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Old 07-01-2015, 13:11   #1
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Multiple VHF on one Antenna

Folks,

I currently have a decent Garmin VHF with remote handheld mic and I'm not looking to upgrade this vessel, but for the future do any companies make VHF boxes that support more than one end station? I would like to be able to have a VHF at the helm (actually more than one because I have found two to be very useful and safer to use two frequencies simultaneously), one at the nav station, and one in the bunk.

Right now, we keep an extra handheld at the helm to complement the regular VHF extension and another handheld in the berth.

- z
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Old 07-01-2015, 14:19   #2
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

You can certainly get antenna splitters, but they cost about as much as another antenna.


IMO an additional antenna is a better option, especially one that isn't mounted on the masthead. That way, if the masthead one fails for any reason, you have a spare.
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Old 07-01-2015, 16:06   #3
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

z,
I'm not completely clear on what you are trying to accomplish here, could you elaborate???
Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I currently have a decent Garmin VHF with remote handheld mic and I'm not looking to upgrade this vessel, but for the future do any companies make VHF boxes that support more than one end station?
Almost all the big name manufacturers (Icom, Vertex/Standard-Horizon, Raymarine, Furuno, West Marine/Uniden, etc.) offer "dual station" radios....this is in the form of the main radio, and remote control microphones....some allow one, some allow two, and some allow 3 remote mics....




And, almost all decent VHF's also have a "dual-watch" feature....and some even a "tri-watch" feature that VERY quickly switches band 'n forth between your primary channel and your secondary/watch channel(s)...this isn't as good as having multiple radios, as you cannot TALK on two different channels at the same time, but if you need to do that, you need two radios, AND two different antennas (properly separated/isolated...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I would like to be able to have a VHF at the helm (actually more than one because I have found two to be very useful and safer to use two frequencies simultaneously), one at the nav station, and one in the bunk.




I'd say buy an Icom M-604, or equivalent radio, that allows two remote mics/stations, in addition to the main (regular) radio, and also has "tri-watch"....and your situation is solved...
Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Right now, we keep an extra handheld at the helm to complement the regular VHF extension and another handheld in the berth.




I recommend having a second VHF antenna on-board, and usually think a stern-rail mounted VHF antenna makes a good "spare", as well as makes a good secondary VHF antenna, for second VHF radio....that allows complete 24/7 redundancy....
Although, for most this is way overkill....it isn't too expensive...


Now, if for some reason, you want two radios to "share" one antenna....yes, this is done quite often in ham radio, etc. but be aware that you can only use ONE radio at a time, using a normal coax switch....and you MUST be sure you switch the correct radio to the antenna, before transmitting, or you may damage your radio, not to mention never be able to hear/talk to anyone....
If this is something you desire (doubtful), I recommend a Diawa CS-201 coax switch...
Daiwa CS-201A Coax Switches - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering
I've been using them for a few decades now, and they are very reliable...

FYI, Shakespeare marine also sells one similar...
SHAKESPEARE Manual Two-Way Antenna Selector | West Marine
But, the Diawa is a much better switch, and costs less!!

And, if you want "automatic switching" (not something I recommend), the Shakespeare also makes one of those...
SHAKESPEARE Automatic Two-Way Antenna Selector | West Marine
But, I don't recommend this...



Finally....
Finally, as I wrote up front, I'm unclear as to what you are trying to accomplish.....so I may be way off here....
But, my advice is to make sure your current "decent Garmin VHF", is a full Class D VHF-DSC radio....and if you want to be able to use it elsewhere (bunk, cockpit, cabin, etc.) see if Garmin has the accessories to do this for your model...
If not, buy an Icom M-604, or equiv radio, that allows this....


Oh, and take a look here...this might be helpful...
where to mount new VHF



I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 07-01-2015, 18:36   #4
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

Think QUAD station rather than DUAL station. The ability to use my masthead antenna from four different locations in the vessel with mirrored settings from the same device, preferably linked wirelessly. So, when I change the channel in the cockpit, the channel changes in the berth and vice versa. Same with the rest of the VHF features.
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Old 07-01-2015, 18:51   #5
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Multiple VHF on one Antenna

You need something like the Raymarine Ray-260 or Simrad RS90 (these are just two of many). The features that you are asking for are available in higher end sets.
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Old 07-01-2015, 20:09   #6
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

Thanks Garrettw that is what I was looking for but just could not seem to find the right search terms!
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Old 07-01-2015, 20:47   #7
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

z,
Okay, now I understand what you want...

If you need a "quad station" VHF radio, then the Simrad RS90 (or Sailor commercial system) is the way to go....

As the Icom 604, as well as the Raymarine 260, etc. are "tri-station" systems....

But, I am surprised that you'd need that on a 38 footer...



Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 07-01-2015, 21:33   #8
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

sounds like you need a tri radio and a 2nd single radio (or one you have now). since 2 of the mics you said you want at helm but different freqs. (unless those high end ones allow mics to be on different channels, the normal ones don't)
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Old 07-01-2015, 21:51   #9
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

The simrad Rs35 has a built-in AIS receiver built in, and has wireless remote handsets that are waterproof and wireless charging cradles. I think it can have three handsets plus the base station.


Edit: Correction, only two handsets.
http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...dio-en-us.aspx
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:26   #10
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
z,
Okay, now I understand what you want...

If you need a "quad station" VHF radio, then the Simrad RS90 (or Sailor commercial system) is the way to go....

As the Icom 604, as well as the Raymarine 260, etc. are "tri-station" systems....

But, I am surprised that you'd need that on a 38 footer...



Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
Its not so much a need as a "want" in a future vessel. We already have a Garmin dual station but we use a handheld at night in the berth; we would prefer to have a regular VHF but we don't want to install another antenna if we don't have to.

We might just do that anyway as its looking like an economical solution.
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Old 08-01-2015, 13:41   #11
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

I am curious as to why you need this. A second set for backup I can see and the ability to use a mic on deck is definitely a plus when short handed. I have mine mounted by the hatch for that reason and have a remote deck speaker. Even sailing in very busy coastal waters in the UK this was enough. How much VHF trafffic do you get?
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Old 08-01-2015, 14:11   #12
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

You will need a Antenna Select switch, there are 2 types.
One is manual and the second 12v powered. The lead from the master antenna goes into the top and the antenna cables from each radio go into the two spots in the bottom.
I has a manual switch and had 2 radios, one below at the nav station and 2nd at the helm, set the selector to whatever radio I was using at the time.
West Marine, Defender have them.
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Old 08-01-2015, 17:43   #13
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Re: Multiple VHF on one Antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
I am curious as to why you need this. A second set for backup I can see and the ability to use a mic on deck is definitely a plus when short handed. I have mine mounted by the hatch for that reason and have a remote deck speaker. Even sailing in very busy coastal waters in the UK this was enough. How much VHF trafffic do you get?
So many reasons...

I'm lazy and don't like to roll out of bed. We prefer to keep the VHF on when we go to bed, especially when the anchorage is very windy and full. You never know when someone will need help.

Security...

Also, we get a lot of VHF calls from friends for "after sundown, sundowners" - sometimes quite late, so we never know when we might get a hail...either after we go to bed or very early at sunrise!

We like to listen to the VHF at night for entertainment. Listen for USCG calls, seatow calls, etc... its like COPS for us.

Also, we do not like to keep the cockpit VHF on as it disturbs the neighbors.

We regularly use two VHF's in the cockpit. For example, one to talk to the bridge tenders and another to monitor 16. Or I may be talking to the tenders, and my wife will be talking to another boat or marina. This is extremely helpful on the east coast of the USA.
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