Radar Reflector Test Reports

Re: SeaMe

Postby Michel » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:49 am

I think the Sea-Me is being developed to work on both X and S band radar, and that will be my next buy in sailing electronics.


Gerald, I took a look at the specs of the SeaMe, and it only works with X-band radar.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION
The following table provides the salient technical parameters:
PARAMETER DATA
Operating Frequency X Band (9.32 – 9.5GHz)
Dimensions of antenna unit 416mm long by 50mm diameter
Thread in base of antenna unit for antenna
mount.
1” – 14 - NF
Weight of antenna unit excluding cable and
mount
410gms
Dimensions of control box 112mm * 64mm * 33mm
Connecting cable (24m supplied) BASEC approved16*0.2mm rated for 3A at
300V. Outside diameter 5.3mm
Maximum gain at 9.4GHz 58.9dB
Minimum gain at 9.4GHz 50dB
Polarization Horizontal
Antenna vertical beamwidth (tolerance to
heel)
+/-2.4dB at +/-15°
Response time 1.27 nanoseconds
E.I.R.P. Max 630mW
Power supply 12v DC
Current consumption in quiescent state 150mA
Current consumption when transmitting 350mA
Control box fuze 0.5A Quickblow 20mm
Michel Capel, Freedom 44 #4 1981 'Alabama Queen', NED8188, cat ketch with wishbones, home port Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 52*42.238'N 005*18.154'E.
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Re: Radar Reflector Test Reports

Postby Castaway » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:47 pm

Michel,

I cheated with the wiring: I have an SSB aerial running from the head of the mizzen to the toerail amidships, and I clipped it to that. I would have worked within the law (of gravity – thanks, George!) had the mast not been filled with foam. I had an opthalmoscope and laparoscopy forceps ready to retrieve the wire through a 1cm hole near the foot of the mast. Eventually, I ran the cable inside the mast when I had it out last spring, along with another VHF antenna (for the AIS engine) and the wind instrument.

The current Sea-Me is indeed X-band only, but I believe a new model is being developed to do both. I await it with bated breath. The Yachting Monthly test I mentioned showed that , on X-band, the Sea-Me gave a better response when heeled to 15º than any other reflector did when vertical, thus hopefully guaranteed to trigger a ship's ARPA or proximity alarms on a rough night crossing the Norwegian Trench.

I haven't ditched my Firdell, but it is tied to the sternrail except in fog, when it goes up the spare halliard on the mainmast. Belt and braces!

Kind regards,
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
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Re: Radar Reflector Test Reports

Postby Peter » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:39 am

Folks,

there is a dual band version of the sea-me RTE available now covering both X- and S-band radar. There are rumors that Echomax will also get a dual band version of their active-x RTE on the market next spring. I have read a report from a Solent pilot somewhere, who advises active radar reflectors (RTEs) for sport boats in waters with lots of commercial traffic. He said he would even prefer a RTE to an AIS class B transponder.

Peter
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Re: Radar Reflector Test Reports

Postby Castaway » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:13 am

Reports in the UK yachting press suggest the Echomax is more effective then the Sea-Me, but is still X-band only. Both firms are working on a dual-band model. Upgrade in 2011, I think. I'll be running up Route T through the Kattegat that summer, along with a thousand or so large vessels, or so it seemed this summer!
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
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Re: Radar Reflector Test Reports

Postby Michel » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:10 pm

I spoke to the Echomax man on the METS trade show last month. He said his folks were working on a dual band system but was vague when it would be available. I will wait until it's there and tested against the SeaMe dual band RTE. For all category 0 and 1 offshore races an RTE is mandatory, as will be an AIS transceiver from 2010 onwards. Of course you also need to have your Iridium phone, EPIRB and satellite tracker beacon on board. I might better invest in a cold war Russian 'trawler', then I would have all that transmission stuff in one go.
Michel Capel, Freedom 44 #4 1981 'Alabama Queen', NED8188, cat ketch with wishbones, home port Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 52*42.238'N 005*18.154'E.
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Re: Radar Reflector Test Reports

Postby THATBOATGUY » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:13 pm

Castaway wrote:Reports in the UK yachting press suggest the Echomax is more effective then the Sea-Me, but is still X-band only. Both firms are working on a dual-band model. Upgrade in 2011, I think. I'll be running up Route T through the Kattegat that summer, along with a thousand or so large vessels, or so it seemed this summer!


I spent a lifetime making that Skagerrak-Kattegat passage one night. Woof! It was one of only two times I've loaded up a raymarine radar target log and wished I could have marpaed a few more.

George
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