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Old 02-09-2013
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Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

I have a friend that has offered to "gift" me a VHF (and HF) radio for the boat. He wants me to spec it out for him. It's yer typical "waddaIknow" from radios?

Perusing the listings on several sites and winnowing out the $1000+/- units; I have a helluva time figuring what I need vs what I want.
I don;t see the need for displays that show like GPS, tho the capability to plug in a GPS for futue AIS (?) would be nice. I don't have a need for a "system" to tell me where I am or plot where ta go. NO auto-pilot, weather station, radar, etc. to link to.

What I *would* like is a PA/hailer capability, a plug-in for potential future GPS co-ord for AIS, and an all-freq available currently selection. I'd like to get something that I won't need to upgrade/replace in a few years when the specs on new stuff supercedes current offerings.

Above all , it hasta be simple! Pull down menus and needing the manual or a Doctorate in EE just ta turn it on are NOT my cuppa tea. What I'm seeing for sale seems ta be common garden variety for less than $129 and some up grades to those at nearer$180; then a jump up to the *would like* specs in the 350-500 range and further still , the jump to $800+ !

Next.. I know dot.all from HF, so I'll let that one rest...for now.

Main issue is.. I don't wanna spec something that will cause my benefactor to grit his teeth and say "ouch!". Obversely; I don't want any gracious and spendy gift radio to go largely unused, functionwise. That'd be wasteful!.

SO.. can I get by on an inexpensive..say $180 "kit" rig?
Or should I include a few "bells and whistles" for the mid-price mark?

Decisions...decisions??!!
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