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post #4 of Old 06-10-2010
SEMIJim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calden View Post
1) Handheld or fixed-mount? I sail on a very large mountain lake and could be 10 miles from aid, still line-of-sight.
I think you mean "as the crow flies?" Line-of-sight means, literally, line-of-sight. To give you an idea of what LOS really is, here are some numbers:

Height of antenna: 6 ft ( 1.8 m)
VHF LOS to horizon: 3.0 nm ( 3.5 mi, 5.6 km)

Height of antenna: 40 ft (12.2 m)
VHF LOS to horizon: 7.8 nm ( 8.9 mi, 14.4 km)

Naturally, LOS is "additive," and you're rarely trying to communicate with somebody sitting in the water in an inner-tube

Height of antenna #1: 6 ft ( 1.8 m)
Height of antenna #2: 40 ft (12.2 m)
VHF LOS between antennas: 10.8 nm (12.4 mi, 20.0 km)

So, as you can see, height is important. As for hand-held vs. fixed mount: A fixed mount is going to have more transmit power and more sensitive receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calden View Post
2) Brands to shoot for, brands to avoid? Looking for ease of use and decent sound quality, not lowest price.
I plan on either a Standard Horizon Quest-X GX1500S or an Icom 402 or 422, for the following reasons:
  • Somebody a couple years ago evaluated the receive audio quality of everything on the market and found these two beat all the rest far and away. This is an important quality.
  • Both have the ability to accept a remote access mic (RAM). That way we can have the radio mounted below, and still hear and control it from the cockpit.
  • Both can be interfaced with our Garmin GPS so we have one-button MOB/distress capability

Quote:
Originally Posted by calden View Post
3) Features that are worth considering?
See above. There are others. I'd read the owner's manuals on-line to see how they're operated before making a choice. I did that for the radios listed above, but it's been so long I forgot which one I preferred! One of them clearly had a more useful operating system, IMO, tho. (I think it was the SH, but I'm not certain.)

Jim
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