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Any reviews on Furuno DRS6ANXT Radar

Old 12-22-2020, 07:25 AM
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Default Any reviews on Furuno DRS6ANXT Radar

Just purchased a used boat that was equipped with Raymarine Hybrid touch electronics (not liking them). I'm in the process of upgrading to a new Furuno TZT3 and wanted some input or reviews of how well the new DRS6ANXT open array performs. The boat is a 30' express walkaround used for fishing, mostly structure/bottom fishing and rockfishing. Initially I was going with the 16" TZ 3 with just the sounder/plotter with dual transducers (Airmar) and utilizing the radar from the Raymarine unit on the boat. After several outings I decided it has to go too as it does a poor job on bird detection and other targets. Any fisherman on here have experience with the Furuno DRS6NXT ?

Many thanks and Merry Christmas
Old 12-22-2020, 09:29 AM
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Its a a great radar. Very capable.
Old 12-22-2020, 09:59 AM
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.... regarding bird detection is the DRS6NXT (solid state) on par with the DRS6AX class Magnetron unit ?
Old 12-22-2020, 11:23 AM
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I've legitimately found birds out over 5 miles with my NXT Dome and bird mode turned off the last time out. I would expect the 6 to far exceed that distance. Read both below I got this: The NXT is better with fast detection of moving targets "other boats" while the AX will be superior in range and bird detection.


Here is what a moderator on Furuno said when asked

"The DRS6A-NXT is solid-state system that doesnt require any warm-up period, and utilizes Doppler technology that identifies and highlights potentially dangerous moving targets.

While solid-state systems can and are good at finding birds. I have found that magnetron systems still hold a slight advantage. The DRS6AX magnetron X-band open-array system still has better range detection when it comes to targeting birds, just slightly more than the solid-state radar with an equivalent open array.

Also keep in mind that the width of an open array can also affect bird-finding performance. The wider arrays translates to better bird detection, So, I always recommend in getting the biggest one that can fit on your boat."

From Panbo


I have not seen the solid state DRS6A-NXT in action yet, but I know why it would be great for navigation from using the NXT radome for two years. The Doppler assisted Target Analyzer function that instantly highlights targets moving toward you is quite valuable, especially in crowded areas. And the Doppler assisted ARPA is simply fantastic.

I enthusiastically reviewed the DRS4D-NXT here...

https://www.panbo.com/archives/2016/...efinitely.html

... and I'm even more bullish on the radome today. The ARPA speed and accuracy is phenomenal and the TZT2 now offers true echo trails which add even more moving vessel awareness.

An open array NXT should do all this even better, and, incidentally, the NXT radome sees small fiberglass boats a mile away no problem, at least in fairly calm sea conditions.

(No manufacturer is yet using Doppler to improve sea clutter filtering, to my knowledge, but it won't be surprising if Furuno is first.)

But Furuno and the others are smart to keep offering both solid state and magnetron, largely because many boaters are still skeptical about solid state. For instance, I regularly hear that ss radars can't see through rain as well, even though all four ss radomes I'm testing can filter rain fine (and can also display it when you want).

Remember too that for many years only Navico offered solid state radar, during which the sales people for other brands invented the "toy radar" nonsense they now have to live with ;-)
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Old 12-22-2020, 03:22 PM
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Thank you for that input !
Old 12-23-2020, 04:52 PM
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Default After thoughts

