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Advice on handheld VHF

 
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4098
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:19 pm    Post subject: Advice on handheld VHF Reply with quote

We had a very lightly used ICOM handheld. Now it no longer transmits or receives. It's not worth sending back for repair since it's near the price of a new low end unit just to have them look at it. Because of our experience and other bad reviews of ICOM I'm not spending any more money with them. I'm looking for input, suggestions, experiences, opinions etc on other brands.

We have two primary VHFs on board; one tied to our GPS for AIS/DSC etc so this unit is primarily for emergencies, communicating when we are off the boat etc. It need not do everything and I don't need all the bells & whistles.

Mahalo.

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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 1621
City/Region: Leesburg
State or Province: VA
C-Dory Year: 2008
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: SoBELLE
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standard Horizon. I have an HX280. Granted I don't use it much, but it goes a couple of years between battery charges. I keep it in the ditch bag.

Mostly used when out in the dinghy to call "home".
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MikeR



Joined: 21 Apr 2013
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City/Region: Mill Creek
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2016
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Big-C
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here, I've also had the HX280s, for what seems like 10 years or so. I can't seem to kill it no matter how badly I neglect it...sitting in the boat or garage for months unused, the original battery always seems to have a full charge. Bought it on a sale at Defender, I think for about $89 all those years ago. The current version, the HX380 is currently $121 at Defender, probably still a good value.

-Mike

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
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Vessel Name: thataway
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a West Marine--which I love--had it for years--It has a battery tray and has metal case, which has no corrosion.

I have 2 Standard Horizons HX 100, which were two for $ about $100 on sale. Works fine.

My favorite is The Standard Horizon HX 870--now you can get the HX 890-which has the additional feature of a FM broadcast band, and encoded channels. Not only waterproof and floats. Full functioning GPS--with ability to put in waypoints and do basic navigation. The best feature, is that it is fully DSC compliant with a separate channel 70 receiver. Add your MMSI number and you have a great emergency radio.

The West, an Icom I keep in the ditch bag, and the SH all have Alkaline battery treys. That way, if in a ditch bag, and the rechargable battery is discharged, you can use AA or AAA batteries. Also you don't have to have a separate GPS in the ditch bag. It is also a great dinghy VHF--you can put in the waypoint when you leave your boat, and if the fog sets in, or late at night, navigate directly to the bost with the dinghy.

In rough weather we clip the 870 to our inflatable life jackets as well as the PLB--and in case of MOB or catastrophe--you have a DSC radio and EPIRB on your person!

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Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4240
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SH HX851 with GPS

Mostly use it when anchored and fishing to monitor 16, 9 and weather, and turn off fixed radio. It has a lot of features and for me, takes time to learn the features. I added my MMSI number to it. Personally with so few buttons and so many features, it is not easy to find a feature quickly or tell The Admiral to change a setting. It came with AA battery pack for backup power. Nonetheless, it is well built and will last for years.

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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been happy with a cheap Uniden MHS75. Very basic without any bells and whistles other than weather alert or dual watch.
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Sequim
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
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Vessel Name: Sleepy-C
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two Standard Horizon HX851's that I try to work to death. On my PFD, used for monitoring when at anchor, carry in the inflatable, and one in a ditch bag. Still work great, DSC capable with GPS (I think), though I have not used that feature -- pretty sure it is there because of the DSC. (Yup, just checked the box. They float, have an automatic white strobe if they get dunked, and will do weather radio alerts. Most of those features yhou don't need when you are on the "Mother ship" but if you are off on the dingy, or have it on your PFD and go overboard, they might come in handy.

Not as small as the West Marine but tough as nails.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon


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