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Old 08-31-2016, 01:14 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Fletcher500;474931

I am doing an upgrade early Q1, and going with the Simrad Halo open array. I realize it has some shortcomings, like any system, but for a combination of short and long distance, low rad, and good user interface with the MFD, it's the package I like the best.[/QUOTE]

We installed a Simrad 4G Broadband radar a couple of years ago and are mostly very happy with it. It suits our needs perfectly as we cruise the BC coast which typically hems us in enough so that 15 NM out is rarely seen.

A couple of disappointments that we encountered after coming from a Furuno 4 KW system:

1) Radar does not keep a north up setting even though there is a setting for it. (it does so when used as overlay mind you.)

2) Radar does not have trails.

Simrad support told us that they were not going to fix those issues.

Those may or may not be issues for you, and/or they may be fixed in their Halo products, but I thought I'd give you a heads up.
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Old 08-31-2016, 01:18 PM   #22
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There are always the exceptions to the rule..or apples to oranges arguements.

Broadband in close supposedly beats open array...so as I posted before...what do you want your radar to do best or what it MUST do in all circumstannces.
I will say...I have a crappy 15 year old Raymarine Pathfinder....I was surprised at how well it works. I have seen some extremely expensive set ups that were ok but I was shocked at the fact that they weren't that much better than mine.

THEN, I get on my buddy's boat(Hatteras 47 SF) and he has the latest and greatest Raymarine Digital broadband with 15 inch displays. I have to admit, I was blown away!!!!. We were painting cars on a bridge 5 miles away. I don't know how much better you need it to be at that distance. Not sure you could tell me that Broadband sucks at longer distances. I did not take him to task for any longer distance but the detail at 5 miles was amazing.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:46 PM   #23
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You asked about doppler, but getting mixed into the discussion is broadband vs pulse, along with small antenna/wide beam vs large antenna/narrow beam. Each affects performance in different ways, and of course they all inter-relate in various ways.

I think you can only do doppler with broadband, so they go hand in hand. And I'm pretty sure Furuno is the only company using doppler to assess movement and color targets according to danger level. To me this is a very useful feature derived from broadband, and highly applicable in the consumer market where people are not trained on radar operation and understandably need/want simple operation.

The other feature Furuno has recently introduced is their target analyzer. This is available in the NXT broadband radar, and also in their new dedicated pulse radars. It constantly analyzes all targets so when you click on one for ARPA, it comes up right away (or at least much faster than traditional ARPA). This too seems like a really useful feature, but note that it does not depend on broadband to do it.

If you bought a NXT radar you would get both of these capabilities, and personally I find that very compelling.

But, there are a few potential down sides to broadband that are typically swept under the rug. I say "potential" because I think, with varying levels of success, vendors do tricks to work around these inherent problems. But if I were evaluating the NXT radar, I would want to understand how these issues are handled. They are:

1) RACONs. Major buoys are often equipped with RACON and will return a strong, identifiable return. Broadband radars typically don't trigger RACON, so this navigation tool is rendered ineffective.

2) Interference from pulse radars. I found this to be a really serious issue with the Simrad 4G. When you get swept by a bigger pulse radar, it creates interference spikes radiating from your boat on your radar screen. This article shows an example screen shot of a mild case. The worst I encountered was a crossing ferry, and as the ferry got closer, my radar became increasingly unusable due to the interference. This is one of those dangerously escalating problems where the closer a boat comes the more you need your radar to track it, yet the more unusable the radar becomes. In engineering and math this is known as a positive feedback loop. The Tacoma Narrows bridge is a well know example of a positive feedback loop.

Anyway, I expect over time vendors will get better and better at working around these inherent broadband issues, but if I were considering the NXT radar, I'd want to hear Furuno's position on this, or better yet, find people using it and see what they say. My policy still holds that if a vendors lips are moving, they are spinning a story in their favor. The less charitable version is that they are lying.

A lot of people know that I've been very critical of Simrad's radars (pulse and broadband alike), but in all fairness I can't say that broadband technology is inherently good or bad or better or worse than pulse. It's what you do with it that counts. It has some inherent pluses and minuses, and everyone will have to decide what matters to them, hopefully based on factual info rather than repeated miss-information. But broadband or not, I think Furuno has some really useful new features, including at least one that is only possible with broadband and dopper.

Oh, and back in your original question you wondered about a 4KW dome vs NXT vs a larger open array. I think for typical trawler cruising a 4kw dome is just fine and will give you 90% of what a larger open array will do. So unless that extra 10% matters, I'd save the money and stick with a dome, either 4kw pulse or NXT.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:19 PM   #24
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I have the 4G now, and I agree with you. I also found some issues with painting targets at a distance, but I think my original install has some issues so I can't blame the radar. the Marpa function has been erratic, but that is a whole different subject. I think TT has documented these concerns well on his blog, and another website.

From what I have read about the new open array halo, and user feedback, The system is performing better than 4G. The Marpa function is still a ?, But I am hoping to get more data on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
We installed a Simrad 4G Broadband radar a couple of years ago and are mostly very happy with it. It suits our needs perfectly as we cruise the BC coast which typically hems us in enough so that 15 NM out is rarely seen.

