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Old 03-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #1
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Thumbs down When You Buy Cheap, You Get What You Pay For!!

I bought a Uniden VHF radio as a backup and I paid about $100. I guess I get what I paid for. Now I am looking for a better radio.

Below was my question to Uniden and their answer:


Your Question:

I have a UM380. It is NOT connected to a GPS unit or chart plotter. I keep getting an alarm that the unit is not receiving GPS input. How do I disable this alarm? I do not intend to connect a GPS unit to the radio.

On Tue, 3/10/15, UNIDEN Support <noreply@uniden.com> wrote:

Subject: UNIDEN Question Update : W400167-030915:: W400167-030915
To Thomas
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:49 AM

Our Solution:

Thank you for using our system.

Dear valued Uniden customer, Unfortunately, there is no way to disable the No GPS alarm. It is on there so that in case of distress, it would be able to broadcast your coordinates. Since it is considered a safety feature, it is unable to be disabled.
Thank you for contacting Uniden!

Sincerely,

My Response:

Thank you. Unfortunately I will be removing the radio and telling my friends to do the same. This is a backup radio and has no need to be connected to a GPS unit and being unable to disable the alarm is ridiculous.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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Based on the number of false alarms the USCG gets with no GPS or MMSI....it might not be too long that the can not disable feature is in all radios.

But I feel your pain...the other day I had 3 alarms going at once when docking and no way to disable them....a solution is imminent.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:42 AM   #3
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Why not a handheld for a backup, does your unit sound the alarm more than once? I have a standard horizon GX-2150 at each helm, I only get 1 warning 10 minutes after turning either one on with the plotter still off. I leave the one at the lower helm on all the time except when sleeping, I have it scanning the channels used by the tows, bridge and locks and 22a, 16 & 9.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:07 PM   #4
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If it makes you feel any better, I have had the exact same issue with a Raymarine VHF too. My unit gives a no-GPS alarm a minute or two it is first turned on and then repeats every hour or two.

When I contacted Raymarine about how to turn off the alarm, I got a similar answer to yours. Here was the exact response:

"By international regulations, DSC VHF radios are designed to support automatic transmission of the vessel's position in conjunction with distress calls. These same regulations require that the radio generate alarms at regular intervals when the radio fails to receive GPS data from an interfaced GPS sensor. Regulations prohibit disabling of these alarms."

They went on to tell me how to provide GPS data to the unit - not the solution I needed or wanted.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #5
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Same here even with older Raymarine 215 DSC VHF radio ... the alarm when no GPS connection is apparently a regulated safety feature that cannot be disabled (so it says in the operator's manual).
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:47 PM   #6
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Not what you want to hear, but it's not that tough to supply gps data.
Even if the alarm is regulatory required, it may be that the repetition rate is controllable by the manufacturer, in which case you may want to find a radio with the longest time between alarms. In that regard, I suggest you look at Standard Horizon. I have a few of their 850 handhelds (with build in gps and DSC). When I use that indoors, it can't get a gps fix and gives the alarm -- but only once -- it won't repeated alarm that there is no gps connection. Maybe their fixed mounts work the same way.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:47 PM   #7
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For what it's worth, we're considering a Standard Horizon GX2200 which comes with its own GPS so no external connections are required. I'm sure there are other similar options.

We have a handheld on board but it isn't really that useful for backup; the low transmit power is one thing, but it also has limited receive capability.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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One of my VHFs is a Standard Horizon GX1700 with built in GPS. They're available online for around $200 and eliminate the need for an external GPS or any NMEA wiring.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:20 PM   #9
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When You Buy Cheap, You Get What You Pay For!!

Not a really fair statement considering they say it is a safety issue that also applies to other radios.
FWIW I also have a Uniden vhf that is not connected to the GPS and I do not get an alarm. But it's an older unit so maybe the safety issue is a recent thing.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:17 PM   #10
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Well isn't that surprising that other radios do the same thing. My iCom didn’t set the alarm unless you had the NEMA 2000 connected, which I do.

Which leads to another point. When the heck are the manufactures going to put NEMA 2000 and 0183 in a standard plug type arrangement?
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:20 PM   #11
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Here's an affordable $125 handheld with GPS. Just rec'd notice of the sale of this Standard Horizon HX851 in my email.

VHF Radio Hh 6W Waterprf GPS with Dsc Floats
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:23 PM   #12
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I also have 2 handhelds. One for the ditch bag and the other in the dinghy...
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:42 PM   #13
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My GME brand (respected Aussie range of marine electronics) VHF with DSC, emits an unmissable loud but brief squeal if the GPS is turned off.
I just bought a Uniden(no DSC) handheld as backup and for shore/boat communication, yet to try it out.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:54 PM   #14
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I have a five year old Standard Horizon and love the unit. It also has a Ram mic connected to it. Ram mic works great with
All the main radios features. AND you can plug and unplug the Ram mic with the main radio on WithOut doing any damage. There are several brands of radios that become damaged when the Ram mic is removed. Crazy huh?
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:48 AM   #15
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For the same $100 on Ebay you can get a used pre-DSC top of the line then ICOM M125 or M127 with a hailer and auto fog horn.
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