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Old 02-23-2013, 01:04 PM
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hlb
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Default vhf

Whats a good quality vhf without breaking the bank? Or do you even need one these days with cell phones?
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:17 PM
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Standard Horizon GX1600, I've been using the predecessor GX1500 for some years. The sound quality is good and the company is known for excellent customer service.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:42 PM
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I had S /H brand forever. Good radios. Consider tHe GX 2000, as it has a speaker mic. Nice touch. Remember too, the antenna can make or break any radio. Resist the temptation to go too cheap on that!
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:47 PM
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I use a Cobra vhf with a Digital 8' antenna. Very good reception and speaker quality. Make sure you get a DSC equipped vhf and wire it to your gps. Then get an MMSI #. Can't do that with a cell phone.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:00 PM
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Icom Icom Icom
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nitro943 View Post
Icom Icom Icom
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:47 PM
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FYI -Just in West Marine yesterday looking at vhf radios and sales guy says Standard Horizon has a recall on most of its radios. Didn't get details but you may want to check out.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:23 PM
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if you have a chart plotter pick up a stardard horzion. matrix vhf with ais. worth the bit more money.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:41 AM
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Icom or Standard both are great radios have both on my boat.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by C Skip R View Post
FYI -Just in West Marine yesterday looking at vhf radios and sales guy says Standard Horizon has a recall on most of its radios. Didn't get details but you may want to check out.
http://www.panbo.com/archives/2013/0..._to_worry.html

cell phones dont work off shore. Get a VHF they can be had for less than $200
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:43 AM
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The recall of certain Standard-Horizon radios was done, as I understand it, not because the radios contained any defect in manufacture, but because there was some uncertainty about the version of firmware they contained which affected their compliance with some FCC regulations regarding their implementation of digital signal calling standards. The FCC has a requirement that all fixed-mount radios must comply with a particular recommended standard of a particular revision level. The standard itself is in the process of being reviewed by the organization that promulgated the standard, and it may be revised. But federal regulations demand that a particular revision level of the standard is to be used in radios sold in the USA. The radios were recalled so that they could be checked to see if they were loaded with the correction version of firmware. Apparently there was some confusion in the manufacturing process, and some radios may have been shipped with a slightly different version of firmware that did not meet the precise definitions required by the FCC regulations. I would not judge the recall as representing a failure to make a good radio. It is a case of trying to comply with the minutia of FCC regulation.

The FCC set regulations demand all fixed-mount radios to comply with what is generally known as Class-D DSC standards. The actual definition of Class-D DSC is set by another organization, not the FCC. The definition or standard for Class-D DSC and for other DSC ratings is subject to change and revision. In setting a regulation, the FCC defined that a certain revision of the standard was the one that must be used in the USA.

Last edited by jhebert; 02-27-2013 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jhebert View Post
The recall of certain Standard-Horizon radios was done, as I understand it, not because the radios contained any defect in manufacture, but because there was some uncertainty about the version of firmware they contained which affected their compliance with some FCC regulations regarding their implementation of digital signal calling standards. The FCC has a requirement that all fixed-mount radios must comply with a particular recommended standard of a particular revision level. The standard itself is in the process of being reviewed by the organization that promulgated the standard, and it may be revised. But federal regulations demand that a particular revision level of the standard is to be used in radios sold in the USA. The radios were recalled so that they could be checked to see if they were loaded with the correction version of firmware. Apparently there was some confusion in the manufacturing process, and some radios may have been shipped with a slightly different version of firmware that did not meet the precise definitions required by the FCC regulations. I would not judge the recall as representing a failure to make a good radio. It is a case of trying to comply with the minutia of FCC regulation.

The FCC set regulations that demand all fixed-mount radios to comply with what is generally known as Class-D DSC standards. The actual definition of Class-D DSC is set by another organization, not the FCC. The definition or standard for Class-D DSC and for other DSC ratings is subject to change and revision. In setting a regulation, the FCC defined that a certain revision of the standard was the one that must be used in the USA.
I'm certainly not bashing them just communicating what the WM salesman told me this weekend. I just installed a SH GX2150 in my boat a few months ago. Also have ICOM in boat.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:56 PM
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I just bought a SH GX 1600 from TheGPSStore.com today for $139 with free shipping. May not be an ICOM, but I'm sure it will do just fine for my use.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:33 PM
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Depending on where you're boating, you might want to consider one with a built-in GPS receiver, such as the Standard Horizon GX1700. It allows you to include your GPS coordinates with a DSC emergency call. They also offer this capability (as do Icom and Uniden) in handhelds, but of course they have much less range than a fixed mount.

x2 on the importance of the antenna - that's where the biggest bang for the buck is.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sws01 View Post
Depending on where you're boating, you might want to consider one with a built-in GPS receiver, such as the Standard Horizon GX1700.
Near-certainly not. See:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/5242079-post12.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5243235-post5.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5325261-post4.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5353247-post24.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5393860-post6.html

for the "why".


It allows you to include your GPS coordinates with a DSC emergency call.
So too does EVERY current-model marine VHF radio on the market, provided that you install it properly.


They also offer this capability (as do Icom and Uniden) in handhelds, but of course they have much less range than a fixed mount.
Keeping a handheld VHF radio (along with plenty of fresh spare batteries for it) aboard for emergency use is always a good idea. But it is by no means an acceptable substitute for a properly installed fixed-mount VHF.


x2 on the importance of the antenna - that's where the biggest bang for the buck is.
Agreed. But do NOT fall into the "bigger is better" trap. Far too many folks with relatively small/unstable boats buy antennas with far too much gain, and therefore actually degrade their radio's performance.



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Old 02-26-2013, 09:30 AM
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Call Jim at BOE and ask what refurbs he has. Ditto for getfeetwet.com. They are both tht sponsors and at times have killer deals on refurbs/open box units.

Don't be afraid of a factory refurb. They are often new units when you get them.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
So too does EVERY current-model marine VHF radio on the market, provided that you install it properly.
Its appeal to me is that it will do this regardless of whether you have a GPS or not or whether you connected it to a GPS - all it needs is power and an antenna. My basic concept is to have all the radios know where they are and be able to send coordinates with a DSC emergency message independent of any other equipment.



Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
Keeping a handheld VHF radio (along with plenty of fresh spare batteries for it) aboard for emergency use is always a good idea. But it is by no means an acceptable substitute for a properly installed fixed-mount VHF.

True dat, as they say. Getting back to the original post, either of them is, in most cases, preferable to a cellphone.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:20 PM
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If you have a real emergency, the VHF radio has the potential to reach all stations monitoring ch 16 as required- that's normally within 10-15 nm radius for vessel to vessel comms with fixed 25 watt radios and decent antennas...sometimes more. And those vessels can potentially relay your emergency broadcast if need be. Plus the USCG high-towers can receive your transmission over much greater range and their stronger signal can get back to you. If your boat is on fire or sinking or there is a MOB , a Mayday voice or DSC call may get help from anyone close enough to hear the message if you give vessel name ,position & nature of distress. Cell won't do that.

The USCG also has their Rescue 21 system to immediately pinpoint most VHF transmissions. They might eventually be able to access that location to some degree for a cell call if authorized and you keep talking long enough.

Over cell if the call is clear enough you might be able to give your location if you can determine it accurately enough and not get a L/L number wrong under stress when repeating that info. Cells can help but VHF supported by EPIRBs and PLBs are the primary emergency electronic communication devices.


When using a cell, if you are within about 10 mi, sometimes more or less, of a cell node you can still only try calling 1 other phone at a time if you have the number and can get through and have enough battery power left. Maybe leave a message?
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