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Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? #21545
06/26/03 08:32 AM
06/26/03 08:32 AM

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Need a new Handheld VHF radio. Primary use, weather and incase of emergency. Would like to spend as little as possible but still get good range and long charge/battery life. Willing to save money on waterproofness and spend the 15 bucks on storage bag. Thanks for the feed back.

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Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: ] #21546
06/26/03 08:56 AM
06/26/03 08:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 26
Punta Gorda, FL
KARTZ1 Offline
newbie
KARTZ1  Offline
newbie

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 26
Punta Gorda, FL
I got one from West Marine for Christmas with the waterproof bag. Unfortunately, I can barely hear it when it is the bag. I have not transmitted with it so I don't know how the receiving party can hear my voice through the bag.

Spend the extra bucks and get a waterproof one.

Jack Kartz
Punta Gorda, FL

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: ] #21547
06/26/03 12:28 PM
06/26/03 12:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 16
New Orleans, LA
WJJ Offline
stranger
WJJ  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 16
New Orleans, LA
For best pricing, check the internet stores, Sailnet, APS, PYacht, Boaters World (on-line), etc. A few months ago I purchased an Icom M3 for $135 which included shipping, and the regular stores sell it for $149 plus tax (or 160). I bought this unit over other similar units because it had a dual use battery tray (includes rechargeable Ni-Cads, but can use AA's if the charge goes out.) It is not a submersible unit and will need a pouch if you are sailing a small cat.
The prices of other units run from $90 to over $300, depending upon features. Some of the newer models have Lithium batteries. More expensive, but they are advertised to hold a charge much longer and for the batteries to last longer.

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: WJJ] #21548
06/26/03 01:00 PM
06/26/03 01:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 9
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elgreengo Offline
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I purchased the standard horizon hx260s at west marine. It is submersible and comes with both a cell phone like rechargeable battery and an extra back that holds standard AA batteries, this seems like a good idea as I would hate to be trying to replace individual dead batteries while floating on the wreckage of my boat(thats when the batteries will run out)

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: ] #21549
06/26/03 10:17 PM
06/26/03 10:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 736
Westport, Ma. U.S.A.
Brian_Mc Offline
old hand
Brian_Mc  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 736
Westport, Ma. U.S.A.
I got an Icom M1 submersible about five years ago. I chose it because it was rated highest by Practical Sailor at the time. While I have been swimming with it, and it still works, I have been told to always use a pouch to insure it's working/extend it's life. I wouldn't buy the same radio again, because it has knobs for channel selection, and this makes it very hard to toggle through the channels when it's in the pouch. I'd go with one that has toggle buttons. While I sometimes have trouble hearing what people are saying, I don't believe it has to do with the pouch. I think it's to do with the range and line of sight reception. I was able to hear others fine when I held it up to my ear during Fleet 448's 2002 Block Island Sail. Winds were 25-30, with seas 4-6'. That seemed like a pretty good test to me!

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: ] #21550
06/27/03 09:15 AM
06/27/03 09:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
Dean Offline
enthusiast
Dean  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
It wasn't inexpensive but I bought a Standard Horizon HX460S mini handheld, $249. There is a newer model of this one now that is also capable of FRS (Family Radio Service) so you can communicate on shore with the inexpensive walkie-talkies good that are good for a couple of miles range. I like this HX460S radio a lot though I haven't used it very much.

Whatever you buy make sure it's capable of JIS-7 standard (immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 min.) There are some radios listed as "submersible" but don't mention being capable of meeting the JIS-7 standard. I suppose that's why they're cheaper but if I'm in the water and I need to summon serious help, I don't want to wonder if the radio is truly submersible, so I blew the bucks on the upper end model for some peace of mind. The West Marine catalog has one page dedicated to some buying/selection tips that is a good education before deciding what to buy.

One feature that I think would be comforting in an emergency is a radio that can also substitute standard AA batteries when the rechargeable runs out of juice.

The decision about what to buy comes down to deciding how much of your paranoia you want to pacify. If you always sail close to shore on a popular lake you would not need all the radio that you might need if you occasionally ventured out along the Gulf Coast on your own. Fit the equipment to your kind of sailing and buy for a worse case scenario.

After you buy the radio make sure you make and take a "cheat sheet" of the channels to be remembered stashed on the boat or your PFD until the proper use for the proper channels is burned into your brain. I laminated a small channels chart with some plastic from Office Depot. The clear plastic sheets are sticky on one side. You sandwich the paper in between. It works great for small sections of a chart, too. I copied a chart, cut out the areas I needed, and made a flip chart for the Around The Island Race in Ft. Walton.


Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: Dean] #21551
06/27/03 01:08 PM
06/27/03 01:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,307
Asuncion, Paraguay
Luiz Offline
veteran
Luiz  Offline
veteran

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,307
Asuncion, Paraguay
Quote
...I bought a Standard Horizon HX460S mini handheld, $249. There is a newer model of this one now that is also capable of FRS (Family Radio Service)...


This new model is not featured in www.standardhorizon.com.
Where did you see it?

Thanks,
Luiz


Luiz
Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: ] #21552
06/28/03 12:03 AM
06/28/03 12:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 3
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Hobie18Flyer Offline
stranger
Hobie18Flyer  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 3
just bought one from Cabelas.com for $99 - Uniden Brand - works great - check it out

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: Luiz] #21553
06/30/03 12:43 PM
06/30/03 12:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
Dean Offline
enthusiast
Dean  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
Hi, Luiz,

I saw the Standard Horizon's HX 460S successor in a short article in "Sail" magazine. It might have been the May or June, 2003 issue. I thought I also saw it in the latest West Marine catalogue but I just checked and it's not there.

I will check my magazines tonight and try to find the short article. I will post again tomorrow to let you know.

Re: Handhelf VHF radio, any suggestions? [Re: Luiz] #21554
07/01/03 09:22 AM
07/01/03 09:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
Dean Offline
enthusiast
Dean  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 277
Baton Rouge, LA
Hi, Luiz,

I could not find that magazine article I was looking for but I did find a site describing the the Standard Horizon HX 470S radio.
http://www.vitmarine.com/std-hx470s.html

This successor to the Standard Horizon HX460S is on the market but hard to find. It was awaiting approval from the FCC to use the FRS (Family Radio Service) frequencies. It's pricey: $344 + shipping.

HX 470 S - Thanks! [Re: Dean] #21555
07/01/03 12:41 PM
07/01/03 12:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,307
Asuncion, Paraguay
Luiz Offline
veteran
Luiz  Offline
veteran

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,307
Asuncion, Paraguay
Thanks Dean!

I wonder how long it will take unitl a VHF/FRS/GPS unit is available. Maybe with sat.phone as an option...

After Garmin's FRS/GPS combination, I started dreaming of something like this.

Cheers,
Luiz


Luiz

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