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Garmin vs. Icom vhf

Old 10-30-2017, 01:48 PM
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Default Garmin vs. Icom vhf

Looking for input on any owners of the Garmin 210 VHF radios. Having new electronics package installed. As part of the package two Garmin VHF's are being proposed along with a remote MIC for the tower. I have always been an ICOM guy, and wonder if I should stick with the tried and true. I have an existing IC-M506 that was purchased new last year that could be incorporated into the system, along with an additional IC-M506 and a remote MIC. Do I just go with all Garmin or insist on using the ICOM VHF's? All units will be AIS capable by the way.
Old 10-30-2017, 06:11 PM
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No downside to the Garmin radios. Possible upside is better integration with your MFDs. I love my VHF200. I have the remote mic, too. Works great.
Old 10-31-2017, 12:45 AM
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Garmin radios have a mixed history. I would stick with your Icoms or if you buy new radions Icom or Standard Horizon, both of which make very good units especially their top line models.

You might want to look at the new Standard-Horizon GX6500, which can have a built-in AIS transponder (not just a receiver) and importantly has a wireless microphone option that allows you to have a station in the tower without running cables. It also has a NMEA2000 interface and should integrate well with your MFDs.

I have a S-H GX5500S and an Icom M604 on my boat and they have virtually identical range and clarity. The Garmin radios look like toys next to those in terms of build quality and performance.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:35 AM
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Hello, pros for Garmin is the easy integration to their other kit, downside is they are only average as VHF radios go, quite easy to use, Icom specialise in radios, VHF, aircraft and others, Standard are also good, personally I would go with the Icom. Hope this helps.
Old 10-31-2017, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
Garmin radios have a mixed history.

I have a S-H GX5500S and an Icom M604 on my boat and they have virtually identical range and clarity. The Garmin radios look like toys next to those in terms of build quality and performance.

That was my initial thought upon seeing the Garmin units. They don't look near as rugged as my ICOM's. And the performance from my ICOM units has always been nothing short of amazing. On a good day while in the Canyons 70 miles off, I often pick up guys flounder fishing inshore. Last year I was in the Toms Canyon, and communicated with a friend who was in the Wilmington Canyon which is a range of almost 60 miles. Granted, the communication was between a Viking 55 with a massive tower, and my 36 with a tower, but it was still impressive. That is why I'm reluctant to change to the Garmin units, as they seem to be new to the VHF market.


Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Old 10-31-2017, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
...You might want to look at the new Standard-Horizon GX6500...
LOOK my be the operative word; I don't think you can BUY a GX6500. For some reason, that product seems to be completely stalled. It has been almost a year since it was announced, and it has not appeared on the Standard-Horizon website yet.

If a goofy video or advertisement appears in this article, I did not put it there, and I don't endorse the product of the vendor.
Old 10-31-2017, 10:02 PM
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My vote is Icom 506. Installed a completely new electronics package last spring in my 42' express dayboat. Told my electronics company I wanted Icom 506 with remote mic since we could not get the SH 6500. The package was Raymarine with Flir. I love my Icom that replaced an older SH. Seems built well and operates perfectly. The user controls are easy to find. Sound on main unit and remote is much much better than on the replaced SH and remote mic.
Old 10-31-2017, 10:39 PM
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GX6500 Quantum AIS/GPS Commercial Grade Fixed Mount VHF w/NMEA 2000, Integrated Class B AIS Transponder

DISCONTINUED
Old 11-01-2017, 05:07 AM
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Depending if you've got multiple helm stations the difference in integration is probably not a big deal. I've got an ICOM 424G with a 7612xs working together on a single station CC; not sure how they could integrate any more easily or effectively. They share GPS info that's about it.
Old 11-01-2017, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CME View Post
GX6500 Quantum AIS/GPS Commercial Grade Fixed Mount VHF w/NMEA 2000, Integrated Class B AIS Transponder

DISCONTINUED
That's interesting. I know they are not "vaporware" because I saw one in the flesh at a boat show earlier this fall -- but that was in the UK. I assumed they were available in the US by now having been announced last winter. Maybe some issue with FCC? Too bad, it was a very nice unit.
Old 11-01-2017, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Auburn1 View Post
Depending if you've got multiple helm stations the difference in integration is probably not a big deal. I've got an ICOM 424G with a 7612xs working together on a single station CC; not sure how they could integrate any more easily or effectively. They share GPS info that's about it.
The Garmin radio will let you place DSC calls directly from your MFD. You can set up a directory of MMSIs in the MFD and select and call with a few buttons. Will the ICOM do that?

