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#205331 - 07/31/10 06:50 AM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: chickenlittle]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2810
Loc: La-USA
You are looking for a RACON, they are used by the USCG on entrance buoys.

They transmit a signal (usually a morse code letter such as "A" .-) everytime it receives a RADAR signal.

This morse code letter will appear on the vessel's RADAR directly opposite of where the contact (kayak) is.

Unfortunately, RACON's are expensive, or were. That may have changed. Contact ACR and see if they carry them and for how much.

On the Western Rivers and canals, we report all small boats that we see, via VHF-FM radio, in general broadcasts to other boats in the area. These small boats scare the hell out of us!!!!
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#205340 - 07/31/10 04:22 PM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: wildman800]
chickenlittle Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
Thanks Wildman, but wouldn't transmitting a buoy ID be confusing?

Still If they are cheap and small enough the RACON beacon might be good to have especially if visibility gets poor.

Certainly something I will look into a bit more. Thanks again.

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#205344 - 07/31/10 05:13 PM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: unimogbert]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 880
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
During the early years of radar, fishermen lashed metal barrels to their masts as radar reflectors.

I wonder if a space blanket would work?


A purpose-built radar reflector is a good idea. Occasionally known as the "Mongolian Ghost Trap" (can't recall where I read that) the idea is to hoist something that purposefully retro-reflects radar.
Radar won't see the target if the incoming beam isn't directed back where it came from (basic stealth concept). There are devices that look like a bunch of corners made of metal to hoist on your masthead.

THese things are important because there are a lot of merchant vessels out there being steered by "otto"
Otto-pilot. Everyone else is asleep.

Another threat to one's nautical well-being can be mentioned. Submarines.
(I came very, very close to hitting a sailboat one night.)


The other idea in the article that wasn't really tested was an enhanced life vest/jacket that would have radar reflective material built into it. That way there is less of a need for a awkward mast on the kayak. A mast changes the dynamics and balance of a very small craft. But combine the enhanced life jacket with a radar reflective hat my be commercially viable.
Still, the best alternative is to stay out of shipping lanes (not always possible), hug the shorelines, paddle in tight groups and be visible to the naked eye with bright reflective colours.

As far as submarines colliding with kayaks -- thanks for the laugh, because even small littoral subs (of which the US doesn't have anymore) don't come that close into shore to worry kayaker's who rarely venture more than a mile from shore.

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#205345 - 07/31/10 05:16 PM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: chickenlittle]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2810
Loc: La-USA
ACR, or other electronic companies MAY have RACON's specifically made for small boats.

I've also seen these on offshore platforms. It really great to see one on an offshore platform that has had navigation light failure. Besides helping you notice the unlighted platform, the code allows you to better know your position since that platform will stand out positively identified in a sea of platforms surrounding you.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#205359 - 07/31/10 07:59 PM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: wildman800]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
You could fit an AIS, or radar repeater, system to a boat but kayaks don't usually have power system that could handle such loads. I'm thinking on of the 6" radar reflector balls held 4 or 5' high with a flexible fiberglass pole set up behind the paddled would work.

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#205383 - 08/01/10 05:33 AM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: wildman800]
chickenlittle Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
I ran into this while searching the internets.
http://www.prlog.org/10227763-altus-vrb-...ted-states.html
Quote:
Apr 30, 2009 VRBs are Miniature Electronic Radar Reflector or Active RTE (Radar Target Enhancer). The VRB (Vessel Radar Beacon), when mounted at a minimum of 2 meters from the waterline, emits an X-band Radar signal with a dome range of 2.5 mile (min. 0.5 mile at sea level). This signal is readable on any standard X-Band Radar. The signal emitted produces a blip that shows up on commercial and recreational X-band Radar.


It looks like somebody else has been working on the idea already.
It still seems a bit short range to me.

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#205392 - 08/01/10 08:10 PM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: chickenlittle]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2810
Loc: La-USA
That's a good workable range for a m/v to get your signal and avoid you. Most operators run their RADARs between .25 - 1.5 mile ranges depending on where they are.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#205406 - 08/02/10 01:22 AM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: Susan]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 854
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Susan
"Radar won't see the target if the incoming beam isn't directed back where it came from (basic stealth concept)."

A guy in Oregon once told me that he had some friends who constantly exceeded the speed limit on the local roads, and they told him that they avoided radar traps by loosely crinkling HD aluminum foil and covering their hubcaps with it.

Would this really have the desired effect?

Sue


I don't know. It's not reflecting the radar away from the car because the crinkles have lots of folds in them to act as a retro-reflector.
On the other hand, from head-on the crinkles on the top of the hubcap are "coming" while the ones on the bottom are "going" which has the potential to confuse things. Still, there are lots of other radar-reflectors on the car that would reflect strongly.

I think they were pulling your leg.

Other- subs don't come close in-shore when the water is shallow ("shallow" would be a Classified term if specifics were given). Lookout though if it's deep. I think the boomers submerge in Hood's Canal which might be a recreational area.
But I agree, it's not a *big* threat. Especially if you make regular thumping noises that sound man-made.

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#205420 - 08/02/10 04:13 AM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: unimogbert]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
The crinkled foil bit,is a farce as, Radar guns have Range-finders,&Chronographs built in,Distance x seconds = MPH,or a cop could just use his wristwatch & a fixed position,either way,If they even think you are speeding,You are speeding,until you can prove otherwise!Sorry for the hijack,of the thread!

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#205429 - 08/02/10 05:31 AM Re: Kayakers and tinfoil hats. [Re: Richlacal]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2810
Loc: La-USA
Submerged subs surfacing inshore are not a viable concern based on my knowledge and experience. Subs running on the surface are a threat as is any other M/V, for the same reasons.

Subs usually transit with escorts, who clear the inshore channels of all other traffic. The ports that subs normally transit into and out of are generally known and are allowed for by the locals. Subs do occasionally make Ports of Calls in unusual places such as New Orleans during the Mardi Gras, but these are again, to be expected. There are other non-sub based ports that see regular transits of subs, such as Groton, Cn and Cape Canaveral, Fl.

Boomers have air, sea, and subsurface escorts out from their portrs to the Continental shelf. Even someone who has no familiarization with submarine operations will take notice of that amount of activity. Someone will be along shortly if you're in a place that they don't want you in.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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