Newbie Impressions of Radar overlay (Raymarine c80) without electronic compass, etc.
Just wanted to correct something that I had read, or been told, a couple of times.
I was told that you could not have radar overlay (over chartplotter map/gps) without buying some type of electronic compass, gyro compass, etc (or having one that comes with an autopilot). I was also told, when buying the 18" Raydome, that the GPS required the boat to be travelling at least 3 kts to give heading direction.
Anyway, connected the radar to my Raymarine C80 multifunction plotter and it works great, without the additional compass, etc.
Note: I am certain that it would work even better with one, as the radar targets would be centered more precisely over the islands, etc, if the boats heading was more quickly updated to the plotter. However, for my intended use, it works great as is. If I change headings quickly, the radar overlay is a bit off of the map, fo a couple of seconds, and then it is fine again. I generally sail in an area with lots of islands, and the radar overlay shows a pink radar cloud over each island on the plotter. Of course, other pink marks, where no islands are marked on the map, are possible boats, etc.
I found I did have to adjust the gain or tune, to filter out some false targets, from waves (winds 15 -20kts), but was still able to see the real targets. Of course, I need to read / learn alot more about these functions in order to get the most out of it. Auto mode worked most of the time, but did pick up to many false targets at times.
I can't comment, or compare my new radar to the digital or HD radar options out there, as my 1 year old plotter is sadly not capable of connecting to them (not happy with Raymarine or dealer for not telling me this at time of purchase).
Although the newer versions of radar may be superior, this one certainly seems to do what I need. You can of course, split the screens as well, so you can see the chart on one side, and the radar on the other, but to me the overlay screen is the cat's a$$!
Although we did travel more 4-6 kts most of the time, while sailing, the plotter / radar overlay also worked fine when trolling / fishing at 1-2kts.