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Thread: Radar on the Commander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Manchester, MA
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    Radar on the Commander

    My wife is again asking if radar can be installed on Valhalla. I can't see any technical issues, but there are a few physical ones.
    Both JRC and Furuno make radars with small domes (12-18") and relatively small display heads. These would not take up tremendous space.

    I already have my GPS on a swingout mount from the starboard side of the cabin entry. Has anyone installed radar and if so, where is the display head mounted? I would be tempted to see if the radar display head will display my GPS info, and I would finally remove the loran and mount the radar low and to port on a swing away mount.

    The other issue is the pipe through the cabin top that connects the mast to the compression tube. I just installed a new combo deck/steaming light on the mast and the wires plus my VHF cable pretty much fill up that pipe. It was interesting to pull the 3 wires for the new lights out through that small hole in the bottom of the compression tube as well. Has anyone done any alternative wiring and what paths did you use?

    Thanks to everyone as usual. Where did summer really go??

    John Graves
    Valhalla
    Commander No 284

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Great subject!

    Those smaller 16 mile (?) receivers look very tidy, and accessable.
    I've just begun noticing them, for some reason, thought they were all these giant white Raytheon saucers no small boat had any place for.

    So where is a good spot for one of these? On the mast, or on a Garhauer radar pole (with the OB motor davit, of course)? Any scuttlebutt on which is the better unit? How much do you get socked for one of these safety devices? Practical Sailor? Haven't noticed anything from them on this intriguing subject.

  3. #3
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    Ebb,

    I had not thought of a pole mount. Hmmmm. Although the mast just above the spreaders would probably be higher and yield a better return. I suspect that with a pole mounted radome, the mast would be too close to be a problem, but I do think I want as much height as I can get to make clutter less of an issue.

    By the way Ebb....is your sister really Flo???


    John Graves
    Valhalla
    Commander No. 284

    I'm sorry...it is a Monday even if it's a Tuesday

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Capt John.
    You gotta know I"m real slow on electric/onic stuff. Would like to hear what you choose and whyfor.

    Would seem that mounted on mast you get more distance, but doesn't the mast make for a large blank spot on the screen?

    Best thing Flo ever did was cut me loose.

  5. #5
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    May 2002
    Location
    Manchester, MA
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    mast reflections

    Ebb,

    How often are you going backwards??? If you are like me, that could be a consideration. <grin> Or are you always looking over your shoulder??

    Seriously, the mast does not shadow because the signal return comes back to the antenna quickly, before it has switched to receive. So the mast is effectively invisable. and with the normal installation, any residual shadow would be behind not in front of you. That is also probably true for the pole mounted radar antennas as well, although the shadow is in front with the pole mount.

    I have not decided to install radar yet. We do have enough fog here in New England that I am considering it, and I enjoy my wife's company as well. She wants it, and both the price and the size have shrunken in the past few years. The little JRC radome is only 12" in diameter and the Furuno only 18" so the physical mount is straight forward. The cost (as my kids have taken to saying) is 1 1/2 boat units (About $1500).

    If I had a choice today, I think I would still vote for a GPS/Plotter. As I tell the my power boating friends, I do 5 knots with a lot of wind, and I do 5 knots with no wind. I just go better upwind with the later conditions. With this, I would at least know where I was and would be in better shape to keep out of shipping lanes etc. in the fog. At 5 knots, closing speed is a lot less than at 20+.

    John
    Valhalla
    Commander No 284

  6. #6
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    Sep 2001
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    Dang! Eighteen Inches? You'd have a place to camp out up there on the mast! Hell, you and yer sweetie could do some close dancing up there. 12's the only way to go. It's like a white tool box, a router somebody left on the mast. Talk about windage, on the Ariel that big ole saucer would be a dangerous airfoil and in the right wind would take over and lift the boat right out of the water.

  7. #7
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    I know....I know.....whoda thunk 18" would be a problem.....

    But...for that extra 6" you get.
    Better horizontal resolution 5 Deg vs 7.5 Deg.
    2 KW vs 1.5 KW peak power
    NEMA inputs which will give a lollypop on your way points if
    tie in your GPS. That alone makes it a lot easier to sort out
    returns when you are busy.

    The weight seems to be the same... about .5 kg...The mount probably weighs more..

    It would seem from all the replies that very few have attempted to install radar on our beloved vessels

  8. #8
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    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Thanks for the info!
    Still flying from the spreaders something the size and ten times the weight of your forehatch...
    is going to have people installing that radar receiver gizmo rather than the real thing.
    Seems to me radar after all these years shouldhave gotten a lot smaller a lot sooner by now. Everything else has. I'm going to wait, too.

    Out here on the west coast I'd be worried about a freighter suddenly appearing on my stern.

    As for input on this subject, you have more than 80 views at this time. There are many members who have no fingers for typing. If they did have an opinion they need radar to find it. You gotta love em for being Alberg friends. though!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Bellingham, Wa.
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    Hmmm.
    Take the weight or the radome unit, and multiply it by the number of feet to the waterline. Subtract from the keel ballast.
    I'll leave it to a real engineer to get into the additional loading on the spar, and the effect of the windage up there.

    I pulled some pretty nifty pieces off a beached piece of salvage not too long ago. Didn't keep good searoom in the fog, as his radar was bravely showing him the way...until it crapped out.

    Not shy with my opinions!
    Dave

  10. #10
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    Hampton Roads Va.
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    Mount a 'mizzenlike' pole on the stern and stick it about 10' above the lazyrat hatch.

  11. #11
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    Say this to windward only....

    G a r r r r r h a u e r !

  12. #12
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    I don't have a stern pulpit...and the support needed to put a 10 ft pole in the corner of the stern seems momentous. With a 10 ft pole on the stern, I guess I can't claim much of a height advantage at the speaders, though

    Has anybody increased the size of the feedthrough tube into the compression post???? Mine is pretty fulkl now with the wires I aleady have.

    John G.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2001
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    You don't need no stinkin pushpit ( pulpits are on the bow), mount it just off the centerline and tie to the backstay. Make some shrouds if you feel the need, the pole will weigh next to nuthin , use thin wall aluminum conduit, about 3" dia. To coin a phrase, been there, done that ( I am the 1st to ever say that I'm sure )

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