The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Long Live Free-Standing Radars

Based on 30 years of radar use in some of the foggier and icier waters in the world, I have long advocated for free-standing radars, at least for those who venture into these waters, rather than integrating radar into a plotter.

So it’s way-cool to see that Furuno have just brought out two brand new free-standing radar displays that are compatible with their latest scanners, either magnetron, or digital.

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Colin Palmer

Not Furuno, but I have just fitted a Halo20+ and SimradR2009 controller. Certainly impressive at short range – will I ever use radar set at 50m range? But I have yet to try it in open water. The current draw is comfortingly low. 1.0a on standby, 3a at long range reducing to 2.4a at 100m range. 0.3a when off at the controller. Like John, I want simplicity (the R2009 screen is busy enough with just radar echoes) and redundancy – separate AIS and independent iPad navigation. The thoughts of having everything going to one MFD feels wrong. Get a fault and everything goes. When it is working you have the visual complexity of overlays, or maybe a split display, but to be workable I think that would need a 12 inch screen – mega bucks and a big brute to fit.

Colin Speedie

This is welcome news, indeed!

George L

Welcome, yes, but the cost $2,395.00 for the small one is still painful. Just as we have seen in computing where single-purpose devices keep disappearing, I am wondering whether it isn’t time for the same for marine use.
2250 is the fee for Timezero professional and an extra workstation (there are some other things that can/should be added, of course). If this is put on some small powerful PC like the Intel NUC (which maxed out will set you back about 1500 a unit), I am still at less cost than for an MFD and the free-standing radar.
This, however, will only work with the Solid State Radar,  no longer work with the radome units. And the solid state units are still marketed for recreational use only.
Given that a Radar always consists of the radome and a means to see it, I am not sure it matters that much any more where it is displayed as long as it is – whether freestanding, timezero, MFD. Regarding the latter I’d rather have two or three small ones than a big one and then one failing isn’t the end of the world either. More than one screen is essential regardless of the means, e.g., to display radar/AIS on one and the chart on the other, or to display a detailed chart on one and an overview on the other.