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    VHF Radio-gctid382335

    I'm installing a VHF radio on my 175 bowrider and have some questions for the experts on here. I am the farthest thing from an expert, especially when it comes to electrical questions/ issues so please excuse anything that is unclear or any non-technical language.

    Before I drill holes to mount my 8' VHF antenna I want to be sure the location of it is proper. Particularly, I want the antenna on the starboard side to keep any radio waves away from my wife and little girl.

    I connected the coax cable with a solderless connector (I know that is less preferred) and all is good with getting the weather reception from NOAA. However, I tested the radio on channel 9 and 16 and received no response. The boat was on the trailer at the boat ramp and not in the water but, we were near our major seaport so I figured I would get something from the CG.

    It's all boiling down to two questions for me. 1 - does the location of the antenna base 28" from the radio (on a diagonal down - antenna is higher than radio) matter if I still have over 10' of cable or am I too close? I've seen radios located even closer but I just want to be sure. And, 2 - if I am receiving the WX report does that mean I can transmit/ receive on the radio?

    Any help is very much appreciated.

    #2
    Is your radio a new radio or used? Just because you can receive, doesnt mean you can xmit. Even if you key the mic, if the finals are blown in the radio, it will look like you are xmitting but your not sending out anything into the airwaves.

    That being said, if its a new radio, as long as you have 12v to it, and have a proper VHF antenna connected, its possible no one was on the channel when you asked for a "Radio Check". Are you near a USCG station? They will typically respond if you ask correctly for a radio check. Also, if the marina you were launching at monitors a certain channel, they will give you a radio check also.

    In regards to the antenna location, radio waves from a 5-25watt vhf radio will not harm you in any way. Even if you kept the mic keyed for a long long time, the radio would overheat.

    hope that helps

    ps: better to have a shorter distance of yout coax (antenna cable) than a longer distance.

    Comment


      #3
      Good advise above! FWIW i have my antenna on the same side as my radio antenna, I have no problems with my VHF. Of course I turn off radio when in use etc...

      Comment


        #4
        I am also new to the VHF world although my new to me boat has one, I have yet to turn it on.

        I did some reading and one article mentioned needing a "license" to operate a VHF, is this true? Also do you need it connected to a GPS for DSC (Automatic Distress) to work?

        Thanks in advance

        Comment


          #5
          love2speed wrote:
          I am also new to the VHF world although my new to me boat has one, I have yet to turn it on.

          I did some reading and one article mentioned needing a "license" to operate a VHF, is this true? Also do you need it connected to a GPS for DSC (Automatic Distress) to work?

          Thanks in advance
          I don't know about any license requirements in Canada, but here if you are not a commercial operator and just have a VHF on your pleasure craft you don't need a licence. For your DSC to work you need to do two things. One get a MMSI number (available from a number of sources, but again I'm not sure about Canada) and two hook up your VHF to a chart plotter / GPS.

          Comment


            #6
            unixdood wrote:
            Is your radio a new radio or used? Just because you can receive, doesnt mean you can xmit. Even if you key the mic, if the finals are blown in the radio, it will look like you are xmitting but your not sending out anything into the airwaves.

            That being said, if its a new radio, as long as you have 12v to it, and have a proper VHF antenna connected, its possible no one was on the channel when you asked for a "Radio Check". Are you near a USCG station? They will typically respond if you ask correctly for a radio check. Also, if the marina you were launching at monitors a certain channel, they will give you a radio check also.
            Very true. My Cobra brand new wouldn't transmit but would receive, found that out the hard way when attempting to render assistance to someone who was stuck!


            In regards to the antenna location, radio waves from a 5-25watt vhf radio will not harm you in any way. Even if you kept the mic keyed for a long long time, the radio would overheat.
            It's best to keep away from long-term exposure to 25w, but I would not be concerned about a VHF. I wouldn't put a non-broadband radar on a 175 though and sit next to it


            ps: better to have a shorter distance of yout coax (antenna cable) than a longer distance.
            Yes, but there's also a minimum length for optimal operation of the radio.

