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Old 29 September 2006, 16:53   #1
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Silva S10

Hi,

Looking for a new DSC VHF and I really like the look of the Silva S10 (from a useability point of view and large easy to read screen etc). I know there have been some reported problems with water ingress but these sets are IP7 rated after all so "should" be waterproof... Spoke to the dealer today who said they have sold loads of them and have had very few back so that must count for something? There must be a few of you out there using these radios on RIB's - any comments on reliability etc?

Also, can you get a flush mount kit for these? Haven't been able to find one yet.

I know the Icom 421 is a more respected set - I just prefer the operation of the Silva.
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Old 29 September 2006, 17:07   #2
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Originally Posted by al40
Hi,

Looking for a new DSC VHF and I really like the look of the Silva S10 (from a useability point of view and large easy to read screen etc). I know there have been some reported problems with water ingress but these sets are IP7 rated after all so "should" be waterproof... Spoke to the dealer today who said they have sold loads of them and have had very few back so that must count for something? There must be a few of you out there using these radios on RIB's - any comments on reliability etc?

Also, can you get a flush mount kit for these? Haven't been able to find one yet.

I know the Icom 421 is a more respected set - I just prefer the operation of the Silva.
As I have said before, I wouldn't put a Silva anywhere it is likely to get wet. Like on a boat. I have never met a powerboater who has been happy with the reliability of their silva - you know the saying buy cheap buy twice!

That said, the Icom isn't your only other option. I'm starting to sound like a stuck record, but take a good look at Standard Horizon.
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Old 29 September 2006, 17:15   #3
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For what its worth with my own experiences.
I have only owned 2 fixed VHFs. A Navman 7100 and a Icom 421. The Icom is far superior in all respects. Construction, LCD display and Audio. I didn't think there would be any difference but I found a marked difference.

Only downside of Icom is you have to buy a seperate flush mounting kit which bumps the price up a bit.
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Old 29 September 2006, 17:37   #4
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I've had a Silva S10 for a few years now and know a little history about these.

When they first released these they did have quality problems, with water ingress, some switch problems and with the DSC part of the radio not always transmitting the Log/Lat Co-Ords when used in an Emergancy. As a result of these problems Silva Changed the contractors charged with manufacturing these radios.

All the first Radios where recalled for the DSC fault and replaced with new sets. I never had any problem with my early set and it did get soaked plenty of times, but was always stored inside at the end of every boating session, so didn't get as much exposure as some others out there.

The New Radio still hasn't been used yet as I haven't used my RIB this season but they are much cheaper than when I bought one.

For peace of mind though I would go for a ICOM 421 (not available when I was looking). Dosen't cost that much more and the customer service is second to none as I understand it and if they're built like my Shortwave Radio then you'll be pretty impressed.

Good Luck,
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Old 29 September 2006, 17:49   #5
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I guess this is a trade off between useability and performance! Probably not worth the risk of an un-relaible set. I just can't believe Silva can make money if their radios are not waterproof as they have a 2 yr warranty. That aside, the standard horizon does look really nice but too expensive. I was thinking 200 max incl surface mount kit.

I've got a Lowrance 3500C plotter which has NMEA 2000 version 1.2 and I think NMEA 0183 (not sure on version). Anyone connected these to an ICOM 421? Does the radio output the position of DSC messages to the plotter or is that a higher end feature? Couldn't find it anywhere in the 421 manual.

Thanks
Al.
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Old 29 September 2006, 17:59   #6
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Read loads of bad things about them and bloke I did my PB2 with has gone through 4 of them - all replacements from silva!!!

I have a Raymarine 54E and it's brilliant - just don't buy from Cactus - they treated me really badly and the set was setup for the Yank market and had some UK channels missing!!!
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Old 29 September 2006, 20:33   #7
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Al40, it might help you to know that they're now on version 7. Folk relate heresay and stories from long ago but like all things, they move on. The only person in this thread who admits to having one, Hightower, appears to be happy with it. I have a S15 and it is fine. I'd buy another without hesitation. I do like having the large screen and clear properly shaped text, and I like having the call, menu and alpha-numeric keys on the handset. I don't like having to press the F key to set high/low. It doesn't output NMEA.

I've no idea whether a surface mounting kit is available but mine is surface mounted with two easily made small L-shaped brackets screwed onto the fixing points. The rear connector has a shroud but I'd be surprised if it kept the water out for long. But, I would never mount a safety critical piece of electronic equipment in a place fully exposed to the elements, that's just dopey. I know many sets claim water resistance to a depth for a length of time but that's not normal user conditions. Rain falls, it impacts, it may do this for hours, the atmospheric pressure falls and increases sucking and pressing on the water lyinging in the crevices.

I only have very limited experience of one fixed Icom radio and it failed when needed. I do have an Icom hand-held. It's nice to hold but I find it quirky to use.
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Old 30 September 2006, 19:11   #8
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Hi Jw,

Thanks, That's really useful input. As I said in my last post, I could not understand how Silva could realistically sell a product that's inherently faulty or they would be loosing a lot of money on it!

It's possible that we hear of the failures but not of the happy customers. For the price of the ICOM, I could get the S10 plus a portable in waterproof bag. May be a good solution! In either case, it's probably worth having some kind of rain cover over it to stop the continual soaking day in day out. I think it was ICOM who recommended the radio was washed if it got salt water on it to prevent the salt crystalising - seems good advice.

Thanks,
Al.
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Old 30 September 2006, 19:17   #9
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al40

Given my experiences waterproof bags are absolute toss and a complete waste of money. I've spent nearly £200 on Aquapac stuff (and I thought that was top notch stuff) and its all failed inside the year. And get this the retailer said that it wouldn't replace/repair them because I was complaining after 10 months and therefore the product had given reasonable service.

That was www.7dayshop.com . So if you want to avoid them feel free. They are Tosh. They are a Channel Islands company. Needless to say they will never get another penny from me even though they keep bombarding me with E Mails.
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Old 30 September 2006, 19:32   #10
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al40, I hadn't noticed you are in Scotland. Silva are in Livingston. If you are reasonably local and get a failure, you could chap on their door and get a replacement.
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