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post #11 of 16 Old 05-15-2014
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Re: Car Radar Detector

Another thing about car radar detectors is that they would have a limited arc of detection. I think it would be about 120 degrees in the direction it is pointed. These radar detectors work well on the road for detecting signals from the rear (like when a cop is following you), because the radar signal is reflected off stuff ahead of you and detected from the front. In the open ocean there wouldn't be much to reflect the signal from ships that are in the 240 degree arc behind the car radar detector. You would either need to get the more expensive dual antenna detectors, get more than one cheap detector, or build some kind of refractor/diffuser thing that goes in front of the detector.

OK, radar-smart people, step up to the plate! Will any of this work?

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post #12 of 16 Old 05-15-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Car Radar Detector

I still use mine and successfully on the road. I see them at the local consignment store for around 5 bucks. I don't want to put radar on my little boat, (costs too much), but if I could change the directional antenna to Omni directional then I think it would let me know if a ship was near. Mine also has a limiter for congested areas and can be set for audio, light signal or both. I think I will play with a unit and see what I can do with the antenna.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-15-2014
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Re: Car Radar Detector

Guys the days of the marine radar detector passed us by in the 80's... I still have a few boats out there with them, though none are still operational.. Google CARD or RDF and you may find some info...

Having a radar is far safer than trying to detect it on a boat that does not have it, that you are on a collision course with....

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post #14 of 16 Old 05-15-2014
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Re: Car Radar Detector

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Guys the days of the marine radar detector passed us by in the 80's... I still have a few boats out there with them, though none are still operational.. Google CARD or RDF and you may find some info...

Having a radar is far safer than trying to detect it on a boat that does not have it, that you are on a collision course with....
I'm probably one of the few boats out there today that has a C.A.R.D. unit. It's the dome-shaped antenna, the one to the right of the 3 receivers on the rail below...



I've had it since long before anyone dreamed of AIS, of course... It actually works reasonably well, but it's really only useful for one thing: namely, an initial alert of a single vessel running radar offshore... Useful for someone like me who does a lot of singlehanding, but that's about it...

Better than nothing, but of course today almost totally superseded by AIS. And, it has a number of limitations:

It only gives a very approximate indication of the target bearing, and no real way to determine range...

Once multiple targets start showing up, it becomes almost all but worthless. In coastal waters, all it will often indicate is "You are surrounded by a bunch of boats running radar"... :-)

Once a target shows up, there is no way to Cancel that particular alert. You can turn the volume down, but then have to monitor the screen...

But, here's the biggest downside: You can't use it while running radar yourself, as your own radar pretty much overwhelms any other signals. So, it's only real value, is the initial contact with another vessel offshore if you don't have radar yourself, or are not running it continuously...

I still use mine, and consider it to be sort of a belt and suspenders supplement to AIS, and it's certainly better than nothing... However, it was fairly expensive back in the day, and I probably wouldn't buy one new again today... Anyone who comes across one on EBay for 100 or 200 bucks, however, it might be worth it... Again, very much depends on the sort of sailing you do, wouldn't do much for you sailing coastal Maine, I don't think... :-)
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Car Radar Detector

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Having a radar is far safer than trying to detect it on a boat that does not have it, that you are on a collision course with....
I agree. However, in my case, and maybe the OP, I am not in a position where I want to buy a radar system. Probably AIS would make more sense. I just like the idea of MacGyver-ing together some $5 radar detectors. In addition, when I get above hull speed, I don't want smokey pulling me over and giving me a ticket.

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post #16 of 16 Old 05-16-2014
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Re: Car Radar Detector

I have a C.A.R.D system complete if anyone wants to buy it.
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