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-   -   Gen 3 Radar (http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s4/gen-3-radar-25454.html)

tedted 04-01-2016 12:30 PM

Gen 3 Radar
 
Hi Folks, I'm getting ready to by a budget radar. I am curious if the gen3 radar sets are worthwhile. These units are pretty much the bare bone basic units offered.
I live and plan to stay in the Great Lakes region and want the unit primarily for the rare fog conditions and occasional night time use. I really can't swing a larger unit and I'm not interested in whistles and bells. So, are these units worthwhile or are they a waste of money.
I'm considering Garmin, Furuno, Raymarine and Lowrance as they all make a gen3 unit. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

High Wire 04-01-2016 01:33 PM

Only Simrad/Lowrance makes the "3G" radar which is the base unit of their broadband type radar. The others make basic versions of "standard" radar that has been used for years. If you have no ties to older equipment to match up, then go for the Simrad/Lowrance 3G.

makobuilders 04-01-2016 01:50 PM

But now Garmin and Furuno also have come out with solid state radars:
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Furuno NXT & Garmin Fantom, Doppler marine radar is here!

psneeld 04-01-2016 02:28 PM

I have no personal experience with the 3 and 4G radars.


Some say they are great...some say they are about equal to the average digital radar in OVERALL performance. The big difference is close aboard...less than 100 feet or so they really shine and maybe out to 300 or so feet thay have a tiny edge. Past that ,the same till you get out 15 miles or so for the 3G where regular radar seems better and the 4G is good but not better out to 30 or so.


Again...this is from trusted friends and other professional captains...and far from scientific. Best to play with one till you are sold on it...

tedted 04-01-2016 04:13 PM

Allegedly gen3 or 4 are supposed to see out to 48 miles... I sort of doubt that. My main interest is under 5 miles and up close in tight channels etc.. Any navigation I'd be doing with radar would be well within this range. It would be nice to see ugly storms though. Does anyone feel the gen 3 radars are a total waste of money?

psneeld 04-01-2016 04:37 PM

No...Gen 3 radars are not a waste of money.

Unless headed offshore these days...I just use a radar app on a smart phone that blows boat radar away...outside of cel range...well yes good radar is nice.

Gen 3 supposedly was pretty limited in range.... Gen 4 good out to 30-40 miles depending on who you believe.

In VERY close...yes the broadband radar is supreme...but plain old digital will allow you to cruise up tidal creeks 100 feet wide and if calm, pick up crab floats and birds.

The absolute most useful feature to me for radar is picking up small buoys in crappy conditions in rough inlets. Fog inshore...big deal I can always stop. But if I have to enter a breaking inlet in rough conditions in limited vis or night...I want to know where those buoys are.

And I can not say without a doubt which is better...and neither can my professional mariner friends with experience with them. So till I get my own hands on one...I went 24 inch, 4kw digital...works for me and was cheaper with the package I chose.

tpbrady 04-01-2016 05:00 PM

The big new feature on the Furuno and Garmin radars is the use of doppler to ID moving targets automatically. That's a big deal at any range especially in close. I am not sure what I need to track at 48 miles unless I am trying to triangulate my position by radar bearings off of distant points of land. The radar horizon on most trawler installations for surface targets is far short of 48 miles.

psneeld 04-01-2016 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tpbrady (Post 429375)
The big new feature on the Furuno and Garmin radars is the use of doppler to ID moving targets automatically. That's a big deal at any range especially in close. I am not sure what I need to track at 48 miles unless I am trying to triangulate my position by radar bearings off of distant points of land. The radar horizon on most trawler installations for surface targets is far short of 48 miles.

48 miles isn't the horizon for severe weather...even 72 miles was too short for me sometimes offshore.

ARPA has been around for awhile for tracking targets...how does the Doppler work differently? (only guessing it actually sees the movement rather than some abstract calculation ARPA probably used)....

TDunn 04-01-2016 06:07 PM

If you want to see out 30 miles you are going to have to mount your antenna pretty high. My radar is 19' above the waterline. Based on Furuno's radar horizon calculator (Radar Horizon Calculator) I can see a 10' high target at 9 miles and a 40' high target (ship) at 13 miles. So 30 miles range is of no value to me except that a 30 mile range capable radar will give better returns at my 9-10 mile maximum usable range.

psneeld 04-01-2016 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TDunn (Post 429388)
If you want to see out 30 miles you are going to have to mount your antenna pretty high. My radar is 19' above the waterline. Based on Furuno's radar horizon calculator (Radar Horizon Calculator) I can see a 10' high target at 9 miles and a 40' high target (ship) at 13 miles. So 30 miles range is of no value to me.

