Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Fried my VHF, so what's the best brand for a new one?

  1. #1
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Idaho/Valdez
    Posts
    980

    Default Fried my VHF, so what's the best brand for a new one?

    A while back I asked about my VHF radio not transmitting over 50 feet and many of you correctly said I fried the amplifier by trying to transmit when the antennae connection was broken. Called customer service and they confirmed.

    So, I had a new ICOM 304. It had all the features I needed, I don't want to pay for more bells and whistles, but would pay 2 or 3 times the $130 price to get better equipment, as I recall many of my forum friends didn't think much of ICOM.

    So, Cobra, ICOM, Raymarine, Standard Horizon, Lowrance, Garmin (new to VHF) or ??? is, in your opinion, the best make? And, what model? I don't need a hailer, foghorn, remote mike, etc, just a solid VHF radio with the usual weather alert/channel 16 button etc., great sound, and larger screen so I don't have to get my reading glasses to see it!

  2. #2
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    A while back I asked about my VHF radio not transmitting over 50 feet and many of you correctly said I fried the amplifier by trying to transmit when the antennae connection was broken. Called customer service and they confirmed.

    So, I had a new ICOM 304. It had all the features I needed, I don't want to pay for more bells and whistles, but would pay 2 or 3 times the $130 price to get better equipment, as I recall many of my forum friends didn't think much of ICOM.

    So, Cobra, ICOM, Raymarine, Standard Horizon, Lowrance, Garmin (new to VHF) or ??? is, in your opinion, the best make? And, what model? I don't need a hailer, foghorn, remote mike, etc, just a solid VHF radio with the usual weather alert/channel 16 button etc., great sound, and larger screen so I don't have to get my reading glasses to see it!
    I've got a old Motorola VHF on my bowpicker, we used to have one on the offshore lobstah boat i fished on and we could transmit over a 100 miles with it. If i had to buy another one now i'd take a look at the SEA radios, their sidebands work really well. Oh Yeah, get one of those Morad antenna's they are the one's you see on a lot of commercial rigs with the gold color extentions. I've got 2 on my rig, the only way to go.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  3. #3
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    854

    Default

    I upgraded my VHF and put a Standard Horizon Quest-X in my boat this past season. I chose it over the comparable Icom model, because the SH had a dial for changing the channels versus push buttons. I like the dial better, and there are still push buttons on the mic.

    The Quest-X is a great radio and sounds clear on both ends of the conversation. I bought mine online from BOE Marine for $165, if I remember correctly.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Oh Yeah, get one of those Morad antenna's they are the one's you see on a lot of commercial rigs with the gold color extentions. I've got 2 on my rig, the only way to go.

    That is the truth right there! The Morad antennas are the best. My brother is a commercial fisherman and reccomended them to me, and I've seen them on just about every coast guard boat I have looked at. Now I talked all my friends into having them too. You won't beleive how much farther you can talk/listen. I think the radio is a primary safety item, so I try to tell as many people as possible about these. They are about $250 for a whole setup, but the first time I could talk to the coast guard (for another boater who was in trouble) and no one else in the area could, it was worth every penny.

    "VHF-156 HD Heavy Duty style VHF 6dB gain @ 156 MHz - "Hot Rod" #9120 $142.00"

    http://www.morad.com/6943/index.html

    PS - I don't have anythign to do with Morad, I just think their antennas work better than anything else.

  5. #5

    Default

    My thought is to get one that fits in the same place the other one was without remodeling the entire cab! I have an older ICOM and it has worked fine for years.

  6. #6
    Charterboat Operator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anchorage AK.
    Posts
    1,057

    Default Morad

    while I agree with the morad bieng about the best antenna money can buy, a word of caution. if you have a trailering boat that you would normally lay the antenna down, 2 things to think about for your base.
    1- go stainless, waaayyy to much of a load for a plastic one
    2- dont go real tall with the mast, unless it is supported somewhere mid mast.
    these antennas are designed to have a permanent mount, with support,
    I have one on the roof of my Alumaweld, with a pivoting rail mount base. Not bieng the sharpest tool in the shed, I went thru 3 mast bases before i got the picture of what was happening. had a 5 foot mast with the antenna on top, just the average pounding and rocking motion was wearing the bases out FAST! Cut the mast down to 30" this spring, after a summer of running still as tight as new!.
    even with the drop in the mast, it out performs the shakespere that is monted on the other side!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by POLE BENDER View Post
    while I agree with the morad bieng about the best antenna money can buy, a word of caution. if you have a trailering boat that you would normally lay the antenna down, 2 things to think about for your base.
    1- go stainless, waaayyy to much of a load for a plastic one
    2- dont go real tall with the mast, unless it is supported somewhere mid mast.
    these antennas are designed to have a permanent mount, with support,
    I have one on the roof of my Alumaweld, with a pivoting rail mount base. Not bieng the sharpest tool in the shed, I went thru 3 mast bases before i got the picture of what was happening. had a 5 foot mast with the antenna on top, just the average pounding and rocking motion was wearing the bases out FAST! Cut the mast down to 30" this spring, after a summer of running still as tight as new!.
    even with the drop in the mast, it out performs the shakespere that is monted on the other side!

