radar cable connection

ColinR

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2001
Messages
580
www.victoriashadow.co.uk
Does anyone have a solution to cutting the radar cable at the foot of the mast so the mast can be unstepped? The radar engineer says cable problems are the most common cause of radar faults and urges not to break the cable. The rigger says, cut it and use a chocolate bar connector. Having had problems with my previous installation that had a break in it, I've played safe and followed the radar engineer's advice. But having today spent several hours up and down the re-stepped mast feeding the cable through and making the connection to the radome that involved undoing about 15 small screws while up the mast, I couldn't help wondering if there was an easier way. Isn't there a plug that will handle the 15 small wires plus very thin dialectic (??)

Well at least it took my mind off brexit for a while......

cheers, Colin
 

Neeves

Well-known member
Joined
20 Nov 2011
Messages
12,557
Location
Sydney, Australia.
Visit site
You would think, given that unstepping a mast is quite common, that the radar manufacturers Raymarine, Garmin etc would supply mast length cables, with plug at mast base and then another cable which will connect to mast base and then connect to displays. It would provide another way for them to make some money and might even be welcomed by the owners. Sadly I have not heard of anything to meet your, and many other's needs.

The solution is what you have done, either pull from the mast or pull from within the yacht.

Jonathan
 

Sea-Fever

Active member
Joined
27 Jun 2017
Messages
679
Location
Port Solent
Visit site
Does anyone have a solution to cutting the radar cable at the foot of the mast so the mast can be unstepped? The radar engineer says cable problems are the most common cause of radar faults and urges not to break the cable. The rigger says, cut it and use a chocolate bar connector. Having had problems with my previous installation that had a break in it, I've played safe and followed the radar engineer's advice. But having today spent several hours up and down the re-stepped mast feeding the cable through and making the connection to the radome that involved undoing about 15 small screws while up the mast, I couldn't help wondering if there was an easier way. Isn't there a plug that will handle the 15 small wires plus very thin dialectic (??)

Well at least it took my mind off brexit for a while......

cheers, Colin

Having chopped my own radar cable in half in exactly the same scenario I feel your pain. I'm afraid I can't vouch for a reconnection method as I haven't bothered just yet.
 

Dantp

Member
Joined
15 Aug 2016
Messages
63
Location
Caribbean
Visit site
If it's an easyish run from the back of your radar unit to the bottom of the mast you can unplug the cable there and pull it back. So when you pull the mast you have a coil of cable. Probably a pain but possibly easier than reconnecting at the top.
Says a man who suspects he has a broken cable but doesn't need radar enough to try and fix it.
 

SteveNotlob

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2008
Messages
83
Visit site
And that is why he is a rigger, and not a Marine Electronic Engineer....
NEVER cut the cable. Not only does it make another area of potential problems, but it will also introduce resistance and impedance to the power & signal wires. Not such an issue with newly cut and joined cable, but start getting any damp in there and some oxidisation..... well, the fun begins...
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,361
Location
Southampton
Visit site
With modern radars it’s easier because the data cable is just ethernet. Agree it would make sense for the manufacturers to make specific provision for a split but, since they don’t, you can just cut the cable, crimp RJ45s onto the ends, and plug them into an off-the-shelf waterproof coupler. I then used a SuperSeal connector for the power.

I doubt the OP will find a single plug that will accommodate all his analogue radar conductors, but it should be possible to combine several and it can be made tolerably neat with heat shrink and sleeving. I did mine with a mix of SuperSeal, mini-DIN, and an RCA for the coax. I put heatshrink over the non-waterproof connectors with the intention of cutting it off and remaking each time; after all, lowering the mast isn’t something you do every week.

Pete
 

ithet

Well-known member
Joined
27 Mar 2009
Messages
1,436
Location
UK, Hamble
Visit site
I discovered this week that my Pathfinder radar cable installation has a join at the mast base. The core wires have been joined using choc blocks. Additionally in my case the power line has been split to separate the activation power from the plotter to a relay providing radar power. It is all 'orrible, but radar works fine!
 

neil1967

Well-known member
Joined
28 Nov 2007
Messages
1,134
Location
Tavira, Portugal
Visit site
The old analogue Furano radar fitted to our yacht by a PO had a chocolate block connector inside (keel stepped mast) - I assume it worked ok. I have replaced the radar with a 3G version with an RJ45 cable and I am routing the cable so it is easy to disconnect it from the interface box inside the cabin, rather than cutting it.
 

tjbrace

Active member
Joined
8 Mar 2007
Messages
591
Location
West Mersea, UK
Visit site
I have struggled with this same problem for the first 10 years of ownership of my boat. It came with its cable divided at the base of the mast and choc strip connectors in a (non) waterproof box. This meant mousing and pulling the mast part through the mast support and out through a deck gland. The connections were always a problem when restepping especially the inner very thin coax.
I now use a swan neck to pass cables through the deck and indivdual Wago cannectors to joint the wires. The wires have boot lace ferrules soldered to each end.
These haven’t failed forthe past three seaons and they make an instant connection with no faffing about.
 

CalicoJack

Active member
Joined
5 Jan 2004
Messages
566
Location
Chatham, Kent
Visit site
Whatever you decide,do take a photo or three, of the actual way your radar is connected. I thought mine was connected as Furono had described. Don’t ask how I found out that it wasn’t connected the way it was supposed to be.
 

Daverw

Well-known member
Joined
2 Nov 2016
Messages
2,742
Location
Humber
Visit site
Not a RF problem with new radar units although effective range would be less but on a slow moving Yacht is that too much of an issue?
 
Top