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4G Lowrance and birds

Old 09-04-2014, 07:28 AM
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4Rs
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Default 4G Lowrance and birds

I'm looking for advice on the best way to tune a 4G Lowrance Radar to find birds. I've conducted a search through THT and either did not find or overlooked threads that might have addressed this topic. From the threads I saw, I realize that 4G is not the greatest radar when it comes to finding birds. However, 4G is what I have on my current setup. Accordingly, any advice that anyone could give on the best way to tune the radar to locate birds would be appreciated. Thanks and tight lines to all.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:30 AM
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There is a short video at eBay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d8XWQEMC6Q

Try to search for Simrad 4G and birds instead of Lowrance.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:52 AM
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Your not going to find this helpful and some 4G lovers will probably flame me but I'd give up trying. I had broadband radar on my last boat and while it was awesome within a mile I found it lacking for finding birds (if you are within site of the birds it will find them no problem though). It wasn't until I got my current boat with a Furuno 12kw open array that I can find birds from a distance. Ths thing finds them five miles away and I still can't believe it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by slipkid View Post
Your not going to find this helpful and some 4G lovers will probably flame me but I'd give up trying. I had broadband radar on my last boat and while it was awesome within a mile I found it lacking for finding birds (if you are within site of the birds it will find them no problem though). It wasn't until I got my current boat with a Furuno 12kw open array that I can find birds from a distance. Ths thing finds them five miles away and I still can't believe it.
Not flaming at all, just mentioning that is comparing 4G's transmitter output of 0.165 watt to the Furuno's 12,000 watt output ( 72,7273. X greater tx output , albeit using quite different tx technology).

Abbor- The dome on the boat in the bird video seemed to be shaped like 3G/4G, but that is not mentioned as I'd think it surely would be if he was finding those birds at that long range with either of the Broadband radars. Can you tell what he was using ? Wouldn't that have been the High-Def conventional radar system?
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TTaxi View Post

Abbor- The dome on the boat in the bird video seemed to be shaped like 3G/4G, but that is not mentioned as I'd think it surely would be if he was finding those birds at that long range with either of the Broadband radars. Can you tell what he was using ? Wouldn't that have been the High-Def conventional radar system?

I believe if you looking carefully at the NSS screen at the beginning of the video, it says 'Broadband 4G' in the top left-hand corner.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:01 AM
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You want a high gain, open-array type antenna to see birds. Broadband does see birds at short range, but you can do just as well with binocs. You want a narrow beamwidth and lots of power.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BCTony View Post
I believe if you looking carefully at the NSS screen at the beginning of the video, it says 'Broadband 4G' in the top left-hand corner.
I was looking but apparently missed that. Thanks, Tony ! That's impressive if the 4G really has that long-range bird return capability while having such a safer output. .
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TTaxi View Post
I was looking but apparently missed that. Thanks, Tony ! That's impressive if the 4G really has that long-range bird return capability while having such a safer output. .
I have to say I am very impressed. Also, I did not really know how to start looking for birds on radar until I saw this video.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:37 AM
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Thanks to all who responded. Slipkid, no flames here. Understand your position. It's just that the 4G is what I will have for a while. That being the case, I'm just trying to make the best of the situation. Abbor, appreciate your link to the video. I had actually seen that before and have followed his guidance. However, I did not have his good fortune in finding birds at a distance greater than binocular range. I haven't given up yet and am still trying. The unit is helpful at close range. If there is anyone from Lowrance/Simrad/Navionics on here who could provide some more specific guidance on locating birds at a distance, your comments would be welcome. Again, many thanks to all who to the time to respond.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:33 PM
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I'd just add , even though radar antennas generally have a spec of a pretty large 25* ( 0*, +/- 12.5* , though Simrad lists 25* ,+/- 20* for the 4G) or so vertical beamwidth, the optimum angle to a distant target near the horizon is 0* and the results tend to diminish significantly above or below 0* from where the center of the beam is aimed. Accurate fore& aft wedging bias toward boat attitude at the speed the radar is most commonly used ,rather than no-wedge or ,say , the arbitrary too common 5*, may provide much better results . And possibly with a bit less gain.
If the antenna is not leveled properly for your use you may find return results are noticeably better abeam than ahead or aft.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:11 AM
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Does anyone else see something a bit strange. The radar seems to be at a 1 mile range yet he points to birds half way up the screen and says it's birds at 2.5 miles.

I'd love to see a video from somebody who is not on a paid staff.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cravenMH View Post
Does anyone else see something a bit strange. The radar seems to be at a 1 mile range yet he points to birds half way up the screen and says it's birds at 2.5 miles.

I'd love to see a video from somebody who is not on a paid staff.
Yes, I too was wondering about that oddity.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:24 PM
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Plotting the position puts them at the duck key marina, although depth is like 300'.
I know that area and based on what I can see in the radar screen that is one amazing bird radar.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:22 PM
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4G is for navigation only. For birds you really have to get an open array.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:57 PM
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The first 30 seconds of the video are tough to watch, this guy is a moron.
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