Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
VHF Radio

I'm considering replacing my current VHF radio which is fine but difficult to use. It was one of the first DSC radio's made and it takes several button pushes that have to be memorized to use the DSC or to broadcast a mayday with position. Therefore it won't be used for DSC because of the complexity.

Keeping cost in mind and getting the most for my boat bucs, what radio and features do I need. The only extra feature that I currently have, is a haler which I've never used but would probably want to include.

Tim
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 08:24 AM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,880
Other than DW and maybe tri-watch...simple DSC and the auto fog horn is all I ever really use....even on commercial boats. But I'm old fashion sometimes (lazy) and never use all the electronic tools at my disposal.

A nice feature for ease is the large display...allows for easier programming in many cases and will display lat/long in case your plotter screen went out (with NEMA producing GPS antenna).

Many features are nice...but just keep adding up.
__________________

psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 09:04 AM   #3
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Standard Horizon has a model that combines VHF, Hailer, and an AIS receiver that can be connected to a chart plotter to show the position of AIS equipped ships and boats. About $330 street (not West Marine) price.

More than some want perhaps, but it's in the future for my boat.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
Here is a AIS site shows all the boat/ships world wide and in your area.

Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions

Might have to play with the site. You can get a free AIS, and up load you loacation.

However the next VHF will have AIS and DSC.
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
I think you may be referring to this one: Standard Horizon GX2100 MATRIX AIS / DSC VHF / Hailer
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
What is your current make andmodel radio?
I have an Icom. no ais.
Like you said lots of buttons to push for the dsc but only one for the may day position report.
What other issues are you having?

SD
__________________
If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperdude View Post
What is your current make andmodel radio?
I have an Icom. no ais.
Like you said lots of buttons to push for the dsc but only one for the may day position report.
What other issues are you having?

SD
Actually no problems with it at all. It's a Ratheon, now Ray Marine built around '99. It has DSC, but it requires a confusing number of buttons to push to get out a mayday call, so if the DSC were needed it wouldn't be used. The new ones now I believe require you to push one button and done. Much more admiral friendly.

I haven't really decided to replace it but was wondering what you guys consider important in a VHF.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
Here is a AIS site shows all the boat/ships world wide and in your area.

Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions

Might have to play with the site. You can get a free AIS, and up load you loacation.

However the next VHF will have AIS and DSC.
I view that website from time to time. The information is from land based volunteers who have installed receivers at their homes or place of business and feed the information to the website. Coverage is spotty or non-existant in some areas and can be more than a few minutes old.

If you want to know who or what is on the water around you, and actual AIS receiver is a better choice.

Of course, AIS transponders are optional for most recreational boats so you may not see that 40' sportfish that's bearing down on you at 20 knots.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
It seems to work fine in the Puget Sound and Islands. Being we are bigger than most boats I am concerned about boat that are bigger which are the commercial;/ferry/larger pleasure/ships/tugs. If you go under MY AREA can locate your area, and also tells you how to connect with your VHF.

I agree it's not as good as having AIS, but its better than nothing and its FREE. You can also up load apps for the smart phones.
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #10
TF Site Team
 
Pineapple Girl's Avatar
 
City: San Mateo, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Pineapple Girl II
Vessel Model: PT 35
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Standard Horizon has a model that combines VHF, Hailer, and an AIS receiver that can be connected to a chart plotter to show the position of AIS equipped ships and boats. About $330 street (not West Marine) price.

More than some want perhaps, but it's in the future for my boat.
this is what we have and we have it linked to the GPS so we have the AIS display on the GPS as well. We have the VHF below with a remote mic up top. very happy with it, installed it last fall I think.
__________________
-Jennifer
Pineapple Girl II 1984 PT 35
San Francisco Bay Area
www.pineapple-girl.blogspot.com
Pineapple Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 08:42 PM   #11
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Features we consider essential in a fixed-mount VHF are dual and tri watch with a user-setable priorty scan, position reporting with DSC emergency broadcasts, a large display, dial selection of frequencies rather than up-down buttons, the boat's position displayed at all times on the screen along with the basic purpose of the selected frequency, an intuitive control layout and menu functions, an indication of your tranmit power on the display, and basic radio controls on the mic.

With all these in mind, it's pretty hard to go wrong with Icom. We replaced all the radios that came with our boat with Icom units and have been very happy with them. We've fed the radio at the lower helm a GPS signal from the Furuno NavNet so the radio displays the boat's current position and will include it with a DSC emergency broadcast if we ever make one.

We use dual watch a lot and tri-watch occasionally depending on where we are. We have a separate intercom/hailer unit so had no need of this function in the radio. We have so far found no value in AIS for our boating--- we have it on an iPad if we really care about the name of such-and-such a ship--- so we aren't interested in having that function in a radio. In the unlikely event we ever do get AIS we'll get it as a stand-alone unit.

We got and use a remote Command Mic with the lower radio--- we mounted the Command Mic on the aft bulkhead in the main cabin so someone sitting at the table can operate the radio, too.

