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Old 08-29-2015, 07:36 PM   #21
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Not according to this study:

http://www.ussailing.org/wp-content/...tor%20Test.pdf

"The Davis Echomaster has a reasonable peak and average RCS but is too small to meet the performance requirements of ISO 8729[1]."


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It's done well in past tests. But I don't believe they were trying to meet ISO 8729 standards. Plus it's very well priced.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:27 PM   #22
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mount it on top of your own radar.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:04 PM   #23
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Mine is in the flybridge fairing, for all the reasons the OP cited. On my previous boat, a 28' express cruiser, I hung it from the arch when needed. Other boats said I made a strong echo with that setup.

On this boat, it's up higher and sits in the "catch rain" position, so it should be even better. I know before I had AIS other vessels could see me over a mile away.

I bought the diamond-shaped reflector at a local commercial fishing supply store. Not pretty, but they must work or those guys wouldn't buy them.

It would be fun to do some comparison tests, with the reflector high, then low. But as it is, I can see & be seen so I'm leaving well enough alone.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:40 PM   #24
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I have a Davis (the foldable round kind) mounted in the "catch rain" position on the mast under just under the Radome support. Haven't painted it black yet but have thought about it.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:12 AM   #25
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I have a Davis reflector located under one of the flybridge seats.
Before you say that isn't good, I'll tell a short tale.
Several years ago two marina mates passed me as we were headed thru Gardner's Bay. They were side by side. One
had his Davis mounted on one of his flybridge enclosure supports. The other was an experess cruiser and his was under his seat as he did not get around to mounting his.
They both showed the identical large square on my 1.5 kw radar screen. They were approx. 3 miles away when I lost both signals as they turned into Coecles Harbor.
My boating buddy said my boat prints as well as any other on his screen.
I'm keeping mine where it's at.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:30 AM   #26
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The only true test would have been to have your buddies fold them up and then see if the return blip got smaller or changed shape.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:12 AM   #27
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Of course just having your radar on increases your radar signature to other vessels. So you may be wasting your money on a reflector.
Please explain. I would think another boat would "see" my boat's radar signal only if when my antenna is pointed exactly at their antenna, their antenna happens to be pointed exactly (or at least within a couple degrees) at my antenna. I would think the chances of that are about 2 in 360.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:41 PM   #28
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Please explain. I would think another boat would "see" my boat's radar signal only if when my antenna is pointed exactly at their antenna, their antenna happens to be pointed exactly (or at least within a couple degrees) at my antenna. I would think the chances of that are about 2 in 360.
The the blip size may change from rotation to rotation but it can give you a better return. And make the vessel easier to seen on the screen.

Much like the difference you may see in returns from a weak signal and a strong one as they move up and down in a large see.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:03 PM   #29
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Why not get AIS and forget the radar reflector?
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:11 PM   #30
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Why not get AIS and forget the radar reflector?
The radar reflector isn't for us. It's for another vessel with radar (not necessarily with AIS themselves) to see us. Most boats don't have AIS.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:18 PM   #31
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Why not get AIS and forget the radar reflector?
I agree somewhat. I now transmit AIS, primarily so the "big boys" can identify me and contact me (or I them) to arrange safe passes. I don't really think that a radar reflector is a significant improvement to have on larger FRP vessels that comprise the majority of the membership on this forum. These vessels are already quite visible on radar--or at least I identify them on my radar.

When running in the fog, I worry most about the small skiffs and run-a-bouts: They have no radar or radar reflector. Victoria Harbour off the breakwater comes to mind. We left Victoria Harbour and then entered fog right off the breakwater and there were car-toppers running back and forth across the harbour entrance. I was constantly switching the radar between the 0.125-0.5 nm range settings and my wife watching outside and I had my head buried in the instruments. Quite unnerving. Even without reflectors, these skiffs were identified as targets with the gain cranked.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:24 PM   #32
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Most boats don't have AIS, and I don't either. Please make your boat radar-visible! Amazing the number of boats that only show up as teeny-tiny dots or not at all. If not using a radar reflector, please have a steel boat.
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