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running at night

Old 08-06-2013, 04:14 AM
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Default running at night

In Gulf, end up heading out eve and night quite a bit for fishing trips. Anyone have experience with infrared binoculars for running at night? Many times running 18-22knts. Range of vision? Stability with motion of running boat? Brand?
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:16 AM
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It sounds like you need a mounted FLIR camera, no a binocular. What MFD or MFD's do you have on your boat? FLIR makes a few gyro-stabilized ones, but be ready to shell out big bucks.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:15 AM
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IR binocs are no help without an IR light source.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:43 AM
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Get a Lowrance or Simrad 4G BroadBand radar, it will show even the smallest boat. Best performance you will get in combination with Simrad NSE which allows running two independent ranges.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
Get a Lowrance or Simrad 4G BroadBand radar, it will show even the smallest boat. Best performance you will get in combination with Simrad NSE which allows running two independent ranges.
x2

We were in Venice in July. We caught a yellowfin about the time we were ready to leave. We got the fish in at 9:50pm. We came in from 45 miles offshore with no moon and total darkness. The nav lights on the bow made it impossible to see anything in front of us.

I turned the 4g radar overlay on. It actually shows the radar on your chart. There was nothing to do but trust it.

It worked flawlessly while coming in from offshore. It showed every rig, some were lit and some not so much. When we got to the south pass of the miss river it was the same way. There were two of us watching the charts and the radar to make our way up the river. It's 25 miles once you get to the pass. We passed channel markers, shrimp boats, shoals and one very large ship. Ships are not lit very well when they are coming straight on. But the radar showed it all and got us home safely.

I was very nervous the entire time. We got to the camp at midnight and I sure was glad and relieved. The radar paid for itself that night.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewaterseeker View Post
x2

We were in Venice in July. We caught a yellowfin about the time we were ready to leave. We got the fish in at 9:50pm. We came in from 45 miles offshore with no moon and total darkness. The nav lights on the bow made it impossible to see anything in front of us.

I turned the 4g radar overlay on. It actually shows the radar on your chart. There was nothing to do but trust it.

It worked flawlessly while coming in from offshore. It showed every rig, some were lit and some not so much. When we got to the south pass of the miss river it was the same way. There were two of us watching the charts and the radar to make our way up the river. It's 25 miles once you get to the pass. We passed channel markers, shrimp boats, shoals and one very large ship. Ships are not lit very well when they are coming straight on. But the radar showed it all and got us home safely.

I was very nervous the entire time. We got to the camp at midnight and I sure was glad and relieved. The radar paid for itself that night.

Radar is the ticket. If you're going to get one get a good one with chart overlay. Binoculars IR or not is a waste of money for running at night or fog IMO.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:44 AM
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Long runs at night/fog are very common in the NE, a good radar is the second most important piece of equipment to have. The first is an operator with solid working knowledge of that radar unit. Use it during the daylight to become comfortable with it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Butch Davis View Post
IR binocs are no help without an IR light source.
FWIW- re NV , not IR you refer to :

Outside even on the very darkest clear nights there is always plenty of light source for amplified-light "night vision" devices and I would expect for IR as well. Thick fog will prevent usable results with NV though.

I have a gen 3 ITT night vision (NV) monocular that can see every little wavelet or pot buoy on new moon nights out of sight of land. True, it is a bit like looking at a 1950 TV snowy green screen but it does reveal an amazing amount of visuals not seen by the naked eye. They do have to be focused for the user and small objects( pot buoys, gulls) in the water would only be clearly seen at ...maybe... 1/8 mile, & small boats without running lights maybe a mile or so, with running lights ...many miles.)

I hardly ever use it as I try not to run or run fast at night and do have radar, but at times it can be very very handy as it allows me to see unlighted nav aids and other objects & obstructions that would otherwise be blanked out by the radar's main bang which on my old CRT radar is a very substantial radius . . . ( Hopefully I will eventually get Broadband 4G... . But that won't tell me what the non-navaid target is. )
Cheaper Gen 1 & 2 have been reported as essentially worthless and very short-lived by friends who had them. I expect quality FLIR (IR ) would be even better with less snowy effect.

