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electronics to buy for new boat!!??

Old 12-07-2002, 09:11 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

..ordered a 25 w/a and am look'n for values to buy.. so much is out there its very confusing.. so far my seach leads me to: JRC VHF mdl 200 with DSC at 100$ after 25$ mfg rebate and the Lowrance LCX-16CI w/dual 50/200 freq skimmer xducer including the LGC-12S GPS modulal (not WAAS capable) for 1000$.. these seem like real values!? ..opinions, knowledge of these equiptments and alternative suggestions invited.. thanks
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Old 12-07-2002, 11:00 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

Bummer Welcome, I like Jrc radar espeacialy the 1500. I don't think thier radios hold up to the Icom.
For combo FF/GPS units you can't beat the Garmin.
That said.
Icom 402s vhf $ 157.00
Digital 528 VW VHF 4FT. 4.5DB antenna. $ 66.00
Garmin 188c $1,123.00
Blue chart chip around 140ish

You may find better prices these are the best I found so far.
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Old 12-08-2002, 05:58 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

...yep, thanks for ur input.. the Garmin 188c looks compell'n.. its WAAS capable unlike the Lowrance unit i'm look'n at.. not yet sure on these as DF output is 6000w vs 1000w..
.. what u say on the Icom vhf is valid but now found the JRC vhf at 72$ and will order that on monday.. maybe 2!!
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Old 12-08-2002, 07:12 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

I am not saying this to offend, but I'm gonna say it anyway. You are ordering a 25 foot boat, and that has to cost some money, and then you try to find the cheapest possible electronics to stuff into it. Of particular note is that you seem to have found the very cheapest possible version of the very most important piece of safety equipment you can have on a boat next to the PFD. I really have to question what you're doing here.

I would suggest to you that if you do nothing else that you splurg on the radio and its antenna. Buying anything less than the very best you can is placing a bet on the likelyhood that you will never find yourself in need of help on that boat. Very few of us have ever had a boat that on one time or another didn't require that we get on the radio and ask for assistnace. You may be different, but in the long run I doubt it.

I won't even comment on your other choices, other than to say that they would not be the ones I would have chosen, not by a long shot, but they are really of much less importance safety wise so do what you like. Also, you could do a whole lot worse (and seem to be in the process of doing so) than to follow the excellent recommendation that Ofshore made for you.

Just as a personal note, you know, you buy the stuff for the boat and it seems like an awful lot of money, but a year from now when you've had it up and running and you think back on it the extra couple of hundred bucks for very good equipment doesn't seem like very much of an additional investment when you consider the poor performance of cheap equipment in comparison.

Enough of my preaching .....

Thom

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Old 12-08-2002, 09:40 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

..thanks Thom and i cudn't agree more with a radio's importance.. JRC (Japenese Radio Corp) makes great equipment, generally for commercial applications.. on this VHF of theirs(list$275w/DSC), i have no experience.. thats why i asked others for inputs.. for instance, the advertised xmt power on VHFs is 25w but thats only momentarily b4 it drops considerably with continued key'n.. some radios do better then others.. u can't tell the book by its cover.. only experience with, not the list or sell'n price, is the metric i'm look'n for..
this unit has 3w audio output which cud be marginal, dunno, but its a small boat and it does have an aux spk jack.. otherwise it seems like a compelling value.. not look'n to make a mistake tho.. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-08-2002, 02:24 PM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

You REALLY should go with the best VHF and Antenna (Digital is a great choice) that you can buy. This is not an area to be frugal in. cut costs somewhere else.

I have been continuously using ICOM since 1983 without a failure, ever.

My radio is the M-127 which has been phased out for the new 602 (I think). I may try to buy another 127 if I can find one. Just for backup.

This issue is so important, it cannot be emphasized enough. It could be you and your families' life on the line.

Think about it!

Bob
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Old 12-09-2002, 10:39 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

I'm getting a new 23' bay boat and will use it 95% of the time in the lagoon where I have good cell phone coverage for emergencies. If I go offshore during the summer (fairly predictable weather if you're in by noon) I was planning to have a handheld Icom VHF. I see they're only 5 watts though & you guys are talking about 25w. on the fixed versions. There's not a good place for a big whip antenna and since I wouldn't use it much (maybe not at all) I was thinking of falling back to the handheld. What's my range with that? Do they make a coaxial outlet that I could hook up to a separate antenna that I keep stored away?

Thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2002, 11:31 AM
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Baldy,

OK, hand held radios and fixed mount radios and cell phones. Binary: When you call someone for help using a cell phone you either get an answer or you don't. It depends entirely on if that person answers the phone or not. Open ended: When you make a call on a radio for help you may get a reply or you may not. It depends on the likely hood that anyone will be in range of the radio and listening to the channel your on. So by convention we monitor Channel 16. The point here is that when you make a radio call you're making it to the world, not to a specific person (number) who may or may not answer.

