If you have a cockpit microphone for your VHF, be careful! Bright sunlight will damage the LCD display on the mic, making it impossible to read even the channel, let alone other info.
I’m not sure how old the Standard Horizon RAM mic was on our boat, but the display was almost totally blacked out.
It was mounted in a very exposed location next to the helm, with the display pointed straight aft. With easterly trade winds common in south Florida and the Bahamas — where the boat has been for the past five years at least — this means that the afternoon sun has been directed straight at the display most days.
We keep covers on all our other instrument displays, but somehow — I guess because there wasn’t a cover for it — it never dawned on us that we should cover it. Until over the last couple of months the display has slowly turned into a solid illegible blob.
We think that having a VHF mic at the helm is important for safety. But this one was almost useless — you could hear a call and transmit, but it was impossible to change channels as you couldn’t see the channel at all!
So, as part of a VHF upgrade to get an AIS receiver (more coming on this — we’re still installing it), we got a new remote mic.
We didn’t want to ruin the new one but the old mounting location really was the most convenient place for the person at the helm.
Okay, it needed a cover. There were two basic criteria:
- Couldn’t interfere with the hanger clip on the back; and
- Had to be able to quickly slip it off to use the radio.
I put the sticky-back pieces on the back of the microphone, on either side of the hanger. Then I cut a piece of the wide Velcro to wrap around the front of the mic and put it in place with the loop side in.
It’s easy to hang up and easy to remove. We do leave the cover off when we’re underway, and put it back on when we stop, just as we do with our other instrument covers.