A couple of disappointments that we encountered after coming from a Furuno 4 KW system:

1) Radar does not keep a north up setting even though there is a setting for it. (it does so when used as overlay mind you.)

2) Radar does not have trails.

Simrad support told us that they were not going to fix those issues.

Those may or may not be issues for you, and/or they may be fixed in their Halo products, but I thought I'd give you a heads up.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:26 PM   #25
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In my teaching experience, often recreational radar owners really aren't very good with either adjustments or interpretation.

It is mostly practice but being shown the ropes opens a few eyes to some.
That is a valid Point. Unless the person providing feedback is commercial, a hard core cruiser with a lot hours, or a recreational boater but a solid radar background, then reports can be sketchy.

I run the boat quite a bit, at night, but still consider my radar skills to be B- at best.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:42 PM   #26
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We installed a Simrad 4G Broadband radar a couple of years ago and are mostly very happy with it. It suits our needs perfectly as we cruise the BC coast which typically hems us in enough so that 15 NM out is rarely seen.

A couple of disappointments that we encountered after coming from a Furuno 4 KW system:

1) Radar does not keep a north up setting even though there is a setting for it. (it does so when used as overlay mind you.)

2) Radar does not have trails.

Simrad support told us that they were not going to fix those issues.

Those may or may not be issues for you, and/or they may be fixed in their Halo products, but I thought I'd give you a heads up.
It just astonishes me, though it probably shouldn't, that a company so blatantly sells a product with features that don't work and where they have no intention of ever delivering on it.

In my time as the CEO of a soon-to-be-public company, we always followed the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) accounting rules for public companies. The last thing you want to do as you are getting ready to go public is have to restate your earnings because you have been playing it fast and loose. And even if you are private, any reputable accounting firm won't sign off on an audit that doesn't meet FASB rules.

A big part of the FASB rules has to do with revenue recognition. In a nut shell, you can't recognize revenue for something until you have fully delivered on it, even if you have been paid. For services, you can only recognize for the portion of the service actually performed, so if you are 3/4 of the way through a job, you can take 3/4 of the revenue. The balance is deferred revenue that might be later recognized, or might be lost if you don't deliver.

With products, you have to deliver the whole product. Places where you get into trouble are:

1) Starting to sell a product before all the advertised features are complete. Simrad does this on a regular basis. The NSS and NSO were sold without properly working structure scan. The Halo radar was sold without MARPA. The TX open arrays are sold with a park angle feature that doesn't work and that simrad says can't be implemented given how the radars work. I now learn that North Up and Echo Trails don't work and won't be delivered. In these cases, you have sold people a bill of goods and not delivered on it. People bought based on what you told them, and because you didn't deliver that can return the product for non-performance. So from an accounting perspective, that revenue isn't irrevocably yours, so you can't recognize it until you have fully delivered.

2) Announcing new features to be available in a software update. Simrad sold MFDs with the promise that they would support Forward Sonar Scanning, to be supported in a future release. Same with MARPA on the Halo Radar. Now you have enticed people to buy your MFDs with the expectation that it will do something in the future. If you never deliver, customers can demand their money back on the MFDs, and actually the whole system. Accountants see this as revenue that is not irrevocable, so won't let you recognize it.

Based on this one could argue that Simrad shouldn't recognize any of the revenue for any MFDs, or any 3G or 4G radars. Same with the TX radars. Halo radars too if the issue extends to them. And there is an argument that all other system parts inseparably linked to the MFD and/or Radar should not be recognized as well since you bought them as a result of your decision to buy the MFD and/or Radar. I know our accountants (Price Waterhouse) would never have signed off on it.

If they were a public company in the US (SEC regulated), they would probably all be in jail.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:50 PM   #27
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From what I have read about the new open array halo, and user feedback, The system is performing better than 4G. The Marpa function is still a ?, But I am hoping to get more data on that.
BTW, just the other day I posted a request on The Hull Truth for Halo radar owners to do some testing of MARPA and post pictures or videos of the results. Several people over there claim to have them. It would be good to see how much it has improved, other than Simrad saying "it's much improved". If you know anyone who has one, I'd be happy to provide instructions on how to test it. It's pretty easy.

The big risk is that once someone has bought something, they are greatly inclined to favor that decision. So I might just get people posting pictures of MARPA working correctly rather than trying different things for a while looking for incorrect results. It's not wrong 100% of the time, so it takes some effort looking for the problem, and owners are likely to turn a blind eye towards that. It's human nature. But hopefully some objective results will surface.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:54 PM   #28
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In my teaching experience, often recreational radar owners really aren't very good with either adjustments or interpretation.
That is me. I am good at neither so my Radar is better than I am. I hope that I will get better at interpretation over time.
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:56 PM   #29
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To me north up on a radar only makes sense when used on a chart plotter overlay that is also north up. Sounds dangerous otherwise. When I am at the helm, I prefer looking straight ahead!
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:11 PM   #30
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To me north up on a radar only makes sense when used on a chart plotter overlay that is also north up. Sounds dangerous otherwise. When I am at the helm, I prefer looking straight ahead!
Agreed!!! My whole world is north up!!!
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:19 PM   #31
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Can be a preference thing...anyone with older military ship time might be in the north up frame of mind.

