Ask SAIL: Better Radar, Less Power

Author:
Publish date:
Do believe the hype: today’s radars really do require less power to achieve better resolution

Do believe the hype: today’s radars really do require less power to achieve better resolution

Q: My new television is ultra-high definition, and I now see at boat shows that marine radars also offer UHD options, with dramatically fewer transmit power outputs. Have you seen this new gear in operation?

D. Pritchard, Tampa, FL

GORDON WEST REPLIES

Indeed, the newer breed of marine high-definition radars—many with color displays—can reveal targets that even a slightly older radar might miss. In operation, transmitted bursts of digitized radar pulses may be frequency modulated with weak echoes synchronized by the radar’s digital receiver. This relatively new technology, in turn, lowers peak pulse power levels and drops DC current consumption. Where once you needed a 3.5ft open array, you may now get nearly equal resolution with just a 24in radome that won’t foul any loose rigging. Yes, the new breed of digital pulse radars offers an unbelievable resolution, with less DC power consumption.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

September 2016

Related

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more

leadphoto

Know How: Dinghy Modification

The rigmarole of stretching a cover over a dinghy in choppy water prior to hoisting it on davits can become a very wet business if you’re not careful. Leaning right over either end, trying to stretch a cover over the bow and stern pods can quite easily result in a head-first dip ...read more

25980

Catnapped Aboard a Racing Multihull

It was after midnight when I realized my daysail with Tony Bullimore aboard his giant record-breaking catamaran, Team Legato, was not going to plan. The big cat was en route for a December dash from England across the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona and the start of a drag race ...read more