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Simple Com systems, or i don't want a bunch of complicated stuff i have to be a PHD to use.

This is a subject near to me old waterlogged heart. 

I hate logging onto a ship and going to the bridge only to see (much to my dismay) thousands of buttons opening up millions of menus for every bell and whistle imaginable by the sane and insane alike. 

this seems to be the direction every bit of electronics is going and IMO especially communications gear.

on the market you can find VHF radios that do everything but make you coffee; However most are so complicated to use i don't think anyone uses the full capability. There are very serious problems with all these buttons and menus and that is that in a pinch you will have to use the radio and if you are getting tossed around you are going to hit the wrong button. Trying to tell someone how to use a complicated VHF or SSB is not really possible and you can bet that when the water is over the bow you wont have time to explain to a scared crewmember how to operate the darn things.

Since this is an international forum we might be able to find simple reliable communications gear that will do what we need and nothing we don't.

on the subject of trying to tell someone how to use a piece of gear I urge everyone to make sure all crew (this means anyone on the boat for more than three days) gets a overview of how the Com equipment works. in a bad situation sometimes the one person who knows how things work is either out of commission or busy and being able to send any one on the crw to make a simple radio address is a darn good way to get the CG or other rescue and aid folks on the way. I will also mention that its much nicer to talk to someone via radio that uses the proper protocols. things are far more understandable and even if you don't understand the language you can get the numbers to find the position. 

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