Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

Old 04-25-2007, 11:55 PM
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Default Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

I have just purchased an Icom IC-M504 VHF radio. I fish up to 35-40 miles off the Mississippi/Louisiana Gulf Coast and the weather can change quickly. Although I realize I will probably be out of range of the shoreline, I am curious as to how far I might expect the actual range of the radio to reach.

All the information I have been able to find indicate the reange to be similar with 8' antennas. Is there any reason to belive one brand will outperform another?
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

Not really, all vhf radios are line of sight and all run 25 watts of out put. The higher up your antenna is the further it can transmitt. 20-25 miles is about average possibly 30 miles if atmospheric conditions are good
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

While all fixed mount radios have a max of 25 watts of output power, not all radios actually put that much out. Powerboat Reports did a study of fixed mount VHFs and the results were very interesting. I don't have access to my back issues, but some radios outperformed others in various areas. Antenna quality, antenna height, and coax quality all figure into the maximum transmission (and reception range).

The performance differences are more related to other inherent capabilities like adjacent frequency rejection, receiver sensitivity. Audio output also can make one radio seem to perform better than another because you can hear the received signal better (both volume AND speaker quality).

All of that being said, ICOM makes a quality product. Your 504 should do you well, especially if you matched the radio to a decent antenna and coax.

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Old 04-26-2007, 09:03 AM
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Default RE: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

Another vote for about 25 miles with a 8' antenna mounted 8' above the waterline.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

20 to 25 mile range is being VERY optimistic. That said, I have spoken to people in the Canyons 80 miles away from the Great South Bay, and they sounded like they were 1/2 mile away. But those conditions are RARE!!!

Under most normal conditions, you should ONLY couunt on getting bewtweem 5 and 10 miles which is the rough line of site between two boats with antenn's on top. Will you get further SOMETIMES? Yes. Will you not even get that far sometimes"? Yes.

I find the biggest factor besided making sure everything is matched and connected properly, is how busy the area is. Out in the Canyons off LI in mid summer, there are always 100's of guys on the radio on 68. You'll be lucky if you can talk to someone a mile or two away with all the interference.....
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

I have a 402 and a 502.
I was running late from a canyon trip and called the uscg to let them know I was Ok.

I started hailing around 45 miles off with both radios.
I was able to speak to them at 38 miles with my Icom 402.
It was night and the skies were clear.
I have 8 footdigital brand antenana mounted on a hard top. That puts the tip of the antenna about 12 feet off the surface of the water.

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Old 04-27-2007, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Range of Icom IC-M504 VHF?

I have a 502 with a 4' shakespeare galaxy mounted 9' off water. total height is 14' to peak. I can acces my friends CV from 30 miles away sometimes. Most of time best I can do is 20 gps miles from each other.

Have not tried but I bet I could reach USCG from 30+ miles. They have way better equipment and a higher antennae than any of us. I have heard their station from gps 36 miles from shore. You can verify range with any gps by moving pointer to location you are headed for or to where you know transmitter is located.
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