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Old 10 November 2006, 14:20   #1
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Safety of marine radar

What is the received wisdom about the health risks from radiation from marine radar mounted to a rib?

As we all know, there is concern over the radiation from a mobile phone, and from mobile phone masts. I am presuming that marine radar works at similar but not identical frequencies, and at 2 to 4kW, say, there is plenty of power to scramble bits of your brain. On bigger boats I guess there is the possibility of placing the radar sufficiently high that it does not irradiate one's boat at all, but on the A frame of a rib I'm not so sure.
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Old 10 November 2006, 14:38   #2
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I have the same fears as you but have radar on my new Rib and feel that I will only turn it on if I need it and I guess when I need it then a few scrambled brain cells will be worth it. Scrambled head or run over in the fog is a no brainer if you excuse the pun...
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Old 10 November 2006, 17:18   #3
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As long as you are out of the direct beam of the scanner (so its above your head) i think you are ok with it on, the beam is very narrow obviously, as it is ommited from the rotating scanner, but at its highest strength. The stupid thing is, most of the radar arches on flybridge powerboats are designed so that when a radar is mounted, they line up directly with your head! People I know with them will not run with them powered up and guests on the flybridge for fear of frying them!!

If you go into most marinas and especially locks such as port solent on the south coast they all have signs requesting that your radar is turned off whilst there. I guess if you are exposed all day to the level of radiation that is emitted by radar then it probably would start to take effect. (not good if you work on a lock and have radar passing you all day at waist level! - probably end up with fried nutts ).

I hang around the other side of the kitchen even when the microwave is on! - I sure wouldn't risk a radar scanner at 5 foot away for 2hours (or longer if you're looking to cross the channel or something and you need it)

If you can't mount it a good 1-2 foot above your head at standing on a rib (so a good 7 or 8 feet above sea level), I wouldn't bother - the range and sea clutter would be so poor most of the time crashing around in a rib it would hardly be worth bothering with anyway - not to mention the damage it could do to your health! what i'm swinging at is, I think everyone knows someone who has been effected by some sort of cancer - I think the massive increase in the disease in the last 10 years is due to the amount of electrical devices, phones, antennas and radars that all give off some sort of radiation....It can't be good for us, but because we rely so much on the technology now, theres no going back (says me who is typing this on a wifi laptop with the antenna 10 inches away from my crotch )
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Old 10 November 2006, 17:40   #4
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Hey, I thought I would do a Codpiece trick and impart my unbelievable knowledge to you mere mortals: ps; thanks Google -

Radar systems detect the presence, direction, or range of aircraft, ships, or other moving objects. This is achieved by sending pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF). Radar systems usually operate at radiofrequencies between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 15 gigahertz (GHz). Invented some 60 years ago, radar systems have been widely used for navigation, aviation, national defense, and weather forecasting. People who live or routinely work around radar have expressed concerns about long-term adverse effects of these systems on health, including cancer, reproductive malfunction, cataracts, and adverse effects for children. It is important to distinguish between perceived and real dangers that radar poses and to understand the rationale behind existing international standards and protective measures used today.
The power that radar systems emit varies from a few milliwatts (police traffic-control radar) to many kilowatts (large space tracking radars). However, a number of factors significantly reduce human exposure to RF generated by radar systems, often by a factor of at least 100:
  • Radar systems send electromagnetic waves in pulses and not continuously. This makes the average power emitted much lower than the peak pulse power.
  • Radars are directional and the RF energy they generate is contained in beams that are very narrow and resemble the beam of a spotlight. RF levels away from the main beam fall off rapidly. In most cases, these levels are thousands of times lower than in the main beam.
  • Many radars have antennas which are continuously rotating or varying their elevation by a nodding motion, thus constantly changing the direction of the beam.
  • Areas where dangerous human exposure may occur are normally inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
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Old 10 November 2006, 17:57   #5
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Seems I am NOT the only one to find Google useful

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6132856.stm
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Old 11 November 2006, 04:20   #6
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Dont you think that if RADARs were AT ALL a risk, the UK Health and Safety would have banned them long ago?
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Old 11 November 2006, 08:47   #7
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It is down to the way they are USED - they haven't banned microwave ovens but that doesn't mean it's ok to stick your head in one when it's running!!!
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Old 11 November 2006, 11:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
It is down to the way they are USED - they haven't banned microwave ovens but that doesn't mean it's ok to stick your head in one when it's running!!!

...absolutley right - and the damage mobile phones can do has only been recognised as everyone has one and on a mass scale they have been able to monitor what damage can be done by them and the transmitters they place convinently on top of schools and hotels.

You'd probably be ok with a radar mounted close to your head on your rib the few times you'd ever use it, but then again you might not. infact you're probably more susceptible to other peoples radars, such as the wacking great ones they have ontop of the cliffs above port solent - however having your own not mounted far enough away from you undoubtly adds risk though.
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Old 11 November 2006, 15:36   #9
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Actually a small radar close to you is far worse than a massive dish on the top of a hill. The signal strength drops off by the inverse square law - basically it means an electric blanket is worse than having your house under a pylon!!!
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Old 11 November 2006, 16:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavecrosschris View Post
mobile infact you're probably more susceptible to other peoples radars, such as the wacking great ones they have ontop of the cliffs above port solent - however having your own not mounted far enough away from you undoubtly adds risk though.
So thats what screws up my IPOD whilst I'm on the M27. I thought it was just all those power cables. Guess thats one unhealthy place to live. Might be a time for wrapping your head in tin foil if you luive there.
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