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Old 19-12-2012, 18:10   #46
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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
But it might show targets that don't have an AIS transponder. Look out!! What's that 100 ton bucket of rust behind me doing?
So true. Maybe somewhere all the rust buckets have the AIS installed and on, but not where I have cruised. Seems it is either OFF or NonOP on many big ships. AIS is an interesting gizmo, but almost useless for avoiding collisions. Use my radar daily. Sometimes I see the AIS targets on OpenCPN, but that is kinda "So what?"

Radar is pretty handy for either seeking or avoiding squalls. And as said above for calibrating iffy charts.

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Old 19-12-2012, 18:41   #47
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post

You're Welcome..

Funny RDF Story (for some).

We have a late 70's era Seafix RDF that kind of looks like a lunch-box on a pistol grip handle with a hand bearing compass sitting on top and a pair of earphones that we thought was the penultimate “high technology” gear when we got it. At one point, in the time before we had Radar and before we had fully embraced GPS, we were fog-bound near the mouth of the northwest entry channel to our harbor. As there was an RDF transmitting station at the foot of the channel, one could limber up one's RDF and sail “down the beam”, into the harbor in a pea-soup fog, ticking off channel marks as one passed each in turn. While hove too at the channel mouth, taking the first swing with the RDF, a small motor cruiser passed us at dead slow, close abeam. We waved to the helmsman as he passed and were surprised when he suddenly slowed, reversed course and idled up to our windward rail. “Has there been some kind of accident?” he questioned, “Is everything okay?” “Why yes, I think so” I responded “everything's good with us, why do you ask?” “Well” he answered “I saw you using that Gieger Counter thing and I was worried that there might have been a problem at Diablo Canyon I needed to know about, so I thought I’d better ask!” “Ah… Nope. Nobody glowing hereabouts that we know of” I responded. “Gee thanks” he sighed, “that's a relief”, and with that, sped of into the gloom. “Do you believe that?” I asked my tired, chilled, damp, (much) better half. “At this point I'd believe anything that would get us anchored and a bowel of hot soup. Get moving Buster!” And so we did, faithfully following the Null on our “Geiger Counter”.

And we still have the old girl today (the Geiger Counter that is). And, she still works.


Sometime in that same era (late 70's), we went for a cruise Down East on a friend's C&C. He had this weird handheld whistler radar that sounds like a similar-looking device. The operator stood on the foredeck with headphones and swept the device port and starboard listening for a whistle when there was a return. It got us into Corea Harbor in a full-on pea soup fog so I guess it worked. This was in the days before GPS and it was great at picking up returns from ATN's. I can only imagine how much microwave radiation we were zapping ourselves with when we used it.

- David
S/V Sapphire Tartan 40 #71

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