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Old 05-08-2013, 13:07   #46
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Just bought a GX 2150 & Ram mic, SH has a $50.00 rebate on the 2150, GPS Store had the best price I could find. Got the mic on eBay new for $88.00 with free shipping.
http://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard-...ite-P2629.aspx
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:42   #47
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Re: VHF

I've recently replaced an ICOM M-127 with a Standard Horizon GX1700. Kept same whip antenna at masthead. Now I'm receiving Police band broadcasts cross channeling over VHF channels including 16. I tried a different GX 1700 and same results. Never had it with the ICOM. Any ideas?
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Old 05-08-2013, 13:57   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinggreg View Post
I've recently replaced an ICOM M-127 with a Standard Horizon GX1700. Kept same whip antenna at masthead. Now I'm receiving Police band broadcasts cross channeling over VHF channels including 16. I tried a different GX 1700 and same results. Never had it with the ICOM. Any ideas?
Report the police to the FCC? sorry, couldn't resist.

On a more serious note: you need to check out your cable and antenna installation. For this, besides the how-to,you need some equipment like a dummyload, multimeter and SWR meter or better even, an antenna analyzer. Or you need to find somebody who owns these and can help you.
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Old 05-08-2013, 14:55   #49
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Re: VHF

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Originally Posted by pbiJim View Post
If you get a hand held for the dingy, try to get one that floats or else get 2. Or do both. West now sells a pair of Uniden MHS050-2 handhelds on clearance for about $80/pair. They are only 2.5 watts max, but for a dingy, that's usually plenty...& they float. If you want pocket size, Cobra makes a real small handheld for about $50-60 most places. It takes regular AAA batteries, and it comes with rechargables but it doesn't float & it's only 3w max. Reception quality is better than average. I have one. I have a floating key tag attached to it.
That pair of Unidens is worthless. I tried them out & found that even at 100 yards, the voice quality was so bad that words could not be recognized.

I returned them to West & they gave me credit towards another radio of my choice. They were out of the $130 floating Standard handheld, so I opted for the $130 West Marine #160, even though the last thing that I wanted was yet another object with their name &/or logo on it.

I am surprised how happy I am with the 160. I've had it on for over 24 hours now & the power indicator just dropped from 4 bars to 3. Now, I only transmitted for about 20 seconds, to test voice quality, which was very good, & I realize that if I was hanging on the transmit button with the power turned up, the battery would die off a lot quicker, but still, 24 hours & the rechargeable battery isn't low yet...that is something I have not seen from a handheld VHF before.

The size is somewhat large, but not huge. It comes with AC & DC adapters for the charging cradle. It comes with a rechargeable battery & also a battery tray that you can use with 4 AAA cells. It has the usual modern features like memory scan, dual watch, triple watch & weather watch. It will accept an external mic/speaker & it is 1/2.5/6 watts. That's right, 6 watts, not just 5. It comes with a belt clip & a lanyard. It floats aggressively, with either power pack attached. It has a silly little SOS blinking LED on it, that doesn't seem very useful to me, except maybe as a small flashlight for finding something that you dropped during the night.

One interesting feature, is that if you set it to the weather band, & then activate weather watch, it will mute the weather reports unless an urgent notice is issued. In that case, It sounds 3 horrific bleeps that sound like a nuclear air raid warning & then kicks on the weather report. If you were going to take a snooze while on the hook,and only wanted to be alerted if bad weather was rolling in, this would do the job. Anyone who sleeps through those three sound blasts from hell is either deaf or too inebriated to do anything useful anyway.

This thing not only looks like a good dingy radio, but being 6 watts, it's also about as good as it gets for a back up to the main radio.

Down sides are:
Voice quality is pretty darn good, but not quite as good as some Icom handhelds.
Max speaker volume is pretty loud, but not quite as loud as some Icom handhelds.
It floats well, but does not have the float & flash locator feature for finding it at night.
It does not have a built in GPS & therefore no DSC.
It is a little big to be stuffing in your shirt pocket comfortably.

Still, on sale for $130, I think that it's a very good value.

If you want something feather weight that fits easily in a pocket, then the $50 3W Cobra from Hopcar that runs on rechargeable or standard AAA cells, still can't be beat. It also has good general performance & a good selection of modern features. For a full sized, full power hand held that floats, I'm kind of liking the 160 from West.
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Old 05-08-2013, 15:53   #50
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Re: VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbiJim View Post
HopCar has the little pocket sized Cobra handheld for $50. That is the best price that I ever see on them.
I had a Cobra HH325, unfortunately stolen in Cherbourg a few years ago. It was dirt cheap, and yet, remarkably solidly built, and with lovely controls -- a concentric rotary volume and squelch which is the best control for these functions I've ever used on a handheld. It put out a good, strong signal and had good, clean audio output. Altogether an impressive piece of kit, especially considering the price (less than half of comparable Icom).

I replaced the stolen Cobra with a Standard Horizon HX851 with built in GPS and DSC, extremely useful functions in a handheld VHF IMHO -- maybe essential, even. This unit is quite satisfactory, but seems less solidly built than the Cobra was. I don't like the volume and squelch controls at all, which are not rotary but push button, and using the same buttons for volume, squelch and channel, requiring awkward cycling of another button to select. Audio is worse than the old Cobra.

