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Old 08-17-2010
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what is a ram mic?

I was just reading this thread and came across the term "RAM Mic", which is one I have seen before but do not well understand. I've gathered that it is some sort of extra microphone for your VHF, but the fact that it is deserving of it's own name rather than just "microphone" indicates to me there is more to the story. So what exactly is it? Are ones from different manufacturers interoperable? And what would be involved in installing one at the helm, assuming I had a compatible VHF radio belowdecks already? Thanks.

Edit: come to think of it, I've also seen radios that advertise bluetooth connectivity, which would seem like it would also let you use the radio from the helm, but again it can't be just as simple as the name implies. If I used the bluetooth headset from my cell phone for example, it doesn't have a transmit button, so logically it would transmit every time I said something (or the wind blew into the microphone, etc), so that can't be how that works...

Last edited by rmeador; 08-17-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-17-2010
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Technically, it is a RAM—Remote Access Microphone...and the Mic is redundant.

It is basically a microphone with speaker and often limited controls, like channel up/down and volume up/down, that can be mounted away from where the main VHF unit is located. Some are wireless, others are wired, and some have more features than others.

The one I have for my iCom has limited DSC functionality as well as squelch, volume, channel, scan, etc., controls and looks like this:

They are not interoperable between brands.

Installing one usually consists of running a pre-terminated wire that ends in a socket from the rear of the radio to someplace in the cockpit.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 08-17-2010 at 03:46 PM.
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