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Old 01-11-2020, 11:51 PM   #1
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Radar Debate

Would someone please educate us, we are having an on running debate regarding radar, should it or should it not be running on stand by while underway even if not needed. There are obviously two opinions here yes it is good for the unit and no not necessary, thoughts please
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:05 AM   #2
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Always on unless moving into and out of slip, then in standby.

And my favorite anchor is........
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:34 AM   #3
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This was hashed over pretty thoroughly a few weeks ago. The consensuses was: yes.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:28 AM   #4
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Why not???
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:46 AM   #5
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The USCG strongly encourages it on.

However it is NOT mandatory as seen in their own literature.

Standby is just an interim step, but a long wait if you might need your Radar.

Good idea a lot of the time and for most boaters, so.....it depends.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:05 AM   #6
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Why is there a long wait to switch from standby to active radar? If the radar is powered up, ie the magnetron has gone through its start up then on my Raymarine radar it is almost instantaneous to turn it on.

This of course is for chartplotters with a radar option rather than a stand alone radar and display. I suspect 95% of us use the former.

The OP's question may have been more directed at reliability of the radar electronics by keeping it powered up all of the time and on standby. I suspect there is a small benefit but not significant. When I cruised full time I rarely had the radar powered up in daylight and good weather and never had a problem. But if course that is a single data point.

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Old 01-12-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Why is there a long wait to switch from standby to active radar?
I think he meant long wait from all the way OFF to SCAN, much shorter wait from STANDBY to SCAN.

For Phil: Not mandatory, but why not have it in standby? Downside?

FWIW, ours has a bazillion hours on it, some of that in standby mode... and I just figure that's part of getting our money's worth.

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Old 01-12-2020, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks Chris, yes I did mean that.

There's no real downside unless you have a pretty old set.

Post about 2000, most of the recreational Radar mags will probably last the time one owns the boat. As far as other moving parts, it's a crapshoot but most never have problems.

I guess for me force of habit....mom told me to turn off the TV if not watching it....

So I rarely just "leave it on". But for me who has been using Radar on the job for 35 years and cruise the way I cruise....I rarely use it. But I do run it regularly to check it and keep it working.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:15 AM   #9
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Operating the radar, independent of perceived need, is an opportunity to become proficient in its use. It is an opportunity to master your craft.

There are so many variables affecting radar such as sea state, sunshine, and precipitation. Just like maneuvering, each time out is a different experience.

Why not add to your experience?
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:24 AM   #10
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Different needs for different people.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:59 AM   #11
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I don't turn it on unless visibility suggests it. And in modern small radomes, the turn on from off is very fast (no magnetron) - a few seconds.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I don't turn it on unless visibility suggests it. And in modern small radomes, the turn on from off is very fast (no magnetron) - a few seconds.
I think that's only the broadband radars....conventional still have a warm up of 60-90 seconds (or so)....
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:29 PM   #13
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I keep it on and watch how it renders shoreline and landform details when the visibility is good. Theory being, if I need to make decisions in low visibility at least they'll be based on some experience/knowledge.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:40 PM   #14
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I never power it up unless we're out at night or expect a heavy fog. I don't think my radar is scanning more than 10-12 hours a year.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:27 PM   #15
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I have bought but not run my new Garmin radar (not installed yet - refit). But I got the model that turns targets heading towards you red so you don't need a brain to figure out something is closing on you.

Why did I get this? I wasn't doing head checks to my stern to see what was coming up behind me. My guests when at the helm weren't doing head checks to see what was coming up behind the boat. Lots of recreational boaters where I am located with big boats and bigger engines doubling or tripling or more speed my boat could ever do, translation: they are closing quickly.

For me, my radar is more about what's happening behind me than in front of me. But we also get forest fire smoke, very heavy rain, very heavy clouds darkening the day earlier than anticipated, and fog. My radar can also pinpoint trees in the water with branches sticking out.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:22 PM   #16
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According to our logs at least one of our radars has been in transmit mode 88% of our engine running hours.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:51 PM   #17
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I hate radar on at the dock such as when I'm eating lunch outside at waterfront Sam's Cafe in Tiburon.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:12 PM   #18
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Didn't realize this was a debate. For us, it's always on underway. Standby when powering up and coming into or out of marinas or locks. The lock guys really appreciate it.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Didn't realize this was a debate. For us, it's always on underway. Standby when powering up and coming into or out of marinas or locks. The lock guys really appreciate it.


Same here. I always put it standby before powering down.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:56 PM   #20
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It's only a debate if one camp thinks the other (on or off all the time) is wrong.
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