Friday, February 3, 2012

New Handheld VHF with GPS

Finally a handheld VHF with DSC and GPS. And as an added bonus a MOB function as well. There's only one more feature I think these units should have. An AIS MOB alert. Clearly an added safety feature and perhaps essential, bearing in mind that some countries do not have DSC. New Zealand is one such country without DSC, but AIS is starting to take hold. Of course, all these electronics are getting smaller and smaller and adding extra features will happen as the years go by.
Panbo had some news recently of a fixed VHF with GPS. You can read that here.
Here's what Icom had to say......... 
Icom has launched their next generation of marine VHF models at the 2012 London Boatshow. Both the IC-M91D GPS Marine VHF/DSC Handheld and IC-M423 Compact Fixed Mount VHF/DSC models share a new common user interface and noise cancelling technology that are unequalled in VHF models today. Both models set a benchmark for all future Marine VHF radios.
The IC-M91D is Icom’s first marine handheld VHF with integrated DSC/GPS giving you the facility to send and receive DSC calls.
The integrated GPS provides another important benefit. The waypoint/compass function allows the boat owner to steer their way to waypoints within a route. A Man Over Board (MOB) function allows you to record time and position of the MOB just in case the worst ever happened. These features, dependant on the size of your vessel, could provide a central or back up navigation tool.
Obviously conditions at sea can vary considerably. But in the worst weather conditions trying to listen to someone calling can be quite difficult. The IC-M91D solves this problem twofold. Firstly, featuring a loud 700mW internal speaker that will give extra clarity to those calls you receive. Secondly it utilises Active Noise Cancelling Technology that uses a digital processor to reduce background noise by up to 90% making sure your call is clearly heard.
Like its predecessors, the IC-M91D features Float’n Flash. What this means is if the radio falls into the water, it will float on its back with the LCD, backlit keypad and distress button flashing, thus making the radio easier to retrieve.
The IC-M91D features a new generation MMI (Man Machine Interface) making the radio really easy to control. Icom’s new common Marine User Interface, is the shape of things to come with all Icom DSC marine radios in the future providing simple operation for the user. A directional keypad provides simple, intuitive operation. The high definition dot matrix display allows all information to be clearly displayed.
Like all Icom marine models the IC-M91D comes with useful standard features onboard like Dual Watch /Tri-Watch. The Aquaquake draining function emits a vibrating tone and clears water away from the speaker grill. Like the rest of Icom’s range, this radio is ATIS Programmable.
Although the radio is jam packed with features, it has excellent ergonomics ensuring it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The radio is waterproof to IPX-7 and meets military specification of durability….this is a radio that will not let you down.
The IC-M91D will be available from Icom stockists at the start of the season with a target selling price of sub £349.95.
(Looks like the initial release is UK only. )

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