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Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Old 10-20-2008, 06:33 PM
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Default Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Does anyone know who still builds rdf (radio direction finder) units? Preferably something not in the $3k range, which is all I've been able to find. Apparently the one quasi-affordable model is no longer being produced.

tx
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

How about the Sitex 525 ADF adaptor for your VHF? It is not super accurate, but gives a fairly good general direction (within 10 degrees). Regency Polaris was a similar ADF--I suspect that both of these are not available "new", but occasionally dealers can find one. Also you can find these on E-Bay or in marine swap meets.

Another option is going the ham radio "Fox hunting" technique. The problem there, is that it is not automatic, and requires a rather consistant signal source see:
http://www.homingin.com/
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

I found a source with 5 new Sitex 525's out of Europe. I am looking for one myself and was thinking about picking the others up with the intent on selling them. They seem to be very far and few to come by so I figured I have nothing to loose. I am waiting for them to get back to me with a price. If you are interested, PM me and I will update you as soon as I have all the details.

If anybody has any experience with the Sitex 525, I would love to hear your thought on them as well as experiences.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Slief, I might be interested depending on the price. From what I've heard of them, they work "ok" as long as you have a spare vhf (don't try to use your primary). They did seem to be prone to failure though, so it would be a risk trying to get one repaired. Sitex isn't making new ones and they probably aren't servicing old ones at this point.

The alternative is to try and find a commercial one being sold off, or building one from a kit.

Anyway, tht is having pm issues at the moment and I can't send any.

Thataway, those are the two units I had been hunting for. No joy so far. There are a couple that are very sophisticated and very expensive - too rich for my blood - still available for S&R uses.

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Old 10-21-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Hello Gerg,

You may want to search for a Simrad-Taiyo commercial RDF unit on e.bay. I don't see any listing for this equipment in their current offerings but I'm sure someone out there has one for sale. If you find one make sure that it will come with it's Adcock type antenna with the four vertical radials around the center pole. The antenna sounds bigger than it is..it's only 2-3 feet tall and about 20" square if memory serves...

Good luck
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

gerg - 10/20/2008 9:33 PM

Does anyone know who still builds rdf (radio direction finder) units? Preferably something not in the $3k range, which is all I've been able to find. Apparently the one quasi-affordable model is no longer being produced.


Check with the local airport with their Tec's . Lord, you'r going back to WWII Days! with this .Maybe check with government surplus's?
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

The U.S. Civil Air Patrol uses a hand held locator that appears to be useful for triangulating on 121.5 epirbs. Might something like this be useful?
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

I've had one of the last 525's produced on my boat for the past two seasons. I second the comment above about having a second dedicated VHF for the ADF/RDF, but it is workable with one VHF.

The 525 is probably not nearly as accurate as the Simrad unit, BUT it is a neat little toy that has put us on fish when otherwise we would be striking out. It really cuts down the recieving range of the VHF when its on, but seems to work ok if you're only looking to locate a signal within a couple of miles.

Shoot me a PM if you'd like more information on our experience with it.

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Old 10-22-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

What would ya do with such a thing? Find where the fish are via another boater not stating the location...?
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Ditto on the "so-so" nature of the Sitex 525. I have a 525 on one of my boats and it's doesn't come close to the accuracy and reliability of the Simrad TDL-1550 I have on the other boat. If you're serious about radio direction finding, spend the $3000 for the Simrad. I'm hoping someday I can afford to replace the Sitex with a Simrad.

RDFs are indispensable in my line of work when it comes to finding disabled boaters who aren't exactly sure where they are.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Wait just a minute here! Are you people advocating the deployment and use of electronic espionage on your fellow fishermen in order to short-cut matters and jump-phukk their spots? And ppl wonder why we resort to scramblers and expanded channels. The shame...

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Old 10-22-2008, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

CMP - 10/22/2008 1:52 PM

Wait just a minute here! Are you people advocating the deployment and use of electronic espionage on your fellow fishermen in order to short-cut matters and jump-phukk their spots? And ppl wonder why we resort to scramblers and expanded channels. The shame...

CMP
I too wondered why a normal civilian would want or have use for a radio direction finder. Tracking down illegal transmissions? Not likely. Tracking down drug runners? Not likely either.

So he wants to listen to people fishing and if they are catching fish, he wants to know where so he go there and catch "their" fish? Well, that's pretty low in my opinion.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

With regards to using RDFs for fishing purposes, the way it's been explained to me is, so that buddy boats can tell where each other are without actually saying their position over the air.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

Low schmo. It's neither sleazy nor underhanded.

