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Old 21-05-2008, 04:09   #1
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Location: Mountain View, CA USA
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VHF Replay Useful?

I've found monitoring VHF a pretty frustrating and unfruitful venture since speakers are often in the cabin or far enough away through crappy speakers to be inaudible on deck.

I've seen digital audio capture/replay devices coming out lately. They capture the last 20-30 seconds of received audio. If you know you missed something, you can press a button and hear it replayed from up close a bit like an answering machine.

Some product examples:
An article on the subject
Cobra MR F80B
Cobra Handheld VHF and GPRS
Thrane and Thrane

It seems like this would be a very useful feature. On the other hand, except for rare disress calls, it seems the public and particularly the Coast Guard are more than happy enough to keep repeating things until I'm ready to jump overboard.

Who has had some practical experience with this new feature and can comment on your experiences?
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Old 21-05-2008, 04:28   #2
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I have experience with the Thrane and Thrane. I don't find the replay feature very useful. It doesn't record long enough to hold an entire safety or weather transmission. If there's a transmission meant for you, it will be repeated anyway if you don't answer. You don't run up and down the cockpit all the time to replay recorded messages so you can hear what you just missed. If you're in a conversation, it's easier to ask to have the last transmission repeated. Besides, it only holds the very last message received.

I don't think you should go get a VHF only based on its capability of recording transmissions. That said, the Thrane and Thrane (Sailor) RT-5022 is a great little machine and the sound quality from the speaker is just superb.

On the way back to Sweden.
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