But it didn't take me long to go to a head up display ....especially when solo without plotting and maneuvering board solutions available.

Then again, open water and intracoastal nav to me are two different animals too....
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:39 AM   #32
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When choosing the radar, some of the questions to consider are where will you use it, are you familiar with the area (been their before), how bad and frequent does the fog get historically, and is it critical for navigation or more other vessel avoidance.

On my charter boat I started with a Ratheon 2KW dome and quickly moved to a Furuno Navnet system with 4' open array 14 years ago, huge difference. That radar runs whenever the boat moves and all the time during night charters. For where I operate, it's 99% vessel avoidance as we get little fog and the light pollution from Ocean City makes radar almost unnecessary even at 3 AM.

For the trawler, the parameters were very different. Much of the cruising will be to new locations, where fog is historically common, and staying in the channels (locating navigation aids) will be critical. While I don't plan to go out in the fog, conditions often change from what were forecast. Spending the extra money for the better antenna just seemed logical. While domes are getting better, I haven't seen one produce a picture close to the equivalent technology large open array. So I went with the largest 12 volt version that would work with my plotters. Extremely happy with my choice!

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Old 09-01-2016, 07:50 AM   #33
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Regarding accuracy, I also plan on installing a new GPS heading sensor...Simrad HS60.These new sensors have dropped in price the past couple years. I'll keep the older one as a back up to switch over to if needed.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:27 AM   #34
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Regarding accuracy, I also plan on installing a new GPS heading sensor...Simrad HS60.These new sensors have dropped in price the past couple years. I'll keep the older one as a back up to switch over to if needed.
I think you will like the sat compass. It gives true heading, has no deviation errors, and isn't affected by appliances turning on and off, items stowed in different places on the boat, and local anomalies. The HS60 is made my Hemisphere GNSS (their model V104), and they are a really good company. I have the V102 on my Grady (hand me down from the Nordhavn), and a V103 on the Nordhavn. Both work very well provided you have the latest software. Just be sure the various time constants are set correctly in the HS60. Apparently as originally shipped they are wrong and yield poor autopilot performance. There is a guy (abbor) on TheHullTruth who has been adjusting his with good success, but special tools are needed.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #35
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OP, sorry if I took this thread in a different direction. I figured some of this would help you in your decisions on radars. I think the NXT radars are top notch. again, no personal experience with them, but the reviews have been very good.

TT, thanks for the info on the adjustment on the HS60. I know ARbor on HT..solid guy.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:54 PM   #36
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OP, sorry if I took this thread in a different direction. I figured some of this would help you in your decisions on radars. I think the NXT radars are top notch. again, no personal experience with them, but the reviews have been very good.

TT, thanks for the info on the adjustment on the HS60. I know ARbor on HT..solid guy.
Any direction is fine with me. I'm simply trying to get a read on other peoples experience with radar...
It's all good!
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:54 PM   #37
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On my charter boat I started with a Ratheon 2KW dome and quickly moved to a Furuno Navnet system with 4' open array 14 years ago, huge difference. That radar runs whenever the boat moves and all the time during night charters. For where I operate, it's 99% vessel avoidance as we get little fog and the light pollution from Ocean City makes radar almost unnecessary even at 3 AM.
I have a rather silly question. I use my radar when I feel that the viability is poor. I don't run it full time. I easily could run it full time and the information for vessel avoidance would be useful. However, I have this bad habit of not running stuff unless I need it. For radar, is there any downside to running it full time? Is there a wear and tear factor at all?
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:24 PM   #38
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We replaced the magnetron on our Furuno radar, ~$1,000. They have a finite life usually rated in hours according to the Furuno tech. That's one potential downside of continually running that type of radar.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:11 PM   #39
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I run the radar when I leave the dock, and don't turn it off until I am tied up. I use it as practice, even during the day, to gage diatances, make sea state adjustments, EBL', etc. But, mine is solid state, and no magnetron..

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I have a rather silly question. I use my radar when I feel that the viability is poor. I don't run it full time. I easily could run it full time and the information for vessel avoidance would be useful. However, I have this bad habit of not running stuff unless I need it. For radar, is there any downside to running it full time? Is there a wear and tear factor at all?
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:19 PM   #40
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I think it is very important to run it as much as you can on bright clear days. Not only can you practice and become apt at using the various functions, it gives you a visualization of what different objects look like. This is stuff you do not want to be learning and guessing at in limited visibility situations. So yes, there is a long winded way of saying we ran it virtually all the time. As a result we didn't hesitate to go out in dense fog and run on instruments, which we did several times.

Also it is the best method of deterring how far you are from something and how you are closing on it.

We put a few thousand hours on our Furuno open array with no issues, and that is going to be more typical than the 1000 mentioned.
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