Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: Icom IC-M502|
posted 04-12-2013 12:19 AM ET (US)
[Seeks a reader who has first-hand] experience [with the use or operation of] or owns [an ICOM IC-M502 VHF Marine Band radio.] [What is the] performance and reliability [of an ICOM IC-M502 VHF Marine Band radio]?.
posted 04-12-2013 10:10 AM ET (US)
All VHF Mairne Band radios sold in the USA have to meet the FCC specifications in effect at the time of their sale. As a result, most of the radios on the market are very similar in their performance. They have the same transmitter power output and the same modulation level. The receiver sensitivity is usually specified around 0.5-microVolt for 10-dB SINAD in recovered audio. I would be surprised to find very much difference among modern radios in their technical specifications for the receiver and transmitter.
I don't know of any data about reliability for any radio that is reliable data. Most data about reliability would be completely anecdotal.
At the present time it is contrary to FCC regulations to sell or install any fixed-mount VHF Marine Band radio which is not qualified to DSC CLASS-D rating. I don't see the ICOM M-502 radio listed in the current offerings from ICOM. It may be an obsolete model. I suspect that it probably is not qualified as a DSC CLASS-D radio, and would not be compliant with FCC regulations for installation at the present time.
Non-compliant radios which are already installed can continue to be used, but new non-compliant radios are not to be sold or installed. This regulation is to encourage the adoption and use of DSC CLASS-D rated radios in the VHF Marine Band service.
posted 04-12-2013 11:01 AM ET (US)
For more information on the present requirement for VHF Marine Band radios to comply with DSC CLASS-D ratings, see the earlier discussion on this topic at
Notice Re DSC Radios with RTCM SC101
posted 04-12-2013 12:03 PM ET (US)
I had an Icom IC-M502 in my Dauntless 180. The quality was good, and the radio always worked well. However, it was not very user-friendly. I always had to have the manual in hand when attempting to change anything but the most basic settings.
posted 04-12-2013 04:40 PM ET (US)
Thanks Kevin - stumbled on one never used. Best to you.
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