The Garmin will also let you select an AIS target and call it without entering the MMSI into the radio directly. Again, will that work with the ICOM?
Old 11-02-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
The Garmin radio will let you place DSC calls directly from your MFD. You can set up a directory of MMSIs in the MFD and select and call with a few buttons. Will the ICOM do that?

The Garmin will also let you select an AIS target and call it without entering the MMSI into the radio directly. Again, will that work with the ICOM?
^^^ This is why I have both the Garmin and the Icom for backup.
Old 11-06-2017, 02:24 PM
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I will never buy another Icom VHF. Had two of the 604's go bad in one month. Icom said "you are out of warranty by two months - sorry we can't help you"

Replaced both with Standard Horizon's. Five years later - no issues.
Old 11-06-2017, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
The Garmin radio will let you place DSC calls directly from your MFD. You can set up a directory of MMSIs in the MFD and select and call with a few buttons. Will the ICOM do that?

The Garmin will also let you select an AIS target and call it without entering the MMSI into the radio directly. Again, will that work with the ICOM?
This is a big deal and may be worth having at least one garmin so that it integrates w the AIS. This ability to make a DSC call directly off your MFD AIS targets I think is significant.

If you have ever been in a "situation" and need to quickly hail another ship for help in a pissed off sea, you will not want to be trying to toggle through your VHF menus to input an MMSI#.

You travel the same run to the edge that I do. I think this is a must for a comprehensive safety plan.

I am tryign to determine if my ICOM 506 can do this w my Raymarine AIS right now.
Old 11-06-2017, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by moonzy1 View Post
This is a big deal and may be worth having at least one garmin so that it integrates w the AIS. This ability to make a DSC call directly off your MFD AIS targets I think is significant.

If you have ever been in a "situation" and need to quickly hail another ship for help in a pissed off sea, you will not want to be trying to toggle through your VHF menus to input an MMSI#.

You travel the same run to the edge that I do. I think this is a must for a comprehensive safety plan.

I am tryign to determine if my ICOM 506 can do this w my Raymarine AIS right now.

Something to think about. Thanks for bringing this feature up Buoy Scout and Moonzy. I will inquire with my installer at Jersey Cape if the ICOM is capable.
Old 11-06-2017, 07:03 PM
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no prob
and congrats on the jersey cape. I fish on my buddies 36 a few times a year. Amazing fishing platform and always turns heads.

pure class
Old 11-06-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cobraarvey View Post
Something to think about. Thanks for bringing this feature up Buoy Scout and Moonzy. I will inquire with my installer at Jersey Cape if the ICOM is capable.
the icom is not

only simrad and garmin can do this and to their respectiv mfd's i believe
Old 11-07-2017, 04:14 AM
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I have an ICOM 506 N2k/AIS connected to my Garmin 7610xsv & 741xs using my N2k backbone. It will not play with the Garmina when it comes to using the Garmin integrated VHF functionalities. The 506 is a terrific radio. Both my Garmins see the ICOM 506 on the N2k backbone. All the DSC and AIS functionalities work perfectly. Been running this setup for 2 years not one problem.'



AIS ....


Last edited by bluewaterpirate; 11-07-2017 at 04:25 AM.
Old 11-07-2017, 04:45 AM
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Bluewaterpirate,
When you say all functionalities, are you saying that you can also make a dsc call off of your radio to an AIS target seen on your MFD without manually inputting tthat vessels MMSI into the radio?
Old 11-07-2017, 05:22 AM
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I am ... DSC/AIS is a product of the radio not the MFD. The radio forwards the info to the MFD. When the radio passes and AIS or DSC call to the plotter the radio keeps it in an internal list so you can go to the radio select the AIS target or DSC call (both will have their MMSI tagged in the radios list) and call them from the radio. The Garmin MFD VHF call functionality is nice but you dont need it to initiate a call to an AIS target.

Click on the link it will take you to the ICOM website when it opens click on Instruction Manual then go to page 79 it will explain all that you need to know about AIS calling.

http://icomamerica.com/en/products/m...6/default.aspx

Here's a screen capture from page 82.

Name:  ICOM1-X2.jpg
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Tom

Last edited by bluewaterpirate; 11-07-2017 at 05:30 AM.

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