SailNet Community banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking for a handheld vhf. Features I would like DSC, floatable, GPS, two separate receivers, Class D DSC compliance etc.

Any other beneficial features I should look for?

Any particular make? model?

What about range?

Needed for international use.

Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,396 Posts
Standard Horizon 850/851. Not sure I know the exact diff or which I have in our ditchbag, as it's packed away at the moment. I also bought the AA battery pack and have spare batteries in the bag. The rechargeable packs they come with will discharge over time.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,204 Posts
UK didn't know they had DSC handhelds.

Mine is a Standard horizon floating.

If I was buying another I would buy cheap because they get beaten up. Thrown in the cockpit, turfed in your pocket and sat down on, dumped in the dink and wet the whole bloody time.

Oh, and buy a 6 watt one if you can, the extra watt is important.

Mark
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,304 Posts
UK didn't know they had DSC handhelds.

Mine is a Standard horizon floating.

If I was buying another I would buy cheap because they get beaten up. Thrown in the cockpit, turfed in your pocket and sat down on, dumped in the dink and wet the whole bloody time.

Oh, and buy a 6 watt one if you can, the extra watt is important.
They do, although I am not a fan of them. It could be problematic if you sail on different boats.

I agree with both of your points (they take abuse, 6 watts is better than 5). I would also look for floating.

I have an iCom floating handheld without DSC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes they do Mark. It appears to be the case for a few years now. 6w will be a feature on the one I decide upon.

Ta for the heads up Minne. The draw back is that it is more expensive then others with similar features with the exception of the ability to make a DSC radio call and send position information. Does anybody know of other VHFs that have this ability? A concern also is that this particular model came out over 3 years ago which seems old for an electronic gadget.

I am also wondering about the receiving range of these higher end VHFs. I guess it has to do with microvolts with a minimum 50 being optimal. Does anybody know of any VHFs that meet this? How would that transfer into mileage under typical conditions?

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Standard Horizon HX851 is the best I know. Yes 5W, but I prefer 5 watts on YAESU or STD HORIZON than 6 watts on any other... ham word !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
UK didn't know they had DSC handhelds.

Mine is a Standard horizon floating.

If I was buying another I would buy cheap because they get beaten up. Thrown in the cockpit, turfed in your pocket and sat down on, dumped in the dink and wet the whole bloody time.

Oh, and buy a 6 watt one if you can, the extra watt is important.

Mark
As an additional thought, it's nice to have a floating unit with a flashing led that comes on when it hits the water .... Good if it. ( and/or you) go in the water after dark


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Contrary to several opinions here, 6 watts is not any better than 5. Even in a noise free lab environment, you would not be able to hear the difference in a 5 watt signal or a 6 watt. You almost have to double the power to get a noticeable improvement at a distant receiver. The one extra watt is only more of a drain on the battery...and a marketing gimmick.

There is very little performance difference between handheld receivers. Basic advice is to stuck with brands that have good reputation, like Icom, uniden, or Standard. Find one that has the features you like. The only real improvement, radio-wise, would be a better antenna. So you might consider one that has a removable antenna. In a pinch, you could at least have a jumper that could connect the handheld to your main antenna.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Or carry a backup antenna, an adapter to match the antenna connector of your handheld VHF and you are good to go if your main rig/antenna gets lightning struck, bridge bonked or just quits working.

Run that five or 6 Watt handy talkie into a gain antenna up 10 feet or so and you can be heard for 5 to ten MILES or more.

Run that same 5W into your typical 6~9inch rubber antenna and you will be doing well to make it heard a couple of miles.

People on the ground running 5 watts into gain antennas have communicated with the ISS (space station) using amateur radio talkies and that is a fur piece.

The rubber antenna is more of a convenience than an effective radiator.

Have FUN!
O'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,184 Posts
Contrary to several opinions here, 6 watts is not any better than 5. Even in a noise free lab environment, you would not be able to hear the difference in a 5 watt signal or a 6 watt. You almost have to double the power to get a noticeable improvement at a distant receiver. The one extra watt is only more of a drain on the battery...and a marketing gimmick.

