Clear Eyes

Robert Miller of Port Isabelle, Texas, asks:"If I don’t bother to clean my radome when it gets covered with dried salt spray, dirt and dust, will that have any effect on the efficiency of my marine radar antenna?" Gordon West replies:It could be significant, which is why you should always keep your radome as clean as possible. Soot, dust,
Author:
Publish date:
RadomePhoto1

Robert Miller of Port Isabelle, Texas, asks:

"If I don’t bother to clean my radome when it gets covered with dried salt spray, dirt and dust, will that have any effect on the efficiency of my marine radar antenna?"

Gordon West replies:

It could be significant, which is why you should always keep your radome as clean as possible. Soot, dust, and salt are conductive contaminants that affect the radar’s weak signal reception. These contaminants won’t affect signals leaving the antenna but they will degrade any very weak return echoes enough that they don’t show up on your radar screen.

For example, if the radome is not clean, a fishing float that is directly ahead of you might not show up on your screen even when it is 500 yards away. If the radome is clean the float should show up clearly at that range. Use a mild soap to clean a fiberglass radome. Before you start cleaning be sure the radar is off, the circuits are disabled and the system is marked so that no one accidentally turns on the radar while you are cleaning the radome. Once it is clean, rinse it with freshwater and then dry it with a towel. Although waxing a radome will make it shine brightly, it won’t have any effect on the radar’s performance.

Related

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more

05-TRANSPAC_71417_SG_055268

The Transpac Prepares for No. 50

Because modern yachting is in many ways an invention of the early to mid 20th century, in recent years sailors have been celebrating any number of milestone anniversaries. Now it’s the biennial Transpac’s turn, as it prepares for its 50th race from Southern California (following ...read more