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Icom M506 questions...

Old 12-06-2017, 06:47 AM
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Default Icom M506 questions...

I want to replace my mediocre VHF radio and antenna this winter on my 20' Center Console.

My current radio is in a console box which is great for security but makes the radio impossible to hear while on plane as the box needs to be closed.



I added a cheap speaker on top of the console but it didn't help much.



The radio I'm considering is the ICOM M506. Icom shows a rear microphone option which would allow me to mount their "speaker-microphone" closer to my head on my tee-top support.





My questions are:

1) Will the Icom "speaker-microphone" solve the problem if it's closer?

2) Should I take the radio out of the console box and find a way to mount it above the console on the tee-top frame?

3) Is adding an external speaker a better option?

4) What antenna should I get for this radio to mount on my tee-top? I want one that is removable for winter storage.

Please give me guidance,
Thanks, John
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:43 AM
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Keep the radio in the box and add the command link mic. You can hear that thing wherever you are on the whole boat. You can place the mic anywhere you want. I have the 506 mounted in the E box and the CL mic on my dash.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:39 AM
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The 506 has a lot of audio power, 15W. Good choice and lots of audio options with it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:50 AM
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poly planar makes a larger version of that speaker that should get louder than the little one as it will be much more sensitive.

M506 is a nice radio but it is pricey, especially the rear mic versions and if you need a commandmic. Do you need a built-in loudhailer? Look at cheaper icoms. The M424 is Commandmic capable. I don't think it's going to be that much louder unless there is something wrong with your current VHF. You may want to buy a more affordable VHF and a bigger speaker and spend that M506 money elsewhere.

you also could try a Standard/Horizon GX1600 and their RAM mic which is much more affordable.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:33 AM
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I had a SH GX1700 with a RAM mic. The radio was closed up in the e-box. The speaker on the RAM mic was pretty dang loud. I loved it and I could easily hear it while running. GX1700 has a built in GPS also and you can fully control the unit from the RAM mic.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:45 AM
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Or another suggestion is the BB 400 icom. Comes with the CL mic.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cwhite6 View Post
I had a SH GX1700 with a RAM mic. The radio was closed up in the e-box. The speaker on the RAM mic was pretty dang loud. I loved it and I could easily hear it while running. GX1700 has a built in GPS also and you can fully control the unit from the RAM mic.
the RAM3+ increased the speaker volume on the handset and lengthened the cord vs previous models. It requires different software revision in S/H displays so in will only work with VHF's sold in the last year or so.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Amity83 View Post
the RAM3+ increased the speaker volume on the handset and lengthened the cord vs previous models. It requires different software revision in S/H displays so in will only work with VHF's sold in the last year or so.
Mine was bought in 2015 and was plenty loud. I am probably going to add one to my new bay boat.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
Or another suggestion is the BB 400 icom. Comes with the CL mic.
This is an interesting idea. I could put the unit deep in my console and free up my console box. Does anyone have this unit in their boat? What antenna would you use with that?
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fishface View Post
This is an interesting idea. I could put the unit deep in my console and free up my console box. Does anyone have this unit in their boat? What antenna would you use with that?
Check out Blue Pirate. He has installed on his Whaler. Loves it. I am looking to possible mount one on the new boat. Any antenna. Shakespeare, Digital.
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