Mailport: December 2012
Donít Forget the Basics
I updated my fixed-mount VHF from the reliable Icom M412 series radio to the new Standard Horizon Matrix GX2150 (PS, July 2012) because of its AIS feature. The problem I had was with the remote VHF microphone, a RAM3 with an AIS display. I could never clearly hear incoming broadcasts, even at its highest volume. My handheld Standard Horizon HX851 offered better sound than the remote mic, and I found myself using it rather than the remote mic in order to receive clear incoming broadcast.
I called Standard Horizon about it, and they had me send the mic in for repair. It came back with a new speaker but no improvement.
Out of desperation, I installed 4.5-inch, waterproof West Marine-brand external speakers, which turned out to be the best thing ever! I can now hear broadcasts from all over the cockpit of my 52-foot vessel.
The moral here is that with all the new bells and whistles, donít forget about the basics, like being able to hear clearly from the speaker.
Capt. Thomas Perry
Next: Replacing Nonskid