Four Radar Systems

Here's a preview of four cutting-edge units.

GREASED LIGHTNING

If you're looking for lightning-fast operation of every familiar feature from your radar, as well as a few features (described below) that you may not yet have, the new JMA-5300 Series from JRC could be just your ticket. This 18.1-inch LCD color X-Band radar uses proprietary JRC architecture to enable sophisticated parallel processing of signals received from its 10 kW output, 6- or 7-foot open array antenna, which rotates at 24 rpm but can be slowed to 16 rpm for better long-range target detection. The standard non-IMO unit has interfaces for optional equipment such as AIS and gyroscopes. New JRC features include: Constaview, which refreshes the display screen every 16 milliseconds; TEF, which analyzes and enhances signals to minimize fading and loss of ARPA targets (it will handle 100); and TrueTrails, which presents target movements in true headings rather than the relative headings common to traditional technology. The JMA-5300 series is available in standard configuration with a variety of options ($13,995 with 6-foot array, $14,295 with 7-foot array) or in IMO configuration with all options included ($19,595 with 6-foot array, $22,995 with 7-foot array). JRC, (206) 654-5644; www.jrcamerica.com.

MAKING BIG MOVES

Northstar's brand new 972 integrates a full line of Ethernet-based radar options, ranging from 4 to 25 kW power outputs, displayed on a 15-inch sunlight-viewable, flush-mounted, waterproof screen. Range Rider, a Northstar exclusive, automatically saves your tuning adjustments for each range. When you return to a range you used earlier, the selected settings are still applied. With a maximum range of 96 miles, the 25 kW unit adds bird-spotting and early detection of distant oncoming ship traffic to your navigation capabilities. Split-screen capabilities let you overlay the radar image on charts for real-time information about traffic and obstructions. More interestingly, the 972 supports a variety of charting options-Maptech 4.0, BSB, NOAA raster-plus the Passport OnBoard series, which are preloaded in the unit's memory and available with a quick call. Add an optional fishfinder and some 3D bathymetric charts and you're ready to cruise or troll away the weekend. Northstar radars range from $3,795 for a 4 kW unit with dome to $16,195 for a 25 kW unit with a 6-1/2-foot open array. Northstar's 972 retails for $11,995. Northstar, (800) 628-4487; www.northstarnav.com.

PROFESSIONAL GRADE

Simrad's new RA80 and RA90 Series radars-available in non-IMO and IMO-approved versions-are designed for professional grade navigation on bridge consoles where installation space is limited. The Black Box processor unit can be installed almost anywhere on the vessel. Both units use Simrad's new CF Series Professional monitor for optimal clarity, color definition and image quality, with controllable brightness for safe nighttime operation. To get the big picture, Simrad's RA80 Series uses a 17-inch monitor, while the RA90 Series utilizes a larger, 19-inch monitor. A single antenna and transmitter/receiver will drive multiple screens. Other key features of the RA80 and RA90 Series include Nav Lines, Trails, Floating Off-Center, Dual VRM, Dual EBL, History Line and Guard Zone. Both units are offered with 6, 12 and 25 kW outputs and operating ranges up to 96 nm. Prices start at $10,295 for the 6 kW, 64 nm RA83 pictured here, with a 4-foot open array. Simrad, (800) 426-5585; www.simrad.com.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Furuno advances their award-winning 10.4-inch NavNet line (1823C, 1833C, 1933C, 1953C) with the introduction of a Black Box (BB) series designed to replicate features found on those models, such as EBL, EVRM Echo Trails, Guard Zone, Watch Modes and more. An integral, full-featured chart plotter (you select the C-MapNT+ Navionics Classic model that's right for you) is standard. The new BB series utilizes an Ethernet hub for reliable data sharing, has NMEA 0183 ports for easy addition of optional components, and is controlled by a compact landscape-oriented keypad. This allows the system to support multiple displays, including Furuno's two newest units: the 12.1-inch MU120C and the 15-inch MU155C LCD (shown here). Both feature bright color TFT LCDs with special anti-reflective glass filters, wide viewing angles and multiple inputs for a variety of equipment including computers, closed-circuit cameras and entertainment equipment-inputs you'll also find on the BBs. Prices start at $4,895 for the 1823CBB, and $4,995 for the MU120C. n Furuno, (360) 834-9300; www.furuno.com.