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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
VHF Radio: Color Choice
|Author||Topic: VHF Radio: Color Choice|
posted 04-05-2007 10:51 PM ET (US)
I plan to buy a new VHF Marine Band radio soon. I am in two minds about which color to order: white or black. Here are my thoughts:
A white radio may make more sense if mounted out in the open. It won't get as hot in the sun as a black radio. The white color blends somewhat with the boat's color, although a pure white radio is something of a clash with the nice Desert Tan gel coat color of my classic Boston Whaler boat. But white shows the dirt more, and often the display is harder to read because of the glare from the white surround.
A black radio looks a bit "cooler" to me, but I worry about it getting really warm in direct sunlight. If the radio is bracket mounted, a black radio really makes a big hunk of stuff sitting on a light colored console.
My current radio is mounted in the cabinet below the helm console, so it is not really visible or in the sun. I do miss being able to see the radio display more clearly. For this reason I am thinking of mounting the radio atop the console or in some position where it is more visible. It is very unlikely I will flush-mount the radio, as I am very averse to cutting a large opening into the console laminate.
I would be interested in reading your thoughts on the choice of color for a radio. The model I plan to buy is available only in white or black (which is a very dark gray, actually, I think).
posted 04-05-2007 11:05 PM ET (US)
Jim I like white because it's easier to see in low light or darkness (trying to find a lose black mike in the dark could be a challenge). The glare really dosen't bother me. The black and heat build up would worry me also, not to mention grabing a black mike that had been sitting in the sun. I would like to go to a black box radio and a RAM mike (in white).
|Tom W Clark||
posted 04-05-2007 11:27 PM ET (US)
I really think you should buy the color that strikes your fancy. I have to believe that either color of radio will perform to your expectations and endure at least until you have identified a newer and fancier model that you just can't live without.
posted 04-06-2007 12:16 AM ET (US)
I'd go with black (although my radios are grey).
White is okay, but is better suited to kitchen appliances I think.
I seem to remember you saying once that you were an iCOM fan, Jim. Many dealers are currently selling the (discoutinued?) M602 with Commandmic at very attractive prices.
I seriously considered upgrading when I saw that, but I need weather curtains next...
posted 04-06-2007 12:43 AM ET (US)
I have a white ICOM radio but I'd get black or gray next time. White shows the dirt more and glare from the sun is a bummer.
The 2006 NEMA award winner was the ICOM M504 which comes in black or gray.
posted 04-06-2007 07:55 AM ET (US)
I just bought a Standard Horizon Spectrum-X (GX1500S) Class D VHF radio last weekend and went through the same "painful" decision making -- black or white. After much deliberation, I chose black for two reasons: 1) the old Standard Horizon radio was white and I wanted a change and 2) black hides the dirt better. The radio is mounted in the cabinet below the helm so it is never in sunlight. Unlike the Revenge 22, the door on the cabinet on the 27 Whaler is a plexiglass slider which can be left open while underway.
With respect to the desire to see the display, I suggest that you consider a radio model that can accept a second station RAM microphone and mount the RAM microphone somewhere on the helm. I did exactly that with my Revenge 22 a few years ago. See photo here ==> new.photos.yahoo.com/whaler186/album/576460762347092187/photo/ 294928803711123144/1 . This will eliminate the need for a separate speaker. Of course this will lead to another difficult decision -- black or white.
posted 04-06-2007 08:33 AM ET (US)
posted 04-06-2007 08:49 AM ET (US)
While still in bed this morning I was thinking over the radio color decision. It occurred to me that most of the other recreational boat electronic devices like a SONAR or a GPS are in dark gray or black enclosures. The radios are about the only device offered in a white enclosure. I think I will go with the dark gray or black choice.
Peter---very interesting that you mention the Standard-Horizon GX1500S radio, as that is the one I (currrently) plan to get.
posted 04-06-2007 09:06 AM ET (US)
Jim -- I have and have had both Standard Horizon and ICOM VHF radios over the years. Both are good but I like the Standard Horizon line better. I was sold on this model for three reasons -- Class D, a rotary knob for channel selection and menu control, and it was cheap ($137). The nearest equivalent in the ICOM brand is the 504 and its much more money. I would characterize the black as a charcoal black, not dark gray.
