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Old 24 January 2012, 18:22   #1
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Radar reflector

Do I need one if I have AIS fitted.
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:33   #2
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Unless you fit an active one they are a waste of time IMO. I think the Aframe would give a better return..
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:36   #3
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yes - under Solas V if practical you should have radar reflector.....

Echomax make good active and passive reflectors -

http://www.eesc.org.uk/content/club-...eflectors.html

a few reports can be found there...
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discomick View Post
Do I need one if I have AIS fitted.
SOLAS requires all vessels to carry a radar reflector wherever practical, it makes no "exemption" for vessels fitted with AIS transponders.

Only vessels with AIS receivers fitted will see you. Small craft (including fishing vessels, yachts, other, ribs etc) may not have a receiver fitted (or being properly used) but MAY have a radar fitted - they will expect you to have a radar reflector fitted.

There is at least a theoretical risk in busy waters that you don't show up on AIS due to the "clutter" from other users hogging the spectrum.

If you have an electrical failure AIS will not transmit. A passive radar reflector will.
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:37   #5
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Do I need one if I have AIS fitted.
Stick behind Pikey and you'll be reight.
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:47   #6
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Unless you fit an active one they are a waste of time IMO. I think the Aframe would give a better return..
Whilst some radar reflectors are better than others - I think its reasonable to say that a typical a-frame is just about the worst design possible for a reflector. cylindrical surfaces reflect the radar signal away from the source. Features smaller than the wavelength of the radar will be near invisible to radar. X band radar will be very close to that limit for most A-frames. S band will be even more likely to "miss" it. The best radar reflectors would have a cross section of around 10 m2 (although probably only in "ideal" conditions). Your A-frame probably has a cross section of less than 0.3 m - and most of that is pointing the wrong way at any time.
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Old 24 January 2012, 18:51   #7
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Whilst some radar reflectors are better than others - I think its reasonable to say that a typical a-frame is just about the worst design possible for a reflector. cylindrical surfaces reflect the radar signal away from the source. Features smaller than the wavelength of the radar will be near invisible to radar. X band radar will be very close to that limit for most A-frames. S band will be even more likely to "miss" it. The best radar reflectors would have a cross section of around 10 m2 (although probably only in "ideal" conditions). Your A-frame probably has a cross section of less than 0.3 m - and most of that is pointing the wrong way at any time.
Granted, still probably better than most of the low end radar reflectors floating around. Especially the way people tend to mount them on ribs which is to tie fix them to an Aframe upright or across the top.
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Old 24 January 2012, 20:47   #8
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Do a search for the Qinetiq report on radar reflectors. There may be more than one - I think most recent is the one following the Ouzo tragedy, possibly included in MAIB report.

Essentially for passive type only the Echomax and Tri-Lens are worth having.

The slim tube types are just decoration (bit like those dangly things hanging off car bumpers that were once popular - what were they for?) Only worth installing to keep interested scrutineers happy.
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Old 25 January 2012, 03:06   #9
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How about this

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Don't want to end up like this


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Old 25 January 2012, 03:46   #10
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Do a search for the Qinetiq report on radar reflectors...
Essentially for passive type only the Echomax and Tri-Lens are worth having.
Mmm... I do wonder whether that report has done more harm than good. Do people just not bother with anything? Whilst the poor ones fall below ISO standards by a long way they must still be better than nothing. The tilt angle problems are much worse on yachts than ribs too, so I am not sure dismissing the traditional (cheap but a little ugly) reflector is sensible.

Has anyone found a practical solution without an a frame?
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