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Old 14-02-2011, 17:19   #1
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Simrad Broadband Radar - User Reports Wanted

The new Simrad/Northstar/Lowrance Broadband radars (technically, "frequency modulated continuous wave") radars are supposed to be very good at picking up small objects at close range. But the experts say they possibly suffer from interference from the traditional Pulse radars, and also possibly from reflections from on-board objects (such as a mast, if the radome is mounted on a back stay). I would greatly appreciate any reports by users of these radars on the above, and any other general comments pro or con. Thanks much.
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Old 14-02-2011, 18:15   #2
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I have used a new Simrad radar recently (could be the newest one in their line). Definitely it was a (HD? broadband?) top and the smallest of their screens on the bridge. All new from factory.

It was same as anything else on the long range.

It was better than average on the very short range (within cables off the boat).

I like Simrads a lot (the screen), I think their UI sucks though - took me a long while to guess which button to press to get into the settings I required (biased, personal). Maybe this is not an issue if you use only Simrad.

Furuno beats nearly everything else on the UI front. I would love to try one of their equivalents (if they have one).

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Old 14-02-2011, 19:52   #3
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RE;Simrad Broadband Radar--User reports wanted

I have installed a Simrad broadband scanner approx. 4 months ago with an Northstar 10" screen (all Navico products). The radar works great and I have not noticed interference from other radars. I sail in Galveston bay where we have the Houston ship channel with large ships passing by, operating both their X and S band scanners.

I have a (43ft) ketch and the scanner is mounted in the mizzen mast, half way up and I have no interference of the main mast on any range. The electronics have no problem filtering that out I guess.

The short range is good, much better then conventional radars. Longer range is indeed less as Simrad already indicates themselve. The short range is as advertised very good. In reality you will never use it on less then 1/8 mile range (can go down to 300ft range and have great picture). There is simply not enough reaction time to do anything if working on less then 1/8 mile range.

I have experience with conventional Furuno radars and do find their longe range capability and clarity better. However Simrad clearly indicates this to be the case. Up to the 6 mile range, Simrad broadband is crisp and clear. Over that, I think you will start to see that comventional takes over in quality, however the broadband radar still displays everything up to the 12 mile range, just not alwasy as crisp and clear as a conventional Furuno for example.

So in short in my experience there is no interference from other ships and there is no interference of mast etc. The question you need to ask yourself is where do you want to use your radar for; (A) close quarters such as entering an harbour or bay at night or sailing through an field filled with offshore oil platforms, or (B) do you want to detect small showers at longe range and see a container vessel heading towards you at 22 knots at 24 miles range. Both valid points. I installed it to take care of (A) and is doing a great job at it. I am very pleased with it.
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Old 15-02-2011, 08:58   #4
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Thanks much to both barnakiel and Mundinho. These are exactly the kinds of reports I wanted.
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broadband, radar, simrad, wanted

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