            Comment


              #7
              dewman wrote:
              I don't know about any license requirements in Canada, but here if you are not a commercial operator and just have a VHF on your pleasure craft you don't need a licence. For your DSC to work you need to do two things. One get a MMSI number (available from a number of sources, but again I'm not sure about Canada) and two hook up your VHF to a chart plotter / GPS.
              I think in Canada you do.

              DSC calling works without a GPS, however you will only transmit your GPS position if you use the DSC "Distress" button if you have a GPS feed to the VHF. Likewise, you will only see the position of a DSC distress call (or position polling) on your MFD if you have it wired up in that direction.

              Comment


                #8
                ishiboo wrote:
                I think in Canada you do.

                DSC calling works without a GPS, however you will only transmit your GPS position if you use the DSC "Distress" button if you have a GPS feed to the VHF. Likewise, you will only see the position of a DSC distress call (or position polling) on your MFD if you have it wired up in that direction.
                A DSC distress call without your position is kind of worthless. "Help we are in trouble and we could be anywhere come quick"

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a new Standard Horizon DSC GX1000S. None of that means much to me. Basically. I want to go out into the DE Bay, not too far just a few miles but if I get stuck I want to be able to call someone. Likewise, I would like to be able to render assistance if necessary.

                  How is it possible to not transmit but hear it? Do I have to program something in?

                  I do not have it hooked up to a GPS so I know the DSC won't work if needed.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    dewman wrote:
                    A DSC distress call without your position is kind of worthless. "Help we are in trouble and we could be anywhere come quick"
                    Yes, but DSC calling without GPS isn't. Around here, few have their DSC radios hooked up and your best chance is a call on 16. I still use DSC calling between radios/boats though.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Fruffy42 wrote:
                      I have a new Standard Horizon DSC GX1000S. None of that means much to me. Basically. I want to go out into the DE Bay, not too far just a few miles but if I get stuck I want to be able to call someone. Likewise, I would like to be able to render assistance if necessary.

                      How is it possible to not transmit but hear it? Do I have to program something in?

                      I do not have it hooked up to a GPS so I know the DSC won't work if needed.
                      He meant it's possible to receive other peoples communication, but you can't transmit due to the radio or an installation problem. This is a possibility.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Radio communication uses tx and rx. tx or transmit is a seperate function of RX or receive. There is seperate components for transmitting and for receiving. Should your tx function die (ie; tx amp finals blow), the receiver will still work most likely so it is very possible to have a radio that will receive but will not transmit.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          ishiboo wrote:
                          He meant it's possible to receive other peoples communication, but you can't transmit due to the radio or an installation problem. This is a possibility.
                          He can still receive but not transmit if there is a bad antenna connected.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So what I'm gathering is:

                            1 - The antenna could be too close to the receiver at 28" down and away from it.

                            2 - The receiver could be bad if I can receive but perhaps not transmit.

                            3 - The antenna could be bad (?)

                            4 - I attached the solderless cable incorrectly.

                            I think this weekend I'll take the VHF out and test it. Will I interfere if I manually hold it where I'd like to mount it and do a radio test? I would hold it as close to the bottom as possible if this is an ok way to test it out.

                            Thank you for all your insight!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Fruffy42,

                              I know this isn't what you're asking about but it is related. If you have a smart phone you can download any one of the free apps that tell you your position via the phhone's GPS and you can use that accurate info when calling (phone but prefferable VHF) for help or assistance. Anywhere you could possibly be in the DE Bay you will also have cell reception, but don't just call 911 and expect them to come find you, the 2 systems (911 and CG) are not interrelated. But giving your gps location verbally works just as well as DCS would only not as fast, possibly not as accurate if you mess up reading the numbers and no one else will know about your emergency, but you will be found!

                              Best thing you can do right now is get your VHF working correctly. Seatow offers an Automated Radio Check on ch 26. It's based out of Cape May, NJ but if you are anywhere in the lower bay you probably can hit this tower. All you do is ask like normal for a radio check and it will automatically play back your voice so you can see what your radio sounds like broacasting. You were right in that the CG should have answered you to. They certainly are close to southern DE being located at the Indian River Inlet, another one in Ocean City, MD. Both should hear you broadcast if you are down state.

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