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  1. #1

    best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Hi Guys,

    I currently fish in offshore waters as far out as the 90-100 metre line off Moreton and the Barwons/Hards etc and need to upgrade my marine radio as I have had a handheld and it just does not seem to get any reception out there. For those wondering it is an Icom marine IC-M72 model which is supposed to be pretty powerful but have not had much reception when ever I have been out at Deep Tempest, Cal Wide, the Hards and even the top end of Fraser Is. Only way I get anything is stand up very high in the boat and it helps sometimes.

    So hence I am moving over to a 25 watt model fixed to get the extra power but need advice on best ariels etc etc.

    I am really keen to get reception out there if that is possible?

    Thanks for your help,

    Mal

  2. #2

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Buy the best antenna you can, and mount it as high as possible, that's about all you can do!

  3. #3

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    What Noelm said. 25watts is plenty on the water for transmitting. Receiving is all about length and height of the antenna
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  4. #4

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    25 watts is all you will get - legally and if you get a booster and get caught it will cost. There are some differences in radios along reception lines - some of the better sets are slightly more sensitive and have clearer audio due to better speakers but in reality there is not a lot in it for the extra they cost. As far ass brands are concerned it's hard to go past Icom. Noel is on the money with the antenna - there are high performance antennas available from people like ZCG Scalar or Glomex. Just bare in mind that going too high in gain with a small boat can lead to issues as well with transmissions being broken due to a compressed radiation pattern and a rocking boat.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  5. #5

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    What 25 watt radios and aerial's are people using and do you get reception out wide with them or not? Some first hand stories/examples would be great as I get next to nothing with my handheld although its a great brand and model. Maybe these handhelds are just good for inside waters??

  6. #6

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Handheld effective range is only 5-10 km regardless of quality. Any brand 25 watt fixed set with a decent antenna would perform better.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  7. #7

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Just remember, VHF is line of sight. So at your standing height that means you get about 5km sight to the horizon. Reception depends on 2 things, the height of your antenna and the height of the antenna at the receiving end. So for best reception, you need height.


    Just out of interest for those who don't think this is the case, we use 25W VHF in aircraft. When I am on the ground at Redcliffe, besides local traffic I can contact Brisbane air traffic control because of the height of the tower, and traffic at Caboolture, thats about it. When I am at 3500ft heading over to Moreton Island I can hear traffic at Kingaroy, Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Gympie etc. So as far as boating is concerned, antenna height is typically going to be the limiting factor, not radio power.


  8. #8

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Quote Originally Posted by malby View Post
    What 25 watt radios and aerial's are people using and do you get reception out wide with them or not? Some first hand stories/examples would be great as I get next to nothing with my handheld although its a great brand and model. Maybe these handhelds are just good for inside waters??
    To give you an idea, when I am on the northern hards more than 70k North East of Mooloolaba I can hear some transmissions to the VMR's around Moreton Bay on the repeater channel. Obviously the repeater is up pretty high. Haven't tried a radio check on the water from that distance but on 25w Motorola vehicle sets I have had clear comms well over 100km from the nearest repeater.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  9. #9

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    My main unit - a Raymarine VHF and Glomex 8ft 6db gets me 70klm's clear as a bell to VMR's up the coast.

    For a backup unit I just bought a Standard Horizon GX1700 when Whitworths had 15% off recently.

    I'm teaming this up with a Digital 529 VW 8ft 6 db.

    Practical Sailor ran a test a while ago on VHF antenna's and in the 8ft 6db's the Shakespeare 5225 XT and XP's won on distance. With the Digital's coming in a close second at around 1nm less than the Shakespeare's. I went for the Digital though as the build and component quality was supposedly superior.

  10. #10

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Thanks Lovely80. This is exactly the kind of 'real word' feedback I am looking for! I have not been up that far in 'my boat' as yet but knowing I can get some reception is what I'm wanting to know. Particularly me communicating with the outside world. Be good to know what radio and aerial you have too and where you aerial sits on your boat?

