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post #1 of 11 Old 12-18-2007 Thread Starter
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RadarPC

I'm looking for a low cost radar system for Sail-La-Vie. I've seen some ads for RadarPC, and combination radome, control box and PC software that integrates 4 color radar and chartplotter on a PC. Sounds and looks interesting, and with an entry price of under $2K with a 20" radome.

Does anyone have experience with this system? Any other low cost alternatives to share?

Thanks,
Larry
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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The only snag I see with the PC approach is the PC itself with its display and controls - as compared to a chartplotter designed to withstand an open cockpit environment. Otherwise, it can offer better hardware performance and flexibility.

I don't like the idea of having a primary instrument hidden away below decks and either tying up a crew member and developing a communication terminology, or having a continuous in and out of the cockpit to check the radar with visual.

Jonathan-Livingston
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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I've heard of rigging a second computer monitor at the helm, fed by wireless. A wireless mouse can also be used to control the computer at the helm.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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xort - do you know of any salt water proof monitors and mice? Also in an open cockpit the monitor needs to be daylight readable.

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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2k Seems high...

2K Seems really high when you can buy a JRC 1500 MK II with an 18" 2kw dome, stand alone unit, for around $1100.00. Beyond that you can install this display at he helm, where it will actually be of some use, and not worry about getting it wet.

Up here in Maine it's critical to have the radar at the helm in thick fog. It's even better to only have one display and have the radar overlayed but you'll run into more cost that way.

When you're in 30 foot vis the last thing you need to be doing is going up and down the companionway to check the radar on a computer screen. I won't even go into the reliability issues of using a PC for anything on a boat...

Most of the commercial fisherman up here use JRC it's not fancy but it's durable and it works. JRC (Japan Radio Company) has made domes for many of the name brands you see out there for years & years..

I suppose if you are only going to be using it for night time use, without fog, than a PC may be OK but do keep in mind that even on the lowest brightness settings a PC will destroy your night vision where a dedicated marine display is designed to be dimmed enough to not ruin night vision.

IMHO PC's & boats do not work well together and should NEVER be relied on as a main source for anything other than surfing the net...


One more thing. A 20" dome, on your boat, is about 2" to 4" bigger in diameter than it needs to be. Keep the weight down aloft and go with an 18" or smaller dome..


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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-18-2007 at 08:14 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
I've heard of rigging a second computer monitor at the helm, fed by wireless. A wireless mouse can also be used to control the computer at the helm.
A good daylight visible, water proof, touch screen monitor will run you close to 4K alone without the dome... Forget a unit run by a mouse in the cockpit you'll lose it, break it or never have it near when you really need it plus even after spending well over 5k you'll still have a system that is about 1/10 as reliable as a stand alone unit and one that draws more current..

Marine PC Display: http://www.sealandelectronics.com/Raymarine_M1500.html

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-18-2007 at 08:11 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiens View Post
xort - do you know of any salt water proof monitors and mice? Also in an open cockpit the monitor needs to be daylight readable.
We had a mouse in our cockpit once, I think he was water proof but in the end I got him with a shoe.

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-18-2007
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We had a mouse in our cockpit once, I think he was water proof but in the end I got him with a shoe.
I bet your shoe squeezed some water out, or at least brought tears to his eyes.

Come to think of it, there are waterproof monitors too - the lizard variety.

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-28-2009
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I think it may be time to re-open this conversation. With the new netbooks, daylight readable, and a decent plastic cover, a pc at the helm is doable, and only cost about $300 so can be replaced yearly, with a spare set aside.

I am interested in this radarpc, and whether I can hook it up to my existing JRC radome?

Joe
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-28-2009
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And the same discussions apply. Why use a pc when you can get a Raymarine 2kw dome + C70 package for $1600...if you play the discount game (4% referral cash back from fatwallet, price matching...maybe a coupon code, etc).

S/V Jendai
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Last edited by night0wl; 06-28-2009 at 09:22 AM.
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