SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The well-regarded SH HX851 VHF/DSC/GPS handheld just had a huge price drop on Amazon. It's probably because it is being replaced by the newer HX870. But the HX851 is still a great radio, now costing about $65 less than it was yesterday:



Amazon.com : Standard Horizon HX851 6W Floating Handheld VHF Radio with Glow in the Dark : Frs Gmrs Two Way Radios : [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@31Cj3-xLdiL

I have no personal interest in this - just letting you know.

And, FWIW, I do not have an HX851. I got a killer deal on a Uniden MHS135 last year, so that's what I'm sticking with. I suggest you consult the online reviews for comments on both.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
9,411 Posts
If this is anything like the Uniden MHS135, I was completely disappointed by that radio. It is the worst VHF I've ever used, needing to use push buttons for volume and squelch rather than knobs, as well as the on and off. For a radio to give to guests when they go puttering around in the dink or ashore, it requires a full briefing and cheat sheet.
Garbage, just plain way over complicated garbage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
If this is anything like the Uniden MHS135, I was completely disappointed by that radio. It is the worst VHF I've ever used, needing to use push buttons for volume and squelch rather than knobs, as well as the on and off. For a radio to give to guests when they go puttering around in the dink or ashore, it requires a full briefing and cheat sheet.
Garbage, just plain way over complicated garbage.
Thanks for your opinion. My SH fixed mount VHF has knobs, but the exterior RAM mic that attaches to it has buttons, just like most handhelds. I believe that the reason is the need for waterproofing and immersion rating. It's very difficult to make a knob or mechanical switch that is completely sealed against water intrusion.

FWIW, I've never found my handheld to be particularly difficult to use. The menu structure seems to be very sensible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
I bought one last year and am pretty happy with it. Yeah, the button controls are not quite as easy to operate as rotating knobs. But, not overly complicated. I like having a handheld VHF radio that floats, has GPS built in, is waterproof and also has a strobe light built in. Makes it something to grab should one have to leave the boat in a hurry.;)
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,674 Posts
If this is anything like the Uniden MHS135, I was completely disappointed by that radio. It is the worst VHF I've ever used, needing to use push buttons for volume and squelch rather than knobs, as well as the on and off. For a radio to give to guests when they go puttering around in the dink or ashore, it requires a full briefing and cheat sheet.
Garbage, just plain way over complicated garbage.
As TakeFive points out, making a radio fully waterproof with knobs is a real engineering problem.

If a guest can't understand the pushbutton volume and squelch (not exactly rocket science) I don't believe I would turn them loose in my dinghy. I might be nervous about letting them cross a street unattended. *grin*
 

·
Master & Commander
Joined
·
204 Posts
I bought one last year and am pretty happy with it. Yeah, the button controls are not quite as easy to operate as rotating knobs. But, not overly complicated. I like having a handheld VHF radio that floats, has GPS built in, is waterproof and also has a strobe light built in. Makes it something to grab should one have to leave the boat in a hurry.;)
I also have a SH handheld with similar control functions. It's primarily used as a backup radio so the cumbersome operation to access all it's features really doesn't come into play. No problem accessing channel 16!
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
Rick,
I just checked The GPS Store and they're $25 less than Amazon ! (www.thegpsstore.com).

They'll be at the AC Boat show next week, might be nice to have a waterproof VHF for the dinghy.

FWIW, I've bought a full NMEA 2000 setup and masthead TV antenna from these guys and have been very happy. Good prices and great customer service.

Jim
 

·
the pointy end is the bow
Joined
·
6,264 Posts
The well-regarded SH HX851 VHF/DSC/GPS handheld just had a huge price drop on Amazon.
You beat me to it on putting the word out. We went to the Seattle boat show last weekend where the Standard Horizon representative told us the price was dropping to clear inventory and make room for the new model. $149 was the recommended retail price. New models are suppose to have two separate receivers (16/70) instead of scanning 70 like the current model. We bought our HX851yesterday for $145.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You beat me to it on putting the word out. We went to the Seattle boat show last weekend where the Standard Horizon representative told us the price was dropping to clear inventory and make room for the new model. $149 was the recommended retail price. New models are suppose to have two separate receivers (16/70) instead of scanning 70 like the current model. We bought our HX851yesterday for $145.
Interesting. I had thought that the HX851 had two receivers. If it shares one receiver, are there audio dropouts every couple seconds? As a test, tune your HX851 to weather channel and see if there are any dropouts. They'll be very noticeable. This issue resulted in some complaints for the Uniden MSC135 radio on the Amazon website, since it also has only one radio receiver.

The dropout issue is eliminated if you turn off the DSC scanning feature. This will prevent the radio from getting incoming DSC calls, but will not prevent you from placing routine DSC or distress DSC calls. In my case, I was willing to turn off the scanning because my fixed radio scans for them instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,613 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rick,
I just checked The GPS Store and they're $25 less than Amazon ! (www.thegpsstore.com).
Wow, that's a great price!

