Author Topic: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?  (Read 1434 times)

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Offline Threeweight

Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« on: February 13, 2011, 09:04:52 PM »
My wife wants to get me some fishing/boating item for my birthday this month, and I have been thinking about upgrading the VHF in our boat.

We have a bare bones Icom now (model is 304, with a basic "send" DSC function).  Looks like Standard Horizon and Icom both have some fairly affordable Class D units coming out this month.  What are folks thoughts on the value of upgrading?  Seems like the dedicated DSC receiver would be nice extra safety margin.  Being able to track buddy boats on the GPS seems nice as well.

These are the two units that seem like the best buys...

http://www.thegpsstore.com/Icom-M-412-Fixed-Mount-Marine-VHF-P2558.aspx

http://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard-Horizon-GX1600-Explorer-VHF-P2627.aspx
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 09:21:42 PM by Threeweight »
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline StreamFixer

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Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 09:36:41 PM »
Class "D" is about to become mandatory so the less than "D" will be hard to find in a month or two.  Might be some killer deals in the offing for models that do not meet "D".

The "D" apparently tells every body where you are all the time and you can see where everybody is when yours is on.  Or I could be wrong about the details.

It's all explained on the net.  I bought a 304 a few months ago.

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline SRanger

Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 11:41:19 PM »

Can you ever keep up with all the upgrades and enhancements on this stuff!  Currently have nothing so as soon as I can find something that installs and configures with Garmin gps probably go that route.  SH makes the nice DSC/AIS combo unit!  In time other manufactures should start competing and the price could drop for similar units (DCS/AIS).
99 19' Arima Sea Ranger HT,  Honda BF130/BF8.
88 17' Arima Sea Ranger ST,  Yamaha F80/Merc 8 (sold)

Offline StreamFixer

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Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 11:59:19 PM »
Garmin pretty friendly with about everything.  My new 304 "talks" to, or at least listens to, my '94 garmin gps.

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline SRanger

Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 12:16:00 AM »

Hey Russ good to hear from you!  Do you use one of the NEMA protocols like 0183 to connect the Icom? 304?
99 19' Arima Sea Ranger HT,  Honda BF130/BF8.
88 17' Arima Sea Ranger ST,  Yamaha F80/Merc 8 (sold)

Offline StreamFixer

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Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 07:19:29 AM »
I think so.  I simply e-maild Garmin told the my model and what I wanted to go to (34).  The sent back step by step how-to.  I followed and it worked.

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline Threeweight

Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 05:04:33 PM »
I think most of the DSC radios use NEMA 0183 (even the latest and greatest models from Icom and Standard Horizon).  Garmin makes a couple that use NEMA 2000... at least this is what I was told by Portland Marine Electronics.

The NEMA 0183 works great for my Icom 304 as well, and was pretty easy to install (just took some trial and error to determine which wires connected to which, the color codes for my NEMA cable and the outputs from the radio did not match).
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline wedocq

Re: Merits of upgrading to a Class D vhf radio?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 03:09:05 PM »
Gee thanks for starting this conversation, now I need to get one of these to! :doh:
2002 21' Arima Sea Ranger HT  Suzuki DF175 4-stroke.
WEDOCQ= WE DO SEKIU! It pays homage to my Uncle Jay who died of cancer.