Icom UK is pleased to provide the first glimpse of two new concept VHF/DSC models at this year's London Boatshow

Icom UK is pleased to provide the first glimpse of two new concept VHF/DSC models at this year’s London Boatshow. Two new ‘black box’ transceivers called the IC-M505 Controller and the IC-M603 Controller are being shown for the first time in the world. They may look simplistic, but these are fully functional transceivers, which can be installed out of sight, which is important, where space is at a premium. These radios could have huge appeal to a wide range of users.

The concept is to control each model by an Icom Commandmic. By using the central jog dial and buttons you can operate all functions of each radio including VHF, DSC operation, loud hailer and foghorn from remote locations such as the cockpit or fly bridge. The Commandmic meets the highest specification of waterproofing (IPX8: 1.5m for 30 minutes) in the market place, so if it rains, hails it wont let you down.

This innovation from Icom gives the benefits of a full fixed VHF/DSC to boatowners who might not normally have the space to use one. There are some boat owners who may only have very little space for instruments and rely on a handheld VHF for their comms. The ability to utilise 25 Watt output power from either fixed units, as well as the vessels VHF antenna will give greater range to these users and a lot more flexibility. Because these are based on Icoms higher tier models you have a range of facilities to operate from the controlling Commandmic including VHF, DSC, Hailer and Foghorn Functions.

Because a Commandmic controls the unit, you get more intuitive control. In rough weather conditions, when the sea is extremely choppy and when you are trying to keep your balance, a Commandmic is probably easier to use than trying to retain your balance and operate the functions of VHF mounted to the bulkhead or console.

Icom believe there are many users who could benefit from this new product range:Powerboat owners, overwhelmed by the amount of instrumentation who have very little space for a fixed unit.Sail boats where space is at a premiumAnywhere where there is a chart table. With the evolution of marine electronic equipment more instrumentation is now housed on a chart table, where space is at a premium. Simply moving the main comms unit out of sight optimises space and allows you to use your Commandmic conveniently at the chart table.For the boat builder these models are ideal. Not only is it a convenient product to install, it can be fitted and can almost be forgotten about.For the less frequent sailor, the chances of theft of the VHF are minimised. The Commandmic can be simply unplugged from the hidden main unit at the end of the day and taken home until the next time you use your boat

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd said, ‘Icom’s product development policy is to put the needs for the consumer at the forefront of product development. Together with our new VHF/DSC’s with integrated AIS receiver, Icom now have an innovative range of quality radio products available for all mariners.’

These are the first concept models to be seen in the world. No release date has yet been planned.