Easy to use
Just turn it on. The directional indicator shows the direction to the beacon (automatic mode). That's all there is to it. No guessing or having to interpret the signal strength or right-left-center indicators as with other systems. The large bright LED display is easy to read even in direct sunlight.
Unlike directional antenna systems, the user must interpret the signal strength to determine the direction of the beacon. The signal strength may vary due to waves and movement of the beacon. In other situation, the signal strength does not vary by much making it dificult to determine the direction of the beacon
In systems using phase techniques and only with two antennas, they typically have right, left and center indicators, making them difficult to use and can be prone to error.
The top directional indicator is very accurate, to within a few degrees. The bars separating the directional indicators approximate the accuracy of each indicator.
In an man overboard situation time is an essence and you do not have the time to search an area using systems that are not accurate. Systems using signal strength typically have large "beamwidths," that is, the signal strength variation is small over a large angle, and can be in tens of degrees. So using signal strength to find the location of a beacon is an inaccurate process compared to the accuracy of the Hammerhead in automatic mode. Why mess around with other systems when you do not need to.
Phase based systems can suffer from range and since they typically need more signal strength. The Hammerhead incorporates a signal strength mode to provide the additional range. Although it was said that accuracy is low in signal strength based system and can be more difficult to use, accuracy is not as important at long ranges because the purpose is to determine the general direction of the beacon until the automatic mode takes over. A numerical signal strength indicator makes it easy to determine the signal strength.
i.e. just rotate the Hammerhead and travel in the direction of the maximim signal strength.
The Hammerhead has sophiticated signal processing technology. It looks at all of the measurements many times a second and calculate the direction of the signal. In addition, there are six different direction finding modes accessible via the top buttons.
Synthesized frequency technology allows the selection of four test frequencies besides the main beacon frequency to allow for testing and practice.