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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

OK so been looking at fixed sets in preparation for getting out to sea In my boat.

Have a budget of around 150 for the radio and have seen a couple in that price range that seem to tick the box on use

First is the cobra MR-F77EU this seems to be a good deal with built-in gps dsc and other features currently on eBay at 139 quid

Also there is the horizon gx1600e this also has the functions that the cobra does but doesn't have a built in gps receiver. But will receive weather reports

So will the cobra MR-F77EU receive weather reports and are built in gps systems reliable.

The horizon unit is cheaper but is it a hassle having a separate gps

I assume both units will need aerials any recommendations on this would be great too
I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at but cobra is a name I'm familiar with as I'm a keen off road er and use cb radios

Thanks in advance guys and gals
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK would cobra not be a known brand that's a very well know brand in the cb world

Thanks for the link will take a look now
 

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Cobra have a reputation as being the cheap and cheerful brand in the marine world (I've only used one, never owned one so I can't say if it's deserved or not - they certainly don't feel as rugged as an Icom or SH). Icom and Standard Horizon are very popular choices for the leisure market (I've always gone Icom) and have a reputation for reliability. Should you have a problem, Icom's service is excellent.

Built in GPS? - it's quite a recent addition to fixed radios but given GPS technology has been around for a such a while, to be honest, it's never occurred to me that it might be a problem within a fixed radio. If you don't have a GPS or chart plotter on the boat that you can link to the VHF, then I would say it's essential that you get a model with built in GPS - the big safety feature of a DSC radio is the the ability to make a mayday call by pressing the red button - if such a mayday call can't also transmit your position (no GPS = no position) it could mean the difference between a life or death situation.

Bear in mind you will get a weather report transmitted from the coastguard every four hours anyway that any VHF within range can receive.

Icom's fixed radio with built in GPS is outside the budget you mention, but a lot cheaper than buying a cheaper VHF and a separate GPS.
http://www.seamarknunn.com/acatalog...0_M323G.html?gclid=CNCfutHrnMoCFeoJwwodCsIEJQ

Yes you will need an antenna - go for as long as you can reasonably fit to your boat with a nice sturdy looking mount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I looked at the separate options and would double budget easy with buying separate items

Its quite a choice there are so many on the market
 
G

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Fit the antenna as high as possible too.
I too have always had Icom vhf radios and personally I think it is well worth a few extra quid when it comes to safety.
 

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I prefer standard horizon; had them in a couple boats and have a very good handheld SH dsc vhf also. decent quality.
and definitely go for the built in gps if you can afford it, doesnt need to rely on a chartplotter for co-ordinates; but could still as a backup...

How about the SH gx1700e from force4 and cactusnav for £159, and £154 from Gaelforce.
It has built in gps.
 

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The problem with reputation and the internet is something will get a bad name and before you know it it becomes lore. Cobra make a range of radios from cheap and cheerful to quite sophisticated and for global use. Plenty have been stung buying cheap and cheerful and then again from places like E Bay only to find out it was for China or American whatever use and not EU. Then go and put cheap and cheerful units on the helm where they get exposed to the elements on a fishing boat. Yachts for instance usually keep fixed radios inside the cabin. You can see where things start falling apart undeservedly. However the advise given here will not steer you wrong. I'd also recommend Standard Horizon or iCom. They are good quality across the board in terms of robustness, aftermarket service and overall reliability.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK guys so I found a standard horizon gx1700e this has the built in gps and dsc function something I definitely want...

Any one using one of these?

If I purchased this what type of aerial would be best suited for installation on a 16ft cabin boat
 

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I have that gx1700 which I installed last summer, teamed with a glomex fibreglass aerial on a rachet mount. I suggest you contact who ever is supplying the set and talk through the aerial options, considering your possible installation locations. Might knock a quid or two off for buying both. There are other makes but you won't go wrong with glomex for aerials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have that gx1700 which I installed last summer, teamed with a glomex fibreglass aerial on a rachet mount. I suggest you contact who ever is supplying the set and talk through the aerial options, considering your possible installation locations. Might knock a quid or two off for buying both. There are other makes but you won't go wrong with glomex for aerials.
How do you find the radio it's self in use.
I will be running a 70hp 2stroke motor so it will be quite noisy when underway I appreciate that but what's the volume control like on the unit for this and do you get a decent reception from other users
 

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The radio is fine, I have it at about 1/3rd volume and can hear it clearly out on the stern from the cabin of a 22ft boat. Under way - I have a turbo diesel - again no problem I turn it down a bit when under way. Obviously the reception varies on the distance from the transmitting aerial but the coastguards are crystal clear even when a far distance out in the channel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's brilliant stuff i think from what everyone is saying this brand would be good and you say the model is fine found it at a tenner over my budget price too

Will speak to the seller and find out about the compatibility with aerials and mounting options

My boat has an aftermarket fly screen/bridge fitted so I can at least mount probably a meter plus from the hight of the cabin roof line directly above the helm seat
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK I did miss the galeforce site yes not purchase yet as I was going to look at the antenna side and see if I could get a deal lol
 

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Worth doing the course and exam first before you buy, then you can ask the instructor what he recommends. He (or she) will be very experienced and there are usually sets to use there anyway. Don't forget you will need to get the set / vessel licensed (free) as well as yourself (££).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah I looked into all the requirements for use and registration for the set

I can take the course for £25 that's blooming cheap

I'm sure the instructors will have a ton of experience but for real world advise people that have been hands on with the particular brands within my budget is invaluable to me.

Unfortunately like many I'm not made of money so buying wise within my means is important to me
 

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That price must be for course only, the exam fee will be in addition. You can take an on-line course for free ( http://egmdss.com/en/) but there is no true substitute for hands-on instructor-led training.
 
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