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Old 06 February 2007, 11:25   #1
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Fixed Cobra VHF Radios

Well our Navman VHF has gone the way of our Navman Chartplotter, knackered after 17 months. It seems that Navman cannot make a product that can keep out the damp ( perhaps Navman should shroud their electronices in tissue paper instead of plasic it may last longer!)

Anyway no point going back to Navman for repairs as their returns / repairs service is even worse than their electronics.

So we have decided to cut our losses and go for a cheap fixed VHF instead. Then if it only lasts 18 months we havent wasted all our money.

To this end I see that several online stores are doing a Cobra Fixed DSC VHF for £99 inc VAT including flush mounting kit. Has anyone had any experience of these?

Pete

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Old 06 February 2007, 11:35   #2
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Why not get the Icom 421.

Its only £159 from JG Tech.

http://www.jgtech.com/shop3.htm

I've had no problems with mine. But I must say I don't get any mega waves over the bows on the RIBCRAFT as I used to with the Searider.
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Old 06 February 2007, 11:35   #3
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I have had (somewhat limited) experience of these. My advice is not to fit it anywhere it is likely to get wet.

On a boat, for example.

I think you will find it substantially worse than your Navman, as the old saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice! I regard a VHF as a safety item, and to my mind paying £200 ish for a decent Icom or Standard Horizon is well worth the outlay.
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Old 06 February 2007, 11:43   #4
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Fixed VHF

In my humble opinion, it is just not worth getting a budget VHF. I have used ICOM for many years on both sail and power boats and find them fantastic! I would strongly suggest you look around for a bargain, even a used ICOM should serve you well!

I hasten to add that I am not associated with ICOM, other than as a very satisfied customer.
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Old 06 February 2007, 11:56   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSmith View Post
Well our Navman VHF has gone the way of our Navman Chartplotter, knackered after 17 months. It seems that Navman cannot make a product that can keep out the damp ( perhaps Navman should shroud their electronices in tissue paper instead of plasic it may last longer!)

Anyway no point going back to Navman for repairs as their returns / repairs service is even worse than their electronics.

So we have decided to cut our losses and go for a cheap fixed VHF instead. Then if it only lasts 18 months we havent wasted all our money.

To this end I see that several online stores are doing a Cobra Fixed DSC VHF for £99 inc VAT including flush mounting kit. Has anyone had any experience of these?

Pete

><(((ö>
Hi Pete
Yes i have ,it's a great cheapo little unit that does what it says on the tin.It transmits well and receives clearly even though it's built in speaker is a little tinny. However, i can't vouch for the waterproofing as mines in a wheelhouse.
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Old 08 February 2007, 18:51   #6
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Originally Posted by PeteSmith View Post

To this end I see that several online stores are doing a Cobra Fixed DSC VHF for £99 inc VAT including flush mounting kit. Has anyone had any experience of these?

Pete

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I've got one. It does everything I ask it to and it was waterproof enough to survive the last 2 years including the stuff that got me my 'submariner' award...
The only real downsides are as Dino says it sounds a bit tinny and there's no dimmer on the display. That can be a pain in the dark as it's bright enough to interfere with night vision.

Don't use the mounting screws provided with it for the mic holder btw-they are thin plated steel and rust really fast staining everything.
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Old 10 February 2007, 16:00   #7
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I have the Cobra DSC - And wished I didn't. It just isn't upto the job for a Searider.

Unable to select nature of DSC distress. (not needed it yet though!)
Sound is weak and tinny. Have to use external speaker.
Handset collects water and becomes muffled when wet.
Vulnerable to wind noise.
Controls corrode.
Have to constantly change display contrast.
No backlight dimming.
Menu layout is terrible.
Too many fiddly buttons on the handset -keeps changing channel when you pick it up (now disabled).

On the plus side the main unit appears to be waterproof -until you plug in the NMEA and speaker.
Works on 12 volts....
Cheap.


Would seem to be more suitable for inside a cabin than a rib.
Icom here I come.
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Old 11 February 2007, 09:23   #8
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Unable to select nature of DSC distress
no experience of Cobra sets but the Icoms we use for radio courses have the same quirk that you do not really get the chance to choose your particular category of grief when sending a dsc distress alert. However in the real world, if the **** hits the fan in a rib I am not gonna be fiddling about selecting distress categories when water is sweeping the length of the boat-I just want to be able to push an easily found red button for 5 secs. If we had the Icoms on the boats the instruction to inexperienced passengers could be as simple as "if I go over the side just push that red button for more than 5 secs- which is easier than telling them to press it once and then press it again this time for over 5 secs. Been in that situation when a commercial boat was in trouble here last year and unable to transmit his own distress. Salt water sweeping the boat and in your eyes effectivley blinds you as far as scrolling down menus is concerned and I also needed to keep control of my own vessel in very shallow water with breaking waves - a voice transmission with no digital call was far far easier, to the extent that I never even considered trying to read an LCD screen to look for the urgency category of call.
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Old 13 February 2007, 13:31   #9
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Unable to select nature of DSC distress..
Correct me if I am wrong but isnt this part of the type approval and therfore standrad to all sets?

The Icoms that Dave is referring to do have the function its just been hidden away in a very stupid place (ie you can not select the narture of distress easily when in distress).
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Old 13 February 2007, 13:32   #10
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The Icoms that Dave is referring to do have the function its just been hidden away in a very stupid place (ie you can not select the narture of distress easily when in distress).
From what I've seen, the Icom M601 is similar to other sets, and to the best of my knowledge it's only the M421 with this damn fool arrangement!
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