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ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Old 02-06-2007, 05:16 PM
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Default ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

I've got a quick question regarding the practicality of handheld VHF radios . . .

The kids bought me a new handheld VHF for Xmas this past year (an ICOM IC-M72), and it was fairly spendy, but I'm told that these things are really only good to about 5-miles as the crow flies. If this is so, is there any "practical" value to such a radio? And if there is, where is it? In other words, if you've got a fixed mount on your boat already and a handheld is only good to 5-miles (unobstructed), where would the average handheld user find practical use of it?

For example, as I see it, you can't really leave it on shore for the wife or kids or other family members to use to contact you offshore because you're likely to be out of range, andyou don't really need it on board for any reason unless your boat was huge or multi-level? So what's the point? What am I missinghere? If there are any handheld users out there, where do you use your handheld? And for what purpose?

Thanks to all!
Old 02-06-2007, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

If your boat goes down you still have the ability to talk to any boats close by or a rescue helicopter. Yes I hear all thos people saying you can send a may day prior to the boat submerging ,but once seawater gets to the electrics they are pretty well stuffed. Keep it in your grab bag with epirb, flares etc, keep it charged and hope you'll never have to use it.
Old 02-06-2007, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Tons of uses, but how about the 'top ten'

10 - bacup to your VHF when on the boat (get an adapter to connect to your existing VHF antenna)
9 - If you've lost all power on your Boat and need to communicate with other boaters/resucers that are within range
8 - Your boat sinks and you are in the water and want to communicate farther than you can yell
7 - You moor your boat, kids take off in the dingy, and you want to find them (yea I know a somewhat 'no-no' and sure the VHF police on this board will draw and quarter you when they find you)
6 - You want to 'test' your on-board VHF a 'radio check to yourself'
5 - You need something solid it hit the person who is about to touch your Raymarine C series screen and scratch it
3 - Your so frustrated with the admiral in _____________________ and need something to throw overboard (don't throw it a the admiral)
2 - It can be fun to make lots of squealing noises by using it real close to your existing radio - somepeople like feedback.
and the number one reason is....................
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1 - you can show your appreciation to your kids, who bought it for you, by treasureing it and making it 'a crucial part of the boat'.
Old 02-06-2007, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

parnine - 2/6/2007 5:44 PM

10 - bacup to your VHF when on the boat (get an adapter to connect to your existing VHF antenna)
Do most handhelds have detachable antennas that readily accept coax connections?
Old 02-06-2007, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Can not speak for most, but the M72 does (I own one). Also remember handhelds are usually 5 watts (M72 is 6) not the normal 25 that fixed mount VHF usually are, but the higher antenna will still help.
Old 02-06-2007, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Yes MOST VHF hand helds radio antennas are detachable. Some of the lower power Cobra or Unidens may have a fixed antenna but for the most part they are detachable.
Old 02-06-2007, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Today's usually have an SMA mount; the older ones have a BNC. Adapters are available for both from any amateur radio store (Like Ham Radio Outlet) but WM usually carries them.
Old 02-07-2007, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

West MArine sells a hand-held with 5 freq bands - AM/FM/FRS/VHF/ and Aircraft. I bought it as a safety back-up for the boat, but I use it more on land with the Motorola Talk-abouts on the FRS band.
Old 02-07-2007, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

I was happy to have one on board in a regatta when the boats electronics got fried in a lightning strike to the mast
Old 02-07-2007, 12:29 PM
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Default RE: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Reef Ranger,

I consider my handheld mandatory equipment on the boat and would feel uncomfortable not having that backup. If you have a ditch bag set up, it would be an excellent idea to have the handheld included. Just make sure you keep the batteries charged.
Old 02-07-2007, 01:13 PM
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Default RE: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Reef Ranger - 2/7/2007 2:16 PM

... The kids bought me a new handheld VHF for Xmas this past year (an ICOM IC-M72), and it was fairly spendy, but I'm told that these things are really only good to about 5-miles as the crow flies. If this is so, is there any "practical" value to such a radio?
Reef Ranger, the reality is that Icom IC-M72 handheld VHF has absolutely no real-world value. And it is now well past the holiday season so your opportunity to return it is gone. Here’s what I suggest you do, put it in a box, write To: EYEBALL and my address on the label, take it to either the Post Office or UPS …

Old 02-07-2007, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

While you're at it, tape a Garmin eTrex handheld GPS (<$90 new, waterproof) to the back of it. Now you've got portable communications and pin-point accuracy when giving your whereabouts!
Old 02-07-2007, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

yamaham - 2/7/2007 2:29 PM

While you're at it, tape a Garmin eTrex handheld GPS (<$90 new, waterproof) to the back of it. Now you've got portable communications and pin-point accuracy when giving your whereabouts!
That's the setup I have.
Old 02-07-2007, 05:14 PM
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Default RE: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Eyeball - 2/7/2007 8:13 AM
Reef Ranger - 2/7/2007 2:16 PM ... The kids bought me a new handheld VHF for Xmas this past year (an ICOM IC-M72), and it was fairly spendy, but I'm told that these things are really only good to about 5-miles as the crow flies. If this is so, is there any &quot;practical&quot; value to such a radio?
Reef Ranger, the reality is that Icom IC-M72 handheld VHF has absolutely no real-world value. And it is now well past the holiday season so your opportunity to return it is gone. Here&rsquo;s what I suggest you do, put it in a box, write To: EYEBALL and my address on the label, take it to either the Post Office or UPS &hellip;
Bah-ha-aaa! You got it, brah! Its on its way! Best to stay home from work and wait for the mailman though, yeah? He said it would be delivered there either on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday, or Friday. If not, by the following week for-sure! Enjoy!
Old 02-07-2007, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

Ever wanted to or needed to talk on the radio while away from the helm? I often use mine while standing on the bow talking other boats into an anchorage. I use it in my Zodiac quite a bit, also.



Old 02-08-2007, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

davepen - 2/7/2007 5:13 PM Ever wanted to or needed to talk on the radio while away from the helm? I often use mine while standing on the bow talking other boats into an anchorage. I use it in my Zodiac quite a bit, also.
I can't say that I've done that, but I can say that in my center console,no one place is more than 6-feet from another, and if I'm away from the helm,I'm rarely empty-handed. There's just too much going on to bother with a handheld typically. ;?

But don't tell my kids that!
Old 02-08-2007, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

My handheld is always clipped to the windshield and tuned to VHF 16 tuned low enough so that I can hear the first few words of a transmission and decide if I need to turn it up and listen or ignore it. The fixed mount is scanning the local "fishing" channels. And the reason for it being clipped to the windshield...... I can get to it within two or three steps from anywhere in the boat in case things get a little sketchy and I think I might need to take it with me as I go over the side grabbing the ditch bag on the way out.
Old 02-09-2007, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: ANY PRACTICAL PURPOSE FOR HANDHELD VHF?

We often use the handheld to communicate with bridges for openings, etc. and use leave the fixed on the working channel we use.

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