I got the Uniden model a year ago for about that price (then I bought a second one with my son to use on raceboats in Seattle). I have no regrets, because the Uniden came bundled with external mic and AA battery tray, which are $48 extra for the HX851.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Missingyou

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,128 Posts
I have the HX851 in my ditchbag. I think it's the perfect coastal cruising emergency radio. It should have range to hail a passing vessel and you're able to give them your exact coordinates.

I did buy the AA battery tray and keep a good supply of fresh AAs in there too. Rechargeables are tough to keep fully charged and one may need to go through a few sets of AAs, with no way to recharge from the raft.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,354 Posts
Rick,
I just checked The GPS Store and they're $25 less than Amazon ! (www.thegpsstore.com).

They'll be at the AC Boat show next week, might be nice to have a waterproof VHF for the dinghy.

FWIW, I've bought a full NMEA 2000 setup and masthead TV antenna from these guys and have been very happy. Good prices and great customer service.

Jim
And they include the alkaline battery tray. A nice feature to have some backup batteries loaded in. Amazon mention's it as an add on feature. It may come with it, as they do not always have all details in the descriptions.

GPS store has some really good prices on everything. I think I got a GPS puck a couple of years ago from them. Also looks like they have a small store front business, nice to be able to give some business to the small guys, and they normally stand up behind there stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,593 Posts
Standard Horizon HX851 quick review

Hey,

I bought the SH radio last year. It works as advertised.

Things I like:
GPS - I use it to display the speed so I don't go too fast in my dink on my way to my boat. The speed limit in the harbor is 5 kts and there are many law enforcement boats around
DSC - I set up the SH and the radio on my boat with different MMSI numbers. I can request and send position information as well as make and receive DSC calls. This way if my kids or I take the dink or kayak away from the big boat, we can easily keep in touch. I can also see on my plotter where the radio it.
Audio - the audio quality is very good. Voices are clear and not muffled and the radio gets plenty loud.

Things I don't like:
Size - it's pretty big for a hand held. Then again, I suppose it would be difficult to fit all the features in a smaller package
Belt Clip - The belt clip does not work well. It is too easy for the radio to come off. Be sure to add a wrist strap or something else or you will lose this radio. I always 'luggage tag' it to my belt and frequently find the radio hanging by the strap.
Strobe - there is a feature that will activate the strobe if the radio gets wet. Good in theory but there is no way to deactivate this feature. It gets annoying when you are sitting in the rain with the radio flashing away.

I recommend this radi, especially for the price.

Barry
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
And they include the alkaline battery tray.

GPS store has some really good prices on everything. I think I got a GPS puck a couple of years ago from them. Also looks like they have a small store front business, nice to be able to give some business to the small guys, and they normally stand up behind there stuff.
I've bought quite a bit from The GPS Store over the years at the Annapolis and AC Boat shows. Their sales guys are really knowledgeable about what works with what, and more importantly they'll tell you what they don't know and go find an answer.

I have no connection to these guys. But great customer service is so rare today it's nice to spread the word when you find it. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,306 Posts
Rick,
I just checked The GPS Store and they're $25 less than Amazon ! (www.thegpsstore.com).

They'll be at the AC Boat show next week, might be nice to have a waterproof VHF for the dinghy.

FWIW, I've bought a full NMEA 2000 setup and masthead TV antenna from these guys and have been very happy. Good prices and great customer service.

Jim
Thanks for pointing this out. I just placed an order for this. I don't actually need another handheld, I have a perfectly fine older SH, of course without DSC, GPS etc.. But it is over 10 years old and at some time, the battery will need to be replaced. And the price of a new battery is not far from this whole package!
 

·
Member
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
Well I ended up not buying the radio, but bought a new chartplotter instead.

The GPS Store is running a deal at the AC Boat show with the Garmin 741xs chart plotter for $899 ! :eek:

Normal price is $1,100 give or take a couple of dollars. This plotter's been selling around $1,500; Garmin is bringing out a new plotter the 7607 with basically the same features but a "cell phone like" user interface for $1,500. Both will be in the Garmin lineup for a while.

Since it was on my short list for upgrades I "gave in" when the wife suggested I go for it :laugher
 
  • Like
Reactions: TakeFive

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,641 Posts
IIRC the SH is the only one of the "uber-radios" that has a separate dedicated DSC receiver in it, giving it performance advantages.

But WTF?! A price drop like that makes you wonder, is something radically new coming out next month? Or did Oprah buy the company and decide and give away door prizes again?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,854 Posts
FWIW I grabbed one at that price. It was considerably less than I could buy it for from my master wholesaler. This is because they made a deal with SH for a huge lot of them for close out and my wholesaler did not.. So far it seems decent but has rather unimpressive in menu and ease of use is marginal.. Still always good to have a spare of a spare......;)
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top