In hindsight, if choosing again, I would have gone with a black CommandMic on my Revenge 22.
posted 04-06-2007 09:34 AM ET (US)
I chose the black Icom 422 for it's ability to "hide" behind the smoke glass console cover of my hardtop. It had a outdated white Standard Horizon that was quite visual from the dock.
posted 04-06-2007 10:50 AM ET (US)
My iCom is black... but I keep it covered with a Pacific Blue Sunbrella cover that I made. All my electronics get covered when not underway as it protects them from prying eyes, moisture, dirt, etc.
posted 04-06-2007 11:37 AM ET (US)
The VH-310 microphone option is a good choice. You get a full keypad to enter MMSI numbers.
posted 04-06-2007 08:21 PM ET (US)
I bought black. It hides the dirt better and usually won't discolor from the ultraviolet rays
Black also shows better on an all white, off white console
posted 04-07-2007 12:44 AM ET (US)
For what it's worth, I went with black when I installed a Standard Horizon GX1500S a few months ago:
On the other hand, the boat's previous owner went with white for the older Standard Horizon model that this replaced.
Now I just need a black stereo to sit next to it ...
posted 04-07-2007 09:15 AM ET (US)
Frank--To change subject slightly, what model of Boston Whaler boat is shown in your photograph? I love that console layout. And with the black dashboard panel, the dark radio is a natural.
My boat, a REVENGE, has a small dashboard panel already crowded with gauges, so there is no way to mount the radio to it. You can see the situation in
where there are some photographs.
posted 04-07-2007 11:20 AM ET (US)
Thanks for the comment, Jim. This is the 1995 Outrage 21 that I bought last June. Post-classic though it may be, I'm really enjoying it.
Incidentally, to expand on the comment about the stereo. To tell the truth, I'm not a big one for music out on the water, so upgrading the stereo isn't a big priority. The boat came with a unit installed on the console to the left of the marine radio and below the warning light and accessory 12-volt socket. It has a detachable face (detached in the photo), and appears not to work. If I could figure out something else to mount in that space I'd be happy to lose the stereo. The sticking point so far has been to find something with the same or a slightly larger footprint.
posted 04-07-2007 02:58 PM ET (US)
If you remember I went with a white Icom 402 on the old Montauk since it was flush mounted in the console. I think it looked great. On the Outrage 20 I went with the ICOM 422 in black since it was mounted in the elctronics box on the T-top. I have to tell you if I did it over I would now go with the Standard Horizon GX1500S or the GX2360S. I think both are easier to use and the displays seem alittle easier to read. For your setup, I think I would still mount it in the lower compartment or the cabin and go with the Ram Mic. That is a nice setup for the Revenge and will keep the clutter down on the dash. Let us know what you decide.
posted 04-08-2007 10:54 PM ET (US)
Standard Horizon white is white. Icom "white" is pretty close to desert tan.
posted 04-09-2007 05:18 PM ET (US)
I bought the ICOM in white-looks great, but after a winter under cover the minor mildew that grows on everything is showing on the white mike cord. Maybe a black one wouldn't show this as much...
posted 04-09-2007 09:25 PM ET (US)
Whatever looks good.
posted 04-11-2007 10:46 AM ET (US)
Jim, I agree with Peter
If you have any old holes, such as lighter plugs, dead man switches, or unused instrument cut-outs, a remote RAM microphone is a great addition to the helm area.
When I repowered my Montauk, the new ignition switch had an engine shut off switch integrated into the ignition switch. The old OMC stand alone mounting plate was unused, so I simply stuck a RAM microphone adapter in it. It looks like it was made for this application!
I selected black because it looked better with the existing instruments and electronics. I can easily remove the mic when not in use by simply unplugging it.
posted 04-18-2007 07:31 PM ET (US)
I vote for black. My white Icom is now yellow and has been since it's second year. Perhaps it's the South Alabama heat under the mooring cover. My boat is covered except when in use or being cleaned or otherwise maintained.
The yellow is not very attractive.
posted 04-22-2007 01:03 PM ET (US)
I bought the Icom 402a in black which mounts under the helm box of my 1960 BellBoy 404 Express cruiser. The entire boat including the helm box is an ivory colored gel-coat. All of the instruments are black-cased, switches, ram mount for the GPS - all black. I think it looks great. To have white against off-white, to me, looks unattractive. To each his/her own, though. Since the Icom is mounted under the helm box, it is out of direct sunlight. Is there a way to attach photos to these postings? I would be happy to provide one.
posted 04-22-2007 01:23 PM ET (US)
Is this an electrical question?
posted 04-22-2007 03:12 PM ET (US)
Black or white what ever I get a deal on, and it works
posted 04-23-2007 12:45 AM ET (US)
My radio is gray. Best of both.
posted 04-23-2007 07:31 PM ET (US)
I dont know how many VHF radios Ive literally worn out over the years.
Way back I would have said white and white only.
ALL of the radios I own now have lit dials and buttons and same channel return (if turned off or power shut down) even tho they cost a little more than the generic version of the same basic radio.
With that, black or white works.
FYI, channel 16 monitoring;
The remote speaker/power switch also works great for boats that have dual helms that would need 4 radios, instead you can get by with 3.
posted 04-30-2007 01:12 AM ET (US)
So what color did you pick?
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