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FAQ on Garmin Radars

Why am I not able to see radar on my Garmin marine chartplotter?
If a radar is being used with a Garmin Marine Chartplotter and the radar cannot be seen by the chartplotter or if the chartplotter displays a "Radar Service Lost" error, then there are some troubleshooting steps that can determine the issue.

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Why is the radar display on my chartplotter consistently off when the heading is correct?
If the radar image is not matching the cartography image displayed on the screen of your chartplotter, it may be necessary to adjust the radar offset.

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Will I be able to see birds with my Garmin radar?
Fishermen often find it useful to utilize radar for locating birds, as groups of birds can be an indication of fish under the surface of the water. Garmin xHD radomes and xHD2 open array series radar models have a gain setting (referred to as "Bird Mode") to increase the likelihood of finding birds. A compatible Garmin chartplotter is required to take advantage of this feature.

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Can I use a Garmin Radar with another company's chartplotter?
Garmin radars are only compatible with Garmin chartplotters. Garmin's radars communicate with Garmin chartplotters using a proprietary communication protocol. This protocol is not available to other manufacturers and therefore will prevent third-party chartplotters from functioning with Garmin radars.

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Can I change the color of the radar overlay on my Garmin marine chartplotter?
With up to date software, the color of the radar overlay can be changed on many radar compatible Garmin chartplotters. This feature is only available with xHD or xHD2 model radar units. The available options for color modes are Red, Yellow, and Green.

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Why didn't a software update card come with my GMR 18/24 xHD radome?
Garmin has stopped including software update cards with new radomes. The reasoning behind this change is that the software release that made chartplotters compatible with the new radomes was released about a year ago (October 2013). Newly purchased and installed packages should have no problem working out of the box.

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Can I simultaneously view two radars on my Garmin chartplotter(s)?
It is not possible to view two radar sources simultaneously on a single chartplotter. In order to simultaneously view two radars, multiple chartplotters must be utilized in the Garmin Marine Network and each of them must be manually configured to utilize a specific radar source.

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What is the Pulse Expansion feature on the xHD and xHD2 radars?
This feature allows the user to choose between a standard pulse width or a longer pulse option. Longer transmit pulses increase the probability of detection, the size of target echoes on the screen, and the amount that real targets will stand out from clutter.

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Is it possible to view U.S. Coast Guard radar beacons with Garmin radars?
Radar Beacons (RACON) that are used by the U.S. Coast Guard are designed to be triggered by a specific frequency range, known as X band. Once triggered, the signal is then reflected back to the radar so that the signal can be processed.

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Why is there a portion missing from my radar's image?
A portion of radar imagery missing on the radar page generally represents a blind arc. Blind arcs are generally caused when the radar's output is blocked by something very close to the radar.

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Will I be able to see birds with my Garmin radar?
Fishermen often find it useful to utilize radar for locating birds, as groups of birds can be an indication of fish under the surface of the water. Garmin xHD radomes and xHD2 open array series radar models have a gain setting (referred to as "Bird Mode") to increase the likelihood of finding birds. A compatible Garmin chartplotter is required to take advantage of this feature.

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Why is the radar display on my chartplotter consistently off when the heading is correct?
If the radar image is not matching the cartography image displayed on the screen of your chartplotter, it may be necessary to adjust the radar offset.

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Can one Garmin radar display different radar ranges on different Garmin displays at the same time?
When connected to a compatible Garmin chartplotter, a Garmin radar can display radar returns for areas from 1/8 of a mile up to a maximum of 72 nautical miles*. Using the chartplotter, the user can select what range of radar returns will show on the screen.

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What radar display modes are available on my chartplotter?
Many Garmin chartplotters can be connected to a compatible Garmin radar to aid in navigation. Please refer to the tables below to determine which radar modes are available and which chartplotters they are compatible with.

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