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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine , I call him Wing Nut and when I get frustrated with him I call him Mr. Nut . Any how he is convinced that a radar gun like the police use would be the same thing as radar that you install on your mast . I have given up trying to tell him that his theory is wrong on many levels , he is not phased . Raytheon had a show and tell truck at our marina the other day so Mr. Nut goes in and gave the Raytheon sales rep a ear full . He could not understand why he got tossed out . So any how (I can't believe I'm asking my sailnet bud's this question) Is he on to something? We all know he is not . So maybe you could help me with some good natured , but snappy come backs .
 

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A mast light is not the same as a laser, even though they both emit light in the visible spectrum. A radio can receive radio signals as well as a wireless router but they perform different functions. Could the radar gun be modified and wired into a receiver and be MADE to work . . . maybe. But the cost in time and labor would be prohibitive at best.
 

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Your friend is a sociopath, with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (also known as "I'm always right, and everyone else is wrong")

A police radar or laser rangefinder is setup to make several time/distance calculations, and then output a number which represents the speed of the target.

Yes, in the very vaguest, most technical sense, such a device could be used to detect an object in your path, and perhaps report a range instead of a speed.

These guns have a narrow beamwidth, which is nearly useless for his intended application.

This guy is just another whackjob who is trying to convert a hammer into a screwdriver. Tell him to just shut up and buy a "screwdriver" instead of trying to convert another tool to an inappropriate use.
 

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I guess I am a geezer around here..... :)

Some (many) years back there was a hand held radar unit. Don't remember who made it now. I was always sorry I did not purchase one! But was broke at the time.

It looked like, and was about the same size as an 11 inch backing pan. It had a handle on both sides. It had a set of ear phones attached to it.

To use it, you put in the headset, held it by the two handles in front of you and pointed it in the direction you were interested in (in foggy conditions). As you moved left and right, aiming it away from the boat, you would hear a sound when a target was returning a signal. I thought it was a nice idea. It was WAY less $$$ than a mounted unit.

I am not sure if you could later heat up that soup with it. ;) :laugher

I do think I know why it was not on the market for a long time.

Greg

It looked something like this, but smaller and no screen......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sociopath NPD, Bubblehead nailed it ! Delezynski I all most wish you had not shown me that now I have to tell Wing Nut about it , he'll never shut up now . But come on I'm looking for some snappy come backs .
 

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I'll be the odd man out. Feel free to attack...

Radar that emits Radio Frequency energy is police and marine. The basic concept of transmitting and RF pulse and processing the returned energy is the same for both. For police, they look at the Doppler shift in the returned energy to get relative velocity. For Marine, they only care (maybe not always) if something is there or not. Henc, marine Radar looks at how strong the returned energy is.

Now it seems to me that if you got up on your mast (for distance) with a police RF (not laser) Radar, you would end up with relative velocity between you and some other object. You would also need to fire it in many directions to get full coverage around you. So in a sense, I think your friend is correct, but impractal.

By the way, was your friend (Wing Nut) named Pat O'Connell from Endless Summer II? :)
 

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As others have noted, there are similarities between the two. They both use radio waves to do a certain kind of sensing. However, the radar gun is intended to determine the speed of a very specific target with a high degree of precision. It's beam is relatively narrow (not quite laser-like, but it's a good analogy), and in a vague sense, it could be used for "seeing" ahead of you, but only in one very specific location. Imagine being in a lightless room with lots of furniture, and trying to light your way using a laser.

By contrast, the radar unit on the boat uses a wide beam to "illuminate," and a different sensor array to "see" a bigger area. Add to that the fact that it rotates, allowing it to "see" 360 degrees, and you get something that is very different from the radar gun. Could a radar gun be adapted to do what the boat radar does? Yeah, kind of. Is it worth the effort? Probably not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey gb , no that's not my Wing Nut . Pat is way cool . Thank your lucky stars my Wing Nut is not on your dock . Jim , yes I agree with all that you say , I try to reason with Wing Nut like that but I don't think he listens .
OK , here is stuff I'm looking for .
Mr. Nut if you don't stop your relentless blathering , my ears will start bleeding .
Wing Nut if you would learn the basics of a computer you could ask people on the computer and and get the answers that seem to elude you .... Stuff like that, ha,ha nicey nicey.
 

