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Radar installation

Old 05-25-2019, 04:19 PM
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Default Radar installation

My boat is on the lift in this pic, but can you tell if the radar mount is roughly correct or whether it should be elevated and/or angled?
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:30 PM
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It appears to be mounted on a wedge, either one built in to your hard top or the installer used one. It looks fine.

The better questions is, how does it perform?
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:30 PM
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Elevated to clear the top's interference with the beam angle.

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Old 05-25-2019, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
It appears to be mounted on a wedge, either one built in to your hard top or the installer used one. It looks fine.

The better questions is, how does it perform?
There’s definitely a learning curve to it that I’m trying to sort out. I’d like to have someone with me who is familiar with radars and would be able to tell based on what it should be displaying on the screen.

Last edited by Hail Yes; 05-25-2019 at 06:55 PM. Reason: More clear
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Hail Yes View Post


There’s definitely a learning curve to it that I’m trying to sort out. I’d like to have someone with me who is familiar with radars and would be able to tell based on what it should look like.
Learn to use it, then figure out if the installation needs to be tweaked.

FWIW, my 24 xHD is installed the same way.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:18 AM
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It could maybe use a slight height increase, but nothing major. Maybe 4”. The angle looks good.

Get to a familiar place where you have some different targets availble. These need to be easily seen by eye or binoculars and then try to identify them on radar. This will not only help you learn how to use the radar in different scenarios, but also let you learn your radar’s capabilities. If you find that you’re missing some targets on approach, especially nearing the bow, you’ll need to add some height. That Fantom radar should pick up some mighty small targets and show them very near to the bow as well.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:19 AM
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It looks fine. Best thing you can do is concentrate on what it looks like on a nice clear day. Don’t expect miracles. You will need to interpret what you are seeing. Use it all the time and you will get more and more comfortable with it.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for the replies on this. I have been turning it on every time I go out to see if I can figure out how to interpret it. I'm using the map overlay display feature so I can compare the radar outputs to the land masses, etc. I don't know if that's a good approach or if I would learn it better with just the radar display. I'm using it mainly in a pretty busy area - lots of islands, houses, boats, etc. I thought having lots of targets would be better so I could compare them, but I'm now thinking I should go the other way and try it in relatively empty areas so I'm targeting just one or two things and can be more certain what I'm looking at.

Any ideas from experienced radar users are most welcome!
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:03 AM
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Overlay is a fine way to get around to understanding returns. Use it every time you go out, day or evening. Try split screening too and compare the returns against your plotter. Get out and look at returns close in and at different ranges from 1/2 mi to 2 miles and in between. Later you can try messing with gain settings etc. Until then, leave it in auto. You're taking the right approach.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by davidwademarine View Post
If you find that you’re missing some targets on approach, especially nearing the bow, you’ll need to add some height.
^^^ This is what you want to know in order to answer your question about whether to add a radar mount. As I have done, reduce the radar range to something like a 1/4 or 1/2 mile and pick out a small target as your point of reference. Tune the radar to achieve the maximum return from the target at a few hundred yards away and idle the boat directly towards the target. You should be able to get pretty darn close to the it before its return disappears from your radar screen. I would repeat this multiple times.

With my radar mount, I was satisfied to maintain a strong radar return from a 2' high buoy, up until maybe 30' to 40' from the bow. There is no gold standard distance, so whatever seems reasonable to you will suffice. Hopefully, this will give you some frame of reference to make your judgment. Others' opinions will be equally valuable, and every boat is different .



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Old 05-26-2019, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hail Yes View Post
My boat is on the lift in this pic, but can you tell if the radar mount is roughly correct or whether it should be elevated and/or angled?
Do you have a heading sensor or an auto pilot? If not I would highly recommend the Garmin Steadycast NMEA 2000 heading sensor. This will ensure that the radar returns are being accurately displayed on the chart.

When you are messing with the radar settings, it's important to know that Garmin changes the settings for every zoom level of the chart. If you change the radar settings but then change the zoom you will need to go back into the menu and make sure the settings are what you want for that zoom level.

This makes sense if you think about the fact that you want more power for far away objects but less for up close.

One other thing to think about with mounting the radar is the fact that the boat will sit at different angles in the water depending on how fast you are going. Your radar may be pointed at the sky for some speeds.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:23 PM
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I just sat in the boat today on the lift for about an hour and just watched the radar to see what I could learn. That was really helpful because all the land points were fixed since the boat wasn’t moving. I could have then watch the boats as they crossed on the intercoastal and across the bay. It will just take a lot more practice, but this was very helpful.
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