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Old 04-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
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Is radar dangerous?

I went threw some locks on the Okeechobee and they had me shut down my radar. I'm guessing because it emits a dangerous wave. Is that shooting into the back of my head when I'm traveling. Could that be well never mind....
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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Hazardous to Your Health? Page 2

But like any modern device, radar is not 100-percent safe. There are justified concerns that some older pacemakers may be susceptible to radar’s electromagnetic interference and some evidence to suggest that long-term exposure to pulsed microwaves, such as those emitted by radar, might damage the light-sensitive cells of the eyes. Overall, though, the message is good: There’s no hard evidence that yacht radars pose a health hazard and plenty of responsible scientific evidence that they do not.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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^^^^ well put.

Continued exposure to radar emissions may do harm- for the casual user, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Our underway policy is that the radar array is always in standby when away from the dock- if conditions warrant its use, we try to minimize exposure time by using the lower helm.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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Mythbusters did an episode on this and their findings were it was a myth. The wattage is so low that your VHF antenna puts out more.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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You should not have it mounted where your in it's path.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Did you know that the micro wave oven is radar technology. Back when first developed the beam was so strong it boiled/kill birds flying through the beam. the first micro waves were Amanradar. So standing in front of a micro wave oven you are getting a small dose. However when not in use the radar should be on standby.

Well it looks like a blew my age again. I remeber when!
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #7
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I remember in 1970 our neighbor bought an Amana Radarange and the fact that it could cook hotdogs in less then a minute blew our minds.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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WHO | Electromagnetic fields and public health: radars and human health

Marine radars can be found on small pleasure boats to large ocean going vessels. Peak powers of these systems can reach up to 30 kW, with average powers ranging from 1 to 25 W. Under normal operating conditions, with the antenna rotating, the average power density of the higher power systems within a metre of the antenna is usually less than 10 W/m2. In accessible areas on most watercraft, these levels would fall to a few percent of present public RF exposure standards.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:28 AM   #9
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I remember in 1970 our neighbor bought an Amana Radarange and the fact that it could cook hotdogs in less then a minute blew our minds.
The first micro wave we had was a fancy expensive bottle warmer, 15 seconds. The oringal micro waves were very powerful.



Funny story

When the kids where young I used the micro to speed up drying/setting time. The big thing at that time was solid fuel rockets. The rocket lost a fin so my oldest son, put the rocket in the micro wave, but he forgot to take out the solid fuel engine. Well of course the engine ignited in the micro wave. Scared him to death, but the only damage to the micro wave was some melted plastic.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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I'll bet the radar's installation manual and operating manual state if there are any dangers from the radar. I don't have one, but if I were to install one, I would study the manuals and I would try to place it where humans would not be in the beam.

The people running the locks who asked that it be shut down don't know what brand or what power radar is on each boat that goes by. By asking that it be shut down they are protecting their health. I don't blame them.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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When I was in the Navy we had an aircraft that had a big powerful radar (13' X 4' antenna). There was an entrance hatch just in front of the antenna in the nose wheel compartment. We were warned not to enter the ac when the radar was being run for fear of being sterilized. I was an electronics tech and stayed in the ac until the radar was turned off. That was a very powerful radar though. Interestingly I've had no children ... that I know of.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
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When I was in the Navy we had an aircraft that had a big powerful radar (13' X 4' antenna). There was an entrance hatch just in front of the antenna in the nose wheel compartment. We were warned not to enter the ac when the radar was being run for fear of being sterilized. I was an electronics tech and stayed in the ac until the radar was turned off. That was a very powerful radar though. Interestingly I've had no children ... that I know of.
I worked on F-4s and F-15s in the Air Force and would not walk in front of an aircraft while the radar was on.

As far as a boat, I would always mount the aray above any humans in the fly bridge, especially if I was cruising a lot.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
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Navy shipboard radar had higher radiated power and we were warned to be in the path of the beam. Remember this?

"Aloft, there are men working aloft. Do not rotate, radiate or energize any electrical or electronic equipment while men are working aloft".
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:16 PM   #14
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Speaking from the standpoint of one who used to work on very high power radar systems aboard aircraft I firmly believe that radar energy can be harmful to your health.

That being said, the beam that is transmitted is very narrow in height and if the antenna is properly mounted well above the head of the user, the likelihood of suffering any ill effects is zip.

The radars I used to work on would illuminate an 18" neon bulb if it was held out in front of the radar antenna, and that's how we used to tell if the antenna was actually transmitting. Not very safe and not very smart, but it was a quick test of the functionality of the radar antenna.

Pau Hana, if your antenna is mounted above your heads you can safely turn it on. The beam is usually only about 15-30 degrees wide (vertical height) so unless the antenna is quite a distance away from you and mounted near the height of your head, you're safe. You may pick up some stray radiation from the side lobes, but that's less power than what you'd typically get from the sun's energy.

Also, by way of an FYI, it's my understanding the USCG requires that if a boat has a working radar that it be on when the boat is underway.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #15
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Good info- I do understand the principles or radar (worked with the SPS-10, -67. -48C/E, and -49 in the Navy) and know that the effective beam for our radar probably has minimal effect on us when on the flybridge-but I still exercise caution all the same....
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #16
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WHO | Electromagnetic fields and public health: radars and human health

Marine radars can be found on small pleasure boats to large ocean going vessels. Peak powers of these systems can reach up to 30 kW, with average powers ranging from 1 to 25 W. Under normal operating conditions, with the antenna rotating, the average power density of the higher power systems within a meter of the antenna is usually less than 10 W/m2. In accessible areas on most watercraft, these levels would fall to a few percent of present public RF exposure standards.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:30 PM   #17
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When we installed a 4 KW radar antenna on our last boat we calculated the height required for installation using the manufacturer's vertical beam spread spec and my son-in-law's 6'4" height. We ensured that it would pass over his head while standing at the upper helm.

There are so many different views on the safety of the beam that we just decided to be safe.

I don't want my grandchildren to look like Ninja Turtles.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I worked on F-4s and F-15s in the Air Force and would not walk in front of an aircraft while the radar was on.

As far as a boat, I would always mount the aray above any humans in the fly bridge, especially if I was cruising a lot.

I did F-4s in the Marines as well. Those radars are the real deal!
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:47 PM   #19
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I'm a little more conversative. I feel that exposure to mircowave radiation is like having someone throw random sized stones at you from 100 yards away. There's little chance they'll hit you with a big one, but if they do I'll hurt. Microwaves can alter a cell's nucleus, and cancer is a possibility. Exposure to microwave energy won't automatically give you cancer, it just increases the risk. The more energy, the greater likelyhood that a bad thing will happen. This is a completly different problem than being cooked, which is simply adding enough Brownian motion (heat) due to the energy increase to cause tissue breakdown (ya get burned). Sperm, by the way, are particulary sensitive to heat, so if you are a male of child producing age, try not to leave the Boy Bits in the beam. I think I get enough radiation via random energy leakage from trons, and from cosmic radition from the universe, that I don't need to add to the total if I can prevent it. I wear a seatbelt too...

I've seen some radar installations on small boats that actually have the radar mounted at the level that would place the crotch of someone at the flybridge directly in the center of the beam. I would not operate the radar from that flying bridge!

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Who isn't a doctor, but does hold an FCC first class license with a ship's radar endorsement.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:59 PM   #20
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Also, by way of an FYI, it's my understanding the USCG requires that if a boat has a working radar that it be on when the boat is underway.
Mine too! Is this correct?
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