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Which handheld marine VHF to get??

Old 12-20-2002, 11:26 AM
  #1  
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

I've decided to augment my mounted VHF radio with a handheld marine VHF. My mounted VHF is a Standard Horizon Intrepid LE with a Shakespeare Galaxy 5225 8' antenna mounted on the T-top.

The features I want in the handheld are:

-submersible
-rechargeable NiCad/NiMH battery with a battery
tray for alkalines
-intuitive ergonomic button/mic placement - I don't want to be fiddling with the radio while Rome burns.
-quality construction and customer support

I've looked at the ICOMs, Standard Horizons, Unidens, and Hummingbirds (the last two under duress). I've pretty much narrowed it down to ICOM or Standard. If I go Standard, I like the economical HX260S ($169.99), but I really lust after the $249.99 top-of-the-line model from Standard.

Has anyone had any experience with these units? How about alternate suggestions or warnings to stay away from a certain brand/model?

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 12-20-2002, 11:33 AM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

icom M3a
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Old 12-20-2002, 02:16 PM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

I like your choice of the 260S. Can't go wrong there. My own choices would have been between the HX350S and an Icom M1V, but that's just me. A lot of folks seems to like the Standard Hx460S, the very small one, which I'm sure is just fine too. Anyway you're doing just fine. Let me suggest this to you, get two of them, a second one used from E-Bay if you like. You will be stunned by how much more useful two hand helds are than one ... and I won't comment on that any farther.

Thom

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Old 12-20-2002, 03:09 PM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

Your in the ball park...I would go Icom. What ever brand you chose, I would go with AA rechargeable. You can always find xtra AA batteries somewhere. Now, the thing that Thom can't talk about, look at FRS (Family Radio Service-Icom) does a great job up to about two miles (and you'll be able to talk about'em). [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-20-2002, 05:06 PM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

Ah! FRS. Well, no doubt about the fact that I'm clueless about them.

What I wanted to make a little point about is batterys and some of the differences you see with them and how we might want to make use of those differences.

I think I own about 30 or so rechargable NiCad batterys, and while I use them all the time in thinks like remotes and such I don't think they should be used in hand held radios. The reason I say that is that NiCad's self discharge. I have seen the rates mentioned of between 1% and 3% per day. I would say, based on my own observations, that the 3% is most likely right. Fully charge one and just let it lay out for three months and it'll be dead. If you carry a hand held with them in it I think its just a matter of time before you're carrying around worthless hardware cause the batterys are dead. Of course the ones of any interest today all have lithium ion batterys and they are great.

The Lithium ion batterys have two things going for them, the self discharge at a very slow rate and more important they have great power density (hold lots of juice for their size). But we don't use them for backup and here I'm thinking about backup batterys. For backup I like just plain old use-em and toss-em alkalines. The reason is their very long shelf life. That is one of the things I very much like about the Standard Horizon hand held radios. They all (to the best of my knowledge) come with removable battery trays to hold a spare set of AA batterys, and if you are smart those backup batterys will be alkaline. Of course there are also NiMHi (nickel metal hydride) batterys. Here's the deal on them - they exist simply because they are not so toxic to dispose of as NiCads. Other than they they are really about the same in other ways. There are also 'rechargable' alkaline batterys. It is my understanding that in the exact sense they are not really rechargable. That is they will not come back to 100% and steady loose their capacity with every recharge. It is my understanding that they don't bleed off power though so they might make sense.

Anyway my choice is standard alkalines for backup power. I use them in the lights on our PFD's I keep spare ones in the boat all the time. I use them in the flash lights and if I ever get around to buying another hand held VHF (I really need to replace my old ones) it will certainly have alkaline backup.

Thom

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Old 12-20-2002, 05:57 PM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

Yup, the NiCads discharge while not in use. And, if exposed to high temps, they will discharge at a higher rate than 3%. I have left fully charged NiCad batteries in my work car only to find that they are dead within a couple of weeks.

Just something to think about.

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Old 12-21-2002, 03:31 AM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

I bought the Icom MIV last spring, charged it up, used it a few times this summer, and just checked it... It's still fully charged.

Gotta love those Lithium Ion batteries!

The transmission and reception quality of this little Icom are suprisingly great! Overall, this is a product that I have been delighted with.

Now, if I had just waited another month to buy it last spring.... The price went down!
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Old 12-21-2002, 05:16 AM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

Take a look... www.icomamerica.com I would never suggest a FRS as a back up VHF but I gotta tell ya...the're great from boat to boat, car to car, hiking, skiing, shopping, etc. Saves a lot of time Vs cell phone talk at close range. I keep two in the car at all times; very handy. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] I have the Icom IC-M1V handheld...it is only rechargeable, but it is Lithium-Ion. If I did it again, I'd go with IC-M3A or M2A...I like to have those spare batteries on hand. I guess I could buy a spare power pack? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

[This message was edited by Mumblerone on 12-21-02 at 10:50 AM.]
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:05 AM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

I have the HX460S. It has a Lithium Ion battery that can be charged at any time-no need to run it down. Came with a dc adapter for cig lighter and it's small size works well for me. I carry it any time I'm going on a boat. Charge is supposed to last 12 hours, I've had it on for at least 10 hours and no problems.
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Old 12-22-2002, 09:43 AM
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Default Which handheld marine VHF to get??

I use an Icom M2A as a backup to my M45. I have an antenna adapter that I can connect it to my 8ft antenna should my M45 fail. The unit has NICADs and an Akaline tray. Less expensive that what you are looking in the Standard.

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