the mast. All happy. But I did labor over the same decision.
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