Neptune Waterproof has come up with a new communication system for inshore lifeboats using Icom’s IP Advanced Radio System to provide an encrypted full duplex wireless intercom.
The maritime systems integrator has deployed the solution on the Hope Cove lifeboat where the Icom IP wireless technology is interfaced with the vessel’s Icom IC-M506 VHF radio.
The communication system provides four crew members with full VOX intercom functionality, so they can all hear any incoming VHF comms, thereby boosting situational awareness. Transmission is done by the coxswain or navigator pressing a large 50mm push-to-talk (PTT) button on the console. This sends their voices to the VHF radios and closes the PTT circuit so the VHF transmits.
The launch tractor driver is equipped with a standard IP100H IP two-way radio handset to communicate with the crew for launch and recovery. There are forward and rear facing directional antennas mounted on the rear gantry for launch/recovery and for communications with the crew deployed to vessels under tow.
The IP100H has been modified to fit in a sealed side pod of a Gecko MK11 marine safety helmet. The IP100H has also been modified so that there are separate ‘power’ and ‘volume’ switches on the side pod and the LCD screen are presented through the side pod, so the crew can see current helmet settings.
An additional 2000mAh battery provides realistic all day communications on a single charge. The helmet features a 200 Ohm dynamic noise cancelling microphone with two 1 Watt 8 Ohm speakers.
James Bignall, managing director of Neptune Waterproof, said: ‘This is the very first of its kind in the UK and we are pleased that the Hope Cove team are very happy with the way the system works!’
Hope Cove Life Boat is an independent charity, run by volunteers whose overwhelming remit is to protect and save lives in Bigbury Bay and the surrounding area. For more details visit http://www.hopecovelifeboat.org.