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post #32 of Old 10-25-2013
Maine Sail
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Re: VHF AIS radios

I personally don't have much of an issue with the VHF / AIS factory made radios and don't tend to see any measurable performance differences between standard fixed mount and VHF/AIS combos. I do test them on every install with an SWR....

The problems I see most with VHF performance.....

Main VHF unit wired with too small of a power wire (18GA etc)

Piss poor Shakespere "pinch through the jacket" PL-259's (personally I think there should be a class action against these absolute POS connectors.)

This one was just 9 weeks old and failing to do its job. But hey its gold plated so it must be good:

Piss poor DIY and pro soldering of PL-259's (the #1 failure)

Kite string VHF cable:

The wrong antenna for a sailboat (even seen auto CB antennas used..)

Lack of any SWR testing once installed and newly wired. Simply putting out a radio check really does very little to tell you what your actual performance may be over a long distance in an emergency.

I would argue that worrying about a potential performance difference between an AIS/VHF and a standard VHF, in the real world of installed VHF systems on boats, is the least of our worries when it comes to VHF radios.....

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 10-25-2013 at 07:19 AM.
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