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Old 23 December 2008, 06:04   #1
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Broadband (FMCW) Radar - Good thing for ribs?

I've never been a major advocate of radar on small boats for cost, power consumption, ease of use and hazard reasons (always felt that a few KWatts just above my head was a bit iffy.) The only times I've really wished we had it have been in fog!

However, I see that a new technology is just about to be launched by Navico that is very very (<1W) low power and high resolution. If it's as good as the marketing message, this could make radars for ribs more attractive.

Not sure about the price point, I've seen indications of 2000 for launch (spring 09). I'd guess this would drop over a couple of years or so...



Any views on this?
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Old 23 December 2008, 08:34   #2
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I have been reading up on this for a while - nice to see it on youtube though!!!

It does look very interesting - especially because it won't do you any harm if you are standing in front of it which would be the case on many RIBs if you forget to duck.

The only thing that does bother me is the digital nature of it. Digital in the hands of the inexperiencied is great but for more expert users you just don't get the ability to interpret the finer points.

For example with an analogue metal detector you can listen to subtle changes and drifts in the signal but with a digital one you just wait for a beep.

Same with mobile phones. Digital is all or nothing. Often you will drop a call that would have stayed on with analogue even if the clarity is reduced.
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Old 23 December 2008, 08:50   #3
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From what I hear the Low Power claim is actually a bit misleading, and more like a useful translation of the technical data.

In fact it is almost(but not completely) as likely to fry your brain as a conventional set.

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Old 23 December 2008, 15:30   #4
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Hi all,

I posted on this a little while back. http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27583

This radar has no magnetron, the thing that makes traditional radars work and what cooks your food in a microwave. Typicaltraditional radars start at 2000 Watts, which at close range acts just like a microwave oven to any bits of body you leave in the way.

The new broadband radar transmits using less power than a mobile phone, ~0.1 watts and is unlikely to cook anything. So safe as far as humans are concerned. They operate on a continuous wave principle,not pulsed like a traditional radar, no tuning, superb rain and sea clutter performance.

The whole set itself only pulls about 25 watts, so very useable on a low power availability vessel like a rib.

The navy have been developing/using similar devices for a while of around 150 watt power and one other commercialmanufacturer has designed one of around 125 watts. Navico have stolen a lead on the competition and have a product that is safe.

It will be on UK public display at the London boat show in January.

I did the course on these a couple of weeks back and yes I am a dealer for them, but compared with a traditional radar these are like going from a CRT TV to an LCD TV.

Test report from TIMCO attached.

I will be doing a few days on the Navico stand at the show, so say please come and say hello.
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Old 23 December 2008, 16:07   #5
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Is this likely to integrate with Lowrance Plotters the same way as the current radomes through the RIM interface?
I would have radar fitted as it can be handy at night but its difficult to get the aerial high enough on a small RIB
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Old 23 December 2008, 16:43   #6
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Hi all,

I posted on this a little while back. http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27583

This radar has no magnetron, the thing that makes traditional radars work and what cooks your food in a microwave. Typicaltraditional radars start at 2000 Watts, which at close range acts just like a microwave oven to any bits of body you leave in the way.

The new broadband radar transmits using less power than a mobile phone, ~0.1 watts and is unlikely to cook anything. So safe as far as humans are concerned. They operate on a continuous wave principle,not pulsed like a traditional radar, no tuning, superb rain and sea clutter performance.

The whole set itself only pulls about 25 watts, so very useable on a low power availability vessel like a rib.

The navy have been developing/using similar devices for a while of around 150 watt power and one other commercialmanufacturer has designed one of around 125 watts. Navico have stolen a lead on the competition and have a product that is safe.

It will be on UK public display at the London boat show in January.

I did the course on these a couple of weeks back and yes I am a dealer for them, but compared with a traditional radar these are like going from a CRT TV to an LCD TV.

Test report from TIMCO attached.

I will be doing a few days on the Navico stand at the show, so say please come and say hello.
I can't help wondering if you are swallowing too much of the marketting hype and regurgitating it here...

So if a traditional marine radar is putting out 2000 watts but is pulsed - maybe with a pulse length of 0.8 microseconds and 600 pusles per second - it is actually only emitting power for less that 0.5 ms in every second, so averages out at about 1 W of emitted power per second. Whilst peak pulse power might be important - the long term effects of exposure are also related to the average exposure.

Is comparison to mobile phones and microwaves really fair and reasonable? They opperate on different frequencies. And comparison to mobile phones needs some "caution" - a GSM phone CAN emit up to 2W of power, but most of the time is in a strong signal area and so after making a connection emits much less.

The other benefits would actually seem to have merit in themselves without selling on "traditional radar is really nasty" scare stories.
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Old 23 December 2008, 16:47   #7
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The only thing that does bother me is the digital nature of it. Digital in the hands of the inexperiencied is great but for more expert users you just don't get the ability to interpret the finer points.
In reality most small boat users won't have the skill or experience anyway and probably unlikely to have the time/personnel to continuosly fine tune a radar to get 100% out of it.
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Old 23 December 2008, 17:17   #8
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In reality most small boat users won't have the skill or experience anyway and probably unlikely to have the time/personnel to continuosly fine tune a radar to get 100% out of it.

I quite agree but when I get a fad for something I tend to throw myself into it and try to master the fine points!!!
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Old 23 December 2008, 17:18   #9
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Hi all,

I posted on this a little while back. http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27583


I did the course on these a couple of weeks back and yes I am a dealer for them, but compared with a traditional radar these are like going from a CRT TV to an LCD TV.
Damn and I was considering one.........

I still far prefer my old Sony 32" CRT to my plasma and new LCD TVs!!!
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Old 24 December 2008, 02:36   #10
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What stand no.?

Geoff
Thanks for info, will pop by and at least have a look.
What stand number at the show?
Paul
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