Marine Radios That Will Accept Non Marine Frequencies

Status
Not open for further replies.

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,538
I am just wondering if anybody here happens to have a list of all marine radios that will also accept to marine frequencies. I was already aware that the Icom M88 would do that. Yesterday, I happened to see that the Standard Horizon HX380 will also do that. For those here familiar with those radios. Are they a good choice?
 

AA4TX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
45
Location
IONAFLXARS0
Standard Horizon HX400. Great radios, perfect for kayaking.
Part 80/90 compliant;
I have local amateur repeaters programmed in with a few simplex frequencies.
 

paulears

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
375
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Don't forget that many administrations will NOT allow marine radios to have anything in them other than marine channels for normal public sale - so while many makes can be reprogrammed like those horizons which have it as a feature, it's not normal. In the UK, for example, our marine radios follow EU practice and don't have the close by commercial channels as an option, although a few users who need both do have them specially programmed by the manufacturers - Icom typically.
 

WQPW689

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 9, 2014
Messages
318
Location
Palm Beach Co., FL
Probably a bit more restricted than what you're looking for, but if GMRS interests you, there's the Cobra MR HH450 Dual. Marine and GMRS with Weather thrown in.

I find it to be a capable little HT. Only reservation I have is the SMA antenna connection is more recessed than usual, so if you want to use an after market antenna, you have adapter/design issues.
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,538
Standard Horizon HX400. Great radios, perfect for kayaking.
Part 80/90 compliant;
I have local amateur repeaters programmed in with a few simplex frequencies.
Is the software for programming the Standard Horizon HX400 readily available?
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,335
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Another way to look at this is that there are a number of Part 90 radios that have Part 80 certification. Not "marine" radios like you are asking, but they can be programmed for Marine VHF channels legally.

Most of the modern Kenwood radios have both certifications.
 

paulears

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
375
Location
Lowestoft - UK
How does that work with licencing? Here, the inclusion of non-marine channels would mean people could accidentally transmit on channels illegally, and a business channel user who doesn't need an individual licence for frequency X, would need a short range marine radio licence, and a test to use frequency Z?

On top of this, the current marine radio licence here also allocates the radio with the data code for ID purposes - not sure how this then works if some of the channels are not marine?

The technology is simple, but licencing quite complicated.
 

PACNWDude

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
802
I have used the older Standard Horizon HX-370S handheld, with business VHF channels loaded into it. This was for a corporation that had a fleet of anti-pollution vessels. Standard issue radios were Vertex DUO and Yaesu FTH-2070's with business and marine channels programmed.

Later they changed to Motorola PR-1500's with a combination of marine VHF and business band VHF channels. Some experimentation of Standard Horizon and similar Icom handhelds took place, but it was decided to just keep the Motorola handhelds instead.

When narrowband channel spacing became a requirement, there was some drama with Motorola though, as they did not consider the contracts with corporations that needed 25kHz marine frequencies and 12.5 kHz commercial ones in the same radio. They had to rush the firmware and entitlement codes for the CPS software. Kept me busy with several thousand radios and a few other technicians that did not know what to do all of a sudden.

Still use the Standard Horizon HX-370S from time to time though, it is built like an old brick, has great battery life and uses accessories from other similar models. The large display is easy to read too.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,335
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
How does that work with licencing? Here, the inclusion of non-marine channels would mean people could accidentally transmit on channels illegally, and a business channel user who doesn't need an individual licence for frequency X, would need a short range marine radio licence, and a test to use frequency Z?
That's the peculiarity of the FCC licensing in the USA. There are rules regarding transmitting where you are not licensed, but it doesn't mean you cannot purchase a radio capable of it. Just take a look at the Cheap Chinese Radios that are sold on Amazon.

VHF Marine licensing is not done on a radio by radio basis, but by the licensee. Also, "recreational" users do not require a marine VHF license, it's license by rule for those users. Commercial users do need a Marine VHF license.

As for the commercial frequencies, those are controlled under the FCC license for the business/public safety frequencies.

It's not a free for all. It requires programming using software, and the rules are pretty clear about what can and cannot be programmed. Although none of those rules do much to stop people that ignore the rules….

On top of this, the current marine radio licence here also allocates the radio with the data code for ID purposes - not sure how this then works if some of the channels are not marine?

