ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

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Bruxy
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ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by Bruxy » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:48 am

Has anyone else noticed a less than helpful feature of, what is otherwise, a great piece of kit?

I switch the radio on and set the channel to 77 - our group's agreed comms channel.

Wishing also to listen out for the Coastguard's Safety Bulletin announcement on channel 16, I set Dual Watch to allow me to hear the prompt on 16.

I then lock the transceiver and assume I'll be fine.

Now here's the rub ..... if the TX button is accidentally pressed, even for a split second, the set will (not unreasonably) assume you're wanting to transmit on 77 but will (very unreasonably) completely loses it's listening watch on 16.
So, you think you're still listening on 16 to hear the announcement to "go to channel x" for the weather forecast - but in actual case, you're not!

I've lost count of the missed MSI bulletins I've had due to this.

Other paddlers in the club using the MC31 were unaware of this but exactly the same happened during a test - so it's not just my set.

Considering I've gone to the trouble of locking the set, I don't understand why the electronics inside can't maintain the dual watch despite the fact I may have made a transmission on my "main" selected channel - accidentally or not.

Maybe I should memorise the MSI times for each area - but I'm not sure I should have to with the availability of dual watch - plus there are other times that listening to 16 is useful.

Not sure if tri-watch is affected in the same way as I've forgotten how to set tri-watch!

Anyone know of a way of setting the radio to eliminate this feature?

Cheers
Chris

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journeyman
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Post by journeyman » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:57 am

Chris

Try giving ICOMuk a ring on

01227 741741

talk to their technical dept, they are always very knowledgeable and helpful.

Owen
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Post by Owen » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:54 pm

Just tried this with my set, its an old M1Euro V, that does the same thing. I've never noticed it happening before and I don't think it has happened on the water.

Where do you carry your set? Maybe putting it somewhere else, where the pressel switch won't get pressed accidentally.

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Bruxy
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Post by Bruxy » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:36 pm

Eurion - as you suggested, I've called ICOM and they're looking into this. Should know more later when I give them a call to see how they've got on. Thanks for that.

Owen - Thanks for the reply. I tend to mount my VHF on my BA, on the upper tensioning strap on my right hand side.
This does put the unit in such a place that accidental TX button presses on my upper arm are more likely during some paddle strokes.
Mounting on the left side would probably reduce that and that's probably what I'll endevour to do unless ICOM have some magic I can apply.

However, whether the TX is accidental or deliberate, I can't see why the background watch of 16 should be cancelled.


Cheers
Chris

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Skerryvore
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Post by Skerryvore » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:46 pm

Hi Chris Just tried my Icom IC M71 and same happens.
Thanks for raising and look forward to what Icom come back to you with.
___________
Skerryvore

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Bruxy
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Post by Bruxy » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:46 pm

Skerryvore wrote:Hi Chris Just tried my Icom IC M71 and same happens.
Thanks for raising and look forward to what Icom come back to you with.
___________
Skerryvore
Hi Alan,

yes, it would seem it affects several, if not all, models.
Having spoken to a very helpful guy at ICOM, it turns out the good news is there's a software upgrade that eliminates this "feature" and maintains the dual watch scan after transmitting on another selected channel - and I'm already packing my radio up to send off to them for this free service.

Refreshingly good after-sales from ICOM - thanks again to Journeyman for suggesting I contact them ... I wasn't sure it was going to be worth it but nice to be wrong.

Cheers
Chris

Tourer
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another dangerous ICOM bug

Post by Tourer » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:52 pm

Thanks guys, I thought I was dumb with this !

I routinely lock the key pad but even so it is possible to switch output levels, and if some highspeed craft is on your course e.g. a fast cat (worse Hovercraft) the last thing you have in mind is checking the transmission power setting..

That pretty much invalidates the limited usefulness of a VHF when it matters most - calling a ship near you or on your course.

Sitting low on the water we need all transmission power available, so probably it would be best if this feature was disabled.

That probably only a minority of power boats seem to listen to 16, CG or QHM is another question. Sea anglers practically never have VHF in my experience.

Regards

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MikeB
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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by MikeB » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:30 am

I've just got an Icom M71 and it too has this "feature" - just been in touch with ICOM who've v kindly told me to send it to them to have it's software upgraded. Which is nice.

What a superb radio - significantly better battery life than my previous Garmin. My only dislike is the lack of a visual indication of volumn on the screen - the rotary on/off/vol control isn't something I like that much and it's easy to turn vol down as the knob rotates very easily.

Mike

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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by ian johnston » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:48 am

Mike,

I'd be interested in who you spoke to at ICOM. I phoned their tech department in February with a view to getting this "feature" rectified on my M-71. The guy I spoke to said it was just that - a feature, and referred me to the UK development manager. I emailed him, and got the reply that they'd look into it for future models.....

If you have a name, email address etc that would be helpful

cheer

Ian

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PeterG
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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by PeterG » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:18 pm

I have an old M31 and an M71, the former for day trips as it charges so quickly and safely with the ultra clever charger and definitely has better quality sound and the M71 for long battery life left mainly switched off on longer expeditions.

I remember reading somewhere when learning to use the vhf that it was inadvisable to transmit when on dual watch and that you should either switch the 'dual watch' off if you want to transmit on ch 11 or whatever, or press the call button before transmitting on 16. Then put the dual back on. On checking now, both radios do this automatically as described above so maybe it is a positive feature to automatically disable the dual watch. It also tells me that I have never accidentally transmitted as it has never happened on the water, despite the radios being in my BA pocket. Reassuring me that I am not an 'open channel' annoyance.

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MikeB
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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by MikeB » Fri May 08, 2009 4:25 pm

Quick update - the radio went to ICOM on Monday and has just been returned today (Friday)! That is what I call "service"!

Mike.

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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by Tourer » Sat May 09, 2009 5:40 pm

MikeB wrote:Quick update - the radio went to ICOM on Monday and has just been returned today (Friday)! That is what I call "service"!

Mike.
Thanks for letting me know. I feel encouraged to do he same. This accidental shift of transmit power even with keypad lock on is far more dangerous a feature - maybe hey can sort that, even more so since mine is still under warranty.

See you t the sOUTH Devon get togethr may, or in Landeda Britany 15-23.8.09 ?

Regards

Rainer

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MikeB
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Re: ICOM IC M31 - irritating "feature"

Post by MikeB » Sun May 10, 2009 5:03 pm

Tourer wrote:
Thanks for letting me know. I feel encouraged to do he same. This accidental shift of transmit power even with keypad lock on is far more dangerous a feature - maybe hey can sort that, even more so since mine is still under warranty.

See you t the sOUTH Devon get togethr may, or in Landeda Britany 15-23.8.09 ?

Regards

Rainer
The shift of power wasn't the original issue - it still "shifts", even with lock engaged, if you press the relevant button. The "irritating feature" which is no longer an irritating feature was to do with the thing losing the dual-watch setting. This has been resolved and it maintains dual watch even after transmission on the working channel.

Much tho I would love to visit South Devon or Brittany, sadly the journey from Scotland makes it unviable - so many places to paddle - so little time - - still, I'm only a couple a couple fo hours from Oban!!

Regs, Mike

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