3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both... - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Interesting. Raymarine btw do call their latest radar units "broadband" but not 3 or 4G.
No from Important Radar Information from Raymarine
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Pulsed magnetron vs broadband (FMCW) radar technology

Broadband (FMC) radars typically emit low levels of energy, resulting in loss of ultimate performance in conditions of fog, rain, spray and snow, and limiting target detection at longer ranges.

Raymarine pulsed magnetron radars combine low average energy with high peak powers allowing the radar to detect targets at greater ranges, and to punch through adverse weather conditions ensuring targets are identified.
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I presume that a Raymarine antenna would not be compatible with other makes displays but can you link other makes into a Raymarine network ?
No there are no standard for interfacing radars with MFD's
There are however one option, some radar units can work with Open CPN software.

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Pardon my ignorance.

We have an old Pathfinder (Raymarine) multi display which is due for upgrade at some time in the future.

Generally speaking because we have bugger all fog it does not loom large in our thinking whereas we do have to contend with a fair amount of coastal shipping. One night sailing up the NSW coast we observed, as in eyeballed in excess of 60 ships, mainly bulk carriers off the port of Newcastle.
If little fog and large merchant ships is your main concern an AIS receiver or AIS transponder seems like a better option.

I have both, but think that first choice depends on where and how you use the boat.
Large ships will be AIS class A equipped and will have rapid update on AIS.
The AIS will help give you CPA (Closest Point of Approach), TCPA (Time to Closest Point of Approach), speed, call sign, name ++ of the big ships.
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post #32 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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One thing I never hear mentioned is the often very slow update speeds of Class B which can be gawd awfully slow.
What type of AIS do you have?

All(most) all commercial ships is Class A

Frequency for position updates transmission is determined by the transponder class (A or B)

But the receive lag is also affected by the type of receiver.
There are "Single channel receivers" and "Dual channel receivers"
Worst case update frequencies for single channel is
Class B SOG < 2 knots 6 min (dual channel 3min)
Class B SOG > 2 knots 1 min (dual channel 30 sek)

Class A SOG 0-14 knots 20 sek (dual channel 10 sek)
Class A SOG 0-14 knots and changing course 3.3 sek (dual channel 6.6 sek)
and so on

An god presentation on AIS can be found here http://www.digitalyacht.co.uk/files/...the%20BMEA.pdf

One thing AIS can do better than radar is to show what is around the "corner"
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post #33 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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No from Important Radar Information from Raymarine



No there are no standard for interfacing radars with MFD's
There are however one option, some radar units can work with Open CPN software.


If little fog and large merchant ships is your main concern an AIS receiver or AIS transponder seems like a better option.

I have both, but think that first choice depends on where and how you use the boat.
Large ships will be AIS class A equipped and will have rapid update on AIS.
The AIS will help give you CPA (Closest Point of Approach), TCPA (Time to Closest Point of Approach), speed, call sign, name ++ of the big ships.
You are quite right. I thought I read 'broadband' on the Raymarine website but a quick check proved otherwise.

I'm not sure what you mean by "No there are no standard for interfacing radars with MFD's". Our older chart plotter displays both charts and radar though in separate windows.

We do already have AIS send/recieve via a newer plotter as well.

So many electronic gadgets for an electronic imbecile like me. Sigh.

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post #34 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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Originally Posted by tdw View Post
You are quite right. I thought I read 'broadband' on the Raymarine website but a quick check proved otherwise.

I'm not sure what you mean by "No there are no standard for interfacing radars with MFD's". Our older chart plotter displays both charts and radar though in separate windows.

We do already have AIS send/recieve via a newer plotter as well.

So many electronic gadgets for an electronic imbecile like me. Sigh.
I think NMEA 2000 has done a great job of standardizing protocols for most components (there are still problems in that some manufacturers don't play nice and maintain some proprietary elements). My understanding is that radar is not among the standardized components. So, if you have a garmin radar, you will need a Garmin CP to display it. Like someone said above, openCPN may be the best way to bring radar data into a non-uniform (i.e., multi-brand) system. If anyone knows differently (i.e., how to bring BBR into a garmin system or Garmin HD into a RM system) please advise.

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post #35 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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You are quite right. I thought I read 'broadband' on the Raymarine website but a quick check proved otherwise.
The newer radars from Raymarine, Garmin and Furuno also far better than their older cousins. but the use different technology than the broadband type radars.

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I'm not sure what you mean by "No there are no standard for interfacing radars with MFD's". Our older chart plotter displays both charts and radar though in separate windows.
I will try to explain.
In the "old days" we had dedicated units
A radar antenna connected to a radar display
A chart plotter connected to a GPS receiver

Today these will often be one box with one screen and control buttons, this type of units we call Multi Function Displays (MFD)
NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 are standards that make it possible to share data between devices from different manufacturers.
I have wind/speed/depth sensors from Raymarine connected to a box that convert sensor data into NMEA 2000 format.
This data can be displayed on both my Furuno MFD and my Raymarine i70 displays and be used by my autpilot from Coursemaster.

Modern radar antennas have all the "logic" in the antenna, and the MFD is just an display and control unit.

So if I added another Furuno MFD to my boat I would be able to view radar on both displays.
But if I add a Raymarine MFD it will not be able to show radar pictures from the Furuno radar

But the NMEA standard does not say anything about radar data, so that is why you must have radar and display from same manufacturer.


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We do already have AIS send/recieve via a newer plotter as well.

So many electronic gadgets for an electronic imbecile like me. Sigh.
You didn't say what kind of equipment you already have (make & modell)
Would make it easier to give a good answer

Last edited by knuterikt; 02-07-2014 at 07:29 PM.
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post #36 of 42 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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I think NMEA 2000 has done a great job of standardizing protocols for most components (there are still problems in that some manufacturers don't play nice and maintain some proprietary elements). My understanding is that radar is not among the standardized components. So, if you have a garmin radar, you will need a Garmin CP to display it. Like someone said above, openCPN may be the best way to bring radar data into a non-uniform (i.e., multi-brand) system. If anyone knows differently (i.e., how to bring BBR into a garmin system or Garmin HD into a RM system) please advise.
hmmm ... we use OpenCPN on a notebook. I didn't know you could use openCPN on a stand alone chart plotter or am I confused by your meaning ?

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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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hmmm ... we use OpenCPN on a notebook. I didn't know you could use openCPN on a stand alone chart plotter or am I confused by your meaning ?
Yeah - I wasn't clear. My understanding is that you can bring commercial radar into an openCPN platform on a laptop (but *not* into another manufacturer's CP).

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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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Yeah - I wasn't clear. My understanding is that you can bring commercial radar into an openCPN platform on a laptop (but *not* into another manufacturer's CP).
Correct and only one or two I think
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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

Thank for clearing that up. Now I just need to figure out how to make my notebook talk to my radar.

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Re: 3G Radar V/S AIS, or get both...

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Thank for clearing that up. Now I just need to figure out how to make my notebook talk to my radar.
I just started playing with Open CPN, so I am no expert but….

Open CPN has a plugin (GRadar) for Garmin digital radar which connects via the Ethernet cable. It can connect directly to or if you want the radar feed available to other devices, such as a Garmin Chartplotter, via an Ethernet hub. I believe that they are developing a plugin for Lowrance 3G, which I think also uses an Ethernet cable.
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