Cant see the beach...but you can see a 20,000 foot thunderhead quite a ways out...well over 72 miles...

And I have, and I have chosen a course through bad stuff long before the bases were visible.

Not everyone cares or uses this feature...but fish 60 miles offshore with summer buildups over land that cut you off...and it's pretty useful....maybe lifesaving knowing how many have been out there and those that never came back in similar situations.


Even my 24NM radar has saved my bacon numerous times in my sportfish and assistance towboat before smartphones.


I could see the same feature useful if you did a lot of alongshore travel out of cel phone range and those times coming back to Florida from the Bahamas....depending on your schedule.

High Wire 04-01-2016 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tedted (Post 429365)
Allegedly gen3 or 4 are supposed to see out to 48 miles... I sort of doubt that. My main interest is under 5 miles and up close in tight channels etc.. Any navigation I'd be doing with radar would be well within this range. It would be nice to see ugly storms though. Does anyone feel the gen 3 radars are a total waste of money?

Lowrance 3G is a 24 mile radar. 4G is a 36 mile radar. You will still need a compatible display $1000+. So you are looking at least $2400 for 3G setup without installation.
Now you can buy an excellent Furuno 1715 stand alone radar and display complete for well under $2K. Its not 3G but it will do what you asked. You did say BUDGET radar.

kchace 04-01-2016 08:07 PM

I just bought all new Lowrance Plotters and the 4G radar. I won't be trying it for myself for another 6 weeks or so, but I did a lot of research and the radar/chart overlay, close in capabilities and high level of target separation at closer distances are what appeal to me the most.

Ken

twistedtree 04-01-2016 08:58 PM

I've owned both 4G and conventional 4KW, both 24" domes. I was really unimpressed with the 4G, and found nothing useful that it did better than the 4kw dome, and many things that it did worse.

In terms of nothing useful that it does better.... yes, 4G can detect the boat next to you in a slip, but who cares. Even in the worst fog you can see beyond the close-in blind spot on conventional radar (about 75'). To me it's much more important to see things from a distance and as they come closer. Having crystal clear vision as I hit them is not very useful. And from 75' and to about 1/2 mile, I have found the 4kw dome to be as good in all ways as the 4G.

In terms of things that it does worse, here's a blog entry with a video (and other info that might be relevant). It's a tug and barge about 2 miles away, and the 4G can't detect it. Part way through the video I switched to a conventional radar and it shows up right away.

Other issues are in the blog too. If there are racons in your area (there are in most major ports), the 4G won't trigger them. The 4G is also susceptible to interference from nearby conventional radars. The more powerful the radar, the more blinding the interference. So the bigger the boat (the bigger the radar), the more likely you are to become blinded as you get closer and need the radar the most to avoid getting run down.

The 4G looks and sounds great on paper, but in practice a small conventional digital radar performs much better. Since my experiment with the 4G I have outfitted two boats, and with both I went back to conventional digital radar.

Searios 04-02-2016 03:47 AM

The new Simrad Halo radar looks really good, expensive though...

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: How Simrad Halo works, 12 radars in one!

Wxx3 04-02-2016 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twistedtree (Post 429430)
...

In terms of things that it does worse, here's a blog entry with a video (and other info that might be relevant). It's a tug and barge about 2 miles away, and the 4G can't detect it. Part way through the video I switched to a conventional radar and it shows up right away.
...

Peter, See that's your problem. Don't you know by now that digital is the new reality.:whistling: If it doesn't see it, it doesn't exist.:hide:

My mother had the same problem: she'd call me on my cell and since she heard it ringing, If i did not answer, it meant I chose not to answer it.:facepalm:

And PS, you know that they tout that range not because people are curious what's happening at 20,000ft, but becasuse 95% of the buyers assume they are referring to the surface and don't even ask about the suspenion of the laws of physics.

Oh wait, I forgot, those Laws were suspended by the Digital Internet Act of 1998.

psneeld 04-02-2016 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wxx3 (Post 429664)
Peter, See that's your problem. Don't you know by now that digital is the new reality.:whistling: If it doesn't see it, it doesn't exist.:hide:

My mother had the same problem: she'd call me on my cell and since she heard it ringing, If i did not answer, it meant I chose not to answer it.:facepalm:

And PS, you know that they tout that range not because people are curious what's happening at 20,000ft, but becasuse 95% of the buyers assume they are referring to the surface and don't even ask about the suspenion of the laws of physics.

