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Noo2OzFish

looking for VHF radio advice

20 posts in this topic

Gday all

I'm looking for VHF radio advice.    Is anyone using a radio they find really good or bad?

Mostly for use around Sydney

 

Cheers

Bear

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Most boats I've bought tend to have had radios that have issues, maybe simply becaus small boats tend to shake and bang them to death. I've always replaced with icon and so far not had any problems with this make.

Edited by JonD

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I have a link5 the digital display went after 2 years.

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2 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

we all use gme  no probs

Not all, gme in open wet boats have a very limited life in my experiance.

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GME have a good reputation and I believe are an Australian company located in the Hills District of Sydney - that's a plus for me.

Standard Horizon units have got pretty good reviews on the net (mainly overseas for their higher end models).

Icom also have a good reputation.

I have a very old Icom in one boat, that despite looking very average, still works (10yrs old) and an old GME 27 in another boat that works well.

good luck!

 

 

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Been using a Lowrance for the last 5 years- no probs-whatever you do get a DSI model hooked up to your GPS- one flick of the switch and help is on its way in a Mayday situation

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I have used a Standard Horizon GX1600 since 2012 - no issues so far, solid unit.

Cheers

Zoran

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1 hour ago, PaddyT said:

Been using a Lowrance for the last 5 years- no probs-whatever you do get a DSI model hooked up to your GPS- one flick of the switch and help is on its way in a Mayday situation

We run  Lowrance LVR 880 which is a DSC like you are talking about and i would definitely be trying to scrape together the extra couple of bucks for a DSC radio for teh safety aspect mentioned above. We have had no problems with our lowrance.

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Its not hard to fit a radio out of the weather  foesnt matter wot brand you get if you want to drown them

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Hi All

Since this is a radio thread.

I have a Lowrance link 5 VHF radio and the kids broke the aerial, the current aerial is a Pacific brand and the dealer I bought the boat from will only sell me the complete aerial, coaxial cable and mount at $90.

Can I just buy any VHF aerial as long as it screws onto my base?

Edited by jeffb5.8
changed from UHF to VHF

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yes you certainly can..i bought an aerial that had a different thread and screw so I just drilled through and put a stainless bolt in it...works 10/10..rick

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1 hour ago, rickmarlin62 said:

yes you certainly can..i bought an aerial that had a different thread and screw so I just drilled through and put a stainless bolt in it...works 10/10..rick

Sweet thanks

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Hi Raiders,

Since we are discussing radios, I'm still to get my head around this NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000.

What is the difference? I have a HDS Gen2 Touch Chartplotter and a GME 600D VHF Marine Radio with DSC. 

Apparently, you can connect the two together so that your GPS mark will be transmitted if the DSC button on the radio is pressed in case of emergency. How do you connect the two.... is it via NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183?

Also, played around with the radio and it asks for a MMSI number? How do you obtain one?

Any help is appreciated...

Cheers

Dave

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15 hours ago, jeffb5.8 said:

Hi All

Since this is a radio thread.

I have a Lowrance link 5 UHF radio and the kids broke the aerial, the current aerial is a Pacific brand and the dealer I bought the boat from will only sell me the complete aerial, coaxial cable and mount at $90.

Can I just buy any UHF aerial as long as it screws onto my base?

I assume you are meaning VHF not UHF.  Marine VHF is between 150 mhz and 162 mhz.  Australian CB UHF is between 476 mhz and 477 mhz.  Receive wise you may not see much of a difference as radio reception on varying length antennas is not detrimental to your radio,,  HOWEVER transmitting into a non resonant antenna is hugely detrimental.  If you transmit into a UHF antenna with a VHF radio on 25 watts unless there is some sort of protection fold back unit in the radio your finals are damaged and likely not working.  You would not notice it because your receive function will still work.  You will be able to transmit,, well it will look like you are but only milliwatts will come out.  You don't need the dealer's antenna but you do need a marine VHF  not Air VHF and not Amateur (Ham) VHF no matter if they all use the same standard screw in base.

 

Bear 

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1 hour ago, Noo2OzFish said:

I assume you are meaning VHF not UHF.  Marine VHF is between 150 mhz and 162 mhz.  Australian CB UHF is between 476 mhz and 477 mhz.  Receive wise you may not see much of a difference as radio reception on varying length antennas is not detrimental to your radio,,  HOWEVER transmitting into a non resonant antenna is hugely detrimental.  If you transmit into a UHF antenna with a VHF radio on 25 watts unless there is some sort of protection fold back unit in the radio your finals are damaged and likely not working.  You would not notice it because your receive function will still work.  You will be able to transmit,, well it will look like you are but only milliwatts will come out.  You don't need the dealer's antenna but you do need a marine VHF  not Air VHF and not Amateur (Ham) VHF no matter if they all use the same standard screw in base.

 

Bear 

Cheers

 

Yep the Lowrance Marine Link 5 I have is a VHF, the female screw in base is still there and thin cord are still on the boat, they just snapped and lost the antenna sheath.

Will price a few up,

 

The original antenna / aerial had a plastic base so I am guessing mine isnt a Ground Dependant Aerial since I have a Alloy boat

Edited by jeffb5.8

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13 hours ago, Sigma said:

Hi Raiders,

Since we are discussing radios, I'm still to get my head around this NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000.

What is the difference? I have a HDS Gen2 Touch Chartplotter and a GME 600D VHF Marine Radio with DSC. 

Apparently, you can connect the two together so that your GPS mark will be transmitted if the DSC button on the radio is pressed in case of emergency. How do you connect the two.... is it via NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183?

