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Old 21 May 2005, 05:21   #1
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Mounting of radar reflector ???

I just read through a few threads regarding radar reflectors and someone mentioned the 'rain catcher' type should be mounted like a cube not a diamond. Does anyone know if this is the case and if there are any other recommendations other than having it as high as possible.

I intend to mount it a little higher than the all round white on my A frame and was hoping to hold it in the end of a vertical bar about 150-200 long with a cross cut into the end like a shaft on a dart where the flights go, however this is not suitable if it has to lay on it's side so I can re-think it if it makes a difference.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 21 May 2005, 06:05   #2
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To be technical, the "octahedron" reflector should be mounterd in a "catch rain" position, i.e. point upwards.

BUT....personally I have major issues with this type of reflector on a rib. In a capsize situation or very rough sea, they are lethal - think of all those points waiting to inflict injury. I've seen it happen for real, and the results are not pretty. Plus they're really fairly ineffective so close to the waterline.

Far better to go for a Firdell type, enclosed reflector, mounted on the A frame - or even better, use an active radar enhancer if you can - this returns the signal amplified to the sending vessel.

Trust me, from a 300,000 grt tanker bridge on a foggy day, the enhanced radar returns are the only things we see from boats the size of ribs.
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Old 21 May 2005, 06:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swestrib
To be technical, the "octahedron" reflector should be mounterd in a "catch rain" position, i.e. point upwards.

If it's got its point upwards, how does it catch rain?

Big ships can't see them....aren't these commonly fitted to the tops of channel marker bouys?
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Old 21 May 2005, 08:04   #4
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I think I will go for the Cyclops - looks really cool and is supposed to be really good

http://powerandmotoryacht.com/electr...cs/index1.html

British product but their marketing is crap!!!

The other clever bit of kit is the active type - again a British design -

http://www.sea-me.co.uk/

Personally I wouldn't want the "octa" on a Rib - looks ugly!!!

The MAIN problem with RIBS is they are so low in the water - in a big swell they are going to be invisible for much of the time!!!
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Old 21 May 2005, 08:19   #5
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To be honest, the octahedral is so useless it really doesn't matter which way you fit it!!

>Big ships can't see them....aren't these commonly fitted to the tops of channel marker bouys?<

In reality, the radar return comes from the buoy itself, usually a hulking great lump of metal. In the same way, a rib with a large a-frame but no reflector will give a greater return than a rib with no a-frame but reflector on a pole.

The sea-me is what I meant by active enhancer - highly useful bit of kit for small boats.

BUT....don't rely too much on a reflector of any sort. A rib's best aid to collision avoidance is its speed (if not broken down). Don't expect large ships to see you in time to do anything - for example, in the channel shipping lanes we usually run OMBO (one man bridge operation) and despite having twin radar systems, on two bands, with MARPA, etc, we probably wouldn't see you - and with 300k grt doing 20 knots, we certainly couldn't nip around you!
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Old 21 May 2005, 10:12   #6
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Thanks for the input. I have asked the Cyclops people and they said there was another model due very soon which I will consider. However as I already have this 'rain catcher' I thought it was better than the tubular type that received such bad reviews throughout most of the threads I read on here. I would prefer to go for the Cyclops over the Blipper but may also consider the active Sea-Me unit too.

Welcome to the forum, hope it is of benefit to you. Perhaps you could bring your vessel along on a cruise sometime, 20 knots you said, that should see you keeping up with most of us unless it's really rough.

I am also unclear as to the orientation of the raincatcher. As a diamond it seems to have similar faces as it would if laid on the flat. If anyone has a photo or can make it obvious it would help. As for safety, I take the point but this one has corner pieces and I have put protective trim along all sides as I don't want any sharp edges on board if I can help it.
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Old 21 May 2005, 10:20   #7
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>Welcome to the forum, hope it is of benefit to you. Perhaps you could bring your vessel along on a cruise sometime, 20 knots you said, that should see you keeping up with most of us unless it's really rough.<

Thanks for the welcome - although for cruising can't see people being too happy to see an oil tanker joining in the fun in the Solent !!

Our on-board 10 metre Delta though, that's a different story :-)
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Old 21 May 2005, 10:28   #8
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This might help -

http://www.ussailing.org/safety/Stud...ector_test.htm

The octahedrals are illustrated "catching rain"
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Old 21 May 2005, 14:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swestrib
Thanks for the welcome - although for cruising can't see people being too happy to see an oil tanker joining in the fun in the Solent !!
:-)
Trust me 300k tonnes of ship carrying diesel oil would be more than welcome on any cruise

Pete
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Old 21 May 2005, 14:56   #10
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Nice idea Pete, trouble is at the moment we're loading crude - bit difficult to get into a rib fuel tank !!

You're welcome to come alongside and try though - should be in Fawley sometime Friday. Can't imagine Esso or the MCA liking the trial - anyway, I only navigate the thing - leave the pumping to the experts!
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