Navico, parent company of the Simrad, Northstar and Lowrance brands, unveiled its latest radar innovation - the BR24 Broadband Radar - in mid-February at the Miami International Boat Show. Navico says the BR24 represents the world's first recreational-marine frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar. In contrast to traditional pulse radar, broadband units use solid-state amplifiers to emit a continuous signal of varying frequency. Traditional radar emits periodic signals - or pulses - using a high-powered magnetron (a tube that creates intense heat as it generates electromagnetic energy).
Broadband radar provides boating anglers with superior target definition and separation in close quarters while drawing less power and emitting far less electromagnetic radio-frequency energy - it transmits at 1/20,000 of the power of traditional radar. The BR24 offers range resolution to less than 10 feet and eliminates the blind spot that usually surrounds a vessel using pulse radar. The BR24 also powers up almost instantly rather than requiring a warm-up period.
Compatible with Simrad GB40, NX40 and NX45 units, Northstar 8000i, M84 and M121 units, and Lowrance HDS displays, the BR24 provides a range of 24 nautical miles; the 18-inch radome draws 17 watts during operation (1.6 watts during standby). The radar supports chart overlay and display networking on all units, as well as MARPA on Simrad and Northstar units. Available in April, the Lowrance BR24 costs $1,699, and the Simrad/Northstar radars cost $1,995. Call 800-324-1356, or visit www.northstarnav.com, www.lowrance.com or www.simrad-yachting.com.