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Best vhf radio for the money

Old 06-12-2016, 08:48 AM
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Default Best vhf radio for the money

I have had nothing but problems with my vhf since I got my boat. I replaced the antenna a couple of months ago and yesterday "my second trip with new antenna" a redlight ate it on the way home ..... But, before I broke it, I tried to send a transmission to the seatow channel to get a repeat to see what my transmission sounded like but I got no reply. Turned it to 16 and 69 and didn't hear any chatter. So I plan to replace my now broken antenna and go ahead and get a new radio.

Can you guys suggest a good combo? I don't want a $1000 radio but I don't want junk either.
Old 06-12-2016, 08:53 AM
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Standard Horizon GX2200 packs a lot of features including internal GPS, AIS receiver and hailer at a reasonable price point.
Old 06-12-2016, 08:59 AM
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Get an ICOM and a Digital 529 antenna. Great combination.
Old 06-12-2016, 09:02 AM
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I bought a West Marine (Uniden) VHF580 on ebay for $50... works great and accepts GPS input from my chartplotter.
Old 06-12-2016, 09:41 AM
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So are the digital antenna the way to go?
Old 06-12-2016, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by coastalfiberglass View Post
So are the digital antenna the way to go?
Yes
Old 06-12-2016, 11:32 AM
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Default Standard Horizon

Originally Posted by bbeardsley View Post
Standard Horizon GX2200 packs a lot of features including internal GPS, AIS receiver and hailer at a reasonable price point.
^^^^^

I'm ordering all new electronics for my boat tomorrow and this is the VHF that I'm going with ...
Old 06-12-2016, 12:42 PM
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Get a good floating handheld too as a back up. Standard horizon 870 is my backup now.
Old 06-12-2016, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by John_Madison CT View Post
Get an ICOM and a Digital 529 antenna. Great combination.
Yup just put this setup on my boat this winter. ICOM 424g from hodges marine.
Old 06-12-2016, 01:23 PM
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Is a shakesphere 5225xp a digital antenna? Says its there top of the line, but I'm not sure how to tell

Thanks
Old 06-12-2016, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by coastalfiberglass View Post
Is a shakesphere 5225xp a digital antenna? Says its there top of the line, but I'm not sure how to tell

Thanks
no - but:

when posters here write of a "digital" VHF antenna, they are referring to a "brand name"

http://www.digitalantenna.com/vhfantennas.html

the OTHER brand name is Shakespeare.

regardless of whether the antenna is made by "Digital" or "Shakespeare" -

it is the same "type" of antenna - it "works the same way"
Old 06-12-2016, 02:51 PM
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Shakespeare 5225 is a good antenna. The main advantage of the Digital 529 is the mini connector is already installed so you don't have to solder one on.

If you don't need AIS, then get the Std Horizon 1700 which has a built in GPS.
Old 06-12-2016, 03:23 PM
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Ok- I was lost I thought a "digital" antenna sent a different signal or something. Now I get it, I think I will just keep what I have!

Thanks
Old 06-12-2016, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by coastalfiberglass View Post
Is a shakesphere 5225xp a digital antenna? Says its there top of the line, but I'm not sure how to tell

Thanks
I believe presently Shakespeare's "top of the line " is the Phase III series.

I use the Shakespeare Galaxy 8' 5225XP on a 2' extension mast, which has worked well now for a long time.

Some newer antennas have a handy feature of being able to disconnect right at their base for trailering, shrink wrap storage or replacement .

....Like Shakespeare's "Quick-Connect" on some of the Phase III VHF antenna series and similar feature on NZ's Pacific Aerials Seamaster "Pro Range " VHF antenna series.

http://pacificaerials.co.nz/Marine/V...rProRange.aspx

http://shakespeare-ce.com/marine/pro...-quickconnect/
Old 06-13-2016, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bbeardsley View Post
Standard Horizon GX2200 packs a lot of features including internal GPS, AIS receiver and hailer at a reasonable price point.
I just replaced my radio and wanted to install a GX2200 but it was too deep for an in dash installation on my boat. I installed the GX1800 and am very happy with it. It has no AIS though. The GPS works well with the internal antenna.
Old 06-13-2016, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by coastalfiberglass View Post
So are the digital antenna the way to go?
Don't get confused, 'Digital' is a brand name.
Old 06-13-2016, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bbeardsley View Post
Standard Horizon GX2200 packs a lot of features including internal GPS, AIS receiver and hailer at a reasonable price point.
I like the GX2200 but it has no NMEA 2000. If you want to see your AIS on your large screen MFD chart plotter get the Lowrance Link-8 or similar.

Bruce
Old 06-13-2016, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by aqua205 View Post
I like the GX2200 but it has no NMEA 2000. If you want to see your AIS on your large screen MFD chart plotter get the Lowrance Link-8 or similar.
while one might make a case that it is easier to connect/configure via N2K,

any "large screen MFD" will likely accept AIS data via 0813
Old 06-13-2016, 11:08 AM
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The Link 8 is a good radio for the $$$ and it has both N2K and 0183. It's also sold as the Simrad RS-35 although the Simrad is more money and has the wireless handset capability.

I have a Link 8 connected to a GO7 via N2K....AIS targets appear on the GO7 screen which is handy.

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Old 06-13-2016, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Fwpratt View Post
while one might make a case that it is easier to connect/configure via N2K,

any "large screen MFD" will likely accept AIS data via 0813
Not my new Simrad GO 7 XSE - NMEA 2000 only!

Bruce

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