BR24 vs Furuno 4′ UHD, take two (yike!)

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

15 Responses

  1. John says:

    Ben, the comparrison between the Furuno UHD and Navico Broadband was very interesting, thanks. I hope to see more when all is sorted on “big” Gizmo. What I did notice is that not only did the Furuno show a more updated chart but the skipper also had the plotter screen (on left) set in 3D. That’s really impresseive, overlaying radar in 3D! It would have looked good if he overlayed Sat Photo’s and depth shading (on the plotter) as that takes the Furuno into a completey different league. I have heard reports that the Navico FMCW technology is yet to be proven on long ranges so it will be interesting to see if the installation on “big” Gizmo with increased antenna height improves long range performance whilst maintaining target definition.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    From Eric:
    Ben, Please advise Captain Kessler that the Furuno DRS4 Radar Image can be refined even further by adjusting the Main Bang Supression parameter to eliminate the own ship center spot and further enhance the very close range targets. He can call Furuno Tech support to run him through this simple adjustment in the Installation Wizard.
    I had to re-emphasize to everyone in my office that your pictures show the Furuno radar image and the BR24 image at the SAME 1/4 mile scale at the same location. Then, I watched their jaws drop as they realized the dramatic differences betweeen the two radar images.
    When someone asks me why they should invest in a larger radar system, this kind of picture comparison is impossible to explain but, your pictures make it easy.
    Switching the radar image to Full Color (red targets) on the Navnet 3D Display would make the image even more comparable.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, John. It was actually me who put that window in 3D. Bruce hasn’t experimented much with that, but he may get into it. I thought it worked great, showing a little more range without losing close-in detail. Also, when we were out on the Bay, the radar overlay — 2D or 3 — was tight as a tick, credit to Furuno and a well calibrated heading sensor.
    I am certainly looking forward to testing and comparing Simrad, Garmin, and Raymarine 18″ radomes, and they’re all essentially operational. But it poured here again yesterday, and all my tasks are off schedule.
    Not that rain stop Bruce Kessler. Yesterday morning he was preparing to get underway, having first shown his three crew members the location of the circuit breaker for the electronic controls, in case he needs to reboot ’em!

  4. Lee says:

    Hi Ben, looks like it’s safe to post comments again.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Panbo is now been moved to a faster, more secure server system, but I am worried about glitches. Please don’t hesitate to report problems directly to me: ben.ellison at Thanks!

  6. Anonymous says:

    SOG 16.1 in the harbor?

  7. Kees says:

    Talking about strange values, how about the 987 ft depth indicated shown on the NN3D in the SoZ picture? The chart shows it should be something like 10 ft.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    We had just turned on the NN3D sounder and it takes a bit to find bottom and auto range.
    But I see SOG 4 knots, which was true.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    panbo posting may be very sparce this week, friends. I’m out in the fog, writing this on an iPhone, cuising/testing all week.
    But here’s news: the Raymarine 18″ Digital dome is performing very well.

  10. Tobias H. Freeman says:

    I have been keeping track of you reports on radar displays and target quality.
    I have sold and installed every brand of radar made in the last 15 years and a Furuno radar will always out perform any other like product.
    I have seen a 4kW, 2′ open array FR1752 Furuno radar outperform a 6kW raymarine with a 6′ open array. It was a joke. Dollar for dollar Furuno Radars are the the best value.

  11. Ron Rogers says:

    Based upon one experience with a lightning strike 30 yards off the starboard bow of my docked sailboat (Pacific Seacraft) I would not trust one single pierce of electronics on my boat after a nearby strike. One important note; I was connected to shore power at the time with only the charger on. There was clear physical evidence inside my boat that we had taken a load of EMP. We had ICOM fuse holders from the VHF’s power lines embedded in teak across the cabin. Essentially, every electrical and electronics component failed. All repaired gear, with the exception of the Raymarine autopilot control head failed within one tear. The AP was fine. Using an electron microscope we found hidden damage inside RG8U Belden coax which was replaced. Each strike is different and his Northern Marine trawler is beautifully built, but I would be very careful and reject repair of failed items as an option.

  12. henry edwards says:

    Hi Ben,
    I read your column religiously and by no means am I a fan of Navicos but how can you consider it a fair comparison between a 4ft open array and a 18″ dome antenna notwithstanding the difference in the price which has got to be around $2K. The picture resolution on the BR24 looks good but as we are finding out there is a limitation of an approximate 6 mile range that must be considered in the purchase equation. This is not a report, it is factual, the BR24 is a short ranged radar because of its technology. Please explain that to your readers. On the other hand, the overall quality and reliability from the worlds leading radar manufacturer Furuno must be also considered.

  13. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Henry, I specifically wrote “there is no real comparison between SoZ’s full blown NavNet3D system and a BR24/HDS-10, beyond perhaps close-in range resolution” and then enumerated some of the things the Furuno can do that the BR24 can’t. It’s also a silly comparison because the BR24 is so much smaller, less expensive, and less power hungry.
    I also have not yet commented on BR24 performance beyond near range, because I’ve only seen it for myself very recently. Now, after four days of running with it, mostly in fog, I agree that it seems quite limited beyond 6 miles, maybe even 4 miles. On the other hand — and this may be somewhat peculiar to the complicated coast of Maine — I never would have set it over 3 miles if I weren’t testing it.
    I’ve written a little about this week here:
    …and will write more very soon.

  14. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    While I am sure Maine is special in many respects, 3 miles dosn’t seem unusual to me.
    My heaviest use of radar this season was to/from Huntington to Nantucket, an 80 hour round tip with 15 miles in fog, and anoter 15-20 miles in rain. Rarely was my radar configured beyond 2 miles.
    Although I don’t have AIS, in effect my AIS would have been limited to the same range.

  15. denny-o says:

    I just towed home a 2009 Ranger Tug R25… It has a Garmin 4212 MFD and their sonar… No radar… SO, I am looking at this radar stuff…
    The broadband radar is appealing for close in resolution and no X band hazards – I am a long time ham radio operator so I have a grasp of RF hazards…
    But, I am also wondering if maybe the Garmin radar, perhaps with the 18 or 24 open array, might be a good solution… For now I will be sailing Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron waters and close resolution is probably batter information most of the time, compared to reaching out 20 miles…
    Would a 24″ open array be a problem on a boat this size? I am thinking I will have to modify the factory tower to put the array on top..
    Dennis O’Connor

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