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Old 09-14-2009
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Pactor / Icom What is the best buy

I have an old Icom M600 which will not do for Pactor and it needs upgrading anyway as it is collecting it's old age pension.

So I am researching the different rigs and Pactor versions and getting confused.

West Marine offer the Icom 700 710 and 802. Is there much difference using any of these with a Pactor modem?

Is there a "best" Pactor modem to use.

I will be cruising in the Caribbean basin only and have used a SSB rig before but not pactor which I understand can be difficult to set up.
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I use an ICOM M802 with a Pactor II-usb with Bluetooth. The modem was the easiest thing to install on the whole system; took about 20 minutes to hook up the modem to the radio. You can buy the modem with cables premade, so about all you have to do is plug in two cables if you use Bluetooth or three cables if you have a modem without the Bluetooth and that is about it. If you want GPS to run through your modem, then you wil have to run just two more wires. I pigtailed the GPS wires into the same line I used for both my VHF and the SSB.

I liked the M802 over the 710 because of the separate control head. I mounted the bulky transceiver securely out of sight and installed the control head at the nav station. Makes for an easy install.
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