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Old 05-05-2015, 06:50 PM   #21
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I think we are all strenuously agreeing with each other. Right tool for the right circumstances.

Though I would note, have been the length of the ICW a few times, at least 80%, more like 90, is not confined enough to obliviate picking up weather. I subscribe to and regularly use the good weather radar sites too, had locations bookmarked along the entire eastern seaboard all the way back to the Blackberry days, but they do not place my boat at the middle of the screen, nor do they track the relative bearings and collision point of my boat and the weather. And yes, we have anchored, tucked in, hoved to, slowed down, sped up all a few times as a result. To be sure, we were also out in blue water perhaps more frequently than others, but certainly did our time inside.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:46 AM   #22
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I ordered the 24" HD and a Ray A128 MFD. Before ordering I almost posted another question about digital v HD radome. But I decided to just get it over with and ordered the HD.

Looking at Markpierce's picture - which I'm guessing is "digital" (?) and not "HD" - I'm wondering if I over-killed for my situation with my decision. That photo looks far beyond what I'm used to and certainly safe for PNW navigation.

We aren't looking for squalls, birds or, as mentioned, ever looking more than 3 or 4 miles - usually more interested in .125 miles in pea soup.

Anyway, I'm committed. But maybe someone else can benefit if anyone advice. There isn't much I have found on the www.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:34 AM   #23
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If by "digital" you mean the typical radar withl LCD-type screen that's been around forever, we've certainly found it to be more than adequate for our boating in this area.

Not saying that an HD radar isn't any better but once we upgraded way back when from our dying hood-required CRT Raytheon 2600 to the Furuno NavNet VX2, we have never found ourselves wishing for a better radar, either in function or display. And we do a fair amount of boating in the fog, particularly in the fall and winter.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bradenvlp View Post
...

Looking at Markpierce's picture - which I'm guessing is "digital" (?) and not "HD" - I'm wondering if I over-killed for my situation with my decision. That photo looks far beyond what I'm used to and certainly safe for PNW navigation.
...
Don't know, but whatever, it's merely a C70 Raymarine setup with an 18-inch radome. ... I rarely expand range beyond a mile or two because of the restricted waters here in the SF Bay/Delta.


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Old 05-06-2015, 08:24 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bradenvlp View Post
I ordered the 24" HD and a Ray A128 MFD. Before ordering I almost posted another question about digital v HD radome. But I decided to just get it over with and ordered the HD.

Looking at Markpierce's picture - which I'm guessing is "digital" (?) and not "HD" - I'm wondering if I over-killed for my situation with my decision. That photo looks far beyond what I'm used to and certainly safe for PNW navigation.

We aren't looking for squalls, birds or, as mentioned, ever looking more than 3 or 4 miles - usually more interested in .125 miles in pea soup.

Anyway, I'm committed. But maybe someone else can benefit if anyone advice. There isn't much I have found on the www.
You can't have too good a radar. If you cruise enough, you will come to appreciate that. If you set it at .125 while the boat is underway, you are going to hit something, or something will hit you. There are some very good discussions of modern radar options on The Hull Truth's Marine Electronics forum, if you scan back through the archives.

Get a copy of The Radar Book by Monahan, the best guide I've seen for learning how to use one and all it can do for you. And once you have it installed, use it all the time; it's on the clear days when you learn what it is picking up (or not), and a safer time to play with all the functions like MARPA.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:05 AM   #26
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Thanks. I'm rather comfortable reading a radar and have been doing it for many years. Im not sure where I implied that I'm not. I'm less comfortable with the differences in the new innovations. There seem to be digital models with each manufacturer which seem to be taking an analog signal and converting to digital. There is also HD (4g, etc depending on manufacturer) which is a pure digital signal. It gives you color. I'm not sure that is better or just cool.

In our waters it is not unusual to find yourself running at 2 or 3 knots because you have trouble seeing your pulpit in the fog. Or to be trying to get into the marina without being able to see the breakwater on either side. Close range becomes very, very important.

We almost never have a need to look beyond 3 -5 miles as it doesn't matter to me what is on the other side of the Island.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:16 AM   #27
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Thanks. I'm rather comfortable reading a radar and have been doing it for many years. Im not sure where I implied that I'm not. I'm less comfortable with the differences in the new innovations. There seem to be digital models with each manufacturer which seem to be taking an analog signal and converting to digital. There is also HD (4g, etc depending on manufacturer) which is a pure digital signal. It gives you color. I'm not sure that is better or just cool.

