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BandG V90S VHF Discontinued....


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I liked the B&G V90 VHF. Not only the functionality but the backbox. Upgrade my VHF has been on the cards for some time. I am surprised to see that the V90s is discontinued. 

Their V60 is not the same. No black box. The handset itself is not looking as good, and don't feel so good in my hands. I can see the benefit of having a fixed small display for the AIS information. My question, is there any plans for a replacement of the V90s? 

https://www.bandg.com/en-gb/bg/type/vhf-ais/vhf-marine-radiodscaisv90s-system/

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If you also include the Simrad version maybe you can find one still in stock. 

I had Simrad’s first AIS capable VHF with remote mics. Sound quality was bad, UI was so-so, lots of bugs. I hope they improved in all of those areas in the follow up version (including the v90s).  My current boat has a much simpler Icom and it sounds so much better.  The wired remote mic means I won’t drop it overboard. 

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I don't know of any brand that keeps models very long, just replace a icom 504 to find out they no longer made it and the remote mics were not compatible with 506, I had two spare. Did find a old 504 as a spare so now have functional backup in a box.

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12 hours ago, Alex W said:

 I had Simrad’s first AIS capable VHF with remote mics. Sound quality was bad, UI was so-so, lots of bugs.

From a technical point of view, I think there is no difference between the two radios, except for logo.

Your experience with sound quality, UI and bugs are more worrying. It might be why it's discontinued? B&G (and Simrad) normally only discontinue a product when they got its replacement. I can't see any replacement product in their portfolio. 

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Well the V60 has built-in AIS transmitter.

which I miss in my V90.

I know AIS requires a dedicated  GPS receiver, but it is pretty annoying since  the V90 reads the GPS position from Zeus in order to send DSC singal 

thus it is perfectly capable to be an AIS transmitter, with a SW update,..

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9 hours ago, Mogle said:

From a technical point of view, I think there is no difference between the two radios, except for logo.

Your experience with sound quality, UI and bugs are more worrying. It might be why it's discontinued? B&G (and Simrad) normally only discontinue a product when they got its replacement. I can't see any replacement product in their portfolio. 

I had a Simrad RS35.  That was their first AIS radio and a generation earlier than the V90 series.  Hopefully in that generational gap they were able to improve sound quality.

The UI thing that drove me nuts was the poor quality scan feature.  You could either scan 3 stations (two of which had to be 16 and 9) or all stations.  Sometimes I like to scan 16/13/14/72 when racing to hear shipping traffic and race without hearing everything on VHF.

The bugs were insane on v1 of the firmware and I had to bring it to a Simrad dealer for an upgrade.  They ended up just swapping my radio.  The updated firmware wasn't so bad, and this would be less of a hassle for someone with a Simrad or B&G MFD (which can update the radio over NMEA 2000).

I came away from it feeling like I should just stick with Icom or Standard Horizon for radios.  I wouldn't buy an Icom plotter expecting it to have good race start mode, I'm not sure why I expected a plotter/instrumentation/depth finder company to make a really good radio.  On my current boat I have Icom for voice VHF and emtrak for AIS.

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13 hours ago, Alex W said:

I'm not sure why I expected a plotter/instrumentation/depth finder company to make a really good radio.

You are on to something there.....

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17 hours ago, Alex W said:

I had a Simrad RS35.  That was their first AIS radio and a generation earlier than the V90 series.  Hopefully in that generational gap they were able to improve sound quality.

The UI thing that drove me nuts was the poor quality scan feature.  You could either scan 3 stations (two of which had to be 16 and 9) or all stations.  Sometimes I like to scan 16/13/14/72 when racing to hear shipping traffic and race without hearing everything on VHF.

The bugs were insane on v1 of the firmware and I had to bring it to a Simrad dealer for an upgrade.  They ended up just swapping my radio.  The updated firmware wasn't so bad, and this would be less of a hassle for someone with a Simrad or B&G MFD (which can update the radio over NMEA 2000).

I came away from it feeling like I should just stick with Icom or Standard Horizon for radios.  I wouldn't buy an Icom plotter expecting it to have good race start mode, I'm not sure why I expected a plotter/instrumentation/depth finder company to make a really good radio.  On my current boat I have Icom for voice VHF and emtrak for AIS.

So I have the V60b. Sound quality is quite good, although the wireless handset could be louder. I will probably end up putting a dedicated speaker in the cockpit.

The UI choices still leave a bit to be desired. You now have the ability to set up your own scan and get either tri/everything/"my stations". HOWEVER the unit doesn't remember your choice from scan to scan, let alone when the unit is turned off. So if you want your scan to stay your scan, you have to go through the menu. It's only 3 steps but still, it should be a preference that the unit remembers. Easily fixed with a firmware update but how do you get it surfaced as an ask? 

My bigger issue is the channel display. I thought I was "missing" channels - it looked like my unit was skipping from 66 to 78 and I couldn't get anything in between. Randomly, I'd find 69 again, and it was driving me crazy. If you didn't know (I didn't until I looked it up) there is a new channel naming scheme. Instead of 07A or 22A it's 1007 and 1022. the V60b uses the new naming scheme. but it ALSO sorts channels numerically, so now instead of the scan going 17, 18a, 19a, 20, 20a, it goes 17,20, .. up to 88 and then starts with 1001, 1005, etc. And to make it worse, it shows the channel number in big numbers as you would expect, but then there is a small "10" in the upper left of the display. 

Fine, they changed the naming scheme. But this means the radio, while scanning in numerical channel order, isn't scanning in frequency order and that just seems weird to me.

So to Alex's point, the UI is still wonky. I *do* have a Zeus 2 so as he said, doing the firmware updates is easy, although I bought mine in the spring and have yet to see an update for the radio.

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