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garmin open array radars

Old 04-17-2011, 09:31 AM
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Default garmin open array radars

is there a big diff in the bird finding ability of a 6kw vs 12 kw open array new garmin radar. Anyone with real world experience with these?
I see that the 4 ft vs 6 ft antenna has a good bit of diff with their beam width............but wouldnt it be odd to put a 6 ft wide antenna on a 27' cc?
Old 04-17-2011, 05:11 PM
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Unless you are mounting the array on a tower, you are wasting your time with both units for finding birds.
Old 04-17-2011, 08:35 PM
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the height off the water on your boats radar antenna will have more to do with the range that you will be able to see ---- if range is a big concern
Old 04-17-2011, 11:49 PM
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There are two things going on -- one is range, which as noted is primarily related to height above water, but the other is beam width or resolution. Mounted on a typical cabin top, you will probably have 8-10 miles line of sight range depending upon how high the birds might be that you are trying to find are flying.

The advantage of a 6 foot array over a 4 foot array is a narrower beam width which helps to resolve small targets such as birds. All else being equal a 6 foot array will always do a better job of showing birds than a 4 foot. At extended ranges, having a higher maximum power output (25kW versus 12 or 6) will also help.

On a smaller boat, the weight and windage of a big array becomes an issue. I think you will do just fine with a 4 foot array, especially if you are trying to find birds in a 4-6 mile radius. I can't speak to the Garmin, but my Furuno 6kW 4 foot array does a very good job spotting flocks of birds out to about 6 miles and smaller groups of birds with 3-4 miles. I have used a 25kW 6 foot array radar many times on a large boat I run for another purpose. It is better at spotting birds, but that is noticeable primarily at longer ranges.
Old 04-18-2011, 04:42 AM
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thanks for the info

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