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Old 08-06-2017, 07:44 PM   #1
DHeckrotte's Avatar
City: Philadelphia, PA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Revel
Vessel Model: 1984 Fu Hwa 39
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 999
Secondary VHF Radio

Currently, I have two Standard Horizon handheld VHFs and a Raymarine suite consisting of a Raymarine 230 VHF, two handsets and two speakers which are tagged to their RL70C Chartplotter/Radar with a second screen on the FB, their RN300 GPS, and associated depthfinder, speed and log. The VHF antenna is old, damaged and tattered.

The Raymarine VHF handset screen on the FB is sundamaged and unreadable. The RL70C Chartplotter/Radar in the helm now no longer recognizes that it has charts in it. The RL70C screen on the FB won't talk to the one below; it's a replacement bought used and w/o chart chips. The instruction manuals are in a foreign tongue that resembles English but are unintelligible.

I despair of getting the 17 year old suite working as its maker intended and I'm becoming less interested in learning why it won't. The cells in my grey matter don't seem to talk to each other, either.

It seems reasonable to have redundancy in equipment aboard. It also seems reasonable to get rid of the two old stand-alone depthfinders and the unused/abandoned transducers.

I have a year-old Garmin 44dv Chartplotter/depth finder/flir which I've rigged with a 12v plug but w/o its underwater transponder. It works(ed) well and intuitively and would be an adequate redundant device to a working comprehensive suite (if I could get it to work today!; it seems to have quit).

All this to get to the point: I'm researching fixed-mount VHF radios which can be fitted with a remote handset and its own antenna. I would defer purchase of a complete suite of instruments until the next long trip is contemplated. Recommendations? Favorites?

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Old 08-06-2017, 08:01 PM   #2
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City: Calgary
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Blue Sky
Vessel Model: Nordic Tugs 42 Hull #001
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,743
On our previous boat we had an Icom VHF at the lower helm and a remote (RAM) mike for the upper helm. There was no redundancy, only multiple points where the VHF could be used. And only one antenna needed. Other setups may be different.

On our current boat we have two completely separate VHF systems, one the legacy Icom and a new Standard Horizon that also has a built in GPS for position redundancy. (And DSC of course)

Besides the safety of redundancy, having two separate VHFs means that you can simultaneously monitor 16 and any other station you may wish to monitor.

I have no recommendations on brand; both the Icoms and the Standard Horizon have been great VHFs although their operating systems vary slightly.

Berthed in
Campbell River BC
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:13 PM   #3
C lectric's Avatar
City: B.C.
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Two fixed vhf here also. The old Uniden and the 3yr old S.H. Gx1700 with GPS.
For the bridge which we almost totally ignore I use the handheld.
Considering the remote full function RAM but unless we use the bridge more not much point.
Each radio is powered on it,s own circuit.

Both main radios have external speakers as the built in one are c##p and indistinct. The aux speakers are mounted several feet apart so I know which is yapping.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:56 PM   #4
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City: Pender Harbour, BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Gwaii Haanas
Vessel Model: Custom Aluminum 52
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 3,240
I have a pair of Standard Horizon vhfs, one is basic and the other has an AIS receiver. The GX2200 has an AIS receiver and a gps. You can get a ram mike if you wish. I have two waterproof portable vhfs for when we are out in the dinghy/kayaks.

I'm pleased with these guys, Korean manufacture and goofy manuals but sold from Si-tex in New York and so far very good customer service. All stand-alone or you can network so you can add them piecemeal to avoid a sticker shock.

I went with them because they have Koden radar and my Si-tex sounder was a cathode ray and its dated 1994. You can have it if you like, it works fine!
Don't believe everything that you think.
What are we offended about today?
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:07 PM   #5
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City: Buffalo
Country: US
Vessel Name: Almost Perfect
Vessel Model: Kadey-Krogen 48
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 197
Try swapping your two RL70C's. We had the same problem on our previous boat and "solved" the problem with a swap. Of course, RL70C's are hopelessly obsolete now, so this may be a good time for an upgrade.

To answer your question about VHF. We like the Standard Horizon GX 2200 which has a built in AIS receiver. The display on the radio is small, but it will output AIS data to most chart plotters, just not your RL 70C. There is a GX 6500 in the works which has a built in AIS transceiver, but as far as I know, it is not available in the US yet. Go to for everything you wanted to know about marine electronics.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:09 PM   #6
IRENE's Avatar
City: Port Angeles, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irene
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 738
I have a Raymarine handset that needs a new home, if you think that would be a positive outcome or buy some additional summer/time. It was on my boat, inside a pilothouse and out of the elements for its entire use. All indications are that it worked fine when removed, but my "black box" had an issue.

We are awaiting a Standard Horizon GX6500 to replace the Ray. Hopefully they release it before I retire and switch boats again. We have enjoyed using the SH Matrix radios on two previous boats.

I use and can recommend Morad and Pacific Aerials for antennas.

Please send me a PM if interested in the handset.

Good Luck

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Old 08-08-2017, 09:17 PM   #7
City: kemah
Country: USA
Join Date: May 2015
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boaters resale has various transducers, this one came up for garmin.

Boaters’ Resale Shop of TX 1705 4105.41 GARMIN 010-10272-10 DEPTH/TEMP TRANSDUCER . The Boaters' Resale Shop of Texas

I go there pretty much every weekend, love walking around in there.

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