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Recently in Marine Radios Category

Recently in Marine Radios Category

December 14, 2015

Important VHF marine radio DSC upgrade deadline reminder

OCEANUS-D-UM415.jpgIf you own or operate a fishing or small passenger marine vessel, the FCC wants to remind you to upgrade your craft with VHF radiotelephone equipment with Digital Select Calling (DSC) capability by January 20, 2016.

DSC is a system designed to automatically contact other marine vessels and instantly send a formatted distress, safety or emergency alert for rescue. The system is approved for use internationally and is capable of ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore operation anywhere in the world.

According to the FCC, all fishing and small passenger marine vessels operating in "Sea Area A1 within twenty nautical miles seaward of the territorial baseline along the East, West, and Gulf coasts of the United States, excluding Alaska, and including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota... must upgrade to VHF-DSC equipment no later than January 20, 2016".

For details, read the official FCC public notice (pdf).

Fixed Mount VHF marine radios with Class-D (DSC) Digital Select Calling capability are in stock and available from Buy Two Way Radios.

May 11, 2015

Cobra MR-HH450 DUAL unboxing video

It's a rugged GMRS radio with a removable antenna. It's also a waterproof VHF marine radio that floats. It's the Cobra MR HH-450 DUAL. Now you can get a look at this powerful hybrid portable handheld up close and personal, right out of the box!

In this unboxing video, Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios takes this radio out of the package, tells you what it comes with and shows you what it's all about.

April 22, 2014

The Icom IC-M88 marine radio is also an LMR

IC-M88-1-l.jpgThe Icom M88 is more than just a tough little marine radio. Besides all the US, Canadian and International marine channels (and the ten weather channels),
the M88 also features an additional 22 programmable channels specifically reserved for Land Mobile operation!

That's right. In addition to it's regular duties as a marine radio, the Icom IC-M88 offers 22 channels that can be programmed to VHF frequencies from 146-174MHz in the LMR band. The radio is part 90 type accepted and supports both wideband and narrowband channel spacing for full compliance on each channel. CTCSS and DTCS signaling is built right in as well. This enables the M88 to serve as a marine radio, an emergency weather radio and a portable handheld land mobile radio - all in one handy, rugged device.

As an aside, the M88 is essentially an Icom IC-F50V with marine and weather channels. Both are 5 watt VHF radios, they are waterproof and both are submersible in up to 1 meter of water for up to thirty minutes.

If you're a land-locked mariner who needs a two way radio or you've been looking at both LMR and marine radios but don't want to carry around two separate transceivers at potentially double the cost, the Icom M88 may give you the best of both, and then some.

January 28, 2013

Radio 101 - The facts about squelch

A common term heard among two way radio operators is squelch. It is a standard feature of consumer, business, amateur, air band, marine, and CB radios. But what is it? What does it do? In this episode of Radio 101, Anthony from Buy Two Way Radios explains what squelch is and how it works.

November 20, 2012

TWRS-46 - Hot Radio Gift Ideas

We suggest some two way radios and accessories that make great gifts for the holidays. We'll also review the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:08

Topic Discussion 1:26
We'll talk about giving two way radios and radio accessories for the holidays and how they can be excellent holiday gifts. Some recommended gift ideas include the Midland GXT1000VP4, Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radio Three Packs, CB radios, VHF marine radios, emergency and weather radios, the Blackbox Buzz Listen-Only Radio, the Midland SZ1B Sub Zero Black Ear Warmer Stereo Headset and books about two way radios such as Two Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies and Ham Radios For Dummies. For tips on using your two way radios, watch our new Radio 101 video series hosted by Anthony.

Commercial Break 27:06 1:00

Product Review 28:04
Today we review the Midland ER102 Emergency Crank Radio.

Questions and Answers 34:54
Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

Wrap up and Close 40:52
Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at] Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at!

© 2012 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

[ Download MP3 ]

November 15, 2012

We now have books about two way radios!

books.pngWhen it comes to choosing and using your two way radios, we want you to be informed. There are informative blogs, articles, podcasts and videos available with tips, tricks and reviews to help you navigate the world of radio technology and keep you ahead of the curve. We have a number of resources at Buy Two Way Radios to help you get the most out of your radios. To make them even better, Here's one more. We now carry books about two way radios!

Our new premium selection of books covers every type of two way radio available, including FRS and GMRS radios, marine radios, UHF/VHF business radios, CB and Ham. They're all listed right here on our web site and available now.

Need a basic book for beginners? Two Way Radios and Scanners for Dummies is the perfect choice. It's easy to read, easy to understand, humorous and just a little technical without being boring.

If you want to get into amateur radio, Ham Radio For Dummies is also a great choice. This book how to understand Ham jargon, prepare for your amateur license and how to set up a station. Getting acquainted with amateur radio has never been easier!

Need a technical book for the serious amateur? The ARRL Handbook is a must read for you. Recognized as the standard reference for amateur radio operators everywhere, this handbook covers nearly every aspect of radio communication and is now available in a hard cover 90th edition for 2013.