That's not what I wanted to talk about though.

Hand held radios. Somewhere way up in space right now there is a satellite that is broadcasting a singnal back to earth that is of great importance. Its being sent back at one watt or less. Transmision distance is not necessairly a matter of power. For our VHF radios power is almost never the limiting factor in transmission distance - its almost always antenna height. The higher the antenna the greater the distance over which you will be able to communicate. It is really that simple. So, what good is power?

Here is something about VHF FM radios that you may not have noticed in the past. If you put one on a popular frequency in a crowded area you'll hear a lot of traffic, many many people talking away. What you will not hear is two people talking at the same time. If two radios are transmitting on the same frequency at the same time using our radios and you are out there listening what is going to happen is that your radio will only hear the transmitter which has the most residual power by the time the signal get to your antenna. You hear the strongest station broadcasting at any particular moment in time, no others. When I say strongest I mean the signal that is strongest by the time it gets to your radio, not necessairly the one that started out with the most power. A 5-watt hand held broadcasting from a half mile away will overpower a 25-watt fixed mount radio calling from 12 miles away every single time.

So, in times of emergency two thing become important to you. The first is to have an antenna that is tall enough to reach out to help - and the taller the better when it comes to antennas. The second is to have enough power to compete in the market for attention of potential helpers.

This second prosepect is the one that drives the sales of high quality VHF radios (Standard Horizon, ICOM, SEA, Simarad). They tend to continue to output consistantly high power even after continous transmission, something that inferior radios rarely do.

Next thing about hand helds - something your mother and the manufacturers never tell you. They may be rated at 5 or more watts but that power output is only there when the battery is fully charged. As the battery's state of charge declines so does the output power. Boy, that was a suprise, wasn't it? Now, this isn't as important as it used to be. The reason is that the batterys in common use today (NiMh and Lithium Ion) have a neat characteristic - they maintain near constant voltage output right up until the moment they die. Now this makes it almost impossible to have one of those little battery life meters in one that is worth a dam for anything, but its still a nice feature in some ways. Of course the real advantage of those batterys is their great power density (lots of energy stored in a small area).

So, now onto a reasnonable recommendation for you. If its a hand held you want then get a good one. My very favorites are the Standard Horizon HX350S and the ICOM M1V. There are other models around, some more costly and some less, you take your pick. When you get it make sure you also pick up an adapter to connect its antenna hookup to a "Real" antenna. This is going to cost you about three bucks. Then splurg on an emergency antenna, one that comes in one of those little plastic tubes. Now, when you get in real trouble you can attach (duct tape) the emergency antenna to a fising pole, or an oar, or something, lift it into the air, have it connected to your hand held, and communicate miles and miles farther than you would have been able to otherwise. Here's a picture of the one I carry in our boat - which would be strung up on an Outrigger line if the need be:



Thom

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Old 12-09-2002, 11:33 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

Bummer-

I agree with Offshore, Thom and Bob VF... go ICOM.
If you want DSC, get the 402. If you still want to save a few bucks, then the ICOM 45 will be the one! (No DSC)
I would get the DIGITAL, but I would get the 8ft 6db model. You seem to know something about radios, the added height and gain will definitely make a difference. Should have no problem on a 25' boat.

The GARMIN for GPS is good, but for a few hundred more the 2006 monochrome would be ideal, particularly if you get the GSD black box. Again to save a few bucks. IMO its FURUNO for the FF! The 600L is nice and there are lots of guys here that love it.

BOB VH- I'm probabbly gonna get fin slapped for saying this, but... there are several NEW inthe BOX fully warranteed IC-127's on E-BAY right now! They are starting at $309. The seller is a reputable retailer!

BALDY- I don't know about a stow away antenna. Since you are at least thinking, "what if..." why not compromise and get a 4 or 8ft antenna with a quick disconnect. The ICOm 45 is a compact model that could be set up to be removeable with a cigarette ligter plug or large alligator clips. Cell phones are OK, but they always seem to have a problem when yoy need them most! If you're in a pickle, that radio, suitable antenna and 25 watts could very well be the difference!

Good Luck guys! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

TSLTW
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Old 12-09-2002, 05:19 PM
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I read an magazine arcticle somewere in the past few months, can't remember which one. Once you turn 40 you tend to suffer from "CRS" can't remember sh@#$%t. Also many more trips to the head, Oh well enough of that. The arcticle stated that as cell providers add more cell towers they are able to direct thier signal. This means the signal does not have to fan out over water as much thus bad to no coverage, were it once was good If you go out whith the phone make sure the VHF is on board.
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Old 12-09-2002, 07:03 PM
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Thom,
Thanks for opening my eyes to the mysteries of the VHF world. That was a very informative post. Most of my boating is in the 3-4 mile wide Indian River Lagoon and cell phone coverage is pretty good and I'm confident that 911 will always answer... still... I do plan to have the VHF as backup for the river & primary for those occasional trips offshore.