Oh wait, I forgot, those Laws were suspended by the Digital Internet Act of 1998.

Al Gore again? :D

Dang...how did some of us figure out all this stuff before the internet? So Al did some good? :thumb:

Time to buy that cabin on a mountain lake and downsize to an Old Town canoe. :socool:

tedted 04-02-2016 06:36 PM

Raymarine has a package out with the gen3 radar and 7" A78 multi function display. It's going for about 1800.00 including a transom transducer (I'd rather have a thru hull). I like the idea of the unit having wi fi and an app to tie your multi function to your phone or tablet. It would be nice for those times when the weather gets unruly and I'd like to retreat to the lower helm without buying another display.
I've had pretty good luck with the Raymarine equipment although it sometimes seems a bit more complicated than other manufacturers units. Does anyone have any experience with this model?
Didn't Al say the internet was an "Inconvenient Truth"?....

Capt.Bill11 04-02-2016 09:04 PM

The reality is, a 20 year old unit in the hands of some one who really knows how to use and interpret it is vastly more useful than a brand new latest greatest unit in the hands of some one who has little idea of what to do with it and little idea of what they are seeing on the screen.

Your ability to properly adjust and interpret a radar picture is far more important then if you have the latest unit.

Spend some of your money on education.

twistedtree 04-02-2016 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wxx3 (Post 429664)
Peter, See that's your problem. Don't you know by now that digital is the new reality.:whistling: If it doesn't see it, it doesn't exist.:hide:

My mother had the same problem: she'd call me on my cell and since she heard it ringing, If i did not answer, it meant I chose not to answer it.:facepalm:

And PS, you know that they tout that range not because people are curious what's happening at 20,000ft, but becasuse 95% of the buyers assume they are referring to the surface and don't even ask about the suspenion of the laws of physics.

Oh wait, I forgot, those Laws were suspended by the Digital Internet Act of 1998.

And it's 3G, so it must be better. But wait, now there's 4G which must be even better. Oh, and how could Halo be anything but divine.

I think a big part of the issue is that most recreational boaters will use only 1 radar, or maybe 2 in their whole lives, so have little to nothing to compare against. If little dots show up on the screen, success is declared. It's nobody's fault as people aren't born knowing about radars. I just got lucky and the first one I really used extensively happened to be a good one, so when I started using the Simrad radars including the 4G, they stood out, and not in a good way.

twistedtree 04-02-2016 09:59 PM

Oh, and it's not that I'm a total Luddite. I actually really like technology and made a career out of building the stuff. I just have very little patience for stuff that doesn't work.

markpierce 04-02-2016 10:19 PM

I'm mostly interested in under five-mile range.

http://www.trawlerforum.com/attachme...6ff53acb8f.jpg

Peter B 04-03-2016 02:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twistedtree (Post 429430)
I've owned both 4G and conventional 4KW, both 24" domes. I was really unimpressed with the 4G, and found nothing useful that it did better than the 4kw dome, and many things that it did worse.
The 4G looks and sounds great on paper, but in practice a small conventional digital radar performs much better. Since my experiment with the 4G I have outfitted two boats, and with both I went back to conventional digital radar.***

Twisted, I don't doubt what you say...and I have never own RADAR, and now never will, although I would have loved it to 'play' with, but what bothers me is the fact that as Broadband 3G, and now 4G, is only a relatively recent invention, and I know roughly how long you've had the Nordy, how on earth have you had time to do this***? Are you sure the types you are comparing it to are the broadband 3 & 4G the rest are talking about..? My reading about it is they perform better than you describe, that's all...

One other claimed benefit no-one has mentioned is the much lower power output, and therefore power requirement, and the fact they are therefore much safer to be near while the RADAR is operating, something often quite tricky on smaller vessels.

psneeld 04-03-2016 06:25 AM

Post #4

"The big difference is close aboard...less than 100 feet or so they really shine and maybe out to 300 or so feet they have a tiny edge. Past that ,the same till you get out 15 miles or so for the 3G where regular radar seems better and the 4G is good but not better out to 30 or so."

Post #13


"yes, 4G can detect the boat next to you in a slip, but who cares. Even in the worst fog you can see beyond the close-in blind spot on conventional radar (about 75'). To me it's much more important to see things from a distance and as they come closer. Having crystal clear vision as I hit them is not very useful. And from 75' and to about 1/2 mile, I have found the 4kw dome to be as good in all ways as the 4G."


