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Old 11-01-2014, 19:47   #1
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Economical VHF Radio

The ancient Standard Horizons radio on Thirty Six Seas is done. I have a Uniden 5 watt handheld that is enough for listening to weather reports and talking with close in boats, but I would like to take advantage of the range a mounted 25 watt unit would provide.

Looked at some models at the local marine supply shop and there are more than a couple of options. Just looking for some thoughts on various radios you guys have and what you like (and dislike) about your models. Brochures so rarely give an accurate picture...
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:10   #2
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Re: Economical VHF radio -

If economy is your most important criterion, just go to Amazon and search all VHF radios, buy the least expensive that has DSC capability. Mate it with a GOOD antenna. Then work out how to supply it with a GPS input, so the radio will know (and broadcast) where you are in case of emergency.

Features that add cost tend to be things like larger speakers, command mics, variable scan functions, AIS reception coupled with a spatial display of some sort, etc.

FWIW, we run two ICOM 604s. Good radios, probably not cheap. No idea what cost, or how they compare with other newer units... I just wanted their reputation for reliability and longevity, bplus igger speakers, in addition to other ICOM features available at the time. (And we already have separate AIS, so I didn't care about that.)

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Old 12-01-2014, 06:46   #3
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Re: Economical VHF radio -

I'll be watching this thread as we also need a new VHF--nothing fancy, but we need one.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:16   #4
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

Looked at the ICOM 604. Used ICOM equipment while in the Navy and liked the equipment. Tough and easy to use. The 604 is a little over my planned price point. Definitely looking at DSC as a feature that I want. My hand-held does not have it, but I do want my "stationary" unit to have it.

Also was looking at AIS, but that is not an absolute necessity. There are enough options for AIS that having it on the base unit would be overlap.

Anyone have experience with the Standard Horizon GX1700?
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:30   #5
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You can't go wrong with any any Standard Radio , best radio there is IMHO .

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Old 15-01-2014, 08:29   #6
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

Not exactly a simple radio but the Standard Horizon GX2200 with both AIS and GPS will be out in a couple of months. $350 +/-
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Old 16-01-2014, 02:25   #7
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

The GX2200 looks to be exactly what would meet my desires for function. Price not that bad either. That looks to be a great price considering both functions are incorporated. I can live with the handheld for a while longer.
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Old 16-01-2014, 08:50   #8
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

I should add that Defender has the GX2200 on their website at $350. I emailed SH and they said the radio wouldn't be available for a couple of months.
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Old 16-01-2014, 14:23   #9
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

Hoppy Sailor,

The GX2200 will be available the second week of February 2014, just in time for the boat show">Miami Boat Show.
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Old 16-01-2014, 14:49   #10
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

Just saw that myself, and I think it just ended my search and debate as to what I'll be picking up to start outfitting with. Just need to figure out what color, now.
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Old 19-01-2014, 03:22   #11
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

I too have completed my search, it would seem. Color? Black looks nice with the lighted display.
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Old 19-01-2014, 08:42   #12
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

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Originally Posted by HoppySailor View Post
Not exactly a simple radio but the Standard Horizon GX2200 with both AIS and GPS will be out in a couple of months. $350 +/-
I "pre-bought" one yesterday at the Toronto Boat Show for $349. Should be in in a couple of weeks. It's the opposite of cheap, but it's cheaper than the ICOM 506 which will arrive in April.

I usually tell people that if they have the base unit out in the weather, ICOM is more water-resistant. But we have a pilothouse and I like the feature set of the SH 2200.

For cheap base units, look at Uniden or even Cobra. I like DSC and find it useful, but if you're just coastal, you could consider an older or even used model.
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Old 19-01-2014, 09:44   #13
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

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Originally Posted by klmmicro View Post
I too have completed my search, it would seem. Color? Black looks nice with the lighted display.
Where did you end up purchasing it and what did you get? I have seen no frills 25 watt VHF's go for around 100 bucks. Amazon is a great source because of their prices and no hassle return policy.
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Old 19-01-2014, 09:55   #14
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

Check out Ebay. Standard Horizon etc sell cheap, even new ones. They may be last year's model... $139 would be a lot on ebay. One of thousands: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ECLIPSE-GX11...6160e9&vxp=mtr
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Old 19-01-2014, 14:17   #15
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Re: Economical VHF Radio

All I can say is stay away from Raymarine. Mine was 3 years old and the receiver went bad. Warranty was 1 year when I bought it.

I ended up buying a standard horizon.
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