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Old 03-12-2021, 06:23   #1
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unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

I have picked up for a song, an unused Sea-Me active radar enhancer, unfortunately the control box is missing. From the instructions provided it appear all of the electronics are in the antenna itself, which would appear to be born out by the fact the antenna only has a brown and blue wire connection. I am guessing that if I connected those to a power source it would work, but the control box has an on/off switch, a power LED and another LED that indicates when the device is being interrogated, it also has connections to attach a small audible alarm. The company no longer exists but the device was highly regarded when they were in production but I believe price was an issue so they went out of business. My question is, does anyone have one of these and do they know what's inside the control box (wiring diagram or photos if it's not too complex). As I said, there are only two wires (positive and negative)from the antenna so it cannot be very complex. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 03-12-2021, 16:26   #2
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Well, if you are sure that the leads are indeed power leads, y ou could hook it up and have someone nearby turn on their radar and look for an enhanced echo.

However, if the missing box had an indicator for activity, I don't see how the wires could be solely for power supply. How would the signal from the antenna get to the indicator?

It is an interesting gadget, so I hope you can get it working!

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Old 03-12-2021, 17:08   #3
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Hi Jim, I was thinking about that and I think it probably has a simple current detector circuit that senses when the current increases above a certain value, which it does every time it is interrogated, so it has a passive and active mode and when the active mode activates, the current increases and the warning light and an optional warning buzzer sounds. I would just need to be sure that connecting the two wires to a 12v power source isn't going to damage the unit. The specs. for the device mention the active and passive modes and their respective current draw. I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to build an electronic circuit that senses when a particular current is exceeded and it would then turn on an LED and in turn an alarm buzzer. It even mentions that the alarm must not exceed a particular current draw so I'm guessing it would not need to be a high power device, considering that the specified fuse is a 1/2 Amp fuse. If I recollect, the passive mode is 0.2Amps and active mode is 0.4 Amps. The power has got to use those two leads but I'm just not sure if it uses 12v or is somehow reduced for some reason.
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Old 03-12-2021, 17:50   #4
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Mart, thanks for those thoughts... and quite likely you are correct. Still, IMO the alarm feature is of little importance compared to the enhanced return signal to the interrogator. Consider being in any commercially active area where there are multiple vessels that employ radar routinely. Bloody alarm would go ballistic! I suppose you could deactivate it in such cases...

But at sea, being pretty sure than any nearby radar would get a big blip from your boat is comforting for sure!

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Old 04-12-2021, 02:41   #5
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Hi Jim, I agree up to a point, but I could always turn the buzzer off, however, having the ability to a) know that it is working and b) knowing when something is nearby interrogating the device, is useful as well. On other posts, folk have been extolling the virtues of AIS which I have (class B) but I have had experienced several instances of large vessels (VLCCs) coming down or up the Solent and not painting on my AIS despite all other vessels fitted with AIS, clearly painting on my display, and those are vessels I can plainly see, close enough to read their names. I have called up Southampton VTS on these occasions and asked if the vessel is transmitting and they have confirmed that they are. I don't know why I am not seeing them but the point is, in poor visibility, either in the Solent or when crossing the English Channel or Irish Sea, it would be a comfort to KNOW that you are being "seen" (as evidenced by the alarm light/buzzer going off.) rather than hoping the device is working. As I understand it, bridge Officers often don't look at their radar unless they get a proximity alarm and this device gives a large enough return to trigger that alarm. If I cannot see them either visually or on AIS, then at least they can see me on both and ask my intentions if their is a crossing situation. Think TSSs of which there are several around Britain and across the Channel. I am going to have a word with a couple of local Marine Electronics Service companies and see if any of them are familiar with the device and whether they can help.Hopefully they will have a lot more knowledge than I and be able to tell me or help me ascertain if I can connect it directly to a 12v source. Once I have established that, the rest should be reasonably straight forward. Considering this device was around £1000 when new and I picked it up unused for £220, it would be a shame to damage it by putting the wrong voltage on it and a great boon if I can get it working.
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:02   #6
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
I have picked up for a song, an unused Sea-Me active radar enhancer, unfortunately the control box is missing. From the instructions provided it appear all of the electronics are in the antenna itself, which would appear to be born out by the fact the antenna only has a brown and blue wire connection. I am guessing that if I connected those to a power source it would work, but the control box has an on/off switch, a power LED and another LED that indicates when the device is being interrogated, it also has connections to attach a small audible alarm. The company no longer exists but the device was highly regarded when they were in production but I believe price was an issue so they went out of business. My question is, does anyone have one of these and do they know what's inside the control box (wiring diagram or photos if it's not too complex). As I said, there are only two wires (positive and negative)from the antenna so it cannot be very complex. Any help would be much appreciated.
I am following this thread because I have one of these on my boat.
I think it took a nearby lightning strike and it hasnít worked in years, but since I havenít had the mast down it is still sitting up there.
I didnít know that the company was out of business.

