18″ radomes #3, weirdness edition
I’m beginning to feel a bit different. Who else was pleased to see the fog roll back into Camden yesterday? And what other boat has four 18″ radomes mounted, one with velcro…
When I realized that Raymarine’s latest radome technology is quite competitive with the new Broadband Radar, and that both seemed significantly better than older 18″ radars, I decided to check out the latest from Garmin and Furuno. Which is why the BR24 is now mounted on the front of Gizmo’s flying bridge, and her mast features the weirdness below. This shot does illustrate their relative size/shape differences, as well as a variety of ways to cable power and Ethernet in an easy to install manner, which I’ll detail in a future entry. I’m also working on ways to present the huge collection of comparative screenshots and photos I’m gathering.
I can tell you now that all these little domes are pretty darn good. While the Garmin GMR 18 HD still has the least resolution at very close ranges, it’s noticeably better than when I saw it onboard a friend’s boat last summer. Garmin changed the way it presents MARPA targets, too, along with a slew of other 5.0 improvements. And while I only have a couple of hours with the Furuno DRSD2, it may well be the best of the lot, even though the other two maggies are 4 kW and it’s only 2.2. Its scanner may be the smallest too, as UHD 19″ refers to the casing size; the actual array is only 16.75″ wide, and the claimed horizontal beam width is 5.2�, the biggest by a hair. But one major lesson of this whole exercise is that power and beam width are less important performance factors than they used to be.
Getting back to the weirdness, note the egg taped to back side of the Ray RD418D. This was the idea of my friend and colleague Arnie Hammerman (an imaginative guy). We were discussing the minor controversy over Broadband’s safety claims, and Arnie brought up the claim (myth?) that large radars can boil eggs…
Well, egg #1 below spent three hours taped to the Garmin 18 HD dome, #2 is straight from the box, and #3 spent its three hours on the BR24 dome. There were no perceivable differences in their condition, and this was probably a completely meaningless test. But I can tell that ninety seconds in Gizmo’s microwave cooked all three to a tasty state. Have a great weekend.
Garmin 18″ HD radar, the beam width problem
June 27, 2008
Navico Broadband Radar 4G, the launch demo
October 27, 2011
Ocean Ready Electronics
July 2, 2004
Garmin GMR 604 xHD, hand’s on
January 4, 2011