There is very little performance difference between handheld receivers. Basic advice is to stuck with brands that have good reputation, like Icom, uniden, or Standard. Find one that has the features you like. The only real improvement, radio-wise, would be a better antenna. So you might consider one that has a removable antenna. In a pinch, you could at least have a jumper that could connect the handheld to your main antenna.
There is however, a real-world difference between a DSC with GPS handheld, and a version without either. It is a lot more likely that your DSC distress signal, with GPS co-ordinates attached, will get through to the coastguard un-garbled than a 5 or 6W voice transmission. You also get a digital acknowledgement, so you know it's gone through.

That's why the coastguard spent millions on the equipment - it's just a shame mariners are being so slow to take advantage of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,396 Posts
......Ta for the heads up Minne. The draw back is that it is more expensive then others with similar features with the exception of the ability to make a DSC radio call and send position information. Does anybody know of other VHFs that have this ability? A concern also is that this particular model came out over 3 years ago which seems old for an electronic gadget.....
One of those two models is more recent, I believe. Standard Horizon is pretty reliable stuff.

But, I'm confused. Are you saying these are more expensive than other similar models you are already familiar with?

Personally, I don't give any weight to the DSC feature. Range on these is always poor, so it's pretty unlikely that it will go through. I'm counting on being able to reach a passer by and being able to read my lat/long to them. They either respond or contact the CG for me. I also ride with it clipped to my waste from time to time. This way I could remain in contact with the mother ship who will hopefully be turning around to come find me if I go overboard. Since we often sail as a double, there is no doubt my wife will lose sight of me while she douses sails and turns around. Also, why we got a MOM to automatically mark the spot and deploy a flotation device.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
But, I'm confused. Are you saying these are more expensive than other similar models you are already familiar with?
Just reading reviews. No real hands on experience.

Getting the idea that the range of handhelds due to the the apparent limitations is not that great.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
Looking for a handheld vhf. Features I would like DSC, floatable, GPS, two separate receivers, Class D DSC compliance etc.
I have a Standard Horizon HX-850 (superseded by the HX-851). It's a fine radio although I don't know that it is Class D - there is no mention of dual receivers in the documentation. It does float, have internal GPS, and DSC. For us it makes a great dinghy radio.

The only downside is that the battery life is a bit short - it will run 8 or 10 hours but not much longer. My Icom M-31 battery lasts a couple of days, but of course isn't a DSC radio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,396 Posts
....Getting the idea that the range of handhelds due to the the apparent limitations is not that great.
I've never really done a personal test. I assume a couple of miles over open water and less over land. Particularly if you're transmitting from exactly sea level. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
...Personally, I don't give any weight to the DSC feature. Range on these is always poor, so it's pretty unlikely that it will go through. I'm counting on being able to reach a passer by and being able to read my lat/long to them. They either respond or contact the CG for me.
As MarkSF pointed out, the DSC signal does have a MUCH better chance of being picked up (and responded to) than a voice call. First and foremost, it repeats until received and cancelled by the CG, or your battery goes dead. The transmission is a fraction of second, so your battery will last MANY times longer than if you're relying on a voice call. Also, ANY DSC radio in range will alarm when it receives your call, and record your MMSI number, position, etc. So even if the DSC call can't reach the CG directly, it has a chance of being received and relayed by other boaters.

Boat US has a great tutorial on DSC, well worth the time it takes. I had read my DSC radio's manual when I bought the boat, but this tutorial was more informative.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
I'm looking at the SH and the Icom, each makes exactly one model with DSC and GPS, although I have no idea if there are "two receivers" in any of them.

SH is made by Yaesu, who compete pretty much level with Icom on many things. But my Ancient And Venerable HandHeld VHF is a SH and it has held up remarkably well, so I'm prejudiced toward rewarding SH with my loyalty. Their customer service has also been sterling.

I think if you took a look at both, checked out how intuitive the menus are or aren't, you couldn't go wrong with either one. All considered, I wouldn't look at the cheaper brands although that might mean missing a bargain. SH generally builds a very rugged device, that's one reason it isn't branded and sold under the Yaesu name.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top