I think for the extra thousand bucks Im gonna opt for the DRS12ANXT with 4 open array. I know the 6 antenna would narrow the bandwidth for the better but would not fit my application. However the increased wattage of the 12 vs the 6 is 4x that of the 6 (25w vs 100w output ) Im not concerned with whats over the horizon since I wont have the height to achieve that but the increased power should improve those images in the short range out to 6 miles or so.
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:12 PM
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I upgraded my system this fall from the DRS6AX with 4 foot array to the DRS12ANXT with a 4 foot antenna. I used it once in Massachusetts and then had the boat sent to my Florida home and haven't had a chance to really try it out on birds but the DSR12ANXT way out performs the DRS6AX using it for navigation and target resolution. There's really no comparison between the two units the improvements are that big. I find that if I leave it in auto mode (that didn't work worth crap on the 6AX) and turn on echo average (very important!!) target resolution is spectacular. Navigation in heavy fog or at night is a new experience with this radar. If I can get some decent weather over the holidays I'll get a chance to see how it does with the birds. I will say that the DRS6AX did a great job with birds but I have had a few times that I have been caught out in pea soup fog and used it at night and wasn't as confident in it's ability to pick up targets as I would have liked. The DSR12ANXT is a whole new world and my confidence factor is way up when using it for navigating.

Jake
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:19 AM
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Thanks Jake .... good input there. Im going with the DRS12ANXT.
I suppose theyll have to use a converter to get the 12v input bumped up to 24v no biggee

let me know how it pans out for you. Mine will be installed next month then Im gonna put the boat asleep till spring

Merry Christmas

Pat
Old 12-24-2020, 02:28 PM
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I go out the Palm Beach Inlet and the wind looks like it's going to blow 15 to 20 for the next few weeks so I probably won't get to use the boat again before I have to go back home. I did mark some birds the one day I used the boat last week but they were only 1/2 miles away. The converter is no issue and remember to turn on echo averaging.

Jake

I can send you some video clips of the radar in action, they don't seem to want to upload to this post but if you can give me an email address I'd be happy to send them.
Old 12-25-2020, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Luminary View Post
Thanks Jake .... good input there. Im going with the DRS12ANXT.
I suppose theyll have to use a converter to get the 12v input bumped up to 24v no biggee

let me know how it pans out for you. Mine will be installed next month then Im gonna put the boat asleep till spring

Merry Christmas

Pat
You can use the small Newmar 12-24V converter, not really an issue.
Old 01-08-2021, 04:49 PM
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Great discussion, guys, very informative. I am looking at the same system and I think that I will go with exactly the same combo: DRS12ANXT with a 4 foot antenna. I will double check is a 6 foot array will fit on my (future) hardtop.
Old 01-08-2021, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JG400 View Post
I upgraded my system this fall from the DRS6AX with 4 foot array to the DRS12ANXT with a 4 foot antenna. I used it once in Massachusetts and then had the boat sent to my Florida home and haven't had a chance to really try it out on birds but the DSR12ANXT way out performs the DRS6AX using it for navigation and target resolution. There's really no comparison between the two units the improvements are that big. I find that if I leave it in auto mode (that didn't work worth crap on the 6AX) and turn on echo average (very important!!) target resolution is spectacular. Navigation in heavy fog or at night is a new experience with this radar. If I can get some decent weather over the holidays I'll get a chance to see how it does with the birds. I will say that the DRS6AX did a great job with birds but I have had a few times that I have been caught out in pea soup fog and used it at night and wasn't as confident in it's ability to pick up targets as I would have liked. The DSR12ANXT is a whole new world and my confidence factor is way up when using it for navigating.