One thing to note is NV is greatly impaired by any med. strong light (as in many harbors) even at substantial distance.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Hooper View Post
...The first is an operator with solid working knowledge of that radar unit. Use it during the daylight to become comfortable with it.
Wise words.
That the way i do and what i tell beginners to radar.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:18 AM
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I own both night vision scope and FLIR--FLIR is heat differential and works in zero light. It is much better than night vision scope, except maybe the best military (think $50K). Military is mostly using FLIR now. Fixed FLIR which will show up on any computer screen or MF screen is about $3500. I have the hand held unit @ a about $2,000. I use it when in close, especially looking for people, boat types, sides of the bank, objects in the water, vegetation, buildings for ID, and ID of what is seen on Radar like Simrad G4. The hand held unit does not work thru glass, but I have opening windshield and side windows, so it is usable. For example you are coming into a harbor--don't want to blind others with a searchlight--use the FLIR to see moorings, lines, dinghies, even swimmers (at night). Works in smoke and fog to some extent. The cheaper FLIR are lower resolution--but you are looking at shapes and the resolution is enough.

Out of all of this is Radar is # 1, especially the new Broad Band. But you have to have people dedicated to its use--as BluewaterPirate noted. Even with FLIR, you want one person looking at FLIR/Radar and the other driving, eyes on the water and ahead, saving his night vision. Best with 3 people....especailly if running fast. We only run fast in known area with no debris, and no traffic.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewaterseeker View Post
x2

We were in Venice in July. We caught a yellowfin about the time we were ready to leave. We got the fish in at 9:50pm. We came in from 45 miles offshore with no moon and total darkness. The nav lights on the bow made it impossible to see anything in front of us.

I turned the 4g radar overlay on. It actually shows the radar on your chart. There was nothing to do but trust it.

It worked flawlessly while coming in from offshore. It showed every rig, some were lit and some not so much. When we got to the south pass of the miss river it was the same way. There were two of us watching the charts and the radar to make our way up the river. It's 25 miles once you get to the pass. We passed channel markers, shrimp boats, shoals and one very large ship. Ships are not lit very well when they are coming straight on. But the radar showed it all and got us home safely.

I was very nervous the entire time. We got to the camp at midnight and I sure was glad and relieved. The radar paid for itself that night.
is there a reason you don't have an AIS receiver in your electronics ? I was thinking that for moving vessels in that area, especially in the fog or at night you would be safer than 'just radar' ... curious !!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bear685 View Post
is there a reason you don't have an AIS receiver in your electronics ? I was thinking that for moving vessels in that area, especially in the fog or at night you would be safer than 'just radar' ... curious !!!
I'm sure that would help. It would show every vessel with an AIS transponder.

But it would not show other vessels that don't have AIS nor would it show the rigs unless they have AIS.

I probably will check into it though, you can't be too safe.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:15 AM
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I need to demo a handheld FLIR.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:37 PM
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i was told that the FLIR technology doesnt shoot thru esinglass or windshields. I have and express, so wouldnt be running from tower. That true?
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:41 AM
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I run a bit out in Louisiana at night and in the fog. Installed the Lowrance 4g with chart overlay and mopar. Learned how to use it during daylight and clear visibility - works great now. Night vision can compliment radar - if you have a skilled person to assist you while you keep an eye on the radar screen. Key for me - I always test the radar on the way out to make sure it is working properly.

Danco
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:14 AM
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is the 4g supposed to be better than a normal open array radar?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bradv View Post
is the 4g supposed to be better than a normal open array radar?
The biggest benefit is low power consumption, instant on, wide range of mounting options and good close.quarters tzrget detection. Outside of that it does not have the power for.longer ranges amd bird finding as compared to open array.

All I know is my hd 4kw radome does a fantastic job both near and far, limited in range for smaller target detection due to its low mounting height.

My concern, whether true or not, was a lower g powered unit performance in poor atmospheric conditions. Unfortunately most of the comments by owners comparing to pulse technology were comparing to old pulse technology/processing. I can see a pretty significant difference between my new hd unit and my former 2006 pulse dome. Even then I could safely navigate in 0 vis with the older unit but did not have the same level of target separation and to a lesser exte nt target identification. My new unit does have a slightly narrower beam width.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Hooper View Post
Long runs at night/fog are very common in the NE, a good radar is the second most important piece of equipment to have. The first is an operator with solid working knowledge of that radar unit. Use it during the daylight to become comfortable with it.
x2 Practice during the day will get you comfortable with the system.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:44 PM
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Here is a pic of what I use to cruise at night.

That is the hull of a 32 Carolina Classic..mine is a 35...I find great comfort knowing I have that much solid fiberglass below me. And yes I know..it wont help if I hit another boat or a drilling rig.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:54 PM
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Sorry if I shut this thread down for you tech geeks..I love tech too..but sometimes I find brute strength works best.

and why would you want to see a person in the water? Its not like they can ding your props or anything. Relax..just kidding
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