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Lookin' for a new HANDHELD VHF

2948 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  hellosailor
I've had an iCom M34 handheld VHF since March of 2007. Initially, I was initially very happy with the unit, as it could scan, prioritize, and give me NOAA weather reports. At the time, the iCom reputation as a manufacturer was stellar.

I also liked that it floats (although never tested this). I learned AFTER I purchased the unit, that it floats upside down. With a black case, the chance of finding the unit should it go overboard is virtually 0, so I put some red SOLAS tape on the bottom, and believe that this would help. Why don't they make floating handhelds in Neon Yellow?

The unit failed in 2012, with the symptom that the squelch was always off (open channel), and thus scanning wouldn't work. iCom fixed it under warranty (I believe they said there was a recall on them) at the time.

Well, the unit started to do the same thing again last year, and I've been living with it. In addition, when I plug it in the charging cradle, the LED flashes orange indicating a problem. One would think that because I registered the unit, and because I sent it in for service and they returned it to me, that it would be in their database if there is a recall...

The bottom line is that I don't trust the radio anymore, and am disappointed with iCom for not notifying ME when there was an issue. I am therefore open to other manufacturers (Standard Horizon comes to mind).

Would any one in the forum care to share the VHF that they would buy, and why? I'll go digging into my Practical Sailor archives in the meantime...

Thanks in advance!:)
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I picked up a Standard Horizon HX280S for $75. Can't beat the price and it has been a great radio. Does not float, but it is submersible. They are a little more now ($90), but still a fantastic deal. The interface is very usable, and has everything I want with just one or two button presses.
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