Jake
I just bought a 45 Hatt with a pair of Simrad EVO2's and a dome radar. I expect I'll be replacing them within the next year. My old boat has Simrad NSE12's on it with a 4' open array radar, and I would not trust it in the fog or at night. When I installed it 8 or 9 years ago, I kept my old 2003 Raymarine RL80 system as a backup - I fish offshore and like redundancy. Well I'm glad I did, as I still use the Ray as my go to radar. It is FAR superior to the Simrad. So hearing that the DRS12 is quite a bit better than the DRS6 is encouraging on one hand, but I'd still like to know how it compares to my old faithful. To say I was disappointed in the Simrad would be an understatement.
Old 01-09-2021, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuna Guitar View Post
I just bought a 45 Hatt with a pair of Simrad EVO2's and a dome radar. I expect I'll be replacing them within the next year. My old boat has Simrad NSE12's on it with a 4' open array radar, and I would not trust it in the fog or at night. When I installed it 8 or 9 years ago, I kept my old 2003 Raymarine RL80 system as a backup - I fish offshore and like redundancy. Well I'm glad I did, as I still use the Ray as my go to radar. It is FAR superior to the Simrad. So hearing that the DRS12 is quite a bit better than the DRS6 is encouraging on one hand, but I'd still like to know how it compares to my old faithful. To say I was disappointed in the Simrad would be an understatement.
Do you have the 10kW version of the Raymarine open array or the 4kW on your old boat? I think you would be very pleased with the DRS12A-NXT and it would compare favorably for finding birds and navigation with your old RL80 system. Simrad more or less dropped out of the open array magnetron radar business a long time ago when they started selling the solid state radars. I forget who made that Simrad you had, maybe JRC or Sitex rebranded but not Simrad for sure. Even better to spend a bit more to get the Furuno DRS25A-NXT with twice the output power of the DRS12A. It will show you many small targets and birds that the RL80 misses and at longer ranges. On top of the performance benefits, you get the solid state advantages of no warm up period, Doppler target tracking that identifies vessels on a potential collision course, and a much smaller minimum range for targets near the boat. If you can fit a 6 foot array, it will make the unit even better for birds at long range.
Old 01-09-2021, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JG400 View Post
....is a whole new world and my confidence factor is way up when using it for navigating.

Jake
There's a State Farm commercial in there somewhere!
Old 01-09-2021, 09:52 PM
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I have the 4kW 5S 48" Open Array. Finding birds is actually secondary to me. Don't take that the wrong way, I certainly want that, but it would also be nice to be able to see Montauk from 10 or 12 miles away, and the Simrad can't seem to do that. I've spent a couple days at the edge during that great bite a few years back where we had pea soup. I recall a couple mornings trolling where it seemed like we were all playing fishing video games out there, and the Ray really came through. Obviously it's not nearly as high tech as today's stuff, but for what this stuff costs today, I certainly want a system that at the very least can give me that level of confidence that the Ray gives me in seeing other boats, particularly considering the size of what some folks are willing to take offshore these days. It's far from perfect. Frankly, its amazing that the thing still even works. The display pretty much fell apart. I literally thru-bolted 1/8" machine screws with locknuts to keep the face attached. It's cracked, broken, and ugly, but damn it works.
Old 01-10-2021, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuna Guitar View Post
I have the 4kW 5S 48" Open Array. Finding birds is actually secondary to me. Don't take that the wrong way, I certainly want that, but it would also be nice to be able to see Montauk from 10 or 12 miles away, and the Simrad can't seem to do that. I've spent a couple days at the edge during that great bite a few years back where we had pea soup. I recall a couple mornings trolling where it seemed like we were all playing fishing video games out there, and the Ray really came through. Obviously it's not nearly as high tech as today's stuff, but for what this stuff costs today, I certainly want a system that at the very least can give me that level of confidence that the Ray gives me in seeing other boats, particularly considering the size of what some folks are willing to take offshore these days. It's far from perfect. Frankly, its amazing that the thing still even works. The display pretty much fell apart. I literally thru-bolted 1/8" machine screws with locknuts to keep the face attached. It's cracked, broken, and ugly, but damn it works.
Newer isn't always better! Montauk is pretty low ground so of course the range at which any radar can show it will be limited by the radar horizon. My array is about 12 feet off the water. On my way home from offshore, the first land II see is a small island that has hills about the same elevation as Montauk.. The theoretical range at which the radar should be able to show a return from that island is about 16 miles. With my Furuno DRS25A-NXT, the land starts to show right about 15-16 miles and by 10-12 miles away the island shore is very distinct on the display. The mainland is another 8 miles or so and is quite a bit higher so it shows up too by that point though it is 20 miles away.

