Recommendations for a VHF radio

seasick

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#22
glacierbaze said:
You need to throw that radio in the garbage! High power on only two channels, stupidest thing I ever heard of on a boat. Get something like this, with a built in GPS, so you don't have to wire it to your other GPS to send emergency position.

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard-Ho ... Radio.aspx
My understanding was that if you selected HI power, you would transmit at high power for all channels. Apparently, that is not how these radios work. The GX1700 manual states that power is limited by regulations to 1 watt on channels 13 and 67 and on any channels where transmission is restricted or public use is restricted. In the first case, HI power can be selected for 13 and 67 by pressing the PTT switch and the HI/Lo button.
I haven't been able to find info on what DSC uses . You would think it should be high power. I will do some more research.

For my boating, low power in general is OK since I boat mostly in bays or near shore AND in relatively heavily populated boating areas.
 

Jody

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#23
I'm going to change it out, like it was said in a bad situation using two hands on the mic is not a good idea. Plus I usually have a few friends on the water and in the beginning of the day we spread out to find the fish. Last Striper season I would just use my cell phone but offshore that won't be a option and pushing the two buttons at once will piss me off every time I do it. One thing I will look at is to see if I can jump the button in the mic and lock it on hi.
 

seasick

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#24
Jody said:
I'm going to change it out, like it was said in a bad situation using two hands on the mic is not a good idea. Plus I usually have a few friends on the water and in the beginning of the day we spread out to find the fish. Last Striper season I would just use my cell phone but offshore that won't be a option and pushing the two buttons at once will piss me off every time I do it. One thing I will look at is to see if I can jump the button in the mic and lock it on hi.
Locking the button probably wont work since it is a toggle function usually. If so that button could end up switching a HI channel to a Low.

There is another factor that I didn't mention.; That is reception. In some instances, you may be heard but may not be able to hear. The same for not being heard but hearing others.
Reception is dependent not only on the senders power level but your sensitivity and perhaps noise rejection.
So if you have found that others hear you but you don't hear them, increasing your transmit strength isn't going to help.
Poor reception and/or transmission strength could be an antenna issue, either the antenna itself, the cable and connector or a combo. Your radio could be bad too and just not transmitting at rated power.
Lots of radios , especially older models can be permanently damaged if the transmit button is activated without a proper load (antenna) connected)

I agree that you would benefit by getting a new more up to date radio but at the same time, I wouldn't want you install one and still have problems.
 

Jody

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#25
Thanks but I can hear boats many miles away just couldn't talk to them. Also what might happen if I jump the button it might lock on 13/67. New radio it is, time to look at the ones suggested and a few more. I remember looking awhile ago and $300 will get a good one.
 

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#27
That's looks great, kinda like getting a second radar and 5 watts more power when really needed. Thanks everyone for helping. I was there today and got the last coat of barrier coat and two bottom coats on plus the trim tabs. Still didn't look at the antenna #s but I will. Money well spent! Oh yea tomorrow controller and cables. Lol Love what you do do what you love.
 

SkunkBoat

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#28
Just added a Standard Horizon GX2200 with DSC and AIS receiver. It was $309 on TheGPSStore.com but I got price matching at West Marine.

The AIS receiver is a plus. Radio has a display screen for it but I hooked the NMEA 0183 to the Garmin 4208 and it displays symbols and can give proximity alarms.
This will be a plus for crossing two shipping lanes in the fog. Also shows you where the scallop dredgers are.

Oh yea, the Hailer/Fog horn is great too. I can yell at my brother when he's hauling the anchor.
Auto fog horn signaling is anotherr great added benefit.
 

seasick

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#29
Jody said:
That's looks great, kinda like getting a second radar and 5 watts more power when really needed. Thanks everyone for helping. I was there today and got the last coat of barrier coat and two bottom coats on plus the trim tabs. Still didn't look at the antenna #s but I will. Money well spent! Oh yea tomorrow controller and cables. Lol Love what you do do what you love.
The 30 watts of power for the hailer are audio watts that drive an external speaker. The limit for VHF radio RF power is still 25 watts.
Whether or not you go for the hailing function, if you do go out in foggy seas or anchor in fog, the option to automatically play the appropriate fog horn signals is a big plus.
 

Jody

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#31
AIS is a great feature, the only thing that I wonder about is do the authority's use it to track boats say when the birds are working just over the three mile line? Can you turn off AIS and still use the radio or do you have to just turn it off? Asking for a friend.
 

SkunkBoat

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#32
This radio is only an AIS receiver.

There are different transmit requirements (A & B) for commercial vessels of different types and sizes. Large shipping has to send name, MMSI, position, heading and speed at a certain update interval. I believe commercial fishing / charter boats can send without name but I wouldn't quote me. I do see markers for "Fishing Vessel" with no name.

A cool feature that I'll probably never use is that you can call an AIS contact directly using the DSC.
 

Jody

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#33
Skunkboat lmao I will get one, I'm sure I'll use it for the correct reason a few times but I guarantee I will find other times that just seems right. Lol
 
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#34
Sometimes radios that sit for years have resistors that fail just setting in a box. I agree with the above post. Buy a new radio as your life depends on it working properly. I have a Digital brand antenna on my hardtop and can talk as far as 18 miles on the Chesapeake Bay, boat-to-boat. Be sure to check all your grounds that they are clean. My antenna tip is 18ft off the water at the dock.
 

seasick

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#36
Sometimes radios that sit for years have resistors that fail just setting in a box. I agree with the above post. Buy a new radio as your life depends on it working properly. I have a Digital brand antenna on my hardtop and can talk as far as 18 miles on the Chesapeake Bay, boat-to-boat. Be sure to check all your grounds that they are clean. My antenna tip is 18ft off the water at the dock.
Working distance has very little to do with power assuming you have a decent antenna and radio. VHF transmissions are line of sight so the biggest factor in transmission distance is antenna height both on the transmitting end and the receiving end.

With respect to AIS compatible radios, it's a feature that may or may not be a necessity depending on what you boating habits are.
Any radio purchased should have DSC but the difference between a $150 radio and a $250 radio might be the builtin GPS feature as opposed to the need to interconnect the radio to the plotter. I like to have that extra redundancy so that I am pretty sure that if the DSC signal is sent, it will contain accurate coordinates.
 
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#37
One word. ICOM.

That is the only VHF you need.

Recently installed the ICOM M506 with AIS to my Simrad evo 3 and works flawless. Also have other ICOM radios on other boats. They make a great product.
 
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#38
"I can't imagine having to do that in a panic while trying to call out on 16. You've probably already come to this conclusion but a new radio with DSC and AIS would be a good investment since you plan on doing a lot of off shore fishing this year. I had one of the Standard Horizon Matrix series of radios and it worked well."
I use a DIGITAL brand antenna. .I had a problem with the durability of the one Shakespeare I owned and wont go back. I would upgrade the radio like mentioned above. It just might save your six.
 

Fishtales

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#39
I think just about any will do the trick today - especially for coastal boating. Get a good height and performance antenna. I think this is more important than the radio to be honest. Spend the extra on a PLB and an EPIRB.
 

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#40
the low power channels are for close range coms.
There is no need to use hi power when talking to the draw bridge thats right in front of you. If people used hi power you'd be hearing all the coms for all the bridges in a wide area. It would be a mess.