- By Jim Hendricks

Veteran anglers have long sworn by powerhungr­y magnetron radars for locating flocks of seabirds hovering and diving over schools of feeding gamefish, scorning the advent of pulse compressio­n radars. But now there’s a pulse compressio­n radar that may change some minds.

The new Halo 2000 and 3000 open-array, pulse compressio­n radar systems from Simrad feature higher power, greater detection ranges and improved software, making a host of new functions possible, including Bird+ Mode on the 3000 series. Bird+ Mode calibrates the radar to focus on maximizing 130 watts of power on targeting and identifyin­g flocks of birds that can lead to fish at distances up to 8 nautical miles. Simrad is the first to use pulse compressio­n at that range for birds, a distance on par with a 25 kW magnetron radar, heralding a new era of bird detection.

Yet the Halo 2000 and 3000 radars o‡er much in terms of pulse-compressio­n refinement­s. The Halo 2000 (available with 3-, 4- and 6-foot arrays) o‡ers 50 watts of power, ensuring visibility out to 72 nautical miles, while the Halo 3000 (available with 4- and 6-foot arrays) with its 130 watts of power can provide visibility out to 96 nautical miles (depending upon the target), and that includes the ability to track threatenin­g weather systems. The radar power combines world-class beam sharpening for enhanced target separation. For example, boaters can see one boat behind another as separate returns that might otherwise appear as a single target. Both systems are compatible with Simrad’s latest multifunct­ion displays, including the NSS and NSX series.

Both radars also o‡er innovative new Zone Track and Dangerous Target Alerts features and Velocity Track to provide critical informatio­n and warnings to help avoid collisions. Zone Track automatica­lly tracks up to 50 targets, while Dangerous Target Alerts issues an alert about threatenin­g returns. Velocity Track color-codes dangerous targets. The 2000 radars start at $6,399, and 3000 radars start at $8,499;

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