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post #1 of 7 Old 02-08-2008 Thread Starter
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vhf: what to look for

anything particular to look for in a fix mtd. vhf. only doing coastal cruising, mainly overnights and weekend cruising. nothing far from home. not sure what the difference is between the $100 model and the $400 model and what i really need.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/westadvisor/10001/-1/10001/VHF-FixedMountRadios.htm

West Advisor has a good article on features and options. For some reason I can't get the link to work properly but go to west marine, click on west advisor and scroll down to fixed mount vhf.

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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Vhf

It's often said that the antenna is more important than the radio. Things like the way the antenna is built, the height over the water, the condition of the coax cable are all very important. Stick with an antenna made for sailboats. The wide angle of radiation will work even if the boat is healed over. The extra coax length ensures you don't need to make problematic splices.

The better radios will be water proof, have a loud and clear speaker, a noise canceling microphone and may include options such as a connection for a second, remote microphone, hailer and automatic fog signals.

That said, I like the Standard Horizon radios, though, the Uniden radios are coming on strong.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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A few features that you might want:

DSC, which is highly, highly recommended
Hailer/Foghorn built in
Remote Command Mic capability

The Icom 504 is a good unit, and has all the above, and Icom gear is pretty bulletproof. About $275 street retail.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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Features

Hello,

Some features I looked for included:
-Second station capability (and affordable price for the second station). I mounted the fixed unit below (out of the weather, can't be stolen, etc.) and wanted the ability to use the radio from the cockpit. The second station allows that to be done. FYI, on my radio, the second station plugs in and takes just a few seconds to install / remove.

-DSC with class D. The benefits of DSC are well known and documented. I think that all new fixed mount units come with DSC. Class D adds a separate receiver for the DSC channel (70) so it can be constantly monitored.

-Clear sound. This is very important and hard to check before you buy. I have had Uniden and Cobra radios before and I was never satisfied with the clarity. The sound was muffled and voices were hard to understand. No offense if you have Uniden and Cobra, they are just not for me.

-Dual Watch - so you can monitor channel 16 and another channel. I admit I don't do this often (or ever, really).

-Weather radio with weather alert mode (hope I never need it).

-Adjustable Power - no need to blast out 25w when 1w will reach the harbor master.

-GPS Data Repeat - Some units will display GPS data (speed, course, lat / long, etc.) when connected to a GPS receiver. This makes the radio work like a repeater.

When I considered all the models, I bought a Standard Horizon GX1500X. It cost about $140 and the remote mic was another $100 or so.

I am very happy with the radio.

Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #6 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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I'd stay at the $100 level and buy another for your pocket with some of the rest of the money.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-08-2008
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The Uniden 525 comes with everything SD mentioned plus a good price.
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