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Homebrew radar?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by steamer, Aug 25, 2007.

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  1. steamer

    steamer Guest

    --Wondering how impractical it would be to build a short-range (a
    couple of hundred feet) radar with a CRT display, to equip a car that
    travels in heavy white-out conditions (dust, not snow). Are there any kits
    or plans for same? One look at the marine catalogs and I got a little
    sticker shock from the off-the-shelf things that have waaay too many bells
    and whistles for this app.
  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Probably do-able but challenging; remember the 1 foot = 1 nanosecond
    thumb rule. This would need some narrow pulses and fast electronics.
  3. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest


    ** Very.

    ** An infrared viewer may do a better job of seeing through dust.

    Warm objects like people, bitumen roads and car exhausts will be seen very

    A speed radar gun ( facing straight ahead ) would indicate if you are
    approaching a stationary or oncoming vehicle.

    ....... Phil
  4. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    There are many marine radar units available...
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Hi, Ed. If you're looking for a homebrew radar setup, you could do
    worse than look at the Ramsey Electronics SG7 - Speedy Radar Kit.
    It's relatively inexpensive, and the radar output itself is pretty

    I'd recommend using a *very* well regulated supply instead of a wall
    wart. Make sure you follow the checkout instructions on the radar
    section before you seal it up in the can -- once you enclose it in the
    shield, you'll have a hard time fixing it if it isn't right.

    Good luck
  6. Silicon Chip did a home made radar gun project:

  7. BobG

    BobG Guest

    You mentioned a crt... you want a picture of whats in front of the
    car? That sounds tricky. How about a sector scan display?
  8. steamer

    steamer Guest

  9. steamer

    steamer Guest

    --Do you mean the kind of thing that displays a slice-of-pie, rather
    than a whole circle? Yeah, that's a possibility. Trouble is, 'targets'
    (bicycles and other cars) might be coming at me from any angle but they'd be
    moving pretty slow in the same kind of weather..
  10. steamer

    steamer Guest

    --Oh, hey, forgot about that. I guess one could envision a way to
    swivel the thing with a stepper, then output to a crt, yes? Gotta buttonhole
    the inventor (met him at a conference once) and see if that's a possibility.
    --That's the easy part! :)
  11. BobG

    BobG Guest

    Can you describe how a car or bicyle would appear on your crt? You
    imagine it to be like a tv picture? You want moving images? Many
    pictures per second? Have an algorithm for doing that? Have a pencil
    beam transmitter on a gimbal and paint it back and forth? Too
    mechanical? The you want a phased array like on an Aegis cruiser? That
    would probably cost more than that Foruno marine radr I think.
  12. I don't know.

    About 1971, Popular Electronics had an article about "personal radar" for
    boats, at least one of which was portable (hence could be used in a row
    boat if one really wanted it), and while they were pricey at the time,
    they were not out of the range of all personal boat owners.

    Given that electronics has generally become cheaper, and presumably almost
    40 years of having "personal radar" making the notion more acceptable (hence
    more demand), such radar may be more in range of the average person
    than back in 1971.

  13. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    I would think a re-worked Electronic Tape measure would make sense !
    I would think that 12 miles per hour/17.6 ft. per second would be the
    upper limit for driving in white-out conditions.

    Readout would be listening to the audio output of the Range to Target!

    Why would you want to watch a video monitor (scope, radar display) under
    these conditions.

    You would NEVER drive 60 miles an hour under white-out conditions ???,
    That's FATAL. Hitting a tree at 12mph is usually survivable !

    Enhancing the Transmitter and receiver for an Acoustic Tape measure
    would be relatively simple. I could imagine that Acoustic Clutter would
    become a real problem at ranges greater than 100 ft.

    Yukio YANO
  14. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    I re-read your post !
    You are describing, driving in a Convoy !
    An Acoustic Tape measure would work great to maintain ~ 20ft spacing in
    a dense fog .
    Yukio YANO
  15. steamer

    steamer Guest

    --Clueless newbie here; I'd settle for any blobby shape; big for car
    and small for bike but would also like to be able to get something for
    nonmetallic objects; i.e. pedestrians...
    --Not needed; any indication would do..

    You want moving images? Many pictures per second?
    --One image per sweep?

    Have an algorithm for doing that?
    --Remember that 'clueless' part? ;-)
    --OK by me; not too mechanical: that's my strong suit.
  16. steamer

    steamer Guest

    --Not so much a convoy as a melee! Imagine a space, a mile and a
    half in diameter, flat, dusty and filled with all manner of vehicles and
    people milling about in no particular direction and you'll have an idea..
    --Hmmmm. Sounds interesting! Even better to have the thing mounted
    on a helmet so anywhere I 'look' I could tell object nearness, yes?
  17. danand

    danand Guest

    Sorry if this is a bit late answer but here it is anyway.

    A Slovenian chap - S53MV, build a 4GHz altimeter.
    This is a small radar that tells you the distance to objects in front of
    the antenna. No fancy sweeps etc, just a raw plot on a cheapo LCD.

    If you place the antenna in the front of your car, you should go
    reasonably free of ground clutter.

    This little gadget works many hundred yards...

    //Dan, M0DFI
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