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Dome Radar For Finding Birds????

Old 10-21-2011, 09:54 AM
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Default Dome Radar For Finding Birds????

Ok, finally bit the bullet and bought another boat. 25 contender currently has an old dome radar on it that works fine for weather/navigation. I would need to move outriggers/antennas, etc to put an open array on it and I dont want to do that. I have noticed that Raymarine's new HD domes have a mode for finding birds. (Raymarine RD424HD 4kw) Could anyone WITH EXPERIENCE tell me if it is reasonable to find birds with this unit or a similar unit, and how effectively. The only reason I say WITH EXPERIENCE is because I know the old rule is 6kw open array at a minimum but technology is always moving forward. I dont want to spend a bunch of money if it will not do the job.
I am not a newbie and have owned boats with open array in the past (I am only mentioning this so no one answers with too much info assuming I dont know anything about radars or finding birds)
Thanks in advance for any info.

P.S. I didnt buy the boat strictly for tuna fishing but it would be nice a couple times a year.

Sushiwagon II
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:05 PM
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There is about 500 threads on finding birds with Radomes on here.

Happy reading!!

http://www.thehulltruth.com/search.php?searchid=5766558

My advice is get a pair of Nikon 14x40 Stabilized binocs!!
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
My advice is get a pair of Nikon 14x40 Stabilized binocs!!
x2. Nikon or Fujinon.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:49 PM
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Experience says that open arrays are hands down the best for seeing birds with a radar.

Other pulsed/HD radars will have varying degrees of success.

Broadband radars can see birds, but so can you with binocs at those shorter ranges.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:45 PM
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I have the 14 X 40 Fujinon's and they are great, but I like the radar better. I get tired looking through them all day, and I can't see as far as the radar. i have a 25kw open furuno 1964. The Binocs help me id stuff when I get 3-4 miles out, the radar sees to the horizon of 10.5 miles. Also, it finds sticks and floating stuff that I can't pick up with the binocs very easily. It also works while I'm running, which is hard with the binocs as I don't want to hit a log or something...

But back to your question, I have used my friends boat that has the new Garmin bird radar and it's...emmm...not really that great. He can see boats, but he misses 95 percent of what I see. You can see huge huge flocks of birds after you get experienced with using it. But never at distance, maybe 3 miles which I could see with binocs.

My advice... MOVE THE OUTRIGGER!
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:56 AM
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Based on your location I have to assume you are looking for yellowfin. The birds you want to find would be the one, two or three frigates. They are usually over the bait that the tuna are driving up. You need an open array and at least 6kW or 12kW. I have yet to see a dome perform well enough to spot them at a distance that is useful. Even with a system that has a “magic” bird button.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:50 AM
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High power and narrow beam (consistent with Open Array) is the closest to a "bird radar".
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SailFishQuepos View Post
But back to your question, I have used my friends boat that has the new Garmin bird radar and it's...emmm...not really that great. He can see boats, but he misses 95 percent of what I see. You can see huge huge flocks of birds after you get experienced with using it. But never at distance, maybe 3 miles which I could see with binocs.

My advice... MOVE THE OUTRIGGER!
Garmin does not have a "Bird Radar". ?????
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