Also, played around with the radio and it asks for a MMSI number? How do you obtain one?

Any help is appreciated...

Cheers

Dave

Hi Dave,

As far as I understand it NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 are protocol standards ... think of them as languages. So you need a GPS unit and Radio that can speak the same language/protocol. If they support both protocols then in the GPS/Radio settings you need to select the protocol that you want them to use.  From a physical connectivity perspective, the GPS and VHF manufacturers should be able to provide you with a wiring schematic on how to hook them up.  As an example I have attached the one that I found for my Standard Horizon GX1600. I understand that newer units are more plug and play so have standard plugs to facilitate connectivity. In my case, I installed my system in 2012 and I had to resort to good old soldering.

Regarding MMSI ... all the info is here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-rescue/about-the-gmdss/mmsi-information/index.asp

 

GX1600 NMEA.jpg

Edited by zmk1962

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10 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Hi Dave,

As far as I understand it NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 are protocol standards ... think of them as languages. So you need a GPS unit and Radio that can speak the same language/protocol. If they support both protocols then in the GPS/Radio settings you need to select the protocol that you want them to use.  From a physical connectivity perspective, the GPS and VHF manufacturers should be able to provide you with a wiring schematic on how to hook them up.  As an example I have attached the one that I found for my Standard Horizon GX1600. I understand that newer units are more plug and play so have standard plugs to facilitate connectivity. In my case, I installed my system in 2012 and I had to resort to good old soldering.

Regarding MMSI ... all the info is here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-rescue/about-the-gmdss/mmsi-information/index.asp

 

GX1600 NMEA.jpg

Thanks Zoran....appreciate the help,

Apparently my chartplotter supports both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 but it appears that the VHF Radio supports only NMEA 0183 but it has 2x NMEA 0183 connections. Is this normal?

One more question....what's the Baudrate thing, what should I set it to once connected?

 

See below copied from Manual...

 

NMEA PORTS

The GX600D features two NMEA ports labelled NMEA1 and NMEA2. These are available on the rear panel. NMEA sentences generated by the GX600D will appear on the output of both ports. In addition, any NMEA sentences received at the input of one port will be mirrored at the output of the other port. The NMEA Baudrate of each port can be set separately from within the Setup menu. Available Baud rates are 4800, 9600,19200 and 38400bps.

 

NMEA 0183 DATA

The GX600D recognises the following standard NMEA sentences.You may need to select NMEA 0183 Input/Output using the interface settings on your GPS, Plotter or connected device.

 

NMEA Input from GPS: GPGLL, GPGAA, GPRMC, GPGNS (v2.x)

NMEA Output to plotter:GPDSC(v2.x)GPDSE(v3.x)

Yellow - NMEA Out

Blue - NMEA In

Black - Common(Gnd)

 

As far as the MMSI Number, looks like you can't get one from the authorities unless you have done the course.....does this mean the DSC is useless without the MMSI?

 

Copied from the AMSA website....

Before applying for an Australian MMSI number you must have:

  • An ACMA Maritime Ship Station Licence and Callsign for an MF/HF transceiver
  • Vessel registered in Australia (except Northern Territory)
  • Marine radio operator qualifications. The following types are accepted:
    • Australian Waters Qualification (AWQ) – (See Notes 2 and 3)
    • Short Range Certificate of Proficiency (Marine Radio Operators VHF Certificate of Proficiency – MROVCP) (See Note 3)
    • Long Range Certificate (Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency – MROCP)
    • GMDSS First Class Radio Electronic Certificate - 1st Class REC
    • GMDSS Second Class Radio Electronic Certificate - 2nd Class REC
    • GMDSS General Operator's Certificate - GOC
    • Restricted Radio Operator's Certificate or Proficiency – RROCP

 

Cheers

Dave

 

 

Edited by Sigma

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Hi Dave,

I'm a bit distracted trying to fix my motor so slow in replying. 

Yes it is normal to have two ports... think of it as one port is used to output your GPS location, the other port is used to receive a GPS location from another source.

Your manual seems to describe the two NMEA ports as:

Yellow - NMEA Out

Blue - NMEA In

Baud rate is an old term used with serial communication devices like modems... it basically is the speed at which you want the conversation to occur. Set it to the highest rate that is supported by your Radio and GPS system - it must be set to the same on both.

Yes for DSC you need your MMSI, and MMSI requires you to have a certificate of proficiency to use the VHF unit. 

I'm not sure I would say DSC is useless without MMSI - they go hand in hand...as I see it having a unique identifier (MMSI) is a necessary requirement to implement DSC.  

DSC is your radio talking in digital language across the VHF radio bands - your MMSI is tagged into that digital sentence to identify you as the sender, similarly your MMSI could be the receiver address of a DSC message intended for you. You are sharing the airways after all - it would get terribly confusing if every DSC message was plotted on your receiver and vice versa.

Regarding the need for a certificate of proficiency - VHF is commercial band - so all maritime traffic control, emergency services etc are on. The radio frequencies assigned to VHF are limited shared resources - one conversation at a time on a channel - so everyone should have a basic proficiency on how to use the resource. Think of it as if you are in an emergency trying to get through - you want the airways clear for that conversation not cluttered by some joker who wants to talk about his weekend to his mate. 

So they build on each other and you unlock more value as you go - Certificate of Proficiency (VHF), MMSI (your identity), DSC full function.

Cheers

Zoran

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Thanks Zoran,

Appreciate the time.....hope you get that outboard fixed and it's not a major problem.

Cheers

Dave

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