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Author Topic:   Lowrance or Furuno RADAR
Sfef84 posted 08-23-2011 01:36 AM ET (US)   Profile for Sfef84   Send Email to Sfef84  
In the future, I would like to add RADAR to my Raider. There are two options to go about this. Lowrance offers a couple choices that are compatible with the HDS line. The big deal with having an all-in-one multi-function chartplotter is the ability to overlay the RADAR blips with the chart. However, this is only possible with a heading sensor that is NOT cheap. The 3G Broadband RADAR can be purchased on-line from anywhere between $1,153 to $2,078. Earlier HD RADAR units go for around the same. Would you purchase the Lowrance RADAR? You will have a cramped screen, unless you have the HDS 8 or HDS 10.

Or would you purchase the Furuno 1623? It comes with a 2.2-kW transmitter, 16-nM 15-inch radome, and a 6-inch monochrome 240 X 320 LCD monitor. The price varies, but as of right now can be purchased for $1,270. Furuno's reputation doesn't need an introduction.

Sfef84 posted 08-23-2011 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
Looking at the "virtually radiation free" Broadband 3G Radar specs at . To demonstrate this feature, a 3G Radar unit is shown (picture 4) mounted about 4 feet above the waterline. Is the radar THAT powerful that it can be mounted at shoulder level and still be effective?
bluewaterpirate posted 08-23-2011 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Go with the 3G terrific radar.
jimh posted 08-23-2011 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I think the Lowrance RADAR is a frequency-modulated continuous wave RADAR with digital signal process. This is a modern technology for RADAR, at least at the low-cost consumer level. I don't know much about the Furuno, put I suspect it is probably a conventional pulsed RADAR.

Having a dedicated display is a nice option if you have the room on a small boat for multiple displays. Being able to overlay the RADAR return echoes on a chart display is also very nice. Are you certain the function requires a heading sensor?

Sfef84 posted 08-23-2011 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
I am pretty sure the heading sensor is required.
David Pendleton posted 08-23-2011 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I realize this isn't entirely relevant, but my Raymarine Pathfinder RADAR and RC70CRC display will support RADAR-chart overlay without a course computer, it just doesn't do it very well.

I have found that I actually prefer the split RADAR/chart screen to the overlay, but the overlay does perform okay at low speeds using input from my GPS. I find the overlay too distracting anyway, so this is good.

My point being is the units you are evaluating may indeed support RADAR-chart overlay without a course computer, but with reduced accuracy.

David Pendleton posted 08-23-2011 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I should also add that by "accuracy" I am referring to the chart staying in sync with the RADAR on the display.

It doesn't affect the configuration of the RADAR (gain, sea clutter, etc.).

The RADAR will depict an object (when properly configured) regardless of whether or not you have a course computer.

Sfef84 posted 08-23-2011 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
I think I was confusing chart overlay with MARPA warnings.
Sfef84 posted 08-23-2011 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
From the Lowrance manual link: Radar-Operation_0161-10B_090808.pdf

Page 25:

"Radar Overlay
The Radar Overlay feature allows you to overlay radar data on any map page as long as you have a valid GPS position and a NMEA 2000 heading sensor or compatible NMEA 0183 heading sensor.

You will need to purchase a SIMRAD heading sensor for the Radar Overlay feature to work properly. "


David Pendleton posted 08-23-2011 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Mine is the same, MARPA will NOT work without a course computer.

I question the utility of MARPA for the recreational boater, even in busy ports. (I have similar doubts about the use of DSC and AIS for the recreational boater, but that is best left for another topic).

I'm not sure where you boat, so maybe MARPA is valuable to you. I regularly boat in high-traffic areas (e.g. the Mississippi River between Minneapolis/St. Paul and La Crosse, WI), and MARPA isn't so useful. RADAR on the other hand, is extremely useful, if not essential, and I would not navigate the river at night with out it.

Jefecinco posted 08-24-2011 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
It may help the more expert members to know the purpose of a radar on your boat. Day use on the Gulf Coast seems to be mostly for serious fishermen to be able to spot bird flocks feeding on the surface. Other than that night time navigation seems to be the purpose. Fog seems to be fairly unusual here but some of the year early morning fog can be problematic. I would think heavy rain would be the most common visibility problem we encounter but I don't know how useful radar is for navigating in heavy rain.

From other posts on the subject I understand "bird spotting" requires a radar with superior discrimination and resolution.

BWP (Tom) does a lot of fishing and probably uses his boat more than anyone else on the forum plus he is an electronics expert. If I had a need for and the resources required he would be my go-to guy before making a radar purchase but your intended use could make a big difference as to what would be your best choice.


Sfef84 posted 08-24-2011 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     

I plan on running it in early morning (1 AM) to the rigs out here in the Gulf (30-40 miles). In the winter, I mostly wade fish Galveston Bay and very heavy fog banks do roll through for a month or two.

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