Pretty similar for "general opinions"....

what_barnacles 04-05-2016 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 429371)
I just use a radar app on a smart phone that blows boat radar away

well? Inquiring minds wanna know. :flowers:

psneeld 04-05-2016 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by what_barnacles (Post 430774)
well? Inquiring minds wanna know. :flowers:

lots of them....just pick one you like.

I use MyRadar because it loads fast.

Capt.Bill11 04-05-2016 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter B (Post 429767)

One other claimed benefit no-one has mentioned is the much lower power output, and therefore power requirement, and the fact they are therefore much safer to be near while the RADAR is operating, something often quite tricky on smaller vessels.

Urban myth.

http://www.bcmea.com/CMS_Content/HS_..._June_2013.pdf

twistedtree 04-05-2016 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter B (Post 429767)
Twisted, I don't doubt what you say...and I have never own RADAR, and now never will, although I would have loved it to 'play' with, but what bothers me is the fact that as Broadband 3G, and now 4G, is only a relatively recent invention, and I know roughly how long you've had the Nordy, how on earth have you had time to do this***? Are you sure the types you are comparing it to are the broadband 3 & 4G the rest are talking about..? My reading about it is they perform better than you describe, that's all...

One other claimed benefit no-one has mentioned is the much lower power output, and therefore power requirement, and the fact they are therefore much safer to be near while the RADAR is operating, something often quite tricky on smaller vessels.


It was definitely a Simrad 4G broadband, and a Simrad TX10s 10kw pulse radar that I initially installed on the nordy. At the time the 4G had been out for a good 2 years. The firmware running in them is still dated 2012, and I commissioned in 2014, so that gives some sense of it's age at the time. At the time Simrad was the only company with this type of radar. Now it's available from everyone. I have no idea how the other vendors' products perform, only Simrad because that's the only one I've used. And as a slight aside, broadband radar has actually been around for a very long time. It was invented about the same time pulse radar was invented back in the 40s. It's availability in the recreational market is what's new.

It's human nature to herd around what you "believe" is true, and in my opinion that's largely the case with the Simrad 4G radar. I too really believed all that I read when I bought the 4G, but in using it came to see that it performed quite differently, and had some other unspoken down sides that I found to be quite significant. Of course the marketing brochures are silent on those topics.

Power consumption is one of those "facts" that just keeps getting circulated over and over again, but in reality the power consumption is NOT much different. I think it's been discussed elsewhere on this site, but as I recall the 4G power consumption is around 20W and a Furuno 4kw dome is 24W. It's less, but of very little significance.

As for time, I installed the two pulse radars on the nordy almost exactly a year ago, detailed in the blog. I also just installed another 4KW dome on a 28' open boat.

I should be clear that I don't necessarily have an issue with broadband technology, or chirp, or swept frequency, or whatever you want to call it. It's all the same concept, and it very clever. I think as in most products, it all comes down to the implementation, and some are good while others are not. I'd love to get my hands on the broadband radars from the other vendors to see how they work.

I think it's really unfortunate that there is no good source for objective and thorough test data on marine navigation products. Magazines just repackage the press releases and brochures provided by the manufacturers. Believe me, I spent years feeding them the stuff. Panbo is a slight improvement, but not much. There's just very little good critical review out there.

Peter B 04-06-2016 05:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 (Post 430799)

WELL, BUGGER ME, Capt. Bill...I'M SHATTERED..!

Oh, and thanks for the explanation Twisted...I knew there'd be one.

You learn something new every day. I'm still disappointed I'll never get to play with RADAR.

tedted 04-09-2016 11:01 AM

Hey folks, Thanks for the input. I decided to up the budget a touch and go with Raymarine's new quantum CHIRP Radar and E7 7" display. I'll find out if it was a bad move I guess. From what little I could find it stands with the Simrad gen 4 pretty much.
The main reason I went with the Raymarine is they seem to be in the forefront with the use of Wi Fi and Bluetooth as near as I can tell. The idea of using an inexpensive tablet as another multifunction display really appeals to me. Especially being wireless. The E7 also ties to smartphones so you can have a remote viewer in your pocket. Don't know why I'd need it but who knows. Thanks again...

Donsan 06-14-2016 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tedted (Post 431877)
Hey folks, Thanks for the input. I decided to up the budget a touch and go with Raymarine's new quantum CHIRP Radar and E7 7" display. I'll find out if it was a bad move I guess. From what little I could find it stands with the Simrad gen 4 pretty much.
The main reason I went with the Raymarine is they seem to be in the forefront with the use of Wi Fi and Bluetooth as near as I can tell. The idea of using an inexpensive tablet as another multifunction display really appeals to me. Especially being wireless. The E7 also ties to smartphones so you can have a remote viewer in your pocket. Don't know why I'd need it but who knows. Thanks again...

