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Old 02-20-2020, 09:48 AM   #1
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iCom CommandMic 195

Just wondering how many TFers have a Command Mic & what do you actually use it for. Intercom, VHF from the salon, other?
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:30 PM   #2
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I have one. I use it for every function for my VHF radio while on the flybridge - which is most of the time. Unlike some older models of command mikes, it can use every function of the main radio (in this case Icom 506) including, hailer, automatic fog horn, intercom, etc. I'm VERY happy with it.


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Old 02-20-2020, 12:46 PM   #3
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I don't have any on my boat, although I've been debating adding one in the cabin, as currently my VHFs are only usable at the helm or on the bridge deck and can't be heard well from in the cabin. Mine would be the Standard Horizon version though, as my current VHFs are a pair of SH GX1850s.

If I had 2 helms, I'd have both VHFs mounted at 1 helm with a pair of command mics at the other helm.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:54 PM   #4
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I used the Standard Horizon version, their RAM mics, and loved them, it allowed me to have use of both station's VHFs at both the lower and upper helm. It's nice being able to change channels and adjust things in the palm of your hand as well.
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kchace View Post
I have one. I use it for every function for my VHF radio while on the flybridge - which is most of the time. Unlike some older models of command mikes, it can use every function of the main radio (in this case Icom 506) including, hailer, automatic fog horn, intercom, etc. I'm VERY happy with it.
I have one of the previous generations (Icom M602) and there are some functions that can't be used from the remote mic, namely hailer. That and the intercom function is annoyingly clunky to use. Too many features are tied up in secondary/shift function button modes.

Having a better station-to-station intercom function, one that's readily usable by everyone onboard, is #1 on my must-have list for a replacement. #2 is not having everything tied up behind press-this-then-that button press sequences, with #3 being not having impossibly tiny type on a too-small LCD display. I'm all for night-mode features like an amber background, so it doesn't have to be color.
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kchace View Post
Unlike some older models of command mikes, it can use every function of the main radio (in this case Icom 506) including, hailer, automatic fog horn, intercom, etc. I'm VERY happy with it.
Interesting! Those things you mentioned are what prompted me to pull the trigger on the iCom 195 and I'm extremely happy with it! I also have it connected to my iCom 506.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:15 PM   #7
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A cheaper and more useful intercom solution is a set of cordless phones, such as those with bluetooth from Panasonic. Thus you can have them throughout the boat, and pair your cell phone to the system as well. Ours have the ability to name each station, making the intercom function a breeze, not to mention it is duplex. Check 'em out, Costco or Sam's usually has great packages of them.
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:52 AM   #8
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Black box VHF-mounts out of elements-only RAM mics at helm stations. Everything controllable incl. hailer, horn & intercom from each. Takes up minimal space, can be combined with optional active speaker. Only problem is the txt on the menus is small so need cheaters for anything beyond routine VHF & Emergency DSC.
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Old 03-03-2020, 07:27 PM   #9
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A cheaper and more useful intercom solution is a set of cordless phones, such as those with bluetooth from Panasonic. Thus you can have them throughout the boat, and pair your cell phone to the system as well. Ours have the ability to name each station, making the intercom function a breeze, not to mention it is duplex.
Panasonic's "Link2Cell" does indeed work, we have a KX-TG9581 base station in use at home with cordless extensions throughout the house (system supports up to 12 handsets, and active pairing with two cell phones). At home the cell phones tend to be 20-30' away from the base station and things still seem to work ok.

Panasonic does make a 'rugged' handset that could work. I'd wonder how well it stands up to the marine environment? The reviews on it don't seem to have good things to say about the audio quality though. Doesn't appear they make a secure mount for it, at least not one I'd use up on the flybridge. The TGTA61B does appear to at least have screw hole mounts on the back. I could probably fabricate some sort of spring clip to put above it to help hold it down into the charging cradle. I've got a small cabinet door that's into a dry spot. Close enough for easy access but not out in the elements.

The added challenge would be their AC adapter supplies 5.5vdc, so I'd have to either use that with an AC circuit or try to find a way to power it from 12vdc. A did a few searches and came up empty on any boat/rv options for powering them from 12vdc. It's never easy, is it?

The added benefit here would be making it easier to keep tabs on cell calls, especially when coordinating rafting up with friends and calling ahead for transient slips.

I may order one but I'm uncertain if it'll work with my existing base station. Because if it isn't great on the boat it'd be nice to be able to use it at home.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:03 PM   #10
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I have an Icom on the FB w/ ComandMic at the lower helm. This augments the Standard Horizon VHF at the lower helm. I use the SH for Ch 16/13/09 operations calls and the Icon CM for CH 68/69/71/72 chatter among anglers and boaters. Both radios have dedicated speakers at the lower helm to allow for better audio. I find the CM audio to be abysmal.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:37 AM   #11
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I find the CM audio to be abysmal.
What model CommandMic do you have, Al as my 195 audio is great!
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
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What model CommandMic do you have, Al as my 195 audio is great!
I'm guessing it also has a lot to do with where you've got the control positioned. I don't have a 195, but the older HM-157. My flybridge setup doesn't offer a decent location that'd put the speaker up closer to 'ear level'. It's next to impossible to give a decent listen to anything other than emergency-level calls. I do keep it on and tuned to 16, but often miss the first few seconds of anything other than nearby calls made in urgency. Random chatter from a distance is often too garbled to hear clearly due to wind noise when underway (typically ~19kts). If I hear something 'urgent' I grab the 157 and bring it closer to ear level.

A remote speaker on the face of the flybridge helm would probably improve things. Down below it's not an issue (and I don't have a CommandMic there, just the main unit's speaker).
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:29 AM   #13
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What model CommandMic do you have, Al as my 195 audio is great!
I have the HM-157 connected to an Icom M422.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:47 PM   #14
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...... I do keep it on and tuned to 16........
After reading the above post, I arrived at my boat for some cleaning and turned the CM on channel 16 in the salon. (The only radio I have in the salon.) It was great to enjoy the trappings of my salon and hear (clearly) what's going on on the water. Thanks, kearney, for the info!
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Old 03-04-2020, 01:32 PM   #15
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My boat slip is at the foot of the Mare Island Causeway Bridge. While I'm tinkering on the boat in the slip or fishing in the area, I keep the radio on Ch 13 to hear the traffic coming and going for bridge openings.
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