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:32   #7
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

ďSEA-MEĒ THE ACTIVE RADAR TARGET ENHANCER
USER HANDBOOK
2005 ➥ http://www.cactusnav.com/files/SEA%20ME.pdf
2001 ➥ https://hobbydocbox.com/Radio/120298...mber-2001.html
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:51   #8
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

The Echomax X/S Dual Band Active Radar Enhancer with alarm is the up to date version.

It not only gives an enhanced radar reflection but also alerts you when it's painted by radar so you know a boat/ship is nearby

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/c...D_BwE#132=1546
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:13   #9
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Thanks you all for the various replies, GordMay, I have the handbook with the item but there is no circuit diagram. As for the Echomax, I don't believe it is an up to date version of the Sea-me. They were for sale concurrently for quite a few years independently from two different companies until Sea-me went out of business about three years ago. The Sea-me was built and designed by basically a one-man band outfit based in UK and designed by a Peter Munro who built them himself and was also the main company director along with his wife. Echomax are a different Company and I believe are possibly American.
Al (S/V Finlandia) if your unit is not working would you be interested in selling me your control box, even if it is not working, I should be able to backward engineer it?
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:47   #10
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
The Echomax X/S Dual Band Active Radar Enhancer with alarm is the up to date version.

It not only gives an enhanced radar reflection but also alerts you when it's painted by radar so you know a boat/ship is nearby

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/c...D_BwE#132=1546
Ah! I see it is the Echomax that I have and not be see me.
Glad to hear that they are still in business as it was a great product while it was still working. I see that it costs $100.00 more now than it did when I bought mine.

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Old 04-12-2021, 07:54   #11
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

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Originally Posted by svfinlandia View Post
Ah! I see it is the Echomax that I have and not be see me.
Glad to hear that they are still in business as it was a great product while it was still working. I see that it costs $100.00 more now than it did when I bought mine.

Al, S/V Finlandia
Did yours work as advertised as in did it sound the alarm (if selected) when painted by radar?
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:57   #12
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

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Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
Thanks you all for the various replies, GordMay, I have the handbook with the item but there is no circuit diagram. As for the Echomax, I don't believe it is an up to date version of the Sea-me. They were for sale concurrently for quite a few years independently from two different companies until Sea-me went out of business about three years ago. The Sea-me was built and designed by basically a one-man band outfit based in UK and designed by a Peter Munro who built them himself and was also the main company director along with his wife. Echomax are a different Company and I believe are possibly American.
Al (S/V Finlandia) if your unit is not working would you be interested in selling me your control box, even if it is not working, I should be able to backward engineer it?
Bad wording on my part.

The EchoMax is an up to date unit that is still being manufactured. It's EchoMax not the old Sea-me

You can order it online.

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/e...-rte-7727.html
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:14   #13
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

The Sea-me radar enhancer was the first to come out with the dual band enhancer 20+ years back. (Echomax had originally only brought out a single band enhancer).
Echomax then brought out a dual band enhancer. They both provide the same information, enhanced radar signature, warning light and/or buzzer alarm. Whether they are the same internally, I doubt it, unless Echomax infringed Sea-me's patent or bought the rights to the design. I always thought the Sea-me was the better design because it incorporated a dual band enhancer and in fact the yachting press in UK enthused over the Sea-me design at the time. it was just so d**n expensive and I had better things I could spend my hard earned pennies on.
If I can get this one going, it will be a bargain. I seem to recall that despite it being dual band it was not that much more than the single band Echomax(very expensive), but still too rich for me. The Echomax model although slightly more expensive now than it was back then, is now much more affordable, taking into account inflation.Thank you all for your contributions. I'll try to remember to keep you posted if I am successful.
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Old 14-12-2021, 07:01   #14
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Re: unused Sea-me active dual band radar enhancer control box

Hi all, last word on this subject. My analysis of how the control box worked, proved to be correct. Reading the instruction manual including the troubleshooting notes, elicited the fact the box senses when the current increases and that is what triggers the warning light/alrm and the trouble shooting section confirmed the voltage to the antenna is 12V. In the mean time, a friendly marine Electronics Engineer I know sourced two original Sea-Me control boxes for me so it just remains for me to connection up, test it works and affix to my vessel.I intend to 'borrow' an idea from the newest Echomax radar enhancer, and put an all round red LED light on top of the antenna wit an all round green at the base. This is supposed to be much more see-able at night that the traditional tri-light, and has been cited in several accident avoidance instances as being a big help. Thanks for all your help. keep safe. Martin
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