Question for Thom or ?

Old 12-25-2002, 09:58 PM
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In a recent post, it was suggested that a modified 2100H Icom would make a good base station to keep in touch with boats on VHF. What antenna would you recommend?
Thanks, Mike
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Old 12-26-2002, 04:39 AM
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I would hate to think that I might have suggested that you make illegal use of a land based radio by using the marine band without the appropriate license. Maybe I told you that it would be a good radio to use if you were properly licensed and did not hit the button that put it to its full output power - yeah, that must have been it.

Take your pick. You can use any of the thousands of antennas designed for Ham Radios that are available for 2-meter use and they will work just fine. You could also use a standard marine VHF antenna, which will also work just fine in the 2-meter band. I have used my 2100H both ways. I have a thru-glass 2-meter antenna in my truck that was made by Antenna Specialists (Cleveland, Ohio) that my radio is connected to almost all the time. I have also used my radio in the boat (when the M-127 was back at ICOM having its MMSI programmed in) connected to my Shakespeare 5399 antenna.

One little hint for you, if you expect you might want to use the 2100H as an emergency spare (be careful, its not waterproof or corrosion protected). Use the same power plug on all your radios. For whatever its worth the ICOM M-127 uses a standard Molex 6-hole plug, they are available at Radio Shack for $1.79. If you use that same plug on all of your radios and configure them all the same way then its a plug and play in an emergency ..... just a thought.


"For every complex question, there's a simple answer. And it's wrong."
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:17 AM
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Sounds interesting. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:45 AM
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Mike, I use an Icom 2350 dual band radio for my base radio at home (yes, I am a liscensed ham operator). I live on a local mountain that sits up above the river (TN river - Chattanooga TN) and I use a base antenna made by Comet, model # GP3. It is attached to my chimney on a mast and does a great job of listening to the 156 mhz. marine band. I hear boats within a 30-40 mile range. It works very well for me. I also use a Comet B10 nmo antenna mobile in my car to listen to marine band and it also does a good job. But the best monitoring antenna (mobile) I've found so far is a Comet 2x4 LR. It is a little pricie but it hears about as good as my base antenna on the roof. It is a broad banded dual band antenna that will work great for marine band use. Hope this helps and good luck.

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Old 12-28-2002, 10:22 PM
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Jay, Thanks for your input too.
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Old 12-29-2002, 10:26 PM
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3to1, what Thom and wjay are saying is correct (and their antenna recommendations are good ones), but you should keep in mind that:

- An amateur radio license does NOT authorize transmission on marine VHF frequencies with amateur radio equipment or from a base or vehicle location.
It is, however, legal to use an IC2100H to RECEIVE on marine VHF frequencies, and it can do this right out of the box, unmodified.

- It is illegal to transmit on marine VHF frequencies, with any radio, from land or from a vehicle, without a LIMITED COAST STATION LICENSE. These licenses are granted by the FCC for businesses that serve boats on the water (marinas, boat service facilities, marine telephone operators, etc.), but not to private individuals just to "keep up with boats out on the water".

The only exception to this of which I am aware is for certain US Coast Guard and Auxiliary stations, only on US Government channels (6, 16, 21A, 22A, 23A, 81A, 83A) and only for specific business related to the activities of those organizations. These stations are classified as US Government stations and are regulated by the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Council (not by the FCC).

- The IC2100H is not FCC type accepted for transmission on marine frequencies. Yes, it will work (quite well!)if modified, but if the FCC happened to catch you using it......

- Once modified for transmission outside of the 2M amateur band, the IC2100H is capable of transmitting on many frequencies, including local, state, and federal government frequencies (police/fire/rescue/NOAA weather, etc.) It would be very easy to get in very serious trouble by accidentally transmitting on one of the frequencies, or worse yet, interfering with emergency traffic.

Mike, I'm assuming from your post that you're not a licensed ham operator. If this is correct, I would strongly recommend against the purchase or use of an IC2100H or other amateur equipment, modified or not, on marine frequencies (for receiving you could use a much less costly scanner).
If you are a licensed ham operator, keep in mind that you could jeopardize your license
if you use a modified 2M rig on marine frequencies and are not extremely careful with frequency settings (particularly transmit offsets).

[This message was edited by Overcurrent on 12-30-02 at 01:46 AM.]
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