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VHF and DSC on inland lakes

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  • VHF and DSC on inland lakes

    Hello all ,

    I have got my boat all remodeled and am soon to be doing alot of boating with my 8 year old boys In the summers .

    The worrier in me always like to prepare for the worst . I currently don't have a radio in my boat and that will be a must when kids are involved .

    so I will be installing a VHF radio soon.
    ​ I have been doing a little reading and have read about DSC and that sounds like an awesome feature , but we will never be boating anywhere near the coast , we live in Utah . so the question is dsc even useful Inland ? If I get into some jackpot situation and hit the red button does that even do anything in lake Powell for example ?

    Thanks for the help
    Last edited by REDRIG; January 27th, 2019, 10:17 PM.
    1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

  • #2
    remember, some places on Lake Powell it will take a rescuer up to 30 minutes to get there. DSC couldn't hurt.

    Also, is VHF even good in some of those canyons? radio does work by line of site.
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

    Past Boats
    1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
    2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
    1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah , I guess thats my main question with the whole line of sight thing .

      I have heard stories about Powell where to get help , it involved several boats relaying messages from the main channel to the park service .

      in the side canyons I beleive they are indeed worthless even if you had a 100 ft antenna, but the main channel where its a little more open and you can see some of the mountains I believe you can get decent reception. (same with cell)

      On a side note , does anyone know if a hummingbird 597 ci hd di with GPS can link up with a DSC radio ? I cant find anything in the humminbird manual .

      1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

      "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

      Comment


      • #4
        If there are any boats within range of VHF with a radio, then they would be able to help you, so 2x what Scott said.
        also
        Looks like that unit can output nmea 0183. So it could send GPS info to a VHF aslong as if it accepts 0183. Here si what I found:
        "
        The back panel of the display has connectors for the XNT 9 DI T transducer, a power cable, and a for an optional cable that will let the 597ci interface with other NMEA 0183 devices. All the cables run through the inside of the mounting bracket making for a clean looking installation.

        not sure of your radio manufacturer, if icom, try this:
        The correct way to wire this is as follows;

        HB NMEA Output + (white) connects to Icom In + (Inner conductor of the Red NMEA Input
        coaxial cable
        )

        HB Ground – (black) connects to Icom In – (Outer conductor of the Red NMEA Input
        coaxial cable
        )

        Important – Do not connect the HB
        Red 12
        VDC wire, cap and insulate this wire, its 12 VDC and will damage any NMEA port it gets connected to.

        If other than Icom, just need to look at the manual for the radio and it will tell you what the NMEA input wires are

        GOOD LUCK

        Comment


        • #5
          Dang great stuff stingraymike , super helpful !

          I don't have a radio yet so I will be shopping for one of those .
          1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

          "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

          Comment


          • #6
            No Problem.
            its easier to do searches for information when you know some of the lingo.
            Just do a search for that interface cable before you buy...
            also
            you can get VHF's that have built in GPS for DSC function as well

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm a saltwater guy and know nothing about boating on a lake. I would say a radio can't hurt, at least it's one way to communicate in an emergency if nothing else than to another boater. If radio communications is useless on the lake you can also get a PLB for emergency. Can you ask the park service what frequency they monitor and ask them about coverage on the lake and see what they recommend.

              Comment


              • #8
                satellite radio helps in lake powell. Cell only works if you have line of site on Navajo mountain

                Always publish a float plan
                Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                Past Boats
                1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mike_i View Post
                  If radio communications is useless on the lake you can also get a PLB for emergency.
                  dang those PLBs are slick , I have never seen those before , thanks for the tip. That is what I was hoping a DSC would do when connected to a GPS .
                  1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

                  "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
                    satellite radio helps in lake powell. Cell only works if you have line of site on Navajo mountain
                    yup , that is what I hear about the south end of the lake . I spend most of my time on the north end where cell reception is even worse . The only place I have ever got a bar on my cell away from a marina is at the Rincon
                    Last edited by REDRIG; January 30th, 2019, 09:47 AM.
                    1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

                    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The only place I ever got cell reception was at the Dam Bar..... LOL
                      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                      Past Boats
                      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just scored a nice new cobra fixed mount with GPS built in . Now I just need to get an mmsi and antenna and hook it up .

                        Any antenna recommendations for an 18 foot boat ? Is an 8 footer overkill ? Are those little stainless canister ones sufficient ?
                        1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

                        "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by REDRIG View Post
                          Any antenna recommendations for an 18 foot boat ? Is an 8 footer overkill ? Are those little stainless canister ones sufficient ?
                          The size of the boat is irrelevant in an antenna discussion. It comes down to performance. How far do you need to transmit?

                          VHF is basically line of sight. You can see a lot further standing on a chair than sitting on the floor. Same holds true an antenna

                          Assuming both antenna are mounted at the same level on the boat, the 8 ft. antenna will have a radio horizon of 4 miles compared to only 2 miles for a 3 ft. antenna. You add the two radio horizons of both antennas (broadcast and receiver) together for an expected transmission distance. In the 8 and 3 scenic your transmission distance is 6 miles. Make them both 8ft. and distance increases to 8 miles.

                          I
                          ....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            however line of sight on lake powell is only about a mile prior to the canyon walls turning. so a 6' would be sufficient

                            if you plan on boating elsewhere, then go with the biggest antenna you can.
                            Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                            1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                            Past Boats
                            1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                            2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                            1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                            What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              thanks for the tips , I will get a big one that can lay down when not in use
                              1977 Bellboy 18 footer with a 175 HP OMC 302

                              "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it's difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

                              Comment

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