ICOM IC-M423 DSC/VHF £299.95

ICOM IC-M423 DSC/VHF £299.95
ST
GEAR ON TEST
ICOM IC-M423 DSC/VHF
LOOK
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PREMDUCT
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Icom’s latest fixed-mount
DSC/VHF radio, the IC-M423,
together with its high definition
dot matrix display and optional
HM-195 CommandMic
introduces a new user interface
that simplifies the radio’s
operation.
An audio output of 10W from
its loud speaker makes sure you
will clearly hear calls and it also
features a Public Address and
Fog Horn function if required.
IN THE BOX
Radio, U-bracket,
flush mount kit,
12V fused power lead,
handbook
INSTALLATION
It’s very compact and can be
flush fitted into an instrument
console or surface mounted
using the accompanying
U-bracket.
On the back is the antenna
socket (standard PL-259
fitting), a 4-way NMEA lead/
socket, a 4-way output lead/
socket for external speaker/
PA, power leads with bullet
crimps, ground terminal and an
8-way connector for the remote
CommandMic.
T
BUDGE
BUY
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Connections are all clearly
indicated in the handbook,
along with full descriptions
on what does what. One of
the best operating/installation
manuals we’ve seen.
ON TEST
The IC-M423 now has an
easy to use ‘Marine Family
User Interface’ that will be
incorporated into all future
Icom radios. This includes a
rotary selector, a directional
keypad, four ‘soft’ keys and four
dedicated keys – all of which
provide an intuitive method of
operation, meaning you can be
up and running with the basic
radio functions without even
referring to the manual. Setting
up the parameters is pretty
straightforward, too as you can
whizz through menus using the
rotary knob.
In the default page I found it
a little annoying to have to use
the arrow keys, rather than the
knob, to change channels. In
default the knob changes the
volume, unless you press the
top, when it changes to squelch
control and finally onto channel
change at the third push. You
£299.95
E
UPDAT
can, though, select a calling
channel this way, which can
always be accessed by pressing
the Chan soft key at any time.
The home page display
shows the channel in very large
digits, the position (if connected
to GPS), the time and the four
soft keys lead to the Scan,
Dual Watch, Hi/Lo and Chan
functions. There’s a lot of other
info on the display, but being
fairly high-resolution, it’s all
reasonably clear to read at a
glance.
The M423 has all the features
of a modern day VHF radio,
including DSC, Dual/Tri watch,
All/TAG/Priority scanning,
named channels, group calling/
polling, fog horn signalling, Tx/
Rx DSC message log and more.
It can also be integrated with
Icom’s MA-500TR Class B AIS
Transponder, allowing you to
transmit individual DSC calls
to a selected vessel without
manual MMSI entry. This is
a handy feature if you need
to quickly contact a vessel
on the AIS screen in an
emergency.
Other features
include Active Noise
Cancelling Technology,
in which intelligent
filtering circuits
are said to reduce
background noise by
up to 90 per cent, making
it easy to hear when the
weather conditions are poor
or if the engine is running.
We didn’t try using an external
speaker, but the internal one
was loud and very clear.
The IC-M423 can also be
remotely controlled by the
optional HM-195 CommandMic,
which enables all radio
functions to be operated
from the cockpit. The
HM-195, which utilises the
same user interface as the
IC-M423, also provides an
intercom facility between
itself and radio, for dual
station control.
Finally, the radio has a Time
Out function that discontinues
transmission if the PTT key is
held down for longer than the
preset period (default)
DK
WE LIKE
• Easy to use and set up
• Excellent display contrast
• Compact and smart looking
• Remote mike/control
WE DON’T LIKE
• Knob not changing channel
in default
★★★★★
VERDICT
A premium quality VHF with all
the functions one could hope
for. Not particularly cheap,
but when teamed up with the
CommanMic, it makes for a
really professional DSC radio
system that any serious boat
owner would envy.
Contact: Icom UK Ltd
Tel: 01227 741741
Web: www.icomuk.co.uk
SEPTEMBER 2012 SAILING TODAY 31
ST185 Gear_th_JF.indd 31
17/07/2012 09:31
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