Marine Guide: How To Set Up Marine Radar

    Marine radars are useful to avoid collision with other boats in the ocean. The professional trading boats need these marine radars, and there is a need to develop them in recreational marine boats. Having a radar system will increase your visibility in dark, storm, and foggy weather conditions. Radars have become a compact structural unit with time. There is no need to worry if your boat is small; radars can be fitted on the boat with a small size as 5 meters.

    Radars usually draw very little electricity irrespective of size. When combined with the modern electronic Chartplotter and AIS (Automated Identification System), the radar will be a lifesaver for you. Before combining radar with these two, make sure that your radar is compatible with your boat or not. If you are looking for a multi-purpose radar, we suggest installing Garmin marine radar in your boat. These radars are compatible with your previous boating system and ensure your family is safe during a boating trip. 

    Here is a complete guide demonstrating how marine radar can be set up in your boat easily.

    Working of Radar 

    Before discussing the setup of marine radar, let’s review how radar works. Everyone knows about a transmitter, receiver, and scanner presence in the radar; these three work together for better performance. For this purpose, the time is usually calculated between transmission and receiving the wave. Since radio waves’ speed is known to radar, it becomes easier to calculate the distance traveled. After complete processing, all the information is displayed on the screen. Besides this, you can also see the calculation of target bearing by the rotating scanner.

    Set up Marine Radar

    After choosing the best radar for your boat, you need to install it by deciding a location to get the minimum blind spots, maximum range, and safe operation. To get the best antenna result, we suggest marine installation to mount antenna above headlights for increasing direct energy exposure. In fact, the best mounting location for antennas is at the highest point. These small antennas of radars are powered via a multi-conducting cable having both negative and positive power leads. Furthermore, these connections can include a separate DC power cable, GPS, and electronic compass. 

    The following is the step-by-step guide to set up the radar system in your boat:

    1. Amplification

    To control the amplification of boats, you need to improve your boat sensitivity. Along with this, there is a need to increase targeted visibility. You know what? There are two control systems in every marine radar, that is, Sea and Rain. Generally, sea control is used for echo reduction in interference happening due to sea surface. At the same time, rain control is used to reduce the noise of echo produced by rain. Besides these two, there is a third “Gain” control used in boosting up sensitivity for the reception.

    The best thing is the control feature that can be used according to the weather condition. When you are boating in an average or stormy sea, use sea control for the radar interference. On the contrary, avoid its usage during calm weather. It is better to increase your control by reducing gain in calm seas. Moreover, there is no need to eliminate sea control with long-range interference. Here is an ideal way to set these amplification controls:

    •       Increase gain to its maximum level.
    •       Reduce both sea and rain control to their minimum.
    •       Increase your control of the sea by reducing sea clutter in the screen center.

    2. Impulse Length

    However, most radars adjust their impulse length with respect to the selected range automatically. But still, you can set it up as long, medium, or short. You might be thinking about why there is a need to mess up with pulse length when it can be adjusted automatically. Well! The answer is your targets can be displayed on your screen more clearly when you will be familiar with your radar’s pulse length. 

    • A long length impulse can draw two and display two close targets as a single one having a large diameter. Such impulses usually come up with low range resolution and better sensitivity.
    • Short impulses having nest range resolution but less sensitivity as compared to long pulse separate two close targets.
    • Medium pulse lengths are those in-between 3nm small pulses to above 12nm long impulses.

    According to your use and weather, you can set up the impulse. The settings of amplification, impulse, sea, and rain are common for all radars. But some radars need specific settings like PROC set up and radar interference. When you have these radars, you will be able to process and select videos as well. To avail of the best radar features, you can check Garmin radar for your boat.

    3. Test Radar Performance

    In the end, a test is performed to check whether the radar is functioning properly or not. For checking radar performance, you have to test its transmittance and receiver power. If your radar’s transmittance power is not suitable, it will not be able to draw and display your targeted points. In other words, the radar will draw low sensitivity targets in such cases. 

    You can also run a performance test through the Test menu if you have a JRC radar in your boat. In the test menu, select PM and change the radar range to 24 to get the maximum loop range. If there is any abnormality or irregularity in a marine radar performance, you should correct it for better visibility and safety features.

    Final Words

    In short, marine radars should be tuned to apply to all the targets. Whether the tuning process is significant with your radar or not, it’s essential to know the radar’s setup and installation to get the best operations. If you are looking for the best Garmin radar that never misses even a single target on display, you should visit Marine Tech Miami. Moreover, you should also hire professionals for radar installation in your boat. 

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