Broadband Radar, more details
Last week I wrote my March PMY column about Navico’s Broadband Radar and learned some more details in the process. The pricing, for instance, is almost finalized, and sounds decent. The Lowrance version of the BR dome will have a $1,599 MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) while the Northstar and Simrad models—with a few extra features, like MARPA—will cost a few hundred more dollars. However, the unusual solid-state interior hardware seen above, and bigger here, will be same across brands, as will the basic performance, which is sounding quite interesting…
Navico product manager Greg Konig told me that the company is testing Broadband Radar against competitor’s 2 and 4 kW domes and open-arrays with good results. He said that Broadband’s near-range target resolution is “absolutely unmatched” and that it’s better than most sets out to 10 miles. But he was clear that performance in the 10–24 nm max range is not particularly special, and that 4 kW arrays are definitely better at seeing weather and smaller targets at those distances. On the other hand, he notes, the complete lack of a “main bang” dead zone around a BR-equipped boat, plus the the 2–3 meter range resolution, mean the scanner can distinguish sea clutter very well. He added that they’d had a laugh at a comment to Panbo’s original BR entry about the inability of solid-state radar to see through rain because, in fact, this unit sees through rain so well that they had to tweak it a bit so that rain can show on a target screen.
Konig also said that while BR will work well right out of the box, all the normal tuning controls will be available, and that installation will be the “easiest ever.” Apparently the domes will come with 30 meters of thin Ethernet/power cable already attached and ready to run to a junction box below. At any rate, I’m thinking that Broadband Radar will be a big deal at the Miami Boat Show, and am pleased to add that I may get some quality on water time with it before then.