I had actually been looking at the Icom M2A but for $15 more I could get the one you recommend - the M1V. Is the main difference between them the Li Ion battery? They don't have memory so probably worth the extra $$.

That portable Raytheon antenna is just the thing I need. I will certainly have one aboard.
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Old 12-09-2002, 07:07 PM
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When it comes to safety there is no reason to be cheap. I fish anywhere from 30-70 miles from home and am very safety concious. My 28 Whaler has the following:
2 Raymarine vhfs, and a raymarine handheld
Epirb
Raytheon 4kw radar
raynav 300 waas gps
L760 connected to 300
independent raynav rc70 plotter w/hsb
Raymarine Dgps for above (gps systems independent of each other in case of failure)
Furuno lc90 mark2 Loran
Nice compass

This may seem like overkill but I take this stuff seriously (and am kinda a gadget nerd) I even had a marine electronics professional assist with the installation, and testing.
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Old 12-10-2002, 06:48 AM
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I can't say this strongly enough. On a boat big enough to have a 12v battery, a hard-mounted vhf and a good quality antenna is key. Handhelds are ok as a backup, but they do not have reliable range. Cell coverage shouldn't be relied on for several reasons. For one, the Coast Guard can't direction-find a cell phone. I know you're getting a GPS, but the idea is to do away with as many single points of failure as possible. Second, the one-to-one communication limitation mentioned earlier. Third, most cell phones aren't really manufactured to survive the marine environment. The time you're trying to dial 911 may well be the time you decks are awash.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:33 AM
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Does that Raytheon Emergency Anten. have a telescoping ant.?

Several months ago I bought the M1V as a back up. I purchased a connector (actually 2) so that I could connect the unit to my external ant., which is mounted to the hard top. Assuming I made the correct connections, shouldn't it work with my 6 or 8 ft. (old Shakespeare) ant? As long as it is a VHF ant.?

By the way, I had a difficult time finding the connections. That famous place said they do not carry it and I had to use a local place that charged me about $15. For the price of safety, that is really nothing, but more than a few bucks. Who knows...maybe they got the best of me. My point is, if anyone knows a good place to buy the connectors, maybe they could post the site or phone number.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:49 AM
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That particular emergency antenna does have a telescoping mast part. I got it a couple of years ago from a fellow in E-Bay. Someone posted a link to a place that is still selling them. The whole thing fits into that orange tube, which is waterproof. The tube is about a foot long and maybe two and a half inches in diameter. I think the coax is about 15 feet. The antenna has two rubber straps for tieing it to whatever you have handy to get it up in the air. I think I paid about $15 for it. The guy had a bunch of them and I talked about a half dozen folks into buying them. I wish now I had bought every one the fellow had so I could give them to others. Oh, well. Shakespeare makes a version of an emergency antenna too, but I've never had one on hand so I can't tell you anything about them.

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Old 12-10-2002, 10:01 AM
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Hitch,
Yes, you can use the 4', 6' or 8' VHF antenna with the handheld. You can use ANY VHF antenna with your handheld.

The difference in price on the M1v handheld is WELL worth it, whatever it is. The LI battery in the thing lasts forever, litterally.

Birdman, Capt of
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Old 12-10-2002, 10:11 AM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

Hi Bummer,

Congrats on the new boat, whatever it is.

Just a heads up, if you don't know, or if you don't have a good source to get the electronics at a good price.

Boaters world, boat/us, etc. have 'new boat' programs where they will basically sell the electronics at their price.
I did this 3 years ago and saved a few bucks. I got all of my elec at Boaters/World.

The decisions of what to get is another story, that can drive you crazy. You are doing right by asking for help.
Good luck
[img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

One Fish in the Cat (Ron)Deale, Maryland
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Old 12-10-2002, 03:17 PM
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Default electronics to buy for new boat!!??

one fish, thanks for ur advice and i am aware of the package deals from the big retailers.. they ~~~'t handle all that u might want to select tho.. still shopp'n.. btw, i'm a Md boy originally, now in Stuart, Fl, and 1 of my best friends lives in Deale.. will be visit'n there next week..
..and thanks to all that took the time to genuinely answer and advise.. i do appreciate the it.. even if do skin my own knees..!! still look'n!!
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Old 12-10-2002, 03:17 PM
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one fish, thanks for ur advice and i am aware of the package deals from the big retailers.. they don't handle all that u might want to select tho.. still shopp'n.. btw, i'm a Md boy originally, now in Stuart, Fl, and 1 of my best friends lives in Deale.. will be visit'n there next week..
..and thanks to all that took the time to genuinely answer and advise.. i do appreciate the it.. even if do skin my own knees..!! still look'n!!
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