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Old 06-10-2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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Planning VHF Radio upgrade

I have a 1983 MTDC 34. It has 2 very old VHF radios that are marginal. Each has an antenna beside flybridge. Im thinking of replacing both with a Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 . Placing main unit in salon helm area and having the optional Command Mike set up on flybridge. Add the 40 watt outside speaker . Remove one of the antennas and add a antenna 6-8 ft extension to get it higher. Its on a swivel mount so I can tip it down for bridge clearance when needed. Can the AIS receive output from the Matrix be inputted to My Garmin 3206 Chartplotter which outputs to a 19 inch Monitor in the salon or directly to the 19" monitor?. What do you experts think of proposed setup? Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:29 PM   #2
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Depending on how important radio comms are to your use of the boat (for example, since I fish far offshore, it is critical), I would have two radios. If important to you, keep the better of the two and replace the other. Or, better yet, buy two new radios (and save the cost of a command mic.)

As for the antenna extension, you may need support. I think I would start with the antenna that is there and see what kind of tx and rx range you get.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks. Im used to sailboat VHF range--which is multiple times better - last sailboat had antenna atop 61ft mast . current trawler about 18ft range diff probably 15 : 50+ miles. Would get CG at 150 miles sometimes. So best I can do here is get a 8ft extension (with a brace). Maybe get a new ss ratchet type base with a nylon hold off brace . Will HD cable help the situation ? Those long cable runs up the masts would lose a lot of energy. Here cable runs would be under 20ft.
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoleo View Post
Thanks. Im used to sailboat VHF range--which is multiple times better - last sailboat had antenna atop 61ft mast . current trawler about 18ft range diff probably 15 : 50+ miles. Would get CG at 150 miles sometimes. So best I can do here is get a 8ft extension (with a brace). Maybe get a new ss ratchet type base with a nylon hold off brace . Will HD cable help the situation ? Those long cable runs up the masts would lose a lot of energy. Here cable runs would be under 20ft.
RG213 will provide least loss. I don't disagree about the advantages of height (and have my antennas on 16' extensions with the antenna tops almost 40' above water level), but the distance to the horizon varies in proportion to the square root of height. So if you can get the top of your antenna to 26', you will have more than half of the range you got on your sail boat.

Getting to the coast guard is probably more reflective of their antenna height than anything else. Even so, with proper conditions (that allow tropospheric ducting), I have talked to boats almost 200nm south, with surprisingly good reception.
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