The technology is simple, but licencing quite complicated.
DSC is not a requirement in the USA for Marine VHF. While most radios that are specifically sold as -just- Marine VHF radios have it, there's not a requirement for mixed use radios. I suspect that will change, the FCC is kind of already leaning in that direction. However, the FCC is well known for leaving loopholes big enough to float a ship through.
 

AA4TX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
45
Location
IONAFLXARS0
Is the software for programming the Standard Horizon HX400 readily available?
Yes it is. Depending on the date of manufacture, one of the following will work:

CE138 V1
CE138 V2
And for the latest, YCE13.

Some dealers will provide you a copy, and for a while, CE138 V1 & 2 were available for download on the Standard Horizon web site. That is where I got mine.
 

Broncus

Newbie
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
1
Greetings,

Having just received an HX400 for Christmas I am very interested in this discussion. I am also a kayaker.

The reason the radio was on my list was because of the LMR channels. My goal for my HX400 is Marine use, but, with the LMR option, it can be used as a backup for my amateur radio (voice/APRS).

I have now added some frequencies for testing. Everything is enabled but I haven't yet discovered how to select the LMR/EXP channels from the radio face. Can anyone help? Is this mentioned in a manual? I have searched everything I can find and came up empty. EDIT: I never thought to scroll through the channels below channel 1 or above 88. Doh! So now I see the new channels!

With the new software (YCE13), LMR channels can only be used for narrow band frequencies. The EXP channels can be used for either. There are still only 40 channels of LMR/EXP.

There is also 8 channels of RG. If anyone has comment about these, it would be useful. I have not explored these at all. It sort of implies there are an extra 8 channels available. EDIT: Standard Horizon recommends not to use them as they are not really defined.

Best regards,
Fred
 
Last edited:

AA4TX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
45
Location
IONAFLXARS0
My research indicates that the RG channels are for programming special allocations for some Scandinavian/European countries. The apparently have some non-standard marine frequencies set aside for fishing and recreation vessels. I am not sure why there are separate slots for them; seems like the LMR/EXP slots would work fine.

Yes, for amateur frequencies you will want to use the EXP channels slots so you can access the wideband setting, rather than being forced into the narrowband setting.

I have several of these for kayaking. Great for Marine and accessing local repeaters. Easy to keep in touch with home through the local repeaters.
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,538
I would love to see a marine radio, that will accept non marine services, add Bluetooth. That could be quite handy to be able to be withing few feet of your radio and still operate it remotely via Bluetooth.
 

AA4TX

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
45
Location
IONAFLXARS0
It is illegal to use a marine frequency on land...
None of the preceding questions or discussions were concerned with using Marine frequencies on land. The discussion was about marine radios (Part 80) that were also certified for Part 90, or part 90 radios that were also certified for Part 80. In addition, either of these would be legal for use with Part 97 amateur frequencies.

Please be aware that the FCC has, with the Report and Order adopted on August 30, 2016, and released on September 1, 2016, modified the use of Marine radios on shore. In addition to allowing those with a Coast License to use marine radios on shore, the FCC has added the following:

§ 80.115 Operational conditions for use of associated ship units.
(a) Associated ship units may be operated under a ship station authorization. Use of an associated ship unit is restricted as follows;
1) It must only be operated on the safety and calling frequency 156.800 MHz or 156.525 MHz or on commercial or noncommercial VHF intership frequencies appropriate to the class of ship station with which it is associated.
(2) Except for safety purposes, it must only be used to communicate with the ship station with which it is associated or with associated ship units of the same ship station. Such associated ship units may be used from shore only adjacent to the waterway (such as on a dock or beach) where the ship is located. Communications from shore must relate to the operational and business needs of the ship including the transmission of safety information, and must be limited to the minimum practicable transmission time.
(3) It must be equipped to transmit on the frequency 156.800 MHz or 156.525 MHz and at least one appropriate intership frequency.
(4) Calling must occur on the frequency 156.800 MHz or 156.525 MHz unless calling and working on an intership frequency has been prearranged.
(5) Power is limited to one watt.
(6) The station must be identified by the call sign of the ship station with which it is associated and an appropriate unit designator.
 

captainmax1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
543
Location
Florida Keys
AA4TX posted a more detailed version of the law which is correct. I always have a marine radio with me as well other assortment of handhelds when I travel.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top