We never operate our boat from the flying bridge so we have a simpler Icom unit up there alhtough it does have dual and tri watch capabilities.

An advantage for us up here is that we have an Icom factory service center in Bellevue, east of Seattle. So if one should have a problem with an Icom unit, warranty service or basic troubleshooting and repair is readily available if it's beyond the capabiilties of the local electronics shop.

We've had good luck with Standard Horizon, too, on our smaller boat. Its VHF went for some twenty years before losing its high-power transmit capabilities. We replaced it with an Icom. But when it comes to radios I think it's pretty even, Icom and Standard Horizon. Probably comes down to features and ergonomic layout preferences mainly.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #12
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
................We've had good luck with Standard Horizon, too, ....................
Standard Horizon's customer service can't be beat. MY SH radio had the full capacity of MMSI numbers programmed in and I could not put mine in. SH cleard the memory at no cost except for me shipping it to them. They even payed for the return shipping (on an eight year old radio that I didn't even buy). When I ruined the cord to my RAM mic, they sold me a replacement and sent me the schematic and technician's notes so I could connect it properly.

It would take a lot to get me to buy some other brand of VHF.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,175
I have the Icom IC-422 with the remote CommandMic, priority scan, dual watch, triple watch, 1-button DSC and PA and RX Speaker. I love the features, but added a second speaker for audio quality on the flybridge so I can hear the radio better when I'm rocking out on the FB. I use the CommandMic at the lower helm to supplement the Standard Horizon VHF there. This model is no longer available.

I prefer a foghorn controller on my boat horn, not my radio, for a more piercing sound through the thick fog. It also frees up the radio for communications.

If I was shopping for a $300 radio today, I'd take a serious look at the Icom IC-M504A. It's got all the features, is AIS ready (with the IC-500TR) and has a larger speaker for even better audio quality. It also allows for remote mic mounting so your mic is not tethered to the radio mount location.
FlyWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 10:31 PM   #14
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
The 504 is what we have at our lower helm.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 06:53 AM   #15
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: Saint Augustine, Fl.
Country: Port of St Augustine ,FL
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,957
The Icom is my radio of choice. The Standard Horizons are very good radios also, you won't g wrong with either.
Stay away from Furuno VHFs, they are "less than ideal". Great Radars/plotters/fishfinders, lousy radios.
Just one mans opinion!
Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Bought one

I decided to buy a Standard Horizon GX-2100 from Defender. Cost was $239.
It includes DSC, AIS, and a Haler.

We are headed to the Bahamas next month and I wanted a reliable and easy to use DSC, something my current VHF doesn't have. I'm not sure how useful DSC is in the Bahamas, hopefully I won't find out. I also wanted a haler which my current VHF has, but have never used.

I'm not sure AIS will be useful, but for the very little more that it costs to add it I decided it may be worth it. The VHF has a display that can be used for AIS but the real neat thing about this capability is that it will display on a chartplotter if it's hooked up. That's what I plan on doing this weekend. I hope SH tech help is available on the weekends!
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #17
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
Quote:
Originally Posted by timjet View Post
I decided to buy a Standard Horizon GX-2100 from Defender. Cost was $239.
It includes DSC, AIS, and a Haler.

We are headed to the Bahamas next month and I wanted a reliable and easy to use DSC, something my current VHF doesn't have. I'm not sure how useful DSC is in the Bahamas, hopefully I won't find out. I also wanted a haler which my current VHF has, but have never used.

I'm not sure AIS will be useful, but for the very little more that it costs to add it I decided it may be worth it. The VHF has a display that can be used for AIS but the real neat thing about this capability is that it will display on a chartplotter if it's hooked up. That's what I plan on doing this weekend. I hope SH tech help is available on the weekends!
I believe SH has diagrams on their website for connecting the radio to most common plotters.

I probably would have already bought and installed mine but it takes a larger hole than the existing VHF and I spent much of my "working on the boat time" this winter replacing the carpet with teak and holly.

I'm headed out next week for a month long cruise. I might do it when I get back.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 08:22 AM   #18
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I'm headed out next week for a month long cruise. I might do it when I get back.
Where are you headed??
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 08:27 AM   #19
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I believe SH has diagrams on their website for connecting the radio to most common plotters.
My Garmin 740 plotter is new and and uses NMEA 2000 protocol so it should interface with the VHF easily. I have an vintage Ray Marine RL80 C plotter that only uses NEMA 0183, I'm not hopeful I can hook this up.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 08:35 AM   #20
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,880
Quote:
Originally Posted by timjet View Post
My Garmin 740 plotter is new and and uses NMEA 2000 protocol so it should interface with the VHF easily. I have an vintage Ray Marine RL80 C plotter that only uses NEMA 0183, I'm not hopeful I can hook this up.
the problem I don't think is the NEMA...many older plotters just don't have the software (not sure if upgrades are available)..

pretty sure Standard was one of the first to install the software on their plotters...they were showing it work between their plotters and radios around 10 years ago (if I remember my boatshow timeline correctly)
__________________

psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012