Would you have anything to report on how well the Raymarine Quantum radar works?

makobuilders 06-16-2016 02:45 AM

Radar power
 
How significant has anyone found the power output to be in real life usage of their radars? Since the boats that we generally use will typically mount the antenna at 15-20 feet high, range is limited. So the difference between 4 kW versus 6, 12 or 25 kW I suppose is going to affect punching through rain. Does it greatly affect definition, is it really worth spending the extra money on all that power?

AKDoug 06-16-2016 12:36 PM

I have 3G, and was a radarman in the Navy. The broadband is great close up, and for finding large ships if you are near shipping lanes, but is pretty much useless in my experience past about 3 miles out. Even land masses don't show correctly 10 miles away and often don't show well even 5 miles away.

If I were going offshore I wouldn't consider broadband alone as acceptable radar. It is great in fog, close up and finding an anchorage in the dark and poor weather. It is nothing like "real" radar with 20-30 mile range and a beam that can damage you if you stand in the transmit periphery.

You get what you pay for...

Donsan 06-17-2016 07:34 AM

What I am really interested in is how well the WiFi works transmitting to the MFD and/or iPad or PC.

cappy208 07-17-2016 02:32 PM

Jumping on a RADAR topic: Have any of you had a dome mounted on the front of a flybridge and then changed it up on a mast? Any difference in pic? Worth it for a clear pic behind you? I'm wondering about the need for a clear pic aft, when these seem to be just 'pick your way home' through the harbor quality radars. I was wondering about trying the dome initially IN the flybridge and seeing how much performance is lost through the glass.

The Quantum Chirp seems to put the Simrad to bed. And I am not fond of Simrad product support anyway.

bashu 05-02-2017 06:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by High Wire (Post 429337)
Only Simrad/Lowrance makes the "3G" radar which is the base unit of their broadband type radar. The others make basic versions of "standard" radar that has been used for years. If you have no ties to older equipment to match up, then go for the Simrad/Lowrance 3G.

what mount Di you use?

cappy208 05-02-2017 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donsan (Post 452422)
What I am really interested in is how well the WiFi works transmitting to the MFD and/or iPad or PC.



Well, Not having broken out another B.O.A.T. Buck for a Chirp (since I had to buy a new shaft) I can't comment on the radar wifi.

But I can comment on the plotter wifi to IPad, IPhone.

The raymarine display is great in sunlight. The iPad display just isn't to the same standards. My work around is to use the iPad only down at the salon helm. The ray marine touchscreen is WAY more visible in sun, and outdoors.

Although it is not clear, the manual states you can wifi connect "A" remote to the primary unit via wifi. I have not purchased the chirp radar yet, Am hoping that I can connect wifi the scanner AND the second display both wirelessly. I put in a question on the ray marine forum. Not only did I not get a reply, raymarine completely dumped the forum!

There are two apps. One is RayRemote . The other is rayview. As the name implies, The remote lets you use touchscreen iPad to operate the main display. But I find it lags. Good as backup, or extra display. But nothing like the real screen. The view is just that. What is displayed in the real screen is just shown on the iPad.

I found the iPhone to be too small to be useful.

johnrupp 05-02-2017 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cappy208 (Post 549534)
Well, Not having broken out another B.O.A.T. Buck for a Chirp (since I had to buy a new shaft) I can't comment on the radar wifi.

But I can comment on the plotter wifi to IPad, IPhone.

The raymarine display is great in sunlight. The iPad display just isn't to the same standards. My work around is to use the iPad only down at the salon helm. The ray marine touchscreen is WAY more visible in sun, and outdoors.

Although it is not clear, the manual states you can wifi connect "A" remote to the primary unit via wifi. I have not purchased the chirp radar yet, Am hoping that I can connect wifi the scanner AND the second display both wirelessly. I put in a question on the ray marine forum. Not only did I not get a reply, raymarine completely dumped the forum!

There are two apps. One is RayRemote . The other is rayview. As the name implies, The remote lets you use touchscreen iPad to operate the main display. But I find it lags. Good as backup, or extra display. But nothing like the real screen. The view is just that. What is displayed in the real screen is just shown on the iPad.

I found the iPhone to be too small to be useful.



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