Navico Halo24 & Raymarine Quantum2 radars, Gizmo goes full Doppler

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. I’m thinking you could spot empty tables at Marriner’s with that setup.. 🙂

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      It might be useful if you came back up and walked briskly along the shore near the waterfall, maybe flapping your arms. I don’t understand where everyone went.

      • Hmm – I think most of ’em are anchored around here, showing off their new sunburns and complaining about the heat.. (and the honkin’ SE wind which is keeping ’em on this side of the Stream)

  2. Leftbrainstuff says:

    I like the ability to run std rj45 end and then waterproof it when connecting. It’s hard work routing modern cabling in older boats that were never designed to have any decent cable groups.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m hoping that there is an 18 inch Halo in the works. The 24 inch dome is a bit large for my sailboat as it would likely interfere with the stay sail. I was ready to buy a 4G this past fall when I bought the rest of my new B&G electronics, but when I saw the Halo24, I decided to wait for a 18 inch Halo.

  4. Tom Fuhs says:

    I’m hoping there is an 18 inch Halo in the works. The 24 inch dome is a bit large for my sailboat as it would likely interfere with my stay sail. I was ready to buy a 4G this past fall when I bought the rest of my new B&G electronics, but when I saw the Halo24, I decided to wait for a 18 inch Halo.

  5. Howard says:

    Ben- Do you still feel that the NXT stands above the rest?

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Happy New Year, Howard!

      And, yes, I still think that Furuno NXT stands significantly above the rest. It the NXT “Fast Target Tracking” and “Auto Target Acquire” that no other manufacturer has been able to duplicate (yet). I have gotten out once with all four current Doppler radomes and while Raymarine and Simrad have at least equaled the instant moving target highlighting that Garmin and Furuno simultaneously trail blazed, I don’t think that’s as useful in most situations as the fast, intelligent, and precise auto tracking that NXT can do.

      The competition does do manual tracking (MARPA) pretty well and Raymarine Q2 now has fast auto tracking in guard zones — though it doesn’t seem to differentiate between fixed and moving targets — and I also hear that Halo radars will soon get auto tracking. But NXT puts the bar high; I’m still amazed at how often and quickly it can generate target vector info that almost exactly matches the AIS speed/course data the same target is transmitting or how a small, fast boat is actually moving, and how rarely it tracks fixed targets (though it does sometimes pick up flying birds or big wakes).

      NXT can also display a CPA (Closest Point of Approach) graphic for a particular crossing situation (and so can a Raymarine Quantum). I guess that Furno and the other manufacturers are shy about calling these features ARPA because that implies adherence to a strict IMO commercial radar standard, but they sure can provide recreational boaters with ARPA-like aid with collision avoidance.

  6. Barry Steinberg says:

    Hi Ben,
    Is there any news on an 18″ Halo?

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Sorry, Barry, I have not heard of an 18″ Halo radome in works, and I’m not sure there’s much chance of one. All the solidstate radomes are lighter and much more power efficient than similar size magnetron radars, so all you get with an extras small model is less physical size and possibly lower performance. Raymarine, Navico, and Furuno have not yet offered solidstate radomes in two sizes. Only Garmin does, but I rarely see the smaller one, and its 24 is actually the largest though it’s not a better performer in my experience.

      Incidentally, declared radome sizes may mean antenna width, dome diameter, or who-knows what:

      Simrad, B&G, Lowrance Halo 24: 24-inch diameter, 8.9 h, 14.9 lbs
      Simrad, B&G, Lowrance 3G/4G: 19.3-inch diameter, 11 h, 16.3 lbs
      Garmin Fantom 24: 25.4-inch diameter, 9.8 h, 21 lbs
      Garmin Fantom 18: 20-inch diameter, 9.8 h, 13.6 lbs
      Raymarine Quantum 18″: 21.3-inch diameter, 8.3 h, 12.3 lbs
      Furuno DRS4D NXT: 24-inch diameter, 8.7 h, 16.1 lbs

  7. Robert says:

    Are the Halo24 radars safe to humans in close proximity? I can’t find any details on the safety of this. Navico mentions it for 3G/4G, but not for the new Pulse Compression.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Hi Robert, the Halo24’s “Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure table” is on page 5 of the installation menu:

    So the “System 100 W/m2 occupational safe distance” = 0.6 m (2.0 ft)
    And the “10 W /m2 public safe distance” = 2 m (6.6 ft)

    It’s always struck me as a bit strange that boat crew can somehow safely get closer to a radar than passengers can, but that’s how the standards are written.

    At any rate, this is quite a safe radar, though not quite “huggable” like the original Navico solid state Broadband, and I suspect its safe distances are very close to all the other solid state pulse compression radomes I have mounted.

  9. Jan Hoffmann says:

    Any rumors on Furuno’s entry level Wifi radar regarding a possible solid state upgrade any time soon ?
    Thanks and best, Jan

  10. Luis Soltero Luis Soltero says:

    So… June in Maine was unusually foggy and rainy. On Bliss we have a halo 3′ open array radar that made long passages in near 0 visibility possible. This year we came to Maine after purchasing the $500 VelociTrack (Doppler) option offered by Simrad.. And I have to say that the feature paid for itself while traveling by Booth bay about 2 weeks ago in dense fog.

    On our halo normally we see a pile of red targets created by fishing boats, islands, and boys. Without doppler its hard to know what is what unless you use marpa to follow all the targets. This is a time consuming operation that was part of our Operating procedure in the past.

    This year with Doppler we enabled the incoming only target feature (we don’t care about things going away from us.. only those approaching) and only worry about the “yellow” targets. The red targets are stationary or slow moving while yellow indicates that there is a vector moving towards you at some speed.

    So… now we look for yellow targets and when we see it we tag it with marpa and follow it.

    Back to Booth bay… It was really foggy… on the Radar we saw a yellow blip… we then tagged it with marpa and followed it.. we noticed that the target was approaching at a SOG of 10 knots with a relative closing speed of 17 knots… i.e. coming towards us fast. Marpa then warned us of an imminent collision. So.. we swung to STB 90 degrees and started blowing our horn..
    And out of the mist we saw about a 45′ blue hulled please trawler without Radar or AIS appear out of the fog…

    So… doppler and marpa saved the day.

    If you travel in fog then the $500 for the feature is absolutely worth it in my book.


  1. July 15, 2019

    […] just as good a job, arguably better. Yes, it’s taken me quite a while to properly compare the four Doppler radomes installed on Gizmo just as winter set in, but I believe I’ve done enough and the results are not surprising […]

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