Everything is a compromise.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:17   #51
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The best marine HT, besides my hacked Kenwood HAM HT, is one of the Yeasu models mostly sold by Standard Horizon. Just check behind or on the battery for the Yeasu label and you can't go wrong. They are often built in alloy housings.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:26   #52
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Re: VHF

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The best marine HT, besides my hacked Kenwood HAM HT, is one of the Yeasu models mostly sold by Standard Horizon. Just check behind or on the battery for the Yeasu label and you can't go wrong. They are often built in alloy housings.
If I'm not mistaken, Yaesu and Standard Horizon are the same company -- Yaesu the ham line and SH the marine line and both produced by the Japanese company Vertex Standard LMR.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:36   #53
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Re: VHF

I have had an Icom M72 handherd for four years now. It works great and takes a lot of abuse. It is not unusual for it to splased with saltwater all day. The battery life is unreal. I can leave it on for 24 hours a day for 5 or 6 days without recharging. That is with very ocasional transmitting but monitoring 16 all the time.

The handhelds with built in GPS (Icom M92D) might be worth a look also.
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Old 05-08-2013, 16:59   #54
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Re: VHF

I must have missed something, I have been using ICOMs commercially for years and they work fine. I don't have a lot of the features mentioned of the other radios, they do come on, transmit/receive no problem, I use them every day they get plenty of abuse. Oh well, I've got a couple of new ones and if or when they die, I'll be back asking for an updated opinion about the best VHF. Hopefully it won't be as contentious as the "Best Anchor" threads.
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Old 05-08-2013, 17:13   #55
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Re: VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
I must have missed something, I have been using ICOMs commercially for years and they work fine. I don't have a lot of the features mentioned of the other radios, they do come on, transmit/receive no problem, I use them every day they get plenty of abuse. Oh well, I've got a couple of new ones and if or when they die, I'll be back asking for an updated opinion about the best VHF. Hopefully it won't be as contentious as the "Best Anchor" threads.
My fixed VHF is an Icom M604, an expensive, top-of-the-line radio. I like it very much -- it works well, puts out a great signal, and has very good audio, but I must say that I was very disappointed when it dead failed this year after less than four years in service. Bad circuit board, which required an expensive and time-consuming repair at the Icom central office in the UK.
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Old 18-08-2013, 23:46   #56
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Re: VHF

I just bought an ICOM M92D handheld , after going through the standard internet searches for reveiws. It has the Clear Voice option, and as one who has lost most of his hearing I have to say that I am very impressed with the radio so far. I originally just wanted a basic handheld to replace the junky Uniden that failed on me after 18 months. The Uniden was mechanically solid and electronically miserable.
As I looked at all the offerings, I decided I really wanted the Clear Voice since most of the time I can't understand what people say anyway. If you have a hearing problem, the noise suppression in the Clear Voice really helps. The M92D has the built in GPS, for about $50 more than the other Clear Voice unit from ICOM. I ended up buying the unit for $250 from Defender, mostly based on price.
I have been a reliability engineer on military electronics for the last 25 years, so I tend to take a dim view of the reliability of commercial electronics, or even some military electronics these days. Not sure how long this ICOM will last, but hey, every now and then you get lucky. I say that because electronics manufacturing has a huge challenge in trying to maintain the reliability of their supply chain these days compared to say 8 years ago. It was so much easier back then. Today, it takes a fairly large company to maintain all the engineering oversight required to continually produce reliable products.
Billr
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Old 19-08-2013, 05:49   #57
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Re: VHF

I use the M-304 on my bridge, I like the tag feature so I can program it so when I change channels with the microphone, I don't have to shift through every channel. My crew uses the M-72 on the deck, they last surprisingly well considering they get thrown around by the antenna, dropped on a steel deck, and generally abused in ways that would never happen in my personal possession. I have two of the M-304s on my bridge and the only thing I would change would be to attach an external speaker. Which has to do with the high ambient noise on my bridge and working in a country where english is different from the english I am accustomed to hearing, so sometimes higher volume is needed to decipher the messages.
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Old 19-08-2013, 07:27   #58
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Re: VHF

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The Uniden was mechanically solid and electronically miserable.
This has been my experience with Uniden hand helds as well.
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Old 21-08-2013, 03:10   #59
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Re: VHF

Thanks guys!

Did not bought a VHF yet still searching.
Checking out the new Ray260 Modular VHF Radio(raymarine)!?
Any experience?
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Old 21-10-2013, 18:53   #60
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Re: VHF

I just picked up a SH GX-2150 for less than $300. Use the Google shopping feature.

Also, I have 6 wires coming out the back of my SH GX-2150; I have 8 wires on the data side of my Garmin 441S GPS. BOTH wire sets have white, grey, blue, green, brown, and yellow. The GPS tail has those plus purple and orange. Is there a standard or convention that allows me to match the colors and be hooked up properly? Or are these just the typical array of wire colors and blue doesn't necessarily go to blue?

Thanks!

John
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