    This is a good point I forgot to mention. They sell the mast as a 10' unit, and I had it cut down to 5' for this very reason. 10' would be great for comms, but waaaaaay to much leverage even for a stainless base. if you mount on the top of your boat, 5' should be good to go anyway (mine ends up being about 14' above the waterline)

    thanks for mentioning this!!

  8. #8
    Charterboat Operator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anchorage AK.
    Posts
    1,057

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2825 View Post
    This is a good point I forgot to mention. They sell the mast as a 10' unit, and I had it cut down to 5' for this very reason. 10' would be great for comms, but waaaaaay to much leverage even for a stainless base. if you mount on the top of your boat, 5' should be good to go anyway (mine ends up being about 14' above the waterline)

    thanks for mentioning this!!
    no problem, the bases are only like $15.00, but pulling-changing it out is/was a pain, specifically when you have to pull your headliner to unroll all the cable that is stored there! 2+hours! Even worse was talking to the guys @ Morad and finding out that you can unscrew the cable, which runs thru the base, at the antenna! anly takes about 5 minutes to change that base out when you know what you are doing!
    "tool in the shed thing"

  9. #9
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    If your going to use the 10" extension pole just mount the lay down mount on your gunnel and use a stand off mount to go on the side of your cabin to support the extension pole that way you can undo the stand off and lay down the antena for the trip home.

    You can see one of my Morads on the side of my cabin between the windows, lay down mount on the bottom and the stand off mount just above it. Got my arse handed to me more than once on the Copper River Flats and the sticks never came down, by the way i installed both those sticks back in 1992. One is for a regular VHF & the other is a special tuned antena for our "secret radios" 45 watts with scramblers i can talk to buddies on the flats when i'm in front of esther.
    Picture of my rig in the next post.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    That brand of Ham radio (secert radio) do you use?

  11. #11
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    I forgot to put this picture in my above post
    P5210007.JPG

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  12. #12
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    That brand of Ham radio (secert radio) do you use?
    Motorola what else !

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  13. #13
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Idaho/Valdez
    Posts
    980

    Default Thanks, everyone...

    Some good and interesting advice there! Sure sounds like the Morad is the antenna of choice, I have a stainless heavy duty swivel mount on the side of my cab (Hewes AK 26'), it seems really strong, but with a lot of bouncing the lever lock did let loose once and that's how the antenna connection broke. I tightened the lever lock since and seems to be staying up now. The way the Shakespeare antenna has to screw down after the solder connection is made makes it hard to keep the cable from twisting and stressing the connection...I'll look into the Morad and hope the way the cable connects is better. Seems like they all will screw down like that though...

    I'll look into the SEA radio too that Steve/Potbuilder suggests, sounds like Motorola isn't making VHF anymore, right? Someone else told me about a great deal on a Northstar radio, anyone know about them? I had a Northstar woodsplitter, from Northern Tool, it was a house brand, might be the same with the radio, so who knows who makes it....the deal was $74 for a $634 list price radio, sounds too good to be true, maybe it is but worth checking...

  14. #14
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Some good and interesting advice there! Sure sounds like the Morad is the antenna of choice, I have a stainless heavy duty swivel mount on the side of my cab (Hewes AK 26'), it seems really strong, but with a lot of bouncing the lever lock did let loose once and that's how the antenna connection broke. I tightened the lever lock since and seems to be staying up now. The way the Shakespeare antenna has to screw down after the solder connection is made makes it hard to keep the cable from twisting and stressing the connection...I'll look into the Morad and hope the way the cable connects is better. Seems like they all will screw down like that though...

    I'll look into the SEA radio too that Steve/Potbuilder suggests, sounds like Motorola isn't making VHF anymore, right? Someone else told me about a great deal on a Northstar radio, anyone know about them? I had a Northstar woodsplitter, from Northern Tool, it was a house brand, might be the same with the radio, so who knows who makes it....the deal was $74 for a $634 list price radio, sounds too good to be true, maybe it is but worth checking...
    Ron,
    The morads connect the cable from the radio to the antenna with a screw on plug like is used on the back of your radio i think its called a pl259 plug, you snake it up through the extension tube and it screws on the end of the antenna. I have a Northstar plotter/gps on my rig its been on there since 1997 and its never failed me. I do know that the NS that NT makes is in no way the same as my NS. I don't know anything about the NS radios in fact i never even heard of them.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Potbuilder -

    Looks like your bowpicker is in Cordova - That's where my brother has his (same guy who reccomended the Morad). He gave the same reccomendation about using it on the flats.

    I've heard nothing but good things about the Northstar electronics. Almost all of the commercial guys I know use them or wish they had them.

  16. #16
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    4,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2825 View Post
    Potbuilder -

    Looks like your bowpicker is in Cordova - That's where my brother has his (same guy who reccomended the Morad). He gave the same reccomendation about using it on the flats.

    I've heard nothing but good things about the Northstar electronics. Almost all of the commercial guys I know use them or wish they had them.
    Yup that was in cordubie i gave up fishing the flats after i discovered building shrimp pots!
    The old NS were good but i've heard that NS was bought out by a big company and i'd have to wonder if thats changed anything. I do still love my old plotter only problen is as it gets older the screen is getting smaller but i think most of that is due to me going somewhat blind in the last few years from old age

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •