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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics > Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?
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Thread: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2013 08:25 AM
eherlihy
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

If it helps, here is a list of what I have for comms, and the order in which I purchased them;
  • First purchase - iCom M34 (now obsolete by the M36) handheld VHF - I covered the bottom with red SOLAS reflective tape, so that I would have a chance at finding it if it went into the drink.
  • Second purchase - Garmin GPSmap478 Chartplotter (no longer available, and the Garmin GPSmap 640 is NOT an equivalent IMHO)
  • Third purchase - (after several years of sailing with the above on OPB) a Sailboat
  • Fourth purchase - an iCom M-422 (now obsolete by the M-412) fixed VHF with DSC
I integrated the M-422 with the GPSmap 478 (NMEA 0183) to provide DSC function.
03-21-2013 03:46 AM
xymotic
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
xymotic;
No, no plotter or any other e-device with the possible exception of a Garmin GPS. Failing that, paper charts and depth sounder is it. Mk 1 eyeball, tuned to wx band and a wetted finger in the air .

Still tying to decide which one ta go with; but it appears my best bet for starters is a plain-Jane handheld. Nowhere I'm going to go ...at least for a season or so, will be out of range. No built-in GPS or other system needed. Looking more at battery longevity, variations in power sourcing and alkaline e-pak availability.

Still a month +/- from splash, so there's still time
Are you cruising relatively close? human head to human head the the range of a handheld is about 7 miles before the curvature of the earth gets in the way. Here in the puget sound we're never more than 3 miles from shore, and the CG has nice towers atop mountains so a HH makes a lot of sense.
03-16-2013 03:23 PM
deltaten
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

xymotic;
No, no plotter or any other e-device with the possible exception of a Garmin GPS. Failing that, paper charts and depth sounder is it. Mk 1 eyeball, tuned to wx band and a wetted finger in the air .

Still tying to decide which one ta go with; but it appears my best bet for starters is a plain-Jane handheld. Nowhere I'm going to go ...at least for a season or so, will be out of range. No built-in GPS or other system needed. Looking more at battery longevity, variations in power sourcing and alkaline e-pak availability.

Still a month +/- from splash, so there's still time
03-16-2013 05:36 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Can't wait to hear what you got.

I'm a big fan of the RAM mic in the cockpit. Big tip...... remove it and put it away when not in use, they usually have a twist off connector. UV kills them.

Hailer is nice, but not mandatory.

If you are daytime sailing in reasonable viz, there is no need for AIS. Where there is a need, such as at night, in dense fog, bad weather or offshore, you really need a transponder, not just a receiver on a VHF. Someone asked about the ICW. I can not imagine being in conditions on the ICW that would make AIS all that necessary. If you can't see on the ICW, you should probably have the hook down. Then, you would more likely need to transmit your location, rather than receiving others.
03-16-2013 01:45 AM
xymotic
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

OK, need a little more info about your boat. Do you have a plotter? Are you comfortable wiring things together at the level of soldering wires together?

Personally, I'd avoid radios with AIS, because I'm a strong believer in having an AIS transceiver that sends and receives. AIS in the radio is nice but not worth the $$ imho if you are going to buy a transmitter anyway.

easiest to use just add power would be the standard horizon gx1700 with gps.

My personal favorite is the SH 1600.

ANd I'm a big fan of NEMA 2000 for easy integration ot a plotter, so that would be the new Lowrances on a budget or simrads/Garmin if not.
02-13-2013 03:13 PM
br3nt
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Right - instead of leaving a MMSI radio when you sell a boat, you MUST take it with you, or put up with the risk that the new owner will abuse it.
Apparently you can cancel your MMSI registration. From the MMSI FAQ:

"Go to BoatUS - Maritime Mobile Service Identity - MMSI Registration and click the Login option. Login using the login and password that you chose when you registered or that was assigned to you. (If you do not remember your login, choose the option to have it e-mailed to you). Once logged in, choose Cancel MMSI Account from the menu screen."
02-13-2013 03:06 PM
PorFin
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhcva View Post
"DO NOT get the MMSI number from Boat US"

Bill.....why do you say that?
If you are sure you are going to stay in US territorial waters, the BoatUS MMSI generator is fine.

But if you have any plans to go into other countries' territorial waters, only an FCC issued MMSI will be kosher.

As others have mentioned, inputting an MMSI into a radio is a one or two try event (models vary -- read the user manual carefully) before you have to send it back to the shop for a reset.
02-13-2013 02:10 PM
hellosailor
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

eh-
"it still seems like a pain to have to do this if you go sailing on a friend's boat, and want to bring your handheld VHF."
This is why a handheld VHF should be licensed as a PORTABLE device, not a conventional fixed station. Last time I looked the FCC still licensed them--including the MMSI--as a ship's station license, but as a PORTABLE ship's station license, if you requested it.

That lets them know that whatever vessel is associated with the license, may not be the vessel in question. I have an EPRIB that is also licensed with a note that it is used as a portable, and may be on different vessels. NOAA doesn't care, FCC doesn't care, the only folks who care are the USCG if they need the SAR paperwork filled out. Well, technically, if your handheld ever wanders off the mothership (and if a license is required) like to a dink? Technically, that's probably when "portable" is required. I doubt anyone would ever call you to task if it wasn't.

"Description of vessel: white with white hull, white deck, white sails" Oh yeah, that's gonna help find it. (VBG)

"Portable" just tells them it could be anything in that vicinity, pretty much like "white".
02-13-2013 02:01 PM
chucklesR
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
UPDATE: my mistake - br3nt is right. The MMSI is associated with the INDIVIDUAL and not the vessel, as I indicated in my previous post. The MMSI database entry, however, does identify the vessel, hailing port and emergency points of contact.

So, while you can edit the MMSI Database to indicate that you and your MMSI registered radio are changing vessels, it still seems like a pain to have to do this if you go sailing on a friend's boat, and want to bring your handheld VHF.

I hope this helps.
Right - instead of leaving a MMSI radio when you sell a boat, you MUST take it with you, or put up with the risk that the new owner will abuse it.
02-13-2013 01:00 PM
eherlihy
Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

UPDATE: my mistake - br3nt is right. The MMSI is associated with the INDIVIDUAL and not the vessel, as I indicated in my previous post. The MMSI database entry, however, does identify the vessel, hailing port and emergency points of contact.

So, while you can edit the MMSI Database to indicate that you and your MMSI registered radio are changing vessels, it still seems like a pain to have to do this if you go sailing on a friend's boat, and want to bring your handheld VHF.

I hope this helps.
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