These things are next to useless in-shore. They are also useless for the comm fleet. What they do is let you know the relative direction of the person you are talking with or one you can hear if there is no other radio traffic to interfere with it (hence not useful in-shore). That's all. No distance. No gps coordinates. No truth serum.

So why use it then?

Well, there are a lot of times when I'll be wayyyy offshore, let's say 80 or 90 miles, and I hear idle chatter between two boaters comparing notes - but not close (no boats within 10 miles on radar). The notes more than likely will just be random data like water temp, color, clarity, number of boats in the area, etc. Believe me, nobody will start talking about a bite happening right then and there unless they want people to know - and they won't keep there position a secret. But even if it was last night's info, it is a good data point. This isn't stealing anybody's fish.

It may seem odd, but information out there isn't a secret. If anyone bothered to ask me, I'd tell them all I know even if I was on top of a good bite. Most people out there are going to do the same thing - fuel is too expensive to waste and the help you give will come back to you one way or another. But you can't ask everyone you hear talking. I'll frequently make calls to a local message board to see if anyone is around and give them info. It's just that way out there.

Now there are a few guys who just won't talk. Period. They also won't respond to mayday's. They are too busy trying to get fish for themselves and to hell with everyone else. An rdf is useless with them. Line of site is useless with them. That's ok, karma is a cruel mistress some times.

That far offshore I'm not going to just run on a course to boats that are probably 10 or more miles off based on a potentially false claim. But the data it gives me could help me choose a different direction, without having to get on the radio and talk to everyone I hear.

It is not mugging. It is not claim jumping.

There is also the ability to get a line of direction to an emergency beacon, which a few of these devices will do. Even sat EPIRBS will send out a ping on 121. 5. You can also get local beacons for crew members and this would let you locate them if they went over (dedicated rdf's for this run about $1500). Here is an ACR unit:

[image]http://www.psicompany.com/catalog/images/cache/vecta.070100.jpg[/image]

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Old 10-22-2008, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

rwidman - 10/22/2008 3:01 PM

CMP - 10/22/2008 1:52 PM

Wait just a minute here! Are you people advocating the deployment and use of electronic espionage on your fellow fishermen in order to short-cut matters and jump-phukk their spots? And ppl wonder why we resort to scramblers and expanded channels. The shame...

CMP
I too wondered why a normal civilian would want or have use for a radio direction finder. Tracking down illegal transmissions? Not likely. Tracking down drug runners? Not likely either.

So he wants to listen to people fishing and if they are catching fish, he wants to know where so he go there and catch "their" fish? Well, that's pretty low in my opinion.


yes it is,that's what radar is for.i have a sea-tow buddy who has 3 of them i'll see if he want's to sell one
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

OceanTrvlr - 10/22/2008 8:04 PM

With regards to using RDFs for fishing purposes, the way it's been explained to me is, so that buddy boats can tell where each other are without actually saying their position over the air.
Well, a CB radio or cell phone (if in range) would do just as well and be much simpler and more cost effective.

Other options - speak a language other than English or develop a code system.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

tommyr904 - 10/22/2008 8:15 PM

.............. yes it is,that's what radar is for........
Oh. I thought it was for "seeing" land, objects, and other vessels at night or in fog.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

rwidman - 10/23/2008 11:42 AM

OceanTrvlr - 10/22/2008 8:04 PM

With regards to using RDFs for fishing purposes, the way it's been explained to me is, so that buddy boats can tell where each other are without actually saying their position over the air.
Well, a CB radio or cell phone (if in range) would do just as well and be much simpler and more cost effective.

Other options - speak a language other than English or develop a code system.
I believe position polling is one of the neat features of DSC- a buddy can pull the exact position of your boat up on his chartplotter. Not that I've learned how to do this yet...
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

If you want to tell your buddy where you are, without anyone hearing, then send a DSC call. The 35 ms data burst is far too short for RDF to work

If you want a lower cost RDF thing, you may be able to source one from a ham radio electronics place. It will not be a marine unit however, so keep it dry!!!!
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Where to find a vhf-rdf unit???

OceanTrvlr - 10/22/2008 8:04 PM

With regards to using RDFs for fishing purposes, the way it's been explained to me is, so that buddy boats can tell where each other are without actually saying their position over the air.
LOTS of easier ways to do that. DSC for one, positions requests. RDF's for that would be the worst way to do it if you ask me.


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