  11. #11

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    My main unit - a Raymarine VHF and Glomex 8ft 6db gets me 70klm's clear as a bell to VMR's up the coast.

    For a backup unit I just bought a Standard Horizon GX1700 when Whitworths had 15% off recently.

    I'm teaming this up with a Digital 529 VW 8ft 6 db.

    Practical Sailor ran a test a while ago on VHF antenna's and in the 8ft 6db's the Shakespeare 5225 XT and XP's won on distance. With the Digital's coming in a close second at around 1nm less than the Shakespeare's. I went for the Digital though as the build and component quality was supposedly superior.
    Awesome Juggernaut!

    Again just the sort of feedback I am after and that's gold as you have even mentioned/named your complete setup!

    So a few questions:

    1. What model is your Raymarine and what did it cost? Is it superior in any way to your new Horizon 1700?
    2. Where do you get these Glomex digital antenna's? How much do they cost? When you say 'up the coast' are you in close or out wide? If out wide how far out? If not this could just be because you are bouncing off the close in repeaters? Right?
    3. Are they any better than the Pacific 2.5 6DBI's that cost $129 at boating and RV and then you are up for $34 more for the plastic base unit.
    4. A guy at Whitworths recommend the Icom M323G above many other models. Any mates with them and are they any better? If so why?
    5. The heavy build of the Shakespeare 5225 XT looks very impressive. How much are they and where can you buy them?
    6. How much did you pay and where did you get your Digital 529 VW 8ft 6 db? I hear that these already have a good connection made on them so no soldering is required and apparently this is where a good deal of loss in signal occurs etc?

    Again thanks for so much great input!

  12. #12

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Malby,

    1. The Raymarine was originally fitted with the boat which is 10 years old so it's hardly cutting edge tech. I'll have to look up the model number as its the sort that has the unit installed under the dash and the large handset contains the screen/buttons etc. I doubt it would be superior to the Horizon 1700. The Horizon is a great little compact unit size wise and is solid with die cast cooling fins.

    Edit: I have a Raymarine Ray240 model VHF

    2. Glomex was also fitted to the boat - again 10 years old. I see the TMQ seems to stock/import them.

    I am within 10 klm's of the coast in Mandurah approx 70klms south of Perth in WA. I can receive Mandurah VMR, Rockingham VMR and Fremantle VMR clear as a bell. To pickup repeater frequencies it was my understanding you need to log on to the repeater channels relevant to the VMR service in your area. I'm normally on Channel 16 when I receive the distances mentioned above so I don't think I would be picking up repeater frequencies.

    3. I don't know anything about the Pacific antenna's - but $129 is pretty cheap if they are 6db antennas.

    4. Whitworths have only recently started stocking the Standard Horizons. The staff actually asked me what they were like when I was purchasing. I actually was tossing up between the Icom and the SH units but ultimately decided on the SH.Both would be very good units. Again I deferred to the article by Practical Sailor.

    Another reference.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/gds/Top-8-Mar...8348940/g.html

    Edit

    Sorry Malby I didn't originally see your other questions.

    I was going to get the Digital antenna through Boe Marine in the US as I had a number of other items ordered as well. It now turns out their carrier won't deliver them and a few other on-line web based stores shows they want an arm and a leg to deliver. Looks like I'm back to having what is locally available which is not a bad thing but don't really know what I'm buying performance wise. So far the options are:

    The Pacific Longreach Classic 2.5M looks good (part P6051) which is a colinear 6db - price unknown.
    The ZCG in similar spec is only 5.1db
    The Glomex RA 1225 in 2.4M colinear 6db also looks good and has a RRP of $187.00. This is probably what is currently on my boat.

  13. #13

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    I have an ICOM 504 with a Pacific 2M antenna on the hardtop. I get Redcliffe CG clear as a bell at the 200M line off Moreton. Same at the Barwons & 1770.
    ROLL TIDE, ROLL.................

    Regards,
    Peter


    http://www.superiorterminals.com.au

  14. #14

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Sorry Malby I didn't originally see your other questions.

