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Old 06-21-2021, 01:12 PM   #1
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VHF 2 station radio

Hello Camano31 owners
I have a Ray240 VHF 2 station radio on my camano. The upper Handset has given up.
These units were black box so no hardware on dash just the handset.
What VHF solutions are people putting in their boats.
Needs to be two handsets. One down below, on up top.
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:17 PM   #2
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Simrad RS100-B Black Box VHF Radio w/Class B AIS GPS Antenna
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:18 PM   #3
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If I may? A second separate vhf might be a better solution. It also provides a way to verify each unit sends/receives. You can talk to each other too... just switch off channel 16 to another channel. Aboard Seaweed I have an ancient (nautical flea market find for $5!!!) unit on its own antenna in my cabin, and the real radio at my helm, plus a handheld my Baby and her hubby gave me one year for Algae.

Though not seen often I highly recommend having a vhf by your bunk. Listening they use just .25aH, so the power required is negligible. They benefits of hearing alerts is worth it, at least in less populated areas. I listen to the weather forecast every morning, and most nights too.

In any event, best wishes and happy cruising.
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:32 PM   #4
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2 VHF is better imho.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:00 AM   #5
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2 VHF is better imho.

Or a new remote Mic and a hand held. I find myself using the handheld 90% of the time regardless of where I am on the boat.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:33 AM   #6
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Agreed, wouldn't be without 2 completely separate VHF radios, and at least one (I have two) handhelds. All cheap enough... just go to a flea market with Janice....


Now, one could have a VHF with remote capability and a second hand set, too, but still have the redundancy of two.



Also, depends a bit on where you boat. The inland rivers get challenging, listening to tugs on one channel, 16 on another and checking your slip and ordering dinner on the third. Gets busy.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:09 AM   #7
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Having two really good antennas with excellent wiring is a major step up from a handheld. But being able to listen and talk on several frequencies is a real plus as well. No handheld will ever give you the signal strength and clarity of a ships radio. In some coastal settings is good to have 9,13, 16 and a open channel (68,72,?) monitored and immediately available for response. Near and offshore power and range matters.
Handhelds are cheap. Think ideal setup is two ships radios ( a 3 and 6, or a 9) and two handhelds. Leave a IPad as a slave to your MFD setup in your bunk. Have your AIS and radar zone alerts set up. Have that and a iPhone in the boats WiFi network so the watch can talk to you if necessary. Background noise causes fragmented sleep which decreases your performance. You don’t habituate to intermittent noise. Would avoid a vhf in the bunking areas. We leave a handheld air horn at the helm. The fecal matter hits the rotating blade it goes off and everyone wakes up.
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:30 AM   #8
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A lot of your comms will be very short range, like talking to locks and bridges or buddy boats. Sometimes you can actually see the person you're talking to, so a handheld is fine for that. No need to be heard or hear others 20 miles away. I use my handheld a lot more than the big radios.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowPiper View Post
What VHF solutions are people putting in their boats.

Two separate VHF radios.

-Chris
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:02 AM   #10
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I have a Standard Horizon RAM CMP25 in the cabin with the remote mic mounted at the helm station on the bridge. I also have a stand alone Standard Horizon 1800 at the helm. The CMP25 is also an intercom between the helm and the cabin interior. I carry a handheld as well and use it for 99% of comms between myself and marina's for slip assignments. I also have a CB mounted radio for "eves dropping" on charter boats to hear their fishing reports and comms although more and more of them are going away from using CB's. Each mounted radio has it's own dedicated antenna.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:44 AM   #11
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Update
So after much research and debate I have decided to go the route of two radios.
1) keeping the old ray240 at the helm station below.
2) bought a Std Horizon 1800gps to go up on flybridge and have the remote access mic that I will put downstairs. This way I can intercom from one to other.

Cost 1/3 for complete system including SS mount and new 8 foot antenna

When the ray240 blackbox totally fails I will switch around the 1800 so the base is below and the RAM is upto.

Thank for all the input on this. Very helpful.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowPiper View Post
Update
So after much research and debate I have decided to go the route of two radios.
1) keeping the old ray240 at the helm station below.
2) bought a Std Horizon 1800gps to go up on flybridge and have the remote access mic that I will put downstairs. This way I can intercom from one to other.

Cost 1/3 for complete system including SS mount and new 8 foot antenna

When the ray240 blackbox totally fails I will switch around the 1800 so the base is below and the RAM is upto.

Thank for all the input on this. Very helpful.
I have a STd Horizon dual station with the base in the wheelhouse and the RAM up top. I find the up top unit just as useful as the base, and the difficulty pulling the cable and re-wiring it in the opposite direction would deter the reversing you have in mind. I think the base station is less suitable for an up top location and the RAM is less so for in the wheelhouse, so in your shoes, with no installation just now, I would reconsider your choices for its initial location. IMHO the mike attached to the base radio is less robust, so less suitable for upper station mounting, unless your upper station is fully enclosed.
The RAM otoh, is made to excel in such a location.

In a way, the SH unit is too good for its price point, as, now that AIS radios are available at a reasonable price, it is tempting to consider one, but though the SH unit with its RAM are now getting a little long in the tooth, it functions perfectly well, and unless I decide I need to duplicate VHF radios, I can't justify tossing it out to replace with one that does nothing better, just has that extra feature.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:54 AM   #13
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Simrad RS100-B Black Box VHF Radio w/Class B AIS GPS Antenna
Seems to be 'vaporware' as it's been 'coming soon' for over a year.
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:04 AM   #14
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I have a STd Horizon dual station with the base in the wheelhouse and the RAM up top.
That's the system that I went with. My old ICOM (1990) didn't have any of the newer safety features so saving it and using for the upper VHF didn't make much sense. The SH RAM remote even has AIS.

I had an old broken gauge (sea temp) on the upper helm bulkhead that was useless to me. But when removed, it was just the right size hole to make a weatherproof cubby for the RAM. It hangs on the mic clip for easy reading when in use.

For redundancy (and tender use), I have a SH handheld, which also has DCS/GPS. I think that covers the bases.
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:15 AM   #15
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When the ray240 blackbox totally fails I will switch around the 1800 so the base is below and the RAM is upto.

Pardon me for pointing this out; I mean well.

Your solution may end you up with one radio... which in turn becomes zero radios if that one fails at an inopportune time.

Note you got several recommendations for two radios... with very likely many respondents thinking ahead to back-up when one fails.

Adding the SH1800 now sounds good, but my follow-up recommendation would be to also replace the Ray240, if it eventually breaks, with another fixed 25W radio

Your boat, of course.

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Old 06-28-2021, 03:41 PM   #16
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Thanks all
Installed the RAM up top as suggested is the better option for fly bridge and the sh1800 downstairs. What a great little set up for the price point
Great input.
Wow who new what I was missing, this whole new set up works (transmit and receives) 10 time the range of the old Ray240
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Old 06-28-2021, 03:55 PM   #17
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My radios were replaced at different times so are, lets say, diverse. Icom M127 at the lower station, then a S/H GX2200 with receive AIS and PA/foghorn on the FB. Then, to get AIS/PA below, added the RAM Mic 3 to the lower station. The RAM Mic allows ALL functions of the 2200 below. Very easy to install.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:13 PM   #18
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I'm running 2 Standard Horizon fixed 25w, separate antennas and a floating 6w hand held, and make a point of using each from time to time. This discussion is a good reminder to replace the 2 16 year old fixed units. Hand held unit is 3 years old.

I noted the suggestions about a second hand held unit....a good thought, keeping one in the ditch bag in case the other on in the charging station is forgotten in a rush to get over the side.

Useful discussion......
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