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Old 01-10-2019, 23:27   #1
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Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

Hi brains trust,

I'm looking at replacing my ancient GME base unit in my 40' mono. Naturally it's down at the nav station and I have no VHF in the cockpit. I'm trying to find a radio that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, that will allow a second wired mic/speaker (with channel display etc) to be routed back to the helm. I already have class B AIS transceiver, so I don't need AIS receiver involved in the VHF at all and would prefer not to pay for it when it's not required.
i'm simply looking for a VHF with the capability of adding a second hand held wired remote unit to the helm station. I don't want to use a wireless setup as all i'm seeing for wireless setups like the simrad and the B&G are not good reviews at all. Seems like most people end up removing those and putting wired ones it. But i'm open to being proved wrong on all aspects.
Hoping to get this all sorted asap before sailing several thousand miles down the Aussie coast.
Hit me with suggestions please. Also, keep in mind, I'm not a bottomless pit of money and am trying to keep costs as low or at least as reasonable as possible.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 01-10-2019, 23:32   #2
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

I bought the raymarine 60, which has recently been discontinued hence you can get some discount. Pretty straightforward dsc vhf unit, with option for external second waterproof handset that I have mounted by the helm permanently. Does the job for me. I think it was a 10m cable, and the kit includes the waterproof socket so you can remove the external handset to stop it being pinched.
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Old 01-10-2019, 23:33   #3
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

Icom M424G, plus the CommandMic IV
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Old 02-10-2019, 00:56   #4
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

Thanks for the replies so far. Thoughts on the Standard Horizon GX1700E with the Ram3+. It comes with the extension cord for running to the ram 3. Raymarine want $90 for 5m of their cord. What a joke! Thoughts on those items?
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:18   #5
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

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Originally Posted by Scrimma View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. Thoughts on the Standard Horizon GX1700E with the Ram3+. It comes with the extension cord for running to the ram 3. Raymarine want $90 for 5m of their cord. What a joke! Thoughts on those items?
I recommend the Standard horizon GX1800 series. Check what network you have and if you want internal gps or not
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:50   #6
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

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I recommend the Standard horizon GX1800 series. Check what network you have and if you want internal gps or not
I'll second this recommendation. I've got a pair of GX1850s at my helm and they've been great so far. GX1800 is NMEA0183 only, the 1850 adds NMEA2000. Both come with or without internal GPS (I opted for it, that way worst case, a DSC alert doesn't rely on any other equipment being powered up).
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:16   #7
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

I have been very pleased with my Standard Horizon GX2200 and RAM3 second mic, has worked pretty much flawlessly since I installed it.


The GX2200 has the AIS receiver you don't need so you should be able to find cheaper model without and still enjoy the benefits of the RAM3.
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Old 02-10-2019, 21:27   #8
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

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I'll second this recommendation. I've got a pair of GX1850s at my helm and they've been great so far. GX1800 is NMEA0183 only, the 1850 adds NMEA2000. Both come with or without internal GPS (I opted for it, that way worst case, a DSC alert doesn't rely on any other equipment being powered up).
Another vote for the GX1800 with internal GPS. Since it also has DSC and AIS receiver built-in, it is a stand-alone collision avoidance system. No reliance on connections to other gear to be able to make a DSC call to a ship that is on a close CPA. No worries about a second AIS antenna as it has built-in splitter. I have the second wired speaker/mic in the cockpit. It sounds great even to my ears, which I have been told could use hearing aids but I'm too proud to get them.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:26   #9
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

No AIS on the GX1800, but one of its more expensive brothers does have a receiver. Personally, I wouldn't bother with AIS in the VHF, I'd just get a standalone transceiver (so that you're also transmitting) if you want AIS.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:44   #10
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
I bought the raymarine 60, which has recently been discontinued hence you can get some discount.
UK E bay has Raymarine Ray60s for sale at £210. I bought the Ray50 (£140) off the retailer and did wonder about the word "refurbished" but took the gamble anyway. Turned out the RM cardboard box was a bit manky but all the radio widgets inside were still in their RM seal plastic bags.

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Personally, I wouldn't bother with AIS in the VHF, I'd just get a standalone transceiver (so that you're also transmitting) if you want AIS.
This was my thoughts too. No one is going to be looking at AIS on a 2" VHF screen What I do want is a nice clear screen with just the radio information. Actually getting difficult to buy a simple VHF in the UK. Sure lots of adverts but few dealers actually have stock. Manufacturers seem to be concentrating on adding AIS Rx so they can charge more.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:48   #11
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

I have been very pleased with my Standard Horizon GX2200 and RAM3 second mic, has worked pretty much flawlessly since I installed it.

Before I purchased and installed the GX2200, I used my handheld in the cockpit when I needed a 'remote' mic.
Handheld cost less than the remote mic.
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Old 03-10-2019, 22:00   #12
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

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Another vote for the GX1800 with internal GPS. Since it also has DSC and AIS receiver built-in, it is a stand-alone collision avoidance system. No reliance on connections to other gear to be able to make a DSC call to a ship that is on a close CPA. No worries about a second AIS antenna as it has built-in splitter. I have the second wired speaker/mic in the cockpit. It sounds great even to my ears, which I have been told could use hearing aids but I'm too proud to get them.
Correction, I meant GX2200 not 1800. Again, the nice thing about integrating AIS receive and VHF with DSC, is that you can make a DSC call to a ship without having to get the long MMSI number from some other AIS receiver on board, then typing it into the separate VHF unit before you can make the call. Sure you could just call on 16 with the ship's name obtained from your separate AIS receiver, but I found that ships will readily respond to a DSC call, which usually brings up a loud alarm on the bridge, rather than to a a ship's name call on 16 which they probably don't hear half the time.

You can program a CPA alarm into the GX2200 as well. It is LOUD.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:25   #13
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Re: Budget Friendly VHF with dual mic capability?

Heads up: I just found that Defender has the GX1850 on sale for $195

This is the model with nmea2000 but without gps. With gps is also on sale for $211 I think
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