Greetings from Seattle,
and welcome to the all new Starpath Radar Trainer, version
Radar Trainer 3 is a versatile radar simulator and Tutorial for teaching and practicing marine radar observations which are used for navigation and collision avoidance. As an owner of the program, you will also have the invitation and encouragement to contact Starpath School of Navigation if any questions arise about the use of the program or of the content it is designed to teach.
The forerunners of the program (versions 1 and 2) have been in use throughout the world for more than a decade, and we hope to continue this success by standing by every user until they are certain they are getting from it what they wish. Marine radar is arguably the most valuable of all electronic navigation aids but it remains crucial to safety and efficiency that it be well understood and properly applied. You now have the tools and resources to make this happen for you.
Two programs in one...
You have two complete programs in this package, the all new Radar Trainer 3, which we call RT3, and an upgraded interlinked version of our veteran Radar Trainer 2 which is now called RT2a. In a nutshell, the new RT3 is designed to teach radar interactions with land and basic interactions with traffic, whereas RT2a is better suited for more detailed study of collision avoidance and radar maneuvering in traffic. The two programs have a similar structure and it is easy to switch back and forth between them as desired. See How to use RT3 and How to use RT2a
Radar Trainer 3 (RT3)
Radar Trainer 2 (RT2a)
We have kept Radar Trainer 2 largely unchanged in design and features because it has proven to be so convenient for learning collision avoidance, both individually and in a classroom. Consequently it is in use by many schools and organizations around the world and we did not want to disrupt these applications.
Another reason for keeping these as two separate programs is we simply cannot do in one program all that these two do individually. Even today's hot home computers have limits on what can be done in one sweep of the screen and we have to admit realistic limits on how we can program them. So we offer both programs, and the user can decide for themselves which meets their needs most appropriately. Our job was to develop tools that you can use to learn radar, and these two programs will do that job.
Help vs. Tutorial...
There are two main supporting documents that guide readers through the use of the program and the process of learning radar, the Help file and the Tutorial. Questions about program operation including simulator and radar controls are answered in the Help file. Questions on the meaning and application of radar terms and concepts are in the Tutorial. In some cases, the full answer to a question will require information from both sources as these are obviously related. Both references can be reached via the Glossary of terms, which is often the quickest way to track down a question of interest. Note, however, that both documents are fully indexed with easy to use search capabilities. You can, at a button click, find every reference to any word or phrase in either document. The same is true of the Radar Rules module and the full text of the Radar Navigation Manual which is included.
The simulator itself does not do anything you do not tell it to do. Once you select the targets you want to observe and then start it, it simply runs as if you were looking at
a real radar of that situation. The targets move on the simulator, just as they would at sea, except with these simulators you can investigate the interactions in ways not possible underway. You can, for example, press Repeat and start over if things did not work out right, or watch the True View (RT2a) or Chart View (RT3) to see what is really taking place on the water as opposed to the relative motion you observe on the radar screen. Or you can call up the Closest Point of Approach window to learn all about the interaction taking place (true and relative courses and speeds; time, distance, and bearing at passing; etc).
Radar Trainer 3 will run on any version of Windows, 95 or newer, as well as NT systems and forthcoming new MS versions of both systems. It requires a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768, running in high colors and small fonts mode, Pentium 2 or newer processor, with at least 32 MB of RAM. Radar Trainer 3 must be registered in order to run on your computer. Convenient online options, as well as others, are automatically displayed when it is installed. This process allows for very convenient free updates to new releases and components.