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Old 30-03-2018, 05:39   #1
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Vhf radio with 2nd mike

Looking for a recommendation for a mounted vhf radio with the ability to add an extra mike outside.
Thanks
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Old 30-03-2018, 05:49   #2
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

I recently purchased a Standard Horizon GX-1600 and the RAM-3 remote, which I installed in the cockpit. I wired the unit to my Garmin chart plotter. All important functions are accessible via the remote as well as the main unit. I'm very pleased with it.
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Old 30-03-2018, 05:51   #3
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

There are a number of models with that option. I have an older Standard Horizon which has done well. RAM mike misbehaves periodically (like once a year or two) and connectors in extension cable to RAM mike need cleaning, then its good.

It is a significant convenience/safety feature, especially in areas of heavy commercial traffic like parts of the ICW.

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Old 30-03-2018, 08:00   #4
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

Don't overlook the option of a wireless remote mic. It's surprisingly convenient to be able to bring it other places than the helm. Even off the boat (within range) sometimes.

Personally I'm not at all happy with my B&G, for a number of reasons, although the mic works fine.

One tip, whatever brand of wireless mic you choose; pause a second after keying the mic before speaking. It takes a moment for the transmission to start.
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Old 30-03-2018, 08:59   #5
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

We have Garmin with two remote mikes. I generally dislike the Garmin mike charge mounts because the charging pins get bent if you don’t insert it just right.
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Old 30-03-2018, 09:05   #6
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Don't overlook the option of a wireless remote mic. It's surprisingly convenient to be able to bring it other places than the helm. Even off the boat (within range) sometimes.

Personally I'm not at all happy with my B&G, for a number of reasons, although the mic works fine.

One tip, whatever brand of wireless mic you choose; pause a second after keying the mic before speaking. It takes a moment for the transmission to start.
Whats the effective range?
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Old 30-03-2018, 13:02   #7
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

I think both ICOM 504 and 604 models support an external mic.

-Chris
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Old 30-03-2018, 14:17   #8
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

I used to have a Standard Horizon down below at the nav station with a Remote Mic at the helm pedestal. The boat came with the Standard Horizon VHF when I bought it (2013) but the PO had run up and down the companionway or hollered to his wife when he needed to use the VHF. I found a Standard Horizon remote mike on EBay and installed it. Worked great for two years but died. Old age---2000 models.

I replaced the Standard Horizon rig with an ICOM M424G and remote mic. I like the idea of the VHF below and out of the weather, and the remote mic has full VHF capabilities. Every feature on the radio is on the remote mic. The 424G has built in GPS which displays on the remote mic along with the channel. I sprung for the GPS capability (despite having it at my chartplotter which is mounted on the helm) simply for the automatic lat/long location feature that goes out over DSC. My wife gets easily rattled on the radio, so in the event of an emergency, it is one less thing to have to worry about, plus it is one more gps backup capability. Can't have too many. IF your radio does not have built in GPS you will have to give lat/long. If you are at the chart plotter or gps, not a big deal, but if you can make the broadcast of that feature automatic in case of an emergency, why not? You know how to do it, but will your guests? They will intuitively hit the big red button, so make it easy and get the built in gps feature so tapping the red button is all they have to do.

I think every manufacturer of VHF radios offers models with remote mics and gps, so you have your choice. Mounting the VHF down below and using a remote mic in the cockpit gives you a dry radio yet full vhf capability in your hand. Costs a few dollars more as does the gps, but worth it to me.
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Old 31-03-2018, 04:31   #9
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Whats the effective range?
I've played with this, using a few different models. Generally, aboard the boat it's fine. Up on the dock is fine. The next boat over in the anchorage is often pretty good.

I sometimes have to maintain comms even when fueling up or going ashore briefly. It mostly works, as long as I stay within sight of the boat, and no more than, say, 50-100 yards (meters) away.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:48   #10
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Re: Vhf radio with 2nd mike

Our boat came with a SH with a remote mic in the cockpit, and it worked fine - for a while, but the cord died of sun exposure, and SH had no more in stock to sell. I went with a handheld VHF for cockpit use for a couple of years (worked fine in SF Bay), but when I re-did the helm console for an updated chartplotter/MFD, I included room for a VHF. Having two (redundant!) VHFs was not much more expensive than a single with a remote mic, and significantly easier to wire up.
I run the helm VHF to an antenna that's mounted (on a 4' extension) on the rear rail (so it's base is about 8' above the water), while the nav station VHF is connected to the masthead antenna. I find the aft rail antenna has plenty of range, without needing to listen to marinas 50 miles away.

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