Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
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Congratulations on your new HD radar. Sounds like an improvement over what you've seen or used in the past.
I'd just like to echo the importance of horizontal beamwidth in discriminating amongst radar targets. The Furuno 19" UHD radome has a 5.2 degree beamwidth (almost identical to your new Raymarine unit). They also make a larger 24" UHD radome with a 3.9 degree horiz. beamwidth.
While DSP and other fancy receiver techniques may make radar much more usable, I would point out that there are a couple of other factors to be considered. One is the horiz. beamwidth, mentioned above. The other is the type and definition of the display unit itself.
My Furuno 1832 4KW 36-mile radar has a 24" radome with a horiz. discrimination of 3.9 degrees. It also has a green-screen CRT (not LCD) with a 481x680 pixel resolution. It paints small objects very clearly on the screen when properly adjusted. For example, in two summers in Maine waters I found I could pick out lobster pots with the radar, and I can see many crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay with this radar. Ditto for rowboats, floating debris, and other small targets.
The radome is mounted on a pole on the stern, about 9' above the deck or some 12-13' above the water. This position favors close-in targets, compared to a radome mounted much higher up on the mast which would favor targets further distant. However, I wanted to optimize for close in targets (things I could run into), and still find the radar perfectly well suited to track storms many miles away...because they're high up.
A number of discussion sites have poo-poo'd the HD or UHD labels now being used as marketing tools, saying there's really nothing new here. I'm not saying that...I don't know enough about the technologies being employed, yet. My interest would be to see what DSP could do for an already very good radar like the 1832 :-)