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Marine Radio ?


Erskin

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I just ordered one from Mike at Hills Valley's and Streams. They are a sponsor on this site. I ordered a Uniden for $129. It is comparable to any other and cheaper than some. It has all the features you are looking for and isn't breaking the bank to purchase. You can contact Mike aka Iron Duke here on this site. He is usually in the Finger Lakes conversations. I checked a lot of them out before purchasing the one I did. The price is as good as any other's and cheaper than most. 

 

Jason

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Ive had both Shakespeare and Ray marine coax vhf antennas. both transmit and receive well. Used Ray marine on the ocean ( gulf stream ) had no issues. I would recommend either. Wiring properly is a must for good quality. Not just vhf, but all electronics. I wire all accessories to a second battery, main battery just for the boat.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Also important are your connections. IMO the biggest reason for poor reception and unclear transmission Are poor connections. Take your time and solder clean connections. A good antennae, good connections and just about any radio will work well for basic needs as you have described.

Scott

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To fully transmit with 25 watt power, you need 10 gauge wire as your instructions will tell you to use. Hook the wire direct to your battery.

 

 

 

Do they normally come with ten gauge or is something I should upgrade to.

 

Thanks

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I bought a new one off e-bay I can't remember if it was an uniden or a midland.  I also bought a shakespeare 8' antenna but that was where ever had the best deal.  There are different types of antennas out there to research a little before you buy.  Some antennas are better for power boats and some are better for sail boats.

 

EDIT: I looked back thru my old posts and found out it was a standard horizons gsx 1000 and a 8' 6db shakespeare antenna.

Edited by Chas0218
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Here is the thread  I put up when I was looking for a new one.

 

http://www.lakeontariounited.com/fishing-hunting/topic/37723-need-new-vhs-radio-what-to-buy/?hl=%2Bmarine+%2Bradio#entry266048

 

I went with this one. Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio - 

 

a little over $200.00 the extra money is worth it IF your boat is in trouble :

 

 

This review is from: Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio - White (Electronics)

I chose this radio over the slightly cheaper ones for the built in gps. If you have a stand alone gps unit, i guess you wouldnt need this particular model, but im on a no-frills 17' bw newport and i tend to fish alone or with folks that arent familiar with using vhf radios, so i like the idea that if something were to happen, i can flip a switch and my location and id are sent immediately. I used a gam 3' steel whip antenna on a 4' extension mounted to an ss flip up mount on the wraparound rail by my console and so far i've picked up crystal clear transmission and reception at 20 miles away during a radio check and coast guard chatter that is further. One thing to note about the display is that you need a fairly straight ahead view of the radio. I originally planned on mounting it to the front of my console, but it was unreadable at an angle.
Edited by ERABBIT
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I know the original poster wrote that he wasn't looking for a feature-rich radio, but some of the new radios have a very desirable safety feature he may wish to consider, they have a built in GPS.

 

Once properly set-up, if you find yourself in a distress situation, you activate the distress function and your position will be transmitted to other boats (including rescue craft and the Coast Guard) that are equipped to receive this signal. They will know exactly where you are.

 

Older style radios, or new ones without a built in GPS can achieve the same functionality, but they must be compatibly wired and configured to receive the position information from an auxiliary GPS unit. Sometimes this is pretty easy, sometimes this will require a pro to make it work. The big advantage to a VHF with a built in GPS is that you avoid having to make this connection and configuring both units to talk to each other.

 

Here's one example of a VHF with a built-in GPS: http://www.standardhorizon.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=83&encProdID=8E6B84CBCC75E5A9C52CA71AA33BA6F5&DivisionID=3&isArchived=0

Edited by John E Powell
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Dont go cheap on your VHF.  If you think about it, its probably THE most important piece of safety gear on your boat.  A lot of times when Im way out there I have no cellular reception.  The only way to get a distress call out is either with my VHF or my ELB / EPIRB.  I strongly recommend getting one with integrated GPS and DSC abilities.  The  Standard Horizon GX1700 is perfect, and its price has come down nicely.  Pair it with a Shakespeare Galaxy XP 5225 or Digital antenna and you will be GTG.

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If the wire supplied will reach the battery terminals direct you are OK. If you need to extend the wire to a battery located in the transom area go with the big wire on both positive and negative battery terminals. The amount of amperage for a radio standing by is minimal, the speaker uses more but transmitting uses the most amperage and small wires can not carry the load demand of a transmitter. 12 volt DC current is very weak for longer wire runs.

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I see no one mentioned anything about radio/antenna tuning. Because your radio is low frequency and your transmitting vhf to a loudspeaker your radio and antenna should be "tuned". There are tuners available on line. You can make one if your comfortable with electronics and such.

So much talk about details I thought I would though that out.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I see no one mentioned anything about radio/antenna tuning. Because your radio is low frequency and your transmitting vhf to a loudspeaker your radio and antenna should be "tuned". There are tuners available on line. You can make one if your comfortable with electronics and such.

So much talk about details I thought I would though that out.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

None of the marine antenna are set-up to tune that I own that I can see anyway. What am I missing here I've done CBs years ago pretty easy to do but have no idea how to adjust any of the three I have at this time !!!!!

 

Good luck with your new radio Erskin , I like the auto deal on mine....... some time during the week the weather update will do a test deal...... first time that happen spooked me and I turn up the volume to listen to it again....... then again if there is any storm warning it will go to that channel and you will hear it !!!!

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I don't know anything about tuning them. I just know that the main thing impacting VHF range is antenna height.  Go with an 8ft whip, and mount it as high as you can.  Both Shakespeare and Digital are making very good antennas at the moment, and are plenty good for great lakes applications.  The biggest  **** of setting up a new radio / antenna is the soldering of the plug onto the antenna cable.  People swear that a quality solder job is the only way to get good performance.  However, I have been using the new crimp on connectors and see no loss of performance.  Now most GL guys have their radios enclosed in some way, so maybe thats why the crimp connector has been working.  If you were installing this on a center console and running it 60 miles out in the gulf stream, and getting your radio wet all the time, I can see wanting a soldered connection.  But we aint doin that….

 

Be sure to register your radio / boat DSC so that you are in the system in case of distress calls.

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Here is a good link regarding "tuning" your antenna. Too much return can ruin your radio. Proper whip length for a 150 Mhz radio is 40 9/16 inch.  I realize most of us, including myself use an 8 ft antenna, but they are "tuned" to 1.1 swr. this is an acceptable rating.  Probably the best tuner on the market is the MJF812b. You can buy a radio and antenna and hook them up and notice no problems, however it may not be functioning properly. Without a tuner, you will never know. 

 

http://www.hamuniverse.com/testingswr.html

 

Jason

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