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Old 06-16-2003, 08:29 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

My new boat has a Furuno 1621MK2 16 mile, 2kw radar. I've never had radar on a boat before and am enjoying tinkering with it. This weekend while out, I had the radar on when I went to the bow to unsnap the upper plastic windows from the hardtop. This put the radar at my head level about a foot away from my face. After I realized what I had done, I immediately ducked and went to the helm to turn tha radar off.

Now, I know this is probably just in my head (no pun intended ) but I thought I could feel my head heating up, like I had just cooked my brain!! Do I need to be that concerned???

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Old 06-16-2003, 09:06 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Your cooked!!!

Don't sweat it, there is more "radar" coming off your computer screen while reading this message than what you recieved on the boat.

But by all means, don't be puttin the head onto the scanner while running, it's probably not gonna help anything.

In my case, I have no brains left anyway, so all that's could happen is I heat up the air in my head!!!

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Old 06-16-2003, 10:46 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Si I can, uhhh, rest easy?

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Old 06-16-2003, 12:34 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

you can tell when you have had enough. You brain will pop like popcorn.


Dont make a habit of doing that.
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Old 06-16-2003, 12:52 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

From FURUNO...
"Stay away from transmitting antenna
The radar antenna emits microwave radiation which can be harful to the human body, particularly the eyes. Never look directly into the antenna radiaotr from a distance of less than one meter when the radar is in operation."
There are additional warnings, but that's enough for me.
I posted this question on another site and several people said that the warming sensation I felt was probably real!!!!

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Old 06-16-2003, 02:46 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Capt. Dan

Think of it this way - most home microwaves ovens are rated at around 1kw (give or take) and you know what they'll do to a bag of popcorn. Your radar is twice that power - OUCH!! I've known some people to sit up in the marlin tower with much more powerful radars running. Think of what they're doing to Wally and the twins . . .

My general rule is that radar transmission stops (turn off radar transmission) when any part of a person gets above the hardtop.

Kevin
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:39 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

I wonder if it will make you sterile?

sloopy
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:24 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

As far as microwaves go, a buddy in Vietnam ran a microwave communications antenna on the top of some hill. He says they used to cook their dinner by holding it up in front of the dish on a bamboo pole. Didn't take long to cook!!

I just sent the question to a friend who is an avionics technician for radar etc on airplanes. I'll report his comments soon.

Product Engineer, SMITH Marine Products
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:36 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Try not to make a habit of it. Even though it is a small radar, it will still cook you from the inside out. It was rotating so it would not be too bad, but if you stopped the rotation with it facing you...ouch

Barry

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Old 06-16-2003, 05:37 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

From a strictly medical opinion, the beam from radar is very similar to X-ray. That's why we wear lead gowns when doing procedures which require exposure to X-ray beams (fluoroscopy).
One of the most important things we consider is scatter, or how much the beam spreads from the actual viewing area.
With this in mind, it's MHO that lower power radars with a larger beam area produce more scatter than the high power radars with a very narrow beam area, and one should stay away from the beam at all times.
There is a very well documented article of a high incidence of sterility among Coast Guard sailors exposed to high dose radar.
I could go on and on, but, it's best to stay out of the beam.

endoman
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:59 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

My friends who flew AWACS in the airforce said that when they turned the radar on, all the birds in the area would drop dead. Now, i think that is a little bit more powerful than your radar.
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Old 06-17-2003, 05:20 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

LOL sorry but the image of the birds all dropping at the same time just seems funny.
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Old 06-17-2003, 05:25 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

I have been working on radars up to 25 kw for over 20 years. At times, when troubleshooting, I have to work on them with the radar transmitting, although not facing directly into the antenna. I have probably absorbed much more radiation from them than the average boater. I still don't wear glasses and my overall health has not been affected in any way. I would say you should respect radars and use reasonable precautions around them, such as mounting the scanner high enough, it will not be transmitting into you when operating, however, you should not get the idea it is cooking you from the inside out when you're near one. By the way, I also have 2 sons, so it didn't sterilize me either.

Clint
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:49 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Well, I don't have kids yet, but I want to , so from here on out I will only operate the radar when it is needed and will certainly put it in stand-by mode if I need to do any work on the bow while it is running. What is the "cone" of the beam on a small radar? It is mounted on the hardtop, I guess 2 feet over my head when at the helm. When standing in the cockpit, say 8 feet away and still 2 feet below the transmitter, would you be exposed or is it passing over your head.

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Old 06-17-2003, 08:23 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

You guys comparing microwaves to Radar are missing some MAJOR points.

1. Microwave transmits 100% of time. Radar transmits/pulses for a "uS"(millionth of a second?). Here's a table of the pulse widths...:
http://www.raymarine.com/raymarine/S...idth_table.htm

2. Typical Microwave uses 1000 Watts of power, 2kw Radar uses 28 Watts.

3. Microwave transmits on Freq 2450MHz, Radar tranmits on 9410MHz

4. Microwave is cooking something within inches of transmitter and the sides are made of material which bounce the missed waves off the sides and back toword the food. A Radars signal disapates very fast in a 5.2degree horizontal and 25 degrre Vertical path (in other words, it spreads out fast breakign it power down quickly).

5. You receive radar ALL DAY LONG, especially those like myself in dense and/or industrial areas because much of the communication of the world is done with, err um, microwave.

6. Should I continue?


DUCK!!! Here comes the Radar!!!!

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Old 06-17-2003, 08:42 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Will it help to wear tin foil on my head if I go to the bow??

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Old 06-17-2003, 08:45 AM
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Default Radar Dangers??

quote: DUCK!!! Here comes the Radar!!!!

LOL!
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:26 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

This thread has prompted an experiment.
While visiting friends in the Bahamas last week, we noticed the radar antennaes on boats coming into the harbor were at the same height as the porch we were sitting on. All the boats still had the radar on, even though they were just a couple of yards from the marina entrance. Obviously noone shuts off any electronics til they hit the dock.
We're going to tack a radiation badge to the porch, leave it there for a month, and see how the numbers come back. The house is about 500 feet from the channel, so we'll get a good understanding of this dilemna, if there is one.
Will keep you posted.

endoman
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:24 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

Sounds like a good idea!!

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Old 06-18-2003, 08:05 PM
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Default Radar Dangers??

This from my brother in law who has been repairing aircraft electronics for 31 years.

About the radar, think microwave oven. It works the same way and any rf exposure is bad. The aircraft radars we use have any where from 25 watts peak power to 10 kilowatts peak power and the shop repair manuals have lots of warnings about not exposing yourself to the transmitter. Standing in front of the antenna for a few hours every time you go fishing is not good. Aircraft radar is usually located in the nose of the aircraft and the antenna only swings back and forth a few degrees, never facing back at the aircraft. I can't really tell you what harm it will do or what organs will be affected.

Product Engineer, SMITH Marine Products
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