Icom M510, marine VHF meets smartphone

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

9 Responses

  1. Nice to see radio manufacturers finally integrating newer technologies. However, I don’t understand why both Icom and Standard Horizon make no effort to simplify retrofitting. The size and shape of their newer units are radically different from the units produced over many years in the past. It would cost more than the radio itself for me to attempt to swap my trusty Icom M604 and rebuild the helm cutouts.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      I also noticed that the M510 continues to use what Icom calls a “Flush Mount Kit” to fasten the radio when it’s mounted in a helm panel cutout. And I think that Standard Horizon does similar. It means that you need access to the whole back of the panel to get the job done. Meanwhile, VHF sets from Garmin and others have surface fasteners so they’re easier to mount or dismount (though the fastener covers can be annoying).

      • I didn’t even get to that issue! Furuno is the only manufacturer that seems to consistently provide a retrofit path. For the TZT 3, they even offer an adapter so you can use the cutout for Simrad and Garmin MFDs.

        It seems such an obvious marketing benefit that I find it puzzling they don’t try to make it easy to update the hardware.

        • Donald Joyce says:

          Fred, It’s a quite common issue and an obvious barrier to “impulse” upgrades on my part. I’ve been using intermediate mount that I attach the radio/whatever to and screw the intermediate piece to the dash. This works within reasonable limits and doesn’t look too clunky. Note that Furuno that different from other manufacturers. The new TZ3 12″ MFD has significantly different dimensions from the TZ2 12″ MFD. I’d love to upgrade since the latest firmware update causes my system to reboot and I don’t know if the issue will be resolved with the next update. I face a challenge moving things around on the dash to make room and then there is the physical bracing necessary to support the dash that also would need to be modified.
          Having said that, I think the connection of cell phones to the VHF is a great idea. Thanks for reporting Ben!

          • That’s not an option at my helm, which doesn’t have too much mounting area. The Icom M604 barely fits.

            I just can’t believe it would be so challenging for the manufacturers to have designed around the same cutout size. I also have a Standard Horizon GX5500, which is wider but narrow than the new GX6000. In fact the area of the faceplate is virtually identical on both units so it has to be feasible to have used the same footprint even with the bigger display.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Icom 510 will purportedly ship by the end of this month and most pricing is in place:

    M510 W/O AIS: $599.99
    M510 +AIS: TBD
    CT-M500: “$299.99 and down”

  3. Conor says:

    Any idea whether there will be a wireless command mic ? Mobile phone connection is great, but not a ideal in a marine environment

  4. Pascal says:

    I just had one installed on a 116. Great VHF but… so far the IOS version of the RS-M500 app is not available for download and install in the US App store!

  5. Brian says:

    Has an AIS version of the M510 shipped? None of the Icom resellers have anything listed.

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