Radar mount - Hardtop vs Radar Arch

Discussion in 'Marine Electrical / Electronics' started by PBianculli, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. PBianculli

    PBianculli Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I have a question about how my radar radome is mounted. Currently, my radome is mounted onto my hardtop, with a short pedestal to give it the proper angle for use underway.
    There is a radar arch on my boat, but nothing is mounted to it currently. I plan on installing my 4’ vhf antenna on top for am/fm, and am trying to decide if I should move my radome to the radar arch.

    Another question,
    Someone gave me two 16’ Shakespeare antennas, and I am trying to decide a good place to mount them as well. Would it be worth it to mount them to the hardtop, and then secure the brace for the antenna to the top of my radar arch? Or, would it be better to mount them to the side of the cabin like a lot of lobster boats do.
    I’m trying to maximize the performance of my radios, if I ever take the boat offshore. I have read that VHF is line of sight communication, so the more height the better?
    I will attach a few pictures, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks guys!
     

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  2. Tuna Pursuit

    Tuna Pursuit Captain

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    Cool boat
     
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  3. TCL

    TCL Senior Member

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    Do you shrink wrap in the winter? If you move the radar to the arch then you would have to remove it before wrapping. No?
     
    TCL,
  4. PBianculli

    PBianculli Member

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    Yes, I shrink wrap it in the winter. What I did last year was remove all the antennas you see in the bow picture (because they were broken) but left the mounts. I wrapped a towel around the mounts so they wouldn’t puncture the shrink wrap and they never broke thru.
    I figure I can do something similar with the radome.
     
  5. captjohn

    captjohn Captain

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    You need to mount your RADAR antenna high enough that the RADAR signal, or part of it, is not bouncing off the hard top. The manufacturers mounting instructions do give you the height based on how large your hard top is. An easy way to tell if your hard top is interfering with the RADAR signal is to power the unit up, manually adjust the sensitivity up at multiple range settings. If you get what looks like a donut on the screen, near the center of the screen, that's the signal bouncing off the hard top. Getting rid of it requires lowering the sensitivity, which basically means that you are loosing the ability to detect targets on the entire screen. At that point, you need to raise the antenna.
     
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  6. PBianculli

    PBianculli Member

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    That is a great tip, I will try that next time I go down to my boat! Thank you
     
  7. Kodiakan

    Kodiakan Senior Member

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    That arch is very popular here and I don’t know of a single boat with an arch that doesn’t have the radar on it. You should be able to pick up birds etc better. Couldn’t you place blocks around it when you shrink wrap? Most here don’t shrink wrap so I have no experience with it. A lifetime ago I used to sell radio systems. VHF will “bend” some compared to other frequencies but we always mounted the antennas as high as possible
     
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  8. PBianculli

    PBianculli Member

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    Blocks around the radome would work great, and I will probably do something like that when it comes time to shrink wrap.
    I always thought the boat looked a little funny with nothing up on the arch.
     

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