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Old 11-29-2015, 05:42 PM   #41
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"AIS we see no use for whatsoever in these waters other than having another distracting toy to play with. We've never been in a situation, : even in heavy fog, where it would have given us information we actually needed, so we've pretty much ruled that out.
Marin"

I frequently cross between Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. I usually keep my VHF on a dual scan of 16 and VTS, which is 12 in Vancouver and 11 across the gulf. In the busy season from the end of June to early September, The problems of 16 getting too busy for this regime, are just starting. The rest of the year, 16 is dead, so 95% of the traffic is on the VTS channel.

I disagree with Marin's assessment of the usefulness of AIS, so that if I buy another radio it will have AIS. That is if I haven't already put in a proper AIS-B before then. I presently use "boatbeacon" on my phone. When I am crossing the Gulf or transiting Active Pass, it will tell me the name of the oncoming Ferry, or whether the oncoming freighter needs to be avoided, all long before that vessel is near enough for evasive measures to be visually obviously required. I use the App to make course decisions on a regular and frequent basis, so having that feature in a VHF radio would indeed be welcome.

I presently use a SH fixed mount at the lower helm and its RAM at the upper helm. There is a remote speaker at the upper helm as well. I don't see a present need for a second radio, but as these waters get busier, that will change.
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:28 PM   #42
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About 20 percent of the time, we hear someone calling out for a radio check on channel 16. Usually someone responds they did a "dirty deed." Why they couldn't call a marina or whoever to confirm the radio works? Or maybe call a bridge tender to "brighten" his day?
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:00 PM   #43
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About 20 percent of the time, we hear someone calling out for a radio check on channel 16. Usually someone responds they did a "dirty deed." Why they couldn't call a marina or whoever to confirm the radio works? Or maybe call a bridge tender to "brighten" his day?

In Canada the correct approach is to contact coast guard on a working-channel, usually 83A to request a radio check. CG is fine with that.


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Old 11-29-2015, 10:46 PM   #44
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I also use a M604 as the primary because it has a stronger speaker than most other radios. On my secondary radio I also have a small U size AGM battery which is mounted above the bilge line and a separate gps connected to it and the same MMSI programed in it.

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Old 01-21-2016, 12:46 PM   #45
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A second radio for the helm

The following units are on sale at the Vancouver boat show: Icom M324 with GPS is $240 and the unit without is $195. The Standard Horizon GX1300 $175 and GX1700 with GPS is $276. All prices in Cdn funds. I'm leaning towards the Icom units.

Is there an advantage to having GPS on these units if you already have several GPS receivers on the boat? How hard is it for the newbie electronics guy to connect GPS with NMEA 183?


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Old 01-21-2016, 01:09 PM   #46
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The following units are on sale at the Vancouver boat show: Icom M324 with GPS is $240 and the unit without is $195. The Standard Horizon GX1300 $175 and GX1700 with GPS is $276. I'm leaning towards the Icom units.

Is there an advantage to having GPS on these units if you already have several GPS receivers on the boat? How hard is it for the newbie electronics guy to connect GPS with NMEA 183?


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I found it to be pretty easy to make the NMEA 0183 connections, I solder and heat shrink.


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Old 01-21-2016, 02:26 PM   #47
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or use small terminal strip
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:48 PM   #48
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Can the iCom unit with built in GPS read the satellites if it's mounted in the pilot house or does it need to be "open to the sky"?

Maybe better to get the non-gps unit and hook it up to your chartplotter.

As stated it's straight forward (and I agree with the terminal strips.)
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:00 PM   #49
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About 20 percent of the time, we hear someone calling out for a radio check on channel 16. Usually someone responds they did a "dirty deed." Why they couldn't call a marina or whoever to confirm the radio works? Or maybe call a bridge tender to "brighten" his day?
Why not use SeaTow's automated radio check?


Automated Radio Check Service uses one of VHF Channels 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 84. Simply tune your radio to the proper channel for your community.
Conduct a radio check as you normally would.
Upon releasing the mic, the system will replay your transmission, letting you hear how you sound.

https://www.seatow.com/tools-and-edu...ed-radio-check

If you're out of range, how do you know if you're out of range or your radio is broken
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:24 PM   #50
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AFAIK, we don't have that service out here on the Left Coast. We have Vessel Assist, not SeaTow.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:29 PM   #51
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Can the iCom unit with built in GPS read the satellites if it's mounted in the pilot house or does it need to be "open to the sky"?

Maybe better to get the non-gps unit and hook it up to your chartplotter.

As stated it's straight forward (and I agree with the terminal strips.)


I have the S.H. GX1700 with built in GPS rather than the Icom. However, I believe your considered VHF should also be able to be fitted with an external GPS antenna or be connected through NMEA to an existing GPS if you have one.
My S.H. is mounted inside my salon at my steering station so it has the cabin structure AND an aluminum tank right overhead. As far as I can tell the radio has NO trouble figuring out where we are.

Ask about the external antenna just in case but I'll hazard that your VHF will work just fine inside without the external antenna.
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