At the peak of the summer when there are more boats around my inshore fishing areas, the terror in fog are the guys with the 18-22 foot center consoles with no radar. They all seem to think that because they have a GPS plotter and know their own location, it is just fine to keep going 20+ kts. Being able to see these idiots on radar is critical but their small boats are low to the water and make poor targets. This is where the new Furuno radar really shines. It shows them reliably from 2-3 miles away and with the Doppler target tracking and ARPA, it automatically highlights the targets that are going to come within my alert radius and pose a collision risk based on their course and speed. I had a Garmin 25kW xHD2 open array for a few years and that thing was total crap. It required manual selection of targets for tracking but often did not even show the small boats unless they were very close.

I guess I am sounding like a fanboy but the new Furuno unit is far and away the best recreational radar I have ever used and I have had a lot over the years, including prior generation Furuno units, Garmin, and Simrad. I don't know how much difference there would be between the DRS12A-NXT and the 25A and how much is a function of the 6 foot array I have versus a 4 foot array. But the basic technology and display processing software is shared so I would imagine that especially for navigation used at ranges less than 6-8 miles, the 12A would perform much like the 25A.
Old 01-10-2021, 04:00 PM
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Unbelievable target clarity. Does not miss targets. Furuno processing is the best on the market. We were supposed to test how far away we could paint birds this fall but time got away from us. Here is with a 6' array at about 9' off the water... (note the photos are taken running 28+kn too)




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Last edited by iFishMD; 01-12-2021 at 11:15 AM.
Old 01-10-2021, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
...At the peak of the summer when there are more boats around my inshore fishing areas, the terror in fog are the guys with the 18-22 foot center consoles with no radar. They all seem to think that because they have a GPS plotter and know their own location, it is just fine to keep going 20+ kts. Being able to see these idiots on radar is critical but their small boats are low to the water and make poor targets...
Bingo. Sounds like Fishers Island Sound in May or June. Cold water and warm days = thick fog. When the Simrad barely shows me land masses, my old Raymarine unit is pretty good at showing me the idiots. By the way, the Simrad array is about 23' above the water. Seeing them is one thing; getting them to know you are there is another. That's why I installed a Kahlenberg dual trumpet horn that sounds like the Queen Mary. Side story - I was approaching New Harbor Block Island a few years ago in the fog. The usual fleet of fluke fishermen were looking like electronic freckles in the channel on my Ray. About 3/4 mile out I gave a long blast on the horn. It looked like Moses parting the Red Sea as the channel cleared ahead of me. I will definitely be giving the DRS25A-NXT a good lookover.
Old 01-10-2021, 11:02 PM
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I wish I had the mount for an open array-- But I LOVE the Furuno NXT dome


Old 01-11-2021, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuna Guitar View Post
Bingo. Sounds like Fishers Island Sound in May or June. Cold water and warm days = thick fog. When the Simrad barely shows me land masses, my old Raymarine unit is pretty good at showing me the idiots. By the way, the Simrad array is about 23' above the water. Seeing them is one thing; getting them to know you are there is another. That's why I installed a Kahlenberg dual trumpet horn that sounds like the Queen Mary. Side story - I was approaching New Harbor Block Island a few years ago in the fog. The usual fleet of fluke fishermen were looking like electronic freckles in the channel on my Ray. About 3/4 mile out I gave a long blast on the horn. It looked like Moses parting the Red Sea as the channel cleared ahead of me. I will definitely be giving the DRS25A-NXT a good lookover.
That's funny. Actually.my experience is in Vineyard Sound but same story of cold water and warm air especially in June. I should look into one of those horns. I have a hailer horn connected to my VHF that can broadcast fog signals. It's pretty loud if I turn the volume up all the way. The problem is that the idiots also do not know about fog signals. It does work with the larger boats and the commercial fishing boats but they are not really an issue anyway since they all have radar and don't go very fast.

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