Basic Radar Plotting Here is some basic radar plotting and diagrams to give you an example of how, why and what for. Also on this page are the most used signals and there meanings. RADAR PLOTTING SIGNALS               Radar Plotting   1) 1st Plot range and bearing, then wait for 6 minutes      before taking next call this plot O.        2) 2nd Plot range and bearing, then wait 6 minutes          before taking next.          3) 3rd Plot range and bearing call this plot A. ( Are all  3 plots in a straight line and equal distance apart ).4) NOHave you plotted correctly.     If No    Try again.    If Yes     Continue plotting until three consecutive plots are in       a straight line. 5) Draw the line WO the direction is own heading the    length is equal to your distance steamedbetween 1st and 3rd plot.6+6=12. 60/12=5Ships speed 12 knots, so 12/5 = 2.4 knots over 12    minutes = WO. 6) Draw line WA. direction of WA is target ships course. Length is distance steamed in the 12 minute interval between 1st and 3rd plot, work out speed.Distance OA / Your speed X Time interval.3.2 mls / 2.4 kts X 12 min = 16 knots. 7) Continue OA past your position this will give you the CPA. Divide length A to CPA by length OA and multiply by time interval from O to A this will give you the time to the C.P.A.    3.2 / 2.3 x 12 = 16.6 minutes    So say A is 10.06 + 16.6 = 10 22.6 minutes to C.P A. 8) Aspect is the angle between target's course and direction from HIM to you, target's true course     WA 160, the bearing from you to plot A 250. The Aspect will be 95 degrees Red or Green.

 Time to C.P.A. = "A" to C.P.A. x Plotting Interval Distance "O" to "A"

 "W" to "O" = Own ships speed x Plotting interval 60

 Course Line = "W" though Centre of "A"

 Targets speed = Distance from "W" to "A" x 60 Minutes from "O" to "A"

Aspect = The angle of the course your going and from the centre of the screen to "A" (Draw a line from the centre of the plot to "A" and measure the angle between this line and your course) (red if you would see targets red sidelight and green if you would see his green sidelight)

Drift = Distance from "A" to "W"
Set = Direction from "A" to "W"
Rate of Tide = Distance from "A" to "W" x 60
Minutes from "O" to "A"
Warning !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Watch to see if you are using Relative or True Compass Bearings.
Using a relative bearing is how you would take a compass bearing of another vessel.
 Yellow Plot is the targets first plot Red Plot is the targets last plot
 1 2 3 4
 5 6 7 8
(1) Find the course your going, and draw a line for your course
(2) Draw a line where the first plot is and mark the distance, call this "O" (Drawing 1 above)
(3) Lay off 2nd bearing course and distance (Drawing 2 above)
(4) Lay off 3rd bearing course and distance, call this "A" (Drawing 3 above)
(5) From "O" draw a line through "A" and carry the line well past the centre line on the screen (Drawing 4 above)
(6) Using your course line, transfer this onto "O" and pull the line down the sheet (Drawing 5 above)
(7) This line is where "W" goes
(8) To find the distance you would find "W" use this formula
 own ships speed x plotting interval
 60
(9) Measure this distance and make a mark, call this "W" (Drawing 6 above)
(10) From "W" draw a line through "A" (this is the other vessels course and speed) (Drawing 7 above)
(11) From the centre of the screen - draw a line to meet the "O" to "A" line so they meet at 90 degrees
(12) This is called C.P.A. (Drawing 8 above)
Aspect
This is the angle between your vessel and the targets vessel and what colour of sidelight you see
From the course line your steering draw a line onto plot "A", the angle between the 2 lines is the aspect and if you saw a green sidelight then it would be (E.g."Green 048 degrees) and if a red sidelight then (E.g. Red 056 degrees)
In this case, the Aspect would be roughly "RED 015 degrees"
Alteration of Course
(2) Find out the amount of degrees your going to alter course
(3) The "W" to "O" is the course your steering just now, lets assume your going to alter 90 degrees to starboard, using a protractor with the zero degrees of the protractor on the "W" to "O" line - measure off 90 degrees to starboard and make a mark
(4) From "W" draw a line towards the mark you just made
(5) With a set of compasses measure the original "W" to "O" and draw an arc towards and past the new line
(6) Call this Mark "O one" (this is your new course) "W" to "O one"
(7) From "O one" draw a line through and well past "A"
(8) Make a new C.P.A. by drawing a line from the centre of the screen onto the new "O one" to "A" line so the line joins at 90 degrees
(9) Measure C.P.A. line
(3) On the "W" to "O" line if you reduce your speed then this line will get shorter
(4) On the "W" to "O" line if you increase your speed then this line will get bigger
(5) Use this formula to find the distance you need to measure back from "O" to get "W"
 "W" to "O" = Own ships speed x plotting interval
 60
(6) From "W" measure this distance and call it "O one "
(7) From "O one" draw a line through "A" and go well past the centre line of your screen
(8) From the centre of the screen draw a line so it meets the new "W one" to "A" line at 90 degrees
(9) This is your new C.P.A.
Change of course and speed