The battery on our Cobra hand held VHF is starting to fade quite quickly, which is probably not bad after seven years. So I thought I would have a look around at new hand held vhf's and there are loads on the market.
Came across two models from Standard Horizon and the difference (apart from price) seemed to be whether it had DSC or not. Most of the time we use the hand vhf to call into the mariina’s, however most of the time there is only the two of us on board and I got to thinking what if something went wrong. Its not going to have the longest range given it is 6W max and in an emergency would probably be used close to sea level, so is the additional cost worth the added safety?
Sailing area Irish sea and into the Clyde from Whitehaven usually
What does the panel think? I know the cheapest option is to replace the battery
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Thread: Hand held VHF DSC or not
15-05-12, 20:11 #1Registered User
Location : North west Cumbria
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Hand held VHF DSC or not
15-05-12, 20:20 #2Registered User
Location : Bedfordshire
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
Go for DSC
Personally, if I had the cash, I would go for the DSC option.
The Standard Horizon radio has had some good reviews. Icom has also just launched a DSC handheld - the IC-M91D. May be worth a look.
(remember if you go for the DSC handheld it must be licensed as a Ship Portable radio - it has its own MMSI)
15-05-12, 20:28 #3
15-05-12, 20:45 #4
I do not know which model of Cobra handheld VHF you have but the one I have uses stabndard AAA rechargeable batteries. If yours is similar you could buy a new set from Maplins for a few pounds and it should be as good as new.
Personally, I would invest your budget in a fixed DSC VHF radio and aerial. It will have far better range that a handheld and will not depend on your remembering to keep its batteries charged.Dave Seager
15-05-12, 21:17 #5
For fixed VHF sets, if I was buying again I'd go for the Standard Horizon model with AIS, it's a small screen but a lot better than nothing.
Personally I think DSC is awful, and while my fixed set is so equipped I use it as old style.
I'd be more concerned with making sure a handheld is waterproof, as it will be used in the tender or in emergency.
One tip; don't get a Silva S12 handheld ! I bought it without trying it out, only to find it's the most user unfriendly bit of kit I've ever encountered.
Also the squelch is in digital steps, at one level it's roaring static, one notch up the squelch is so high everything is cancelled out ! Useless.
15-05-12, 21:37 #6Registered User
Location : London
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
I've read that unlike the Coastguard, ships rarely listen on Ch.16 these days, relying on DSC instead. If that's true and your portable might be used as a short range means of indicating distress - potentially out of range of the Coastguard - then DSC sounds like it might be worth some $.
Of course, if you're paranoid, perhaps a EPIRB is a better idea.
Or better still, put on your lifejacket and walk, carefully, to the nearest cemetery.
15-05-12, 21:51 #7
15-05-12, 22:37 #8
15-05-12, 22:46 #9Registered User
Location : Hampshire
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
I've gone for the SH dsc capable handheld because I see it as a useful addition to the MOB armoury. We have a rule that the on watch helm at night has a PLB and handheld Dsc VHF on their person. The ship VHF can then poll the handheld VHF for location if necessary and the Mob can initiate a plb alert. We also have the raymarine life tag system to wake the off watch crew that the on watch crew has gone overboard. Paranoid? Maybe, but I'll use every tool available to me in a mob situation.
15-05-12, 23:16 #10
I've just bought a a Standard Horizon waterproof DSC handheld. I am often out in boats on my own and I keep it clipped onto my life jacket. I reckon it will improve my chances of being picked up if I go over the side.Warning - Internet forums may contain nuts