Broadband Radar -- worth the premium? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2010 Thread Starter
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Broadband Radar -- worth the premium?

My Freedom 38 is "sans radar" currently. Always liking the newest stuff (yes and early adapter) but constrained by $.

Is there any reason to spend what I guess is 100% more to go Broadband over conventional radar? I sail in Narragansett area (RI) so do encounter occassional fog but generally try to plan my trips to not do so.

Guess I'm concerned that my drive for latest technology (can't wait for an iPad) is moving me to unnecessary radar expenditures.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-29-2010
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I like th enew broadband because they now put the regular radars on sell!!! Nah, I would just get the old technology - but I must confess that I have not used the new one and might change my mind afterwards.

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-29-2010
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What GPS chartplotter do you have? Buying a radar often means buying a chartplotter/MFD that can display the radar...and if you have an existing one, getting the radar that is compatible with it would make far more sense and save you a lot of money.

For instance, if you have a Garmin chartplotter with a FOUR-digit model number—3xxx, 4xxx, 5xxx—it may be compatible with Garmin's 18 HD radome, which is an excellent compromise between an older traditional analog radome and a broadband radome....since the 18 HD is a high-definition digital radome. I don't believe the 2xxx series are compatible, but could be wrong.

The Garmin 7xx series are also compatible with the Garmin 18 HD IIRC.

You can get the Garmin 18 HD with a smaller 32xx series chartplotter for under $1500 if you shop carefully.

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post #4 of 10 Old 04-20-2010 Thread Starter
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Chartplotter won't support Radar

No such luck, my chartplotter is a 3 digit garmin so I would be in "do over" status. Could always ebay it (is that a valid verb?).

How small can I go with a screen and still have a useful radar system?

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-20-2010
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I am no expert in radar, but in reading about the new radars the dramatically reduced electrical drain in the broadband radar had a lot of appeal. Depends on your electrical systems and usage of course.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-20-2010
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IIRC, Maine Sail uses a 3206 with his 18HD radome... that's a 6" screen.

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Originally Posted by ereiss View Post
No such luck, my chartplotter is a 3 digit garmin so I would be in "do over" status. Could always ebay it (is that a valid verb?).

How small can I go with a screen and still have a useful radar system?

Thanks

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post #7 of 10 Old 04-20-2010
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Yes, they have a lower drain and are more discriminating but also have a lower detection range...and are a lot more expensive.

On all the tests that I have read, comparing a old one with a new one (broadband), they were cleared outmatched in the range test. Worst, they do not have the range they were advertized for.

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-22-2010
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Talking New and Improved, with Scrubbing Bubbles!

I had this "new broad band radar technology" discussion with some reps at the winter boat show. Gist of it was that under some conditions and at certain ranges the digital is better... and that in other conditions/ranges it was not.

My take-away was that this technology is still at version 1.0 or so, and a few years will make a measurable difference in usefulness and quality.
Our local independent dealer for most major lines is luke warm on it, but will accept anyone's money if they insist on handing it over (after getting an informed opinion...).

Like the old joke about being a software beta tester, if spending your own money, "betta wait!"
And, yup, I once got some "free" hardware from a reputable computer company for my trouble, but had to document a lot of lock-ups to earn it!

So, if you want to stay on the bleeding edge, Go For It... and let us know how it works out.


Regards,
L

ps: all you sailors with the newer Garmins, better read the warning buried deep in their install manual about magnetic interference with any compass within 39". IMHO, these products have no place on any boat, no matter what their colorful ad pages might (mis)lead you to believe.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-24-2010
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Give the "reduced electrical drain" a close look. If I have this right, the dramatically reduced drain is for the radome only, the instrument is the same so the total net effect is actually much less dramatic.
It interests me because of reported greatly superior close range resolution which is what really matters in the fog in Maine.
I agree with the concept of waiting a few years.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortman View Post
Give the "reduced electrical drain" a close look. If I have this right, the dramatically reduced drain is for the radome only, the instrument is the same so the total net effect is actually much less dramatic.
It interests me because of reported greatly superior close range resolution which is what really matters in the fog in Maine.
I agree with the concept of waiting a few years.
If you have not a problem with the difference in price and are not interested in a range over 6 Miles, go ahead. I have seen the pictures comparing the resolution and there is no possible comparison. The discrimination of the broadband is much better.

Regards

Paulo
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