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Old 02-06-2014, 08:04 AM   #1
gar
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Which helm should have radar display?

Hi all, I am just finishing my first year with my small trawler. I have a garmin 740 gps, which I have plugs for at the lower and upper helms. I have been moving it to where I am running the boat from. I now see this is not the best thing for the unit (to keep unplugging it) so I purchased a second unit - a combo with an 18 HD radar dome. Garmin does not make a Y cable for the radar for this unit, as they do for the sonar, which I have. That means for me to have radar display at both helms, I would have to get a switch and rig up a cable, as one dome cannot power both units together. My tech said I might be better to get another dome, as the switch to do this can be costly itself-plus another cable, time, material, etc. My pockets are not that deep right now, so my question is if you were given a choice, which helm would you have the radar on? My bridge does not have an enclosure, so I'm thinking reading radar on the 7" screen with rain drops would be difficult. I have never had radar, so I just don't know. I do spend most time on the bridge & boat in the Carolinas & Chesapeake. Thanks for any advise.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
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I use radar in the fog which is usually in calm winds and at night. So whichever helm that you run the boat from in those conditions is where the radar display should be located. Rain drops won't be a problem.

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:28 AM   #3
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Hi all, I am just finishing my first year with my small trawler. I have a garmin 740 gps, which I have plugs for at the lower and upper helms. I have been moving it to where I am running the boat from. I now see this is not the best thing for the unit (to keep unplugging it) so I purchased a second unit - a combo with an 18 HD radar dome. Garmin does not make a Y cable for the radar for this unit, as they do for the sonar, which I have. That means for me to have radar display at both helms, I would have to get a switch and rig up a cable, as one dome cannot power both units together. My tech said I might be better to get another dome, as the switch to do this can be costly itself-plus another cable, time, material, etc. My pockets are not that deep right now, so my question is if you were given a choice, which helm would you have the radar on? My bridge does not have an enclosure, so I'm thinking reading radar on the 7" screen with rain drops would be difficult. I have never had radar, so I just don't know. I do spend most time on the bridge & boat in the Carolinas & Chesapeake. Thanks for any advise.
I don't have radar but I have two Garmin plotters that are networked together and share depth sounder information, routes, etc. I'm going to assume that radar information would be shared the same way. A call to Garmin tech support would confirm or deny that.

Ask your tech if your two plotters can be networked so they share the radar information. That's certainly a better plan than installing two complete radar systems. Even replacing one or both of the plotters with networkable plotters may be the better plan.

If you do decide to make a choice between locations, consider why you bought radar in the first place. If you want to use it in the rain, the lower helm would seem to be the best choice. If you want to use it in nice weather when (like me) you're operating from the flybridge, that may be the best place.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:30 AM   #4
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I'm not that familiar with Garmin so I am having a hard time believing that the RADAR pic can't be brought up on both screens...heck the other manufacturers have been doing that for over a decade...sure there's not a data cable that allows this? One of the other guys who have had Garmins for awhile can set me straight on this, maybe it's just your models?

If not, I chose the lower station because that's where I run the boat from when RADAR would normally be a major issue.

When I'm on the flying bridge..it's usually nice enough that I nav with just a pair of Binocs.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
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The problem is the 740 is not networkable. The 740S is. Upgrade.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:22 AM   #6
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Ours is on the fly bridge and the only time I really need it is when I would much prefer to be at the lower helm out of the weather. I am looking at putting a repeateer in at the lower helm.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #7
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Ours is on the fly bridge and the only time I really need it is when I would much prefer to be at the lower helm out of the weather. I am looking at putting a repeateer in at the lower helm.
Yes, I agree. I think the radar (if only one display) should go at a protected helm area where you will operate your boat during inclement weather. That is when you will need radar mostly.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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My radar is at lower helm. I've never felt the need to have it on the FB.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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For me Fog, Hailer, Radar is located in the lower helm - when the weather gets nasty that's where I'll be warm and toasty - also from the lower helm I get less movement as I am closer to the center of gravity. When it's nasty from the FB you can get the feeling of being tossed. As well the Salon Chair is much more comfy.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Radars are at the lower helm for us too.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:35 PM   #11
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Which helm should have radar display

I fabricated a drop tube under the fly bridge console. This works great if your lower station is under the flybridge console area and your cords are long enough to reach both stations.On our Monk 36 I used a hole saw and proper size pvc piping and 3m5200 bedding. I had to purchase another radar display bracket. Size the pipe length so it penetrates the deck/overhead and is several inches above the fly bridge deck, when not in use cap it with pvc pipe cap.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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If it's nasty enoug out to need radar, you don't want to be out in it anyway.

Lower helm.

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Old 02-06-2014, 12:57 PM   #13
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As has been mentioned, it all depends on how you use your boat. On our previous boat with upper and lower helms, we pretty much always ran it from the upper helm.

Certainly for any night runs, which we would only do for the pleasure of doing them, I would definitely be upstairs for the viewing pleasure and better visibility for logs etc.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Both for us. On a towboat you don't want to be running back and forth to check it. We run four ranges - 3nm, 18nm, 36nm and 72nm.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #15
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I solved this exact issue with the 740 on my old boat. Garmin makes a double female plug that is designed to route an Ethernet cable through a bulkhead. I ran a cable from the lower to upper helm and left it in plAce under the dash. Another enet cable ran from the upper helm mount to under the dash. A third cable ran from the radome to under the dash and stayed plugged into one side of the plug all the time.

I'd plug either the lower cable or the upper cable into the other end of the plug, depending on where I wanted radar. Worked pretty well and was very simple.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:51 PM   #16
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I have Si-Tex MDS 10-5 radar, the cable goes to a junction box, a power cable & the plotter cable also attach in the j-box. I have Si-Tex ColorMax wide displays dedicated to radar. I wired the displays to a buss & the j-box display cable to the buss. Only 1 display can be powered on at a time. I run from the bridge 90% of the time & in fog or any conditions where I could still run from the bridge that's where I wanted it. On the days that I've got caught out & had to go to the lower helm that is probably the conditions I need it most. I've thought about going to larger displays & overlaying radar but I've come to appreciate having the info I need on separate displays & circuits.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:12 PM   #17
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We have it at both stations but if I had to select only one it would be at the lower helm. I drive up top about 90% of the time but when I need the radar, usually at night, I am at the lower helm
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:56 PM   #18
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Thanks

I want to thank you all for the great info & replies. Gary
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:18 PM   #19
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... If not, I chose the lower station because that's where I run the boat from when RADAR would normally be a major issue.

When I'm on the flying bridge..it's usually nice enough that I nav with just a pair of Binocs.
Me too. When I need radar I'm inside anyway.

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Old 02-06-2014, 07:24 PM   #20
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The FB is a play pen. Serious navigation that involves radar should be done at the lower helm.

Seriously though I can't imagine a lower helm w/o radar if it on the boat.
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