I think I should have be reincarnated as a search engine; I love to look things up. And in that vein I’ve ben doing all kinds of research on RADARs and PC Navigation Software packages and as a slight backup plan by looking into Chartplotters. That was a really open ended problem space and a tad frustrating to look at all that data and feature comparisons.
I was able to boil all that down pretty quickly since I’ve decided for sure to go the PC Software route with no chartplotter. Instead of a chartplotter I’ll use a Tablet PC and the Maretron DSM 250 instrument display in the cockpit.
When you look at RADARs they have two ways to connect:1) through a chartplotter and to a network or directly to a PC or 2) through a box that puts the RADAR data onto a network which the PC can plug into. This second mode is what I need, so that narrows it down to Koden’s RADARpc’s MDS-50R 18” radome and MDS-51R 24” radome and the Nobeltec IR2-4D 24” radome (seems their 2kW offering has been discontinued).
With Nobeltec you have the option of using Nobeltec Admiral or VNS navigation programs.
With the Koden RADARpc you have the option of using the following software packages:
Some general thoughts about these:
P-Sea is not a properly built or designed Windows 7 Application. The first thing they tell you to do before installing is to turn off some Windows 7 security features. I’m not willing to do that so I’m not going to be able to evaluate P-Sea.
iExpedition is apparently really cool, but I can’t find a reliable website that is clearly the development company that has contact information, support forums, all the things I’d expect for a quality software package. Maybe it exists and I can’t find it but without that I’m not even going to bother.
Now we’re down to RosePoint and Nobeltec. I have RosePoint and like it pretty well, they’re a local company which is nice. They’re also very responsive on their forums. I was very intrigued by the network and multi-PC capabilities of EuroNa'v’s SeaPro 3000, but it doesn’t support RADARChart overlay and that lead me to ask about Coastal Explorer’s plan for multiple PC scenarios which it turns out are the high priority for this year.
I don’t know much at all about Nobeltec, but I’m going to seek out a demo copy.
At any rate that was a long winded way of saying that I’ve narrowed down my RADAR to the Koden RADARpc MDS-51R, now I just need to look for the best price, possibly with a software package deal.