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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-04-2008
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Main VHF Preference?

Our VHF is old (steam powered) and seems to receive but not send. So it's time for a new one.

What VHF make and model do y'all use? Suggestions? Features to look out for?

I'm not sure how useful the DSC thing is. They all seem to have it for distress but I understand you can "call" a boat and I've seen some that have a keypad. Anybody use this?

How about the RAM mic function? It seems like a good idea to have the main unit mounted below and a second mic in the cockpit. I've also seen a few with built in haler and fog signals. I've used this before on someone else's boat and it was slick.

Another function I've seen that looks interesting is that some of them allow a GPS to be connected to it so that it will display GPS data on the same screen, thus reducing "dashboard clutter".

Any and all suggestions welcome.

MedSailor
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2008
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This is the model that we're looking at. There is an ICOM that is nearly identical in features and shiny knobs but this one is $100 less.

Welcome to StandardHorizon.com
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Old 05-04-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
I have a European model Raymarine 215/230 DSC this model, with the remote hand station.


Last edited by Giulietta; 05-04-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 05-04-2008
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I have a standard horizon handheld and am happy with it. They omitted a place for a lanyard which is my only complaint. It is well built and the battery goes the distance. It's been submerged and still works great. I would think you'd be happy with Std. Horizon.

DSC is nice because, if connected to a GPS, it will transmit your GPS position along with your communication so that rescuers will know your location. Supposedly these DSC communications are monitored by commercial vessels as well as the USCG. You can read more about it here:

Digital Selective Calling Radios - Nautical Know How

Most units now have DSC (even on the low end) so it's not a tough decision That unit you linked to looks pretty nice. Not sure I helped, but I tried!
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Old 05-04-2008
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VHF Features

Hello,

I bought this VHF last year:

Welcome to StandardHorizon.com

I selected it because it has:

25W power (all fixed units have this)
weather bands (just about all fixed units have this)
DSC (again, all fixed units have this)
GPS Repeating - speed, course, lat / long, etc. are displayed on the screen. With the main unit mounted below, it works like a repeater.
Second Station (RAM Mount) so I can use the radio from the helm.
Price - I paid about $150 for the radio and another $100 for the ram mount.

I used the radio a little last year and it worked fine. I like the second station a lot.

Barry
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Old 05-04-2008
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Ditto what Barry said on good features. We installed a uniden um525bk as our main unit at the marina here with all the same features BUT instead of a RAM mike, it provides for up to 4 wireless mics which eliminates wiring in the cockpit and allows transmission AND reception anywhere on the boat. It lets us roam the docks and still have full 25 watt transmission power which allows us to reach boats that portables won't. The unit also has a 35 watt hailer with pre-programmed fog signals which is useful if you are sailing in the northwest I would think!
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Old 05-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Ditto what Barry said on good features. We installed a uniden um525bk as our main unit at the marina here with all the same features BUT instead of a RAM mike, it provides for up to 4 wireless mics which eliminates wiring in the cockpit and allows transmission AND reception anywhere on the boat.
I will second cam on that one. This is the same VHF I installed and now I have a remote unit in the cockpit without any wiring (except power wires for the charger base, I prefer to keep the remote charging in the cockpit, since even on the full charge it only lasts me about 5-6 hours instead of a full day). Plus I carry a handheld as a backup.
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Old 05-04-2008
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I vote for ICOM

I'm a certifiable Icom bigot. My permanent mount VHF is a 402 with remote mic. The remote mic is worth its weight in gold. I can actually hear the radio without leaving the cockpit.

I've also got an Icom handheld.

These radios don't give a lick of trouble, unlike the Panasonic they replaced.
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Old 05-05-2008
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I have an ICOM M-45 fixed unit under 10 years old that is good, reliable and compact. I'm not going to replace it until we go international and I want those frequencies.

I do, however, have two Standard Horizon handhelds, a large but very nice 260S submersible model, and the newer, tiny, multi-band 471SX, which I find is the one I like to carry on deck. It's simply not as clear or as powerful, seemingly, as the older model, but it's a great deal more versatile.

I like Standard Horizon products. I even have one of their wind instruments.
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Old 05-05-2008
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I need to replace my unit. While in the Bahamas, I did a survey of VHF radios that transmitted the best and everyone was using Icoms.
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