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Old 10-25-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Radar reflectors

Do you have one and how effective are they?

I have a cheapo that folds flat then when assembled it forms a sphere. Or at least sphere shaped when viewed from a distance.
It's made of some sort of shiny plastic cardboard.

Reports from other boaters indicates a good signature.


SD
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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RE: Radar reflectors

We have one. I hoist it when we will be in reduced visibility and when I* believe radar is being more utilized by others.

I think its a good idea to use a radar reflector. All the help you can give a radar return the better.

R.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #3
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RE: Radar reflectors

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skipperdude wrote:



Do you have one and how effective are they?


Yes.* Very.

We use the Davis (I believe that's the name) and have it mounted in the correct orientation.* While boats like ours put out a pretty good return on their own what with the engines, windlasses, masts, radar arches,*and other reflecting*hardware all or somewhat above the surface of the water, a reflector ensures a more consistent return.* So say the people who know about these things, anyway.

*
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:23 PM   #4
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Radar reflectors

Our boat a tubular reflector, like the one pictured. The advantage* over the spherical reflectors is that it's permanently fixed to the fwd. side of the mast, out of wind etc.
[img]download.spark?ID=816493&aBID=115492[/img]

-- Edited by ARoss on Monday 25th of October 2010 02:28:43 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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RE: Radar reflectors

I was told they work just as well in a box under the seat on the fly bridge.

SD
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:58 PM   #6
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RE: Radar reflectors

Hiya,
** GOOD question Mr. skipperdude.* I think we all want to be seen in a fog or low light/dark conditions.* I vaguely recal reading a test in Practical Sailor (I think) that found that a pie plate in the rigging was as effective as 75% of the reflectors on the market.**I wish I could remember which were the "best"* ones
*** Question:* Does having your OWN radar on make you more visible to other radars?
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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RE: Radar reflectors

Quote:
RT Firefly wrote:*** Question:* Does having your OWN radar on make you more visible to other radars?
I don't believe so.* I think I've seen discussions about this elsewhere and the conclusion was that it doesn't.* This is why there are transponders for airplanes, which are signal transmitters that are triggered by being "hit" with a radar beam that broadcast a signal defined by the number the flight crew dials into the transponder.* This data then shows up on the air traffic controllers' radar*display*and helps distinguish one generic "blip" from another.

Another example is a Racon buoy.* Around here these buoys are used to mark important intersections or turning points of shipping channels.* They transmit a distinct signal that is picked up by*the radar on* your boat as a pattern unique to that buoy.

But if we are cruising along and there is another boat out in front of us or wherever, the reflected signal from it on our display does not change if he turns his radar on or off.* We've tried this when cruising with friends and the reflected signal as shown on our display did not change.* We have a Furuno NavNet VX2 with a 24" enclosed antenna.* It may be that there are radar sets out there that do display a different return if that target has a radar turned on, but I'm not aware of them.*

I beleive a vessel (or plane) has to be broadcasting a separate signal, automatically or triggered, in order to affect the target you see see on your display.

*
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:57 PM   #8
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Radar reflectors

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:

I was told they work just as well in a box under the seat on the fly bridge.

SD
I can verify this is true at least up to a couple of miles.
A few years ago a pair of boats from my marina passed me on their way to a destination in the same direction. As they passed I noticed the nice square radar blip they both had. I commented on that via VHF . One boat was my marina neighbor and he had the Davis reflector mounted high inside his flybridge enclosure.
The other boat was an express cruiser and I asked Leo where he ended up mounting his because the images were the same.
He responded it was still under the helm seat.
I followed their blips for several miles and as they turned into an anchorage almost out of sight the blips were still identical.



*


-- Edited by jleonard on Monday 25th of October 2010 04:58:15 PM
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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RE: Radar reflectors

Having radar will not make your vessel show up on someone elses radar PPI (screen). an
exception is when you see a pinwheel like pattern on your screen, this is interference from someone nearby operating their radar. The "IR" button on your radar cancels this effect-interference rejection.
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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RE: Radar reflectors

Always a good idea to ask whether your reflector is being effective, whenever you get the chance. Then you will know for sure.
Whenever I pass a boat that gives no or very poor return, I try to inform them, so they can do something about it.
On one trip with 5 other boats, a passing boater remarked that 5 of the 6 of us gave good returns. The sixth went promptly to the marine store and bought a better RR.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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RE: Radar reflectors

I have a radar reflector mounted atop my dry stack. I know the boat shows well from when we used to run in and out of Vancouver harbour. Vessel Traffic Services told me so.

It is an unattractive aluminum, UGLY, unit about 12" a side, mounted catch rain posiion.
I could make it pretty but it has served well for many years, pretty wouldn't fit my boat.

I see many of these things mounted in all kinds of manners. They may/will work but the reflection back may vary a lot. They do need to be mounted properly or you may think you are seen and not be.

There are several other designs such as shown above that are more attractive or less ugly and can be mounted in any manner although size matters.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:28 AM   #12
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RE: Radar reflectors

Good report:
http://offshore.ussailing.org/SAS/Ge...ctor_Study.htm

http://www.rozendalassociates.com/reflectors/

http://www.tri-lens.com/trilensweb12002001.htm

And an active reflector
http://www.sea-me.co.uk/
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