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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have Radar but wouldn't mind it for squall spotting if its cheap.
Furuno have one that only needs power and then it WIFIs to Apple (only) products.
Its USD$1,000 which seems pretty cheap.
I really don't want to do cable runs, extra holes in the deck yada yada.

FURUNO 1st Watch Wireless Radar

Anyone used it or had thoughts?
 

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I don't have any experience with it, but do know that it needs power, so you will have some wires to contend with. Conventional radars use a Cat5 cable for communications, so the only real wiring difference between this and those is that one thin wire.

BTW, the last person to bring up the Furuno wireless radar on Sailnet was Smackdaddy, and he got banned for it. Be careful of the administrator here... ;)

Mark
 

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No personal experience - I have the Furuno solid state radar and it is fantastic as an overlay on my plotter but not the WiFi setup. This link is to someone else's review that you may have seen? Sorry to drag something from "the other place"...

 

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I've not used the Furuno wireless radar. Interesting that I've known no one who has. I just installed a new Raymarine radar that can do either, hard wire or wireless. The installer said it would be ridiculous not to hard wire it. I fully agreed. Wireless may be a nice backup, if the network connection goes bad.

I can say, with certainty, once you've sailed in limited viz with modern radar, you'd never go back.

Smack, as we all know, was not banned over this topic. He was banned, because he was an instigating &$$(-)*!#.
 

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I’m putting the first watch wireless unit on my boat this winter , I only Use a iPad at the helm so its a natural fit for my usage . There aren’t a whole lot of reviews out there , but I found more info on actual usage on some of the fishing / powerboat sites . try searching the part number , or wireless radar, it took some digging , did it last winter so maybe there’s more out there . when I go searching for reviews I generally toss out the most glowing review along with the one that whines the most about how bad it was, and the truth sits somewhere in the middle . I’m sure there are more powerful units with more features but for my purpose its the one .
 

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Did anyone who was considering purchasing one of these (Mark? Dinosdad?) go through with an installation and have any feedback? I already have an iPad and am seeing the Furuno First Watch is under $900 now, which is less than half the price of any other entry level radar/plotter combo package. I'd be curious to hear feedback from any who have actually used one of these.
 

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Another consideration is how old is your chartplotter as a chartplotter/radar combo isn't isn't a lot more in the boat big picture
 

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Furuno First Watch is under $900 now
I really wonder how many have been installed. I still do not know of anyone who has one.

I was crossing the Gulf of Maine this past summer and a big unforecasted thunderstorm, maybe 30 miles across, came off New Hampshire and crossed the Gulf west to east. Without radar, I would have either not known it was there, until too late, or not been able to monitor and adjust speed and course to come around the back side (which is what we did).

Radar is a must in my book, without internet access. If close enough to shore (few miles) to get an internet signal, there are ample apps that allow radar access.
 

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My old radar is a mast mount. Were I do go new... I would do a pole at the stern. Wireless seems appealing... Wiring to the pole does not seem daunting.
 

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Wireless seems appealing...
Since they all require a wire for the power, I really don’t get why the data needs to be wireless. I’d be worried about wireless interference, right when I‘d want it to work the most (ie big storm). Last I heard the wireless data from the Furuno had to be viewed separately and not overlaid on a plotter, but maybe that’s been improved by now. What do you find appealing?
 

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Since they all require a wire for the power, I really don’t get why the data needs to be wireless. I’d be worried about wireless interference, right when I‘d want it to work the most (ie big storm). Last I heard the wireless data from the Furuno had to be viewed separately and not overlaid on a plotter, but maybe that’s been improved by now. What do you find appealing?
maybe solar with a battery? Probably not viable for long run times. Maybe a program that sleeps and wakes up for a scan and if no targets in defined range goes off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, I didn't buy one yet.

I'm waiting till I go to the US and can buy there.
I'm planning a few upgrades in Annapolis. But my trip there maybe out off 1 year. My life is like a jigsaw puzzle where the last 6 pieces need a sledge hammer 🛠


Mark
 

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maybe solar with a battery?
To be a wise guy, you still need a wire to get to the battery that is presumably now mounted next to the radar. Can't see how that's desirable over running a longer wire to the house batteries. Not to mention the added cost of solar and a charge controller and the weight of all the above.

Honestly, I truly don't understand why the wireless feature is attractive other than maybe as a backup. Then again, no one seems to have one, so that may be self evident.
 

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To be a wise guy, you still need a wire to get to the battery that is presumably now mounted next to the radar. Can't see how that's desirable over running a longer wire to the house batteries. Not to mention the added cost of solar and a charge controller and the weight of all the above.

Honestly, I truly don't understand why the wireless feature is attractive other than maybe as a backup. Then again, no one seems to have one, so that may be self evident.
The radar should be designed w/ solar on top and a battery included. MAYBE... one of these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wireless feature is attractive because there's a huge difference between getting power to the unit and running a cable to the nav station, forward bunk, aft cabin and the helm.
Wireless means your Tablet can be anywhere in the boat. I like sleeping with them so I can open an eye, check the Crew is on the program and then cluse the eye again.

Mark
 

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Power storage for a battery operated device is the issue. In addition to better technology... and weight loft... the software needs to be smarter in use of power.
 

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It's not the wirelessness that's appealing to me, it's the cost. It's the least expensive radar that has a chart overlay feature (it didn't on release, but the ability to do chart overlay was added a year or two after launch). The only other relatively inexpensive way to do this is with OpenCPN's radar plugin that allows you to connect and use many name brand radars with a PC with no chartplotter. However, OpenCPN's radar interface would be difficult to implement at the helm without a tablet connected to a main PC remotely/wirelessly. Most other radar/plotter combos start around $2400, maybe a couple hundred cheaper if you find a closeout model.

I learned to sail before radar was common on pleasure boats and sailed thousands of miles and lots of years without it. For me radar is more of a "nice to have" than a "must have" so it's hard to justify spending $2.5-5k on a radar/plotter system but at $875 it becomes more of a "why not?" type of thing.
 

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Interesting. I have a wired Ray Marine unit but would consider a wireless unit. I already have power but the comms cable would have to be replaced.

Some thoughts.

I have solar and wind gen on my arch. So for power why not tie into the solar feed? It is connected to the battery? This would only work with 12 volt regulators, not MPPT regulators. But working off the wind feed might be possible.

I ran a 6 pair twisted shielded comms cable to an electrical box on the arch. That way I can run varios devices back to the cabin, such as GPS. If the radar uses a Cat 3/4/5 type connection then that may work.
 

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N2K was the latest protocol for instruments to share data... listen a talk. I don't think we're at the stage of complete interoperability and sharing of all data to a "digital display. But this is on the way presumably because it makes sense. Charts and radar require lots of bandwidth... data rich. That has to be solved... wires are "old technology".
 
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