    I was going to get the Digital antenna through Boe Marine in the US as I had a number of other items ordered as well. It now turns out their carrier won't deliver them and a few other on-line web based stores shows they want an arm and a leg to deliver. Looks like I'm back to having what is locally available which is not a bad thing but don't really know what I'm buying performance wise. So far the options are:

    The Pacific Longreach Classic 2.5M looks good (part P6051) which is a colinear 6db - price unknown.
    The ZCG in similar spec is only 5.1db
    The Glomex RA 1225 in 2.4M colinear 6db also looks good and has a RRP of $187.00. This is probably what is currently on my boat.
    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Malby,

    1. The Raymarine was originally fitted with the boat which is 10 years old so it's hardly cutting edge tech. I'll have to look up the model number as its the sort that has the unit installed under the dash and the large handset contains the screen/buttons etc. I doubt it would be superior to the Horizon 1700. The Horizon is a great little compact unit size wise and is solid with die cast cooling fins.

    Edit: I have a Raymarine Ray240 model VHF

    2. Glomex was also fitted to the boat - again 10 years old. I see the TMQ seems to stock/import them.

    I am within 10 klm's of the coast in Mandurah approx 70klms south of Perth in WA. I can receive Mandurah VMR, Rockingham VMR and Fremantle VMR clear as a bell. To pickup repeater frequencies it was my understanding you need to log on to the repeater channels relevant to the VMR service in your area. I'm normally on Channel 16 when I receive the distances mentioned above so I don't think I would be picking up repeater frequencies.

    3. I don't know anything about the Pacific antenna's - but $129 is pretty cheap if they are 6db antennas.

    4. Whitworths have only recently started stocking the Standard Horizons. The staff actually asked me what they were like when I was purchasing. I actually was tossing up between the Icom and the SH units but ultimately decided on the SH.Both would be very good units. Again I deferred to the article by Practical Sailor.

    Another reference.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/gds/Top-8-Mar...8348940/g.html

    Edit

    Sorry Malby I didn't originally see your other questions.

    I was going to get the Digital antenna through Boe Marine in the US as I had a number of other items ordered as well. It now turns out their carrier won't deliver them and a few other on-line web based stores shows they want an arm and a leg to deliver. Looks like I'm back to having what is locally available which is not a bad thing but don't really know what I'm buying performance wise. So far the options are:

    The Pacific Longreach Classic 2.5M looks good (part P6051) which is a colinear 6db - price unknown.
    The ZCG in similar spec is only 5.1db
    The Glomex RA 1225 in 2.4M colinear 6db also looks good and has a RRP of $187.00. This is probably what is currently on my boat.
    Thanks for all of that Juggernaut

    3. The Pacific Antenna is the one on your short list. The Pacific Longreach 2.5 6db as far as I know but I could not get any model numbers etc out of Boating and RV. It seems that boatbits.com.au have these for $104
    http://boatbits.com.au/electrical/ae...hout-base.html

    4. Whitworths currently have the new model Standard Horizon's GX1300E on sale reduced from $249 to $149 so what do you think about that? Is it worth grabbing that or should I stick with the mid range Icom (note this question is for anyone who knows??).

    4. Who is practical sailor and where is his article? I have looked him up under that name on Ausfish and he does not exist apparently? Love to read this article.

    Where did you get that price on a Glomex RA 1225 2.4? Seems quite good for such a well known brand. I don't mind paying extra for quality. Not sure about the Pacific one's though Peterbo3 seems happy with his 2 mar one and it sure gets him the distance!

  15. #15

    Re: best and most powerful VHF marine radio - fixed mount - opinions - inc ariels etc

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbo3 View Post
    I have an ICOM 504 with a Pacific 2M antenna on the hardtop. I get Redcliffe CG clear as a bell at the 200M line off Moreton. Same at the Barwons & 1770.
    Thanks Peterbo3 That's great feedback. I looked up your radio and it seems out of date nowadays but I imagine it was probably a top of the range one back in the day when you bought it. Sounds like you have been happy with it? Icom is definitely the brand most people recommend.

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