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juro 01-24-2005 07:03 AM

Handheld VHF radio
Looking for a handheld unit - anyone have direct experience with a brand or model you could speak for? (no non-sponsor links please). For use where cell phones won't work, water resistance important, range up to 20 miles would be ideal.

I saw one for $99 at a large marine supplier that looks like it might fit the bill. Uniden Atlantis (I like the name ;) ) splash-resistant recharge w/ optional alkaline use (20 hrs).

thanks in advance

Slinger 01-24-2005 11:21 AM

Juro, I would stay away from the Uniden, mine crapped out after only one month. I now have the Icom IC-M32 only a few dollars more and it serves me well.

JimW 01-24-2005 12:41 PM

ICOM and Standard Horizon are good names in marine electronics. I'd try brokenlegdave.

Moonlight 01-24-2005 04:17 PM

I have a couple of Apelco hand held V's that are water proof and have been recharged many many times over the last 10 years and still work flawlessly. I doubt you will get 20 miles out of any handheld V more like 8 to 12 under ideal conditions. The ones I have will scan and standby on 16 and a working channel. They also have all the NOAA weather channels.

Penguin 01-24-2005 04:43 PM

Standard Horizon HS470S...
1 Attachment(s)
I've been carrying this in the YAK and on das boat (in the emergency bail-out bag) This is more than you need...multiple bands/submersible/whistles/bells...
If you're looking for a 20 mile range from a hand held you'll also want a helium tank and balloon to lift a copper wire antenna high into the sky... :wink:
Otherwise, it's a line of sight deal and 5-10 miles is about all you can expect on a good day... :frown:
I can monitor FM radio, VHF aircraft bands, and NOAA weather broadcasts...
Scans/Transmits on all marine and citizen band walk about frequencies...
The rechargable battery is fool proof and lasts a long time...
I'd do it again... :D
Standard Horizon makes a fine basic model for alot le$$...
Even less ca$h if you opt for the slightly larger older steam operated models! :rolleyes:
You get what you pay it right the first time, do it once! :lildevl:

pescaphile 01-24-2005 07:37 PM

A unit that has the ability to use alkaline power as a backup is a good idea as the NiCad pack will be dead when you need it per Murphy. A 12V DC charger is a good idea too as it will allow you to charge the unit on the boat. Check out the Standard Horizon models. My HX 350 came with NiCad and alkaline packs plus both 110 VAC and 12 VDC chargers. Also get a model that is rated IPX7 (intermittently submersible) if water resisitance is important (Murphy again!).

striblue 01-24-2005 10:56 PM

Juro, I have the Standard Horizon.... the same one as Penguin's except without the FM radio.... Admiral Lincoln has the Standard as well.

StriperTom 01-25-2005 08:00 AM

Just to throw my $.02 on the heap.. I have had excellent experience with the Standard Horizon handhelds. Some generic features to look for:

x Supports rechargable or standard Alkaline batteries - this way you can always keep a pack of Alkaline batteries with you in case of emergency

x Read the fine print on the technology of the included batteries. There are multiple types of rechargable batteries out there. In order of preference and decreasing cost, Li-Ion (Lithium Ion), NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) and the standard NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) batteries. The newer, more expensive batteries offer better capacity with lighter weight, and will hold a charge for longer. The Li-Ion and NiMH also handle partial discharge/full charge cycles better than the NiCd batteries do. Obviously for all types of batteries, find the one with the most capacity, typically rated in mAH (mili-Amp hours) or AH (AH). Given two radios - one with every bell and whistle and NiCd batteries, and one with Li-Ion and the most basic features, I'd choose the Li-Ion every time. Its hard to use the extra bells-and-whistles with a dead battery :)

x Knobs instead of buttons for volume and squelch. It is much more convenient to operate a radio with knobs for volume and squelch controls, as you are always tweaking these as you use the radio.

Hope this helps!

-- Tom

Moonlight 01-25-2005 03:53 PM

Looks like V's have shrunk even more than Cell Phones, that one in the picture is it smaller than a pack of butts or is the antanea three feet long :chuckle:
Good looking unit if I didn't have several that work well I would probably have to buy one othe more mod ones like that.

Penguin 01-27-2005 08:08 AM

Another "whistles/bells" consideration...
One of the reasons I chose the pricey HX470S was because...
...besides being Submersible and able to monitor FM/AM(long range thunderstorm crackle warning)/Aviation/NOAA WX bands...
It transmits/receives/scans on the Marine band...(and scans emer NOAA WX broadcasts) with a high capacity/long life/rechargeable battery...
AND works on all the TalkAbout freqs (the ubiquitous walkie talkie .5 watt network) and the stronger, though less popular, MURS (2 watt MultipleUseRadioService)...
AND can be wired into my boats GPS to send automated emergency info to include boat ID and GPS position...
AND can be used as an automatic SOS strobe signalling device...
IMHO...After years of hanging under large built by the lowest bidder metal wings and going into user unfriendly places, I consider stuff like this LIFE SUPPORT gear and, when things go bad, I know that I didn't cut corners...

...and, besides all that, with just a minor modification, I can talk to the "Mother Ship"! :wink:

FishHawk 02-02-2005 12:27 PM

I too have an Icom radio in the mid price range . Built like a tank. Recommended to me by the salesman at one of those large marine stores. My model is the M2A. Not that fancy but it comes throught every time. FishHawk

Rip Ryder 01-17-2006 02:40 PM

Standard Horizon Portable radios

I would spend the extra money and get the Standard Horizon Hx 470 Submersible.
Very tough and reliable radio. I have no problem hearing the admiral down at the lighthouse. He is certainly not easy on the radio either, I wish I could get paid everytime it hit the pavement in the parking lot, plus he has dropped it in the water a couple of times down stairs.

Pay the extra once vs paying for a few cheap radios, that is what I have come to realize with the portables we use.

Check out Boater's World and Consumer Marine Electronics both have web pages and will be running specials with the up coming boat show in Boston.


Eddie 01-17-2006 03:48 PM

I have a standard (like penguin's -fm). Compact, water proof, and so far...realiable.

juro 01-17-2006 04:41 PM

Thanks Capt, guys -

No doubt about which one I will get.

Adrian 01-17-2006 07:51 PM

I guess I got lucky with my Uniden - had it three years now and it's had a few dunkings (as in kayak tip-ups) between the NE and Mexico. That said, it is both heavy and bulky and having seen the Horizon unit recommended by the majority of folks above I know what I would go for next time.

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