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Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

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Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

Old 02-06-2003, 07:39 AM
  #1  
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

First let me thank the board for the wealth of information here. I just upgraded the VHF on my 24 Albemarle express to an Icom 502 with an 8' Digital 529vw antenna. I also replaced the old aquasport compass (big air bubble in it) with a new Ritchie Helmsmann.

I have been considering radar for collision avoidance and hopefully bird detection. I have looked at the Furuno 1832 (4kw, 10inch) closed array unit vs the Furuno 1932 Mark 2(4kw, 10inch display) open array unit. The difference in price is about $1500. I have never used radar and definetly need help here. I have searched the archives and still not completely sure of the way to go.

Final question.

Is getting a SSB radio worth it? I talked to a marine electronics salesman at the boat show last night and he wasn't real helpful. He said that they are expensive and the drawback to him is that people communicating on them are "hard to hear and understand" whatever that means. I really could use an opinion on this. He also said that they generally only sell this item to tug captains and commercial guys.

BTW, I do intend to start fishing offshore when possible. I don't intend to go out on really bad weather days offshore.

Thanks
Ben
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:00 AM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

Surprised no one has an opinion or experience with these items.

Ben
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:12 AM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

I have a single side band. It is of best use when out of VHF range. If you plan on staying within, say 10-15-20 miles of shore, you do not need it. Once you are out of VHF range, you have no way of communicating a problem with anyone, unless you have sat phone. SSB'are expensive, generally around 2K. All in all, you must evaluate where you will be cruising/fishing. If within VHF range, forget the SSB. If not, it is a must.
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Old 02-06-2003, 01:40 PM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

SSB has a definite transmit distance advantage. It is also a lot costlier and requires additional intallation modifications such as ground plates.

SSB is preferred by boaters who frequent the canyons and other offshore areas. It allows them to communicate with boats that might be "on a bite" at further distance than they can pick up on VHF. You will have to figure out whether it is worth the investment.

On your radar question, an open array will generate a narrower beam or pulse when measuring its horizontal beam width. The difference of a narrower beam, even only a couple of degrees, alllows for better target discrimination and definition. Mainly, a narrower beam will be able to identify 2 close objects (boats, buoys, etc) a little sharper and more like 2 entities instead of one "murky" one. The 2 units that you are looking at have identical outputs of 4KW, but the open array has the narrower beam. It also is rated for 48 miles as opposed to 36 on the 1832.

Will you "see" that far? No, because radar is line of sight. If it is mounted on top of a tall ship, you will see further than on the t-top of a smaller boat.

Can you see birds? It depends on how far you want to be able to detect them. Different adjustments to the gain and clutter will allow almost any decent radar to pick up birds, but only if you know the range of your radar and can interpret the images. Basically you need to know what bird blips look like first!

Again you have to decide if the $1500 is worth it to you.

Hope this helped!

"The oak tree, now mighty, was once the nut who held his ground."
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:17 PM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

Thanks guys.

After more searching I will forgo the SSB and probably look into a satellite phone.

As for radar, after doing another search in the archives the 1832 is looking good and in fact I may look at the 2.2kw systems.

Thanks again,
Ben
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Old 02-06-2003, 04:06 PM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

The 2.2kw will be great for close range travel in fog. as far as birds, forget it, you're line of sight will be much better.
Thought about radar for my boat to see birds, the general consensus is you need 6KW to see birds at 4-6 miles. A 48" open array looks silly on a 28' boat.
Hope you're doing well with the albe, it's a fine boat, and may be better suited for you than the So. Fl. customs you've been looking at.
Richard

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Old 02-07-2003, 04:11 PM
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Default Thanks to the board and a question about radar and SSB radio

Richard,

I've decided to stick with the Albemarle after all that looking. Very busy at work with no end in site, and do not have time to fart around with new boat headaches and payments.

Agree about the radar.

Hope your enjoying the new Whitewater. Swweeettt!!

Thanks,
Ben
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