Furuno 48 nm open array-birds?

footanklegfootankleg Posts: 513 Officer
Will this unit pick up birds or is a higher power antenna necessary?
Cobia 296 F300s J & B
Hewes 18' RF Y130 Flatfoot
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Replies

  • IdlewildeIdlewilde Posts: 1,357 Officer
    Nope. You will be able to see the birds with your own eye or with stabilized binoculars easier than you will with a 4kw radar. You will need a minimum 6kw, with 8-12kw being the best for looking for birds further away than you can see with your eyes..
  • footanklegfootankleg Posts: 513 Officer
    Thanks for the help!
    Cobia 296 F300s J & B
    Hewes 18' RF Y130 Flatfoot
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ChummerChummer Posts: 87 Greenhorn
    Idlewilde wrote: »
    Nope. You will be able to see the birds with your own eye or with stabilized binoculars easier than you will with a 4kw radar. You will need a minimum 6kw, with 8-12kw being the best for looking for birds further away than you can see with your eyes..

    Not true. I've even used a Furuno dome radar on a buddy's boat to find birds, certainly at distances greater than you can see (eyeballs usually work to about 1/2 mile max). The dome versions have the same type of antenna as the open arrays, just shorter. The wider your array, the better your target discrimination. Power gets you better distance as long as your receiver is sensitive enough to discriminate the returns.

    The trick is to turn off all interference filters, wave filters and anything else that tries to clean anything up. Go into manual mode and turn the gain up until you see light noise across your screen. Add a 15 second echo trail and you'll be able to pick up birds as well as other stuff, too. The chief limitation of a 4kW open array is range. Most bird chasers should start out at 6kW, but 12kW is better.

    I bet you can locate birds out to about 2nm with it, and farther if the birds are flocking together pretty tightly. Practice with it and you'll get a feel for it, because you're picking targets out of noise. Windy days are a problem because all of the chop up-wind of you reflects the radar, so it's hard finding flocks up-wind on those days.
  • WynWyn Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    I have had a 4kw and could pick up birds 3-4 miles out easy on calm days. On the other hand, it is worthless on choppy days. I have a 6 kw now and still have a tough time locating birds on choppy days. I have tried to clean it up with the sea clutter, but still could not get it work real good. Any advice on how to tune it in for choppy seas?
  • ChummerChummer Posts: 87 Greenhorn
    On choppy days, it's harder because of all of the added reflections from white caps. For me, turning on sea clutter doesn't seem to help. Personally, I think all you can do is to use the echo trails and keep an eye on things. I'll stare at the screen for a couple of minutes trying to pick out something that seems like it's hanging around more so than the rest of the noise. I pretty much give up trying to find anything that's upwind, but downwind and to the sides I can still pick stuff up.

    Here are some screen caps I made a long time ago to illustrate this. In the first one, the wind chop can be seen from the center moving up to the left and up.

    WideRange_sm.jpg

    Furuno1944RadarWithBirds_sm.jpg
  • Flyers UpFlyers Up Posts: 655 Officer
    I also have enclosed radar dome 4kw and last month we were in the New Prov Channel tuna fishing and also could see birds as far as 3 NM, it was a calm day and as stated above in choppy conditions does not spot birds at all.
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