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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    25,494

    Default New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    My old HH VHF(Garmin) is coming to end of life and I am considering a replacement.

    Anyone got any recommendations? Cobra and Standard Horizon both look good value.

    Is there any real point in having DSC in a handheld given it adds significantly to the cost?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Home: Saffron Walden... boatless
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    I've got the SH, it's a great radio. As for DSC, don't know about you but for me it gave me a backup DSC, if the event that caused me to need it at all had disabled the main radio or its aerial or the GPS feed. So, yes.
    Graham. "Scala" now sold. Boatless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    2,545

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    All do what they say on the tin, really comes down to hand comfort.

    As to DSC, I have the Icom M91D which I use stand alone when doing Powerboat exams or similar work and is a good back up to the main unit so really depends on your personal sailing requirements. I like it..
    Chris
    Out west.... (or in the office)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    I've got an old Entel HT640 hand held which has been fantastic as a basic radio. It's battery still lasts 2+days on a single charge and it must be 10 + years old. A couple of years ago I thought I would buy a new DSC handheld so got myself an Icom M93D.
    TBH I've been disappointed with the Icom, compared to the Entel its receiver is not as good. The battery on the Icom struggles to last 8 hours but my main gripe with it is it just doesn't fit well in the hand. The plastic material Icom have used feels slippery.
    The DSC side is a bit of a novelty imo, Never used it other than testing to my main set.
    All depends on what you want in a handheld, but I would be looking at waterproof, ease of use, and good battery life from a known brand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    Using the GPS eats up the battery much quicker than just using it as a VHF radio, so make sure you can disable/enable the GPS easily. I have the SH version but it's for the ditch bag really, as a radio it's big and clunky, as a navigation tool, yes the GPS functions are there but very hard to read.. when it dies I will try the Icom. Or maybe not having read the above post..

    Also check where you are allowed to use it, the international licensing people haven't caught up with this type of radio, last time I looked anyway.
    Last edited by Ohlin Karcher; 07-08-19 at 20:33.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    25,494

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    Looking at the specs I am surprised by the poor battery life of the modern units. My Garmin being the best part of 20 years old and using NiCad could operate on standby for hours/days whereas the modern Lion powered units seem only to do 10-11 hours which IMHO is not really enough for anything other than back up.

    If being used as an emergency unit say carried in the pocket I can see the benefit of the auto MOB setting but only if the unit is powered on to provide an instant fix

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    I have the Cobra as a backup but what annoys me about it is it charges through a car cig lighter socket, I had to install one in the boat. Just be aware of that when making your choice.

    Kind regards

    Skip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Surrey and Gosport UK
    Posts
    1,704

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    My biggest gripe with old M Icom was the self discharging feature so even when not in use unless removed the battery went flat very quickly. I dont know if Icom have continued this but I would be reluctant to buy any VHF without checking battery life (I recall someone confirmed Icom built this in for some reason) . I replaced original battery as opposed to buying a new SH one with DSC etc . I would have thought floating ability and battery life might be key considerations but this all really turns on intended usage . Ours is just a back up to main VHF with handmike so really there should the electics fail on board etc . That said its quite handy to have on QHM or say channel 80 at times and it can do that without DSC etc. I guess it depends if main VHF has DSC ( which I find irritaing with its screeching alarms to be honest ) so maybe you dont want this repeated in a handheld.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    Everyone should have one of these just for a backup, for this price its peanuts. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2019-BAOF...4df62fce6f67d0

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: New Handhrld VHF - recommendations

    The post I did above it's frequency but 156.800 is channel 16. Very worthwhile having one or two of those radios on board. I have a main VHF through a metz aerial and then the Cobra hand held, then two of the ones from the link above.. I dont want to say this but I also have an old green VHF and a white whip. I'm showing my age here. Some guys here will know what I mean by the green one lol.

    Kind regards

    Skip
    Last edited by skipper681; 08-08-19 at 18:34.

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