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Old 12-16-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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VHF Options and Recommendations

I am replacing two pre-DCS VHF radios. I plan to purchase two identical units, one for the lower helm and one for the upper helm.

I'm looking for recommendations on brand and model that will of course interface with MMSI. What I don't know is are there any other interface considerations such as AIS that I should be addressing. I will most likely be feeding the MMSI from a Garmin chart plotter.

On our last boat we had a Uniden UM525 but those radios do not appear to be available anymore.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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VHF Options and Recomendations

Do you have a NMEA 2K network? What model is your current model garmin?

My vote is the Icom M506.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #3
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I like iCom radios. I have two on my bridge with a remote mic in the salon. Why two radios? back up and I can also run two differant channels at the same time.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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N4712 - The Garmin Chartplotter is a 3210 with a network extender. I think the 3210 is 0183 but it may be 2000 compliant. I'm not sure on the 2000 compatibility.


Seduction - What model of iCom's do you have? I also like the redundancy.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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Budds,
Before my last trip south I replaced one of my Navman VHF radios with an Icom M423. Excellent radio good volume and plenty of features. Will now replace my other Navman VHF with another Icom M423 sooner than later. MMSI , DSC ect all connected but I must admit not thru my Garmin system, that may come later.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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If you don't have any AIS at all, you can buy a radio with an AIS receiver built in, for example, a Simrad RS35. If you plan to install an AIS transponder or receiver separately, you can buy one that has an AIS display, but no receiver, like a Lowrance Link-8 or iCom M506 N2K.

A nice-to-have on my list was the ability to add a wireless mic. Of those above, the Simrad and iCom support this.

I'd seriously consider NMEA 2K connectivity. Most radios will take 0183 input. Some will even put some of that data out on the 2K side. But for any kind of future campatibility, 2K is the way to go. No need to worry about stringing together "talkers" and "listeners". Plus it's a whole lot easier to just plug them in, rather than joining together tiny wires of the right color.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:31 PM   #7
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I would go with the Icoms with N2k make a small backbone, and get a N2k to 0183 converter so you can get your 3210 data to the backbone. Going to cost more initially, but pay off in the long run.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4712 View Post
I would go with the Icoms with N2k make a small backbone, and get a N2k to 0183 converter so you can get your 3210 data to the backbone. Going to cost more initially, but pay off in the long run.
That is exactly what several at my marina have done and was looking at the same thing this is a helpful thread
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Budds Outlet View Post
I'm looking for recommendations on brand and model that will of course interface with MMSI..
We have ICOM radios on all our boats. They work great, have the features we need for each boat, and their reliabiilty is outstanding. As an added bonus for people in the PNW, ICOM has a factory service center in Bellevue, east of Seattle. We have several ICOM models, some brand new and one almost 16 years old. Same great performance from all of them.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:36 PM   #10
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You Can't go wrong with ICOM or Standard Horizon. Don't fool around with anything else. VHFs only.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alaskan sea-duction View Post
i like icom radios. I have two on my bridge with a remote mic in the salon. Why two radios? Back up and i can also run two differant channels at the same time.
x 2
x 2
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:10 PM   #12
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Welcome to StandardHorizon.com

Built in AIS, VHF, Loud Hailer, GPS, and remote mic.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #13
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Wow, thanks for all the advice a feedback. Pardon my ignorance N4712 but what is a backbone in regards to these radios and N2K?
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:29 PM   #14
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A NMEA 2k backbone (N2K) is made up of an assortment of T's and one termination resistor at each end of them or the backbone. They're are starter kits sold by navico, garmin, and maretron. These give you the basics to start a network backbone. For every new thing you add you have to add a T somewhere in between the terminating resistors. So for instance if I'd be in your shoes right now I'd get a Garmin N2k starter kit, 2 additional garmin T's, and a Actisense NGW-1. And of course the radio's too. This backbone is expandable too, say you get a new chartplotter all you have to do is add a tee and now your radios are tied into your chartplotter or if you get a AIS transponder and new chartplotter add the T's hook up the cables, bam done.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:00 PM   #15
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I'm going to have a barely ICOM M506 with N2K + AIS coming up for sale in the next couple of week. If you decide to go that way, let me know and I can make you a deal. I ended up with an extra one.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #16
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Wow, I had assumed technology had moved forward but this is real progress. Having the AIS,DCS, GPS and MMSI integrated in one unit is great.


Now that a backbone is explained to me I remember seeing something like this already onboard. I was wondering what that strange configuration of wiring was. I guess its time for me to get my learning cap back on. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:18 PM   #17
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My last boat had the Standard Horizon 2150 with AIS receiver.

I interfaced it with my MFD and it worked great.
With that being said, I did like the Icom 504 in my previous boats. The quality seemed better.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:49 PM   #18
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I have a Standard Horizon. The AIS receiver links to my Garmin chart plotter. It shows AIS targets on the chartplotter display. Touch the AIS symbol and you get the information on that target. Automatic proximity warnings too. You might consider a RAM3 mic instead of a second radio. You can operate the radio from two positions, but only need one radio and antenna.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:49 PM   #19
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Welcome to StandardHorizon.com

Built in AIS, VHF, Loud Hailer, GPS, and remote mic.
+1
Have yet to interface the AIS with the chartplotter however. Winter project.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:37 AM   #20
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I like the idea of 2 radios; here's how I'm set up with 2 radios.

Both radios have remote mike capability, so I have a head unit on the flybridge and one at the lower helm. The remote mikes are run to opposite station. Each radio is interfaced with its corresponding head unit for DSC and AIS info.

Works great!
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