In our waters it is not unusual to find yourself running at 2 or 3 knots because you have trouble seeing your pulpit in the fog. Or to be trying to get into the marina without being able to see the breakwater on either side. Close range becomes very, very important.

We almost never have a need to look beyond 3 -5 miles as it doesn't matter to me what is on the other side of the Island.
I tend to agree....if you only have one radar on board...it better be useable down to several hundred yards....that's where absolute target discrimination matters the most. In fog on the ICW, I often run with it at 0.25 miles....and at times go lower.

Next most important to me is picking buoys out of a choppy inlet....while I tend to really trust GPS and it's backup GPS....I really like to be able to verify my nav with seeing the buoys on radar.

Every other feature of the radar is just gravy.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:41 AM   #28
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Any comments on the new Simrad Halo solid-state open array radar? Read about it on Panbo this morning. The reviewer seems to be impressed but I am not so sure what is different and have a suspicion the software issues reported by Twisted will show up in this radar also.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:50 AM   #29
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Any comments on the new Simrad Halo solid-state open array radar? Read about it on Panbo this morning. The reviewer seems to be impressed but I am not so sure what is different and have a suspicion the software issues reported by Twisted will show up in this radar also.

Over hyped. They'll probably release with half the code written and the other half will take a year. "Everything on Panbo is the next biggest thing"--Peter H. Very accurate.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:16 PM   #30
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.125 , 750 feet, is just cutting it too close in my opinion. You may be going 2 knots (200 feet a minute), but the guy that is going to hit you will be going much faster, often, insanely fast. Even if he's only going 8 knots, that makes your closing speed 45 seconds. The craziness that one sees on the screen in dead low visibility is, well, just crazy. In a very narrow passage, such as some parts of the ICW or the CA Delta sloughs, we will typically have it at .25 and someone on the bow listening. In practice, I'm working the range up and down depending on conditions and how much of the channel is radar visible (usually a lot of it in low country like the subject areas).

The Radar Book is excellent regardless of your experience. And for you PNW folks, pretty fun since he uses that area as his template. And with a new piece of machinery especially, but in general as a best practice, having the radar on all the time when underway and manipulating it is very helpful.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:53 PM   #31
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The Radar Book is excellent regardless of your experience. And for you PNW folks, pretty fun since he uses that area as his template. And with a new piece of machinery especially, but in general as a best practice, having the radar on all the time when underway and manipulating it is very helpful.
I did buy this book and it was informative, but way outdated. i.e. AIS Class B has not yet been approved for use in the USA.......
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:05 PM   #32
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The Radar Book is a good text for someone who hasn't had any experience at all with radar. But as Sea says, it's getting a bit dated in terms of the technology unless the book has been updated recently.

As to using 0.125, 0.25 and 0.50, I agree that running with that range as the constant setting is kind of unproductive and could be dangerous. However, one of the first things I learned about radar years ago from the captain of the Matsonia, a 600-foot roll-on/roll off ship I rode and filmed on from Oakland to Hawaii, is that it is not a "static" instrument. It's an instrument that is most valuable when it's being "played" by an operator. (This was the captain's analogy which I've never forgotten.)

When we run in fog, one of us drives and the other one operates the radar. The position of the display in our boat is such that both the helmsman and the radar person can see the display.

Depending on the location and situation, we are frequently changing the range and changing the gain. This give us the big picture as well as the close-in picture, and changing the gain gives see things like crab pot floats right in front of the boat and then targets that are farther away in a less-cluttered view.

In a narrow passage that may be only a few hundred yards wide, running at anything over 0.125 or 0.250 makes the passage so tiny on the display that picking out targets in the passage is difficult to impossible.

We run our radar all the time regardless of the visibility. Even in good visibility we "practice" the technique of changing range and gain, comparing what we see on the display to what we see out the window, and we'll often use the bearing and range lines to track other vessels just to stay current on the procedures.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:23 PM   #33
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There were times when I'd receive a strong radar signal but it would disappear when I approached and never saw any object. Finally realized that one of warning spheres on the high power lines crossing Carquinez Strait was radar reflective and that I was passing under it.
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