The ARRL Repeater Directory is a handy resource for locating repeaters across America. The directory lists 21,800 repeaters across the country in a spiral bound 2012-2013 desktop edition.

These are just a sampling of the publications now available to provide you with the knowledge you need maximize the potential of your radios and put you in control of your communications. Whether you are new to two way radios, or you're a seasoned pro, There's a radio book waiting for you.

If the publication you need is not listed on our site, please contact us and let us know.

November 23, 2011

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

All of us at Buy Two Way Radios would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving! As is our tradition, our offices will be closed Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 24 and Friday November 25, 2011. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our Two Way Radio Forums or give us a call after 8 AM EST Monday, November 28, 2011. Please stay safe while traveling.

July 26, 2011

Getting Started with Marine Radios

One of the most important things to have with you when you are out on the water (besides something to keep you afloat) is a means of two way communication, such as a radio. If you are a boater, you probably already know how important it is to have a radio on board.

Marine VHF radios are commonly used on seafaring vessels both large and small to communicate ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore for everything from routine contact with ports and marinas to emergency distress calls. These radios operate using VHF frequencies from 156 to 174 MHz.

Marine radios operate very much like your typical land-based two way radio, but with some differences in channels, wattage, range and features. VHF marine channels are different than those used for land based radios and are specifically for use in marine environments. They are allowed to operate between 1 and 25 watts. Because transmissions primarily occur over open water, their range will generally be much greater than land-based radios.

Marine radios also offer many additional features not found on most land-based radios, such as emergency weather alerts and weather-proofing. It is not uncommon for marine radios, particularly handheld units, to be submersible in water and even float.

One important feature often found in a VHF marine radio is Digital Selective Calling, or DSC. DSC is part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS). A Class-D (DSC) Digital Selective Calling-capable VHF radio has a second receiver to monitor Channel 70 (DSC channel) activity at all times while receiving another channel. DSC allows the user to send a distress signal at the push of a button without using a microphone to exchange position information with other boats or stations. As of March 25, 2011 marine radios are now required by the FCC to be Class-D DSC complaint.

The FCC has set specific requirements for users of marine radios operating within US jurisdiction. The FCC states: Depending on the size, purpose, or destination of a ship, its radio station must meet certain requirements established by law or treaty.

On October 25, 1996, the FCC released a Report and Order in WT Docket No. 96-82, 11 FCC Rcd 14849, FCC 96-421 (pdf), eliminating the individual licensing requirement for voluntary ships operating domestically which are not required by law to carry a radio. Voluntary ships are those that are not required to have a radio. WIth a few exceptions, most recreational vessels are considered voluntary.

According to the FCC, domestic vessels are those that do not travel to foreign ports. If your vessel travels to ports in other countries, you will need to have a license. The FCC rules require certain vessels to be equipped with radio equipment for safety purposes. These rules are set in accordance with international agreements.

Marine radios typically have 88 channels, however not all of those channels are allowed to be used by everyone. Certain channels are reserved for specific types of communications or for specific groups, such as commercial ships and the Coast Guard. For instance, Simplex channels, 3, 21, 23, 61, 64, 81, 82 and 83 CANNOT be legally used in U.S. waters by the general public. Channel 16 and Channel 9 are emergency channels and are reserved specifically for emergency communications. Channel 16 (for voice) and channel 70 (for digital DSC) being monitored 24 hours a day by the US Coast Guard.

In addition to the other requirements, there is one other very important rule to note: Marine radios are specifically intended for marine use. It is illegal to operate a marine radio on land.

There are two basic types of VHS Marine Radios, fixed mount and handheld. Fixed mount radios are installed or mounted in your vessel. Handheld radios are carried with you like any other handheld two way radio or walkie-talkie.

Examples of fixed mount VHF marine radios are the Icom IC-M412 (available in black or white) and the Cobra Marine MR-F80B-D Class-D Fixed Mount Submersible VHF Radio. Examples of handheld marine radios are the Midland Nautico 3VP, and the Icom IC-M36 VHF Marine Radio. Cobra, Icom, Midland and Uniden are all popular brands of marine radios.

When shopping for a marine radio, it is important to note that while antennas are typically included with handheld radios, an antenna is not included with fixed mount marine radios and are purchased separately. This is because the antenna will be mounted somewhere externally on the vessel itself. Marine radio antennas vary in size, length and type and your choice of an antenna may vary depending on where and how it will be mounted on your vessel.

For more information about the basics of choosing and using a marine radio, listen to The Two Way Radio Show Episode 16 - An Introduction to Marine Radios.

June 30, 2011

Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Buy Two Way Radios would like to wish everyone a safe and happy July 4th! Our offices will be closed for the day on Monday, July 4, 2011. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our forums or give us a call after 8 AM EDT Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Have a happy Independence Day and please stay safe while traveling.

December 24, 2010

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!

Buy Two Way Radios would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday! Our offices will be closed for the day on Christmas Eve, Friday December 24, 2010. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our forums or give us a call after 8 AM EST Monday, December 27, 2010. Please stay safe while traveling.