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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics > Radar and AIS
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Thread: Radar and AIS Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-08-2014 09:54 PM
mightyhorton
Re: Radar and AIS

If you are never going to go boating after dark, if you are never going to go boating in the fog, if you are never going to go boating in a storm whether snow or rain, if you are never going to go boating in the third or second world, then all you need may be AIS. With good visibility in broad daylight you will be able to determine your location and see the rocks, the cliffs, the islands, the breakwaters, the boats in the mooring field with no lights showing, the bridges, the boats drifting with no electrical power, the anchored barges that should but don't display lights, and all the other stuff that doesn't transmit AIS. That said, for me AIS is a handy thing to have to augment my radar. Radar is like the new improved Mark XIV eyeball, AIS is like having a hearing aid when you are only sorta deaf......

Ian
02-08-2014 05:12 PM
blowinstink
Re: Radar and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by catamount View Post
One consideration that may be often overlooked is the issue of power consumption. I don't know about modern RADAR systems, but traditionally RADAR has had pretty high power demands (e.g. on my Dad's old boat, granted with limited battery capacity, if you wanted to run the RADAR you pretty much had to have the engine running as well).
In this context it is worth noting that BBR (currently only offered by the Lowrance group) uses far less power than traditional RADAR.
02-08-2014 05:03 PM
catamount
Re: Radar and AIS

One consideration that may be often overlooked is the issue of power consumption. I don't know about modern RADAR systems, but traditionally RADAR has had pretty high power demands (e.g. on my Dad's old boat, granted with limited battery capacity, if you wanted to run the RADAR you pretty much had to have the engine running as well).

Now some of you may think this is no big deal, everyone is loading their boats up with so much power-hungry gadgetry that adding RADAR to the mix has little impact. But there is a cascade of consequences to consider: bigger battery banks to power it all, bigger alternator to charge the battery banks, maybe even re-powering the boat too, in order to drive that alternator, and you will need more fuel (additional tankage, perhaps), and your engine will require more maintenance, spare parts, oil changes, etc... or hydro generators, solar panels, windmills, etc....

Then you have the whole added problem of how best to support your Radome....

Would I like to have RADAR on my boat? Yes, I sure would. But I'm just not there yet.

In contrast, a decent AIS/transmit system with standalone "watchmate" really does use a miniscule amount of power. The required supporting infrastructure (e.g. finding a place for a VHF antenna and a GPS mushroom) is much less daunting than for the radome. So the overall cost is much less. Thus I do have one of these, and it has proven to be quite useful. AIS does not replace RADAR; they complement each other. But you can't always get what you want, although you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.
02-08-2014 03:48 PM
TakeFive
Re: Radar and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
Just read the whole thread. I'm really looking forward to following the discussions here someone said something about slaving a unit to a laptop would that also be possible to go to the tablets with their quirky os. ( they are cheaper in the range of under 200 bucks )
With the appearance of Windows 8.1, tablets can be a lot less "quirky" and run Windows programs natively.

I always thought that slaving a tablet to a separate computer was a kludge. I know some people would swear by it, but with Windows 8.1 on a tablet, you have the option of running the whole program in the tablet.

I recently purchased the Lenovo Miix 2 8" tablet for the sole purpose of running OpenCPN in my cockpit. It has an amazingly bright screen and also has a GPS built in. I'll get AIS data from my GX2150 radio wirelessly via Bluetooth. I've been doing this on a netbook for 4 years, but the netbook is showing signs of wear (buttons wearing out), so the tablet will be a nice upgrade that is even more portable than the netbook.

I don't have radar at this point, so I can't comment on that. This year I plan to get a Bluetooth anemometer and display to apparent/actual wind data within OpenCPN.
02-05-2014 11:00 PM
newhaul
Re: Radar and AIS

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
OK, new thread established in Gear and Maintenance Electronics. I've copied across the most relevent posts.
Just read the whole thread. I'm really looking forward to following the discussions here someone said something about slaving a unit to a laptop would that also be possible to go to the tablets with their quirky os. ( they are cheaper in the range of under 200 bucks )
02-05-2014 10:44 PM
tdw
Re: Radar and AIS

OK, new thread established in Gear and Maintenance Electronics. I've copied across the most relevent posts.
02-05-2014 10:15 PM
tdw
Radar and AIS

Over in the $500 thread there has been something of a hijack to discuss Radar and AIS (mea culpa btw).

Lets start this thread and have a chat about the pros and cons of both. Why one not the other ? Which one ?

Anyone who would like to copy posts from the other thread to here, please go right ahead.
02-05-2014 10:11 PM
tdw
Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Andre, Aev ..... I appreciate the your comments and I gues I should really apologise to everyone else for the hijack. Sorry about, I do tend to run off at the keyboard.

I confess to having very little experience with Radar but I am strating to see where it has great advantages over AIS.

see new thread.
02-05-2014 09:54 PM
Omatako
Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
I think that's the sort of comment I was hoping for Aev. My comment was based on my own experience but as I said it may well depend on where you sail.

The only time I've been in a zero (effectively) visibility situation I found AIS more useful than Radar and at other times in reduced visibility the same.

Question for you .... how well do those small fishing boats stand out on Radar screen ? are they predominantly timber or is metal more prevalent these days.
Andrew, I sailed across the Indian Ocean below Sri Lanka and on to Indonesia. There are dozens of long liners operating out there and whilst I don't know this, I would be astonished (looking at the nature of the vessels) if even one of them have AIS. But they all paint on my radar.

Also when you're sailing in the South Pacific, the islands and atolls don't run AIS.

So I don't pooh-pooh AIS, will probably install one before my next voyage, but would never trade my radar for AIS.
02-05-2014 08:12 PM
svzephyr44
Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarguy56 View Post
Thanks for the feedback on the AIS system... I think we should open up a new thread and discuss the AIS/radar systems.
Go ahead and start a thread. We can cut and paste some of what has been written here or link to it.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

 
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