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I guess I am a geezer around here..... :)

Some (many) years back there was a hand held radar unit. Don't remember who made it now. I was always sorry I did not purchase one! But was broke at the time.

It looked like, and was about the same size as an 11 inch backing pan. It had a handle on both sides. It had a set of ear phones attached to it.

To use it, you put in the headset, held it by the two handles in front of you and pointed it in the direction you were interested in (in foggy conditions). As you moved left and right, aiming it away from the boat, you would hear a sound when a target was returning a signal. I thought it was a nice idea. It was WAY less $$$ than a mounted unit.

I am not sure if you could later heat up that soup with it. ;) :laugher

I do think I know why it was not on the market for a long time.

Greg

It looked something like this, but smaller and no screen......
From one Geezer to Another... The device was a "Whistler Hand Held Radar" manufactured by Controlonics in the mid-70's. It would give you the relative bearing to a return and a relative distance based upon the tone of the "alarm". It survived only a short while, however, as the JRC/Apelco LCD Radar came out a short time later at about the same price but was much more useful. The Whistler did work, more or less, (unless you were tone deaf of course).

FWIW...
 
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Ooops, Wing Nut was the longboarder...forgot his name. Pat O'Connell went by Pat in the movie. Oh well.

Tell your friend that you would like for him to get a Radar gun and show you how well it works for tracking marine traffic. He may be able to get a Radar gun that registers the speed of baseballs. Should be about the same as a police Radar gun. Use one of those for an experiment. Colleges and some high schools have baseball Radar guns. I don't know...it may not register speeds in the <15 knots category.
 

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Hey Wingnut, have you gotten your patent on that? If not, why not?

Hey Wingnut, I'm tired of hearing about the labor pains, come back when I can see the baby!

Wingnut,how long till you go cruising. The dock will be peaceful then.

Wingnut, was your degree in blue sky thinking? Or just rain clouds?

A couple I thought about....;) That first one was to give him something to do...


Greg
 

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Mark, never mind the pic that Delezynski posted, it's a thermal imager, and has nothing to do with radar. I have one at work, single hand held model, that can see moisture inside walls, see HVAC duct leaks, etc. Uses infrared technology, not RF. Closest connection between that picture and radar? FLIR is the worldwide leader in thermal imaging, and they now own Raymarine.

As to a radar gun being converted to a radar scanner, no, in practice it can't be done. The most sophisticated police radar guns have a realistic maximum range of about a mile, a litttle more in optimum conditions (meaning it'll almost never happen). It's like trying to make a fire truck with a water pistol. By the time you "saw" something, you'd practically already run into it.

Bubblehead's spot diagnosis sounds dead on. You could recomend years of therapy, or revert to to the short term approach, which has a higher rate of success:
Keelhaul him. :)
 

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A mast light is not the same as a laser, even though they both emit light in the visible spectrum. A radio can receive radio signals as well as a wireless router but they perform different functions. Could the radar gun be modified and wired into a receiver and be MADE to work . . . maybe. But the cost in time and labor would be prohibitive at best.
This answer is both funny and correct.

It's funny what people get in their head sometimes and just will not listen to someone who knows the correct answer.
 

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I was thinking a bit more about this yesterday. I've been on the end where I was being stubborn about something that I was dead wrong about. Super embarrassing after I realized how dumb I'd been. Anyway, it helps me when I'm given sound reasons why I am wrong, and not just being told that I'm wrong. Here are some thoughts about the police radar thing. Please correct any mistakes.

1. I believe the most important parameters for mariners are bearing and distance to surrounding traffic...Isn't that true? Relative speed of surrounding traffic is nice to know, but secondary.
2. A police radar gives relative velocity. It likely, although I don't know for sure, does not give distance to traffic. This is one item that makes a police radar unusable to mariners.
3. The other thing that kills it is the transmit power as one poster added yesterday. My bet is, although I don't know for sure, is that 1/4 mile is about all a police radar will go...maybe a mile.
4. Then there is the fact that the user will be using it on the deck which limit how far out it can see surrounding traffic...but transmit power kills this anyway.

I think those are enough technical reasons why it won't work. If Wing Nut still doesn't buy it, then continue using many other recommendations in this thread.
 
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