Portable Marine VHF radios

  • This topic has 16 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Maureen Benzon.
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  • #21811
    Gary Christensen
    Participant

    Good Morning: As a new member I have read previous discussions on handhelds. Very good info…..thanks for that! This may be a stupid question, but all of the radios I have researched, all have Li. ion rechargeable batteries. None of the brands I have seen show the use of “normal” AAA batteries or equivalent. Am I looking at the wrong radios?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #21828
    Maureen Benzon

    wow. This post has certainly got out of hand. Please keep replies polite, and to the point.

    Thank you Andrew for getting back on track with a simple and useful response. The battery tray is usually an optional accessory that must be purchased separately, but well worth it for peace of mind.

     

    #21826
    Daniel Del Vecchio

    radio with DSC.  The utility of DSC for emergency communication was persuasive.I have found the GPS useful for very simple navigation.  i.e. crossing howe sound in limited vis and wanting to make a specific landing.  The GPS does not replace a real GPS for multi-way point navigation.

    *** i would halfway agree. DSC is useful… if you can reach another radio. Most marine radio aboard big boats are 25w and have a much higher antenna. The issue we have is we are near the water and depending how much power is left on our battery we may not be able to push much. If you can’t connect to a DSC system your SOS is not that useful. That’s why i went with a marine VHf and mine garmin. It use satellite and get GPS. So i’m sure when i push that sos someone will hear me. Also having 2 devices is a back up and doesn’t use  all the battery life. To many whistles can drain one devices

     

    DSC sends extra info to CC.  ROC made it clear that CC values this.  DSC also sends useful info to your buddy (i.e. location) without you having to figure it out.  Also useful.PS.  I also strongly recommend you complete your ROC, even if you did it before.  Its a skill you want to be good at if you ever have an emergency.

    ** i agree ROC is highly recommended sadly is expensive. That’s why i try to offer better $$ for kayakers. I have my radio on all the time, even were part of a mayday relay. Don’t underestimate the value of VHF marine

     

    #21825
    Andrew Richardson

    Based on my ROC, which I completed last winter, I would only buy a radio with DSC.  The utility of DSC for emergency communication was persuasive.

    I have found the GPS useful for very simple navigation.  i.e. crossing howe sound in limited vis and wanting to make a specific landing.  The GPS does not replace a real GPS for multi-way point navigation.

    DSC sends extra info to CC.  ROC made it clear that CC values this.  DSC also sends useful info to your buddy (i.e. location) without you having to figure it out.  Also useful.

    PS.  I also strongly recommend you complete your ROC, even if you did it before.  Its a skill you want to be good at if you ever have an emergency.

    #21824
    Daniel Del Vecchio

    I linked a radio that is affordable and designed to use AAA batteries. It is widely recommended. I find this to be an operable solution for recreational kayaking.

    *** here the one i recommend:

    https://ca.binnacle.com/product_info.php?products_id=8721&gclid=Cj0KCQiAgribBhDkARIsAASA5bs2-gzD90q6S1kHASgU1N1QYER0d2Kttzr-VIrElShdYQqkw7FffxsaAkXqEALw_wcB

     

     

    I’m just trying to help OP. If you want to argue with strangers, you might enjoy facebook.

    ** there a difference between arguing and been disrespectful. Accusing someone of disinformation get into this category. Helping others is all i do. But i feel compelled to response when little know it all accuse me especially when they are pretty wrong. Sorry i don’t do Facebook, i got better things to do.

    #21823
    Richard Cordner

    #21822
    Daniel Del Vecchio

    Sorry Daniel but as a tech I have to say yours is a rather unqualified opinion and resembles misinformation, so I feel the need to clarify for the OP.

    *** not sure what kind of tech you are but as an amateur radio and instructor of VHF marine radio i believe i am pretty qualified and would say your  Statement is very offensive.

    “USB rechargeable” isn’t a battery type its a means of charging
    ** i am aware it’s a charging solution. It is why  as i explain my recommendations are to use that system instead of depending on variable battery

    Various battery chemistries come in AA and AAA form factors including rechargeable lithium. Your claims about power output are misinformed.

    *** maybe Mister tech here should read more before accusing  other of mis information:

    The AA Batteries and Your Radio

    différent batteries will effect performance and even some radio will automatically decrease their power is they have AA. So when i try to make to make an emergency call facing a 3w transmit vs a 5 w or even 6 w can make a difference between getting help vs not been heard. I have AA pack for all my radio….. as a backup but not as my main. 1 is  none and 2 is one. i would challenge anyone to use their AA pack vs a normal battery during an emergency when you will used a lot of power because of transmission

    .

    Removable batteries are preferable for people who depend on kit in rugged conditions because they are more operable resilient and easy to replace or carry spares. Also they are better for the environment because the equipment doesn’t age out with the volatile internal cell
    *** oh really, so you mean that the AA battery you carry outside your bag won’t be affected by the weather?? Anyone that has spend time in the outdoor can attest how the performance of their headlamp can be affected by the cold. So now imagine a device that is made to work on 12v mainly that you feed with AA batteries?? What you think will happe. To the 1-2 pack of battery you carry in your gear getting submitted to the same tempera then your radio. Not only that we live in an environment where we are surrounded by sea water… corrosive sea water. Marine radio are built to keep their battery back protected but frer AA battery not as much. Dry bag can fail.You really want to bet your life on it?? Vs as i said many people carrying many banks or way to recharge  via usb. It’s call having a backup plan. Plus as i mentioned a phone can also been a tool that can save your life. Where the usb bank also help. Maybe as a tech you should spend more time in the field and less behind a computer.

    #21821
    Richard Cordner

    #21820
    Daniel Del Vecchio

    I wouldn’t want my radio to depend only on AA batteries. Usually those are as an emergency. They would maybe able to generate 1-2 call with them and even i don’t think you would get the full 5-6 W out of your radio. Instead my radio is usb rechargeable. There a lot of people now carrying electronic and battery banks in group making easy to recharge in case of emergency. I have actually an emergency bank in my ditch bag. That way i can recharge my phone and my radio.

     

    #21819
    Richard Cordner

    #21818
    Gary Christensen

    Thanks for the tips! So far I’m thinking the S. H. HX890 is best. I’ll keep looking, until I  make a firm choice.

    #21817
    Andrew Richardson

    Solar chargers….FRUSTRATING.  Trying to find a reasonably priced solar charger for longer kayak trips has been frustrating.  I love the idea but really want to carry the charger on my deck when I am out, moving from one site to the next.  I tried this and discovered that “Water proof” does not mean “waterproof”, even when they advertise for outdoor use.

    #21816
    Richard Merchant

    No comment about solar rechargers for this type of application.  I would guess that would be necessary for longer trips…   And the technology is improving all the time.

    Anyone have any advice about this option?

    #21815
    Nick Heath

    Good question.

    Definitely choose a radio that accepts an optional AA battery tray if you have that option!

    Eg for this current model the Amazon.ca blurb says

    Standard Horizon HX380 5W Commercial Grade Submersible IPX-7 Handheld VHF Radio w/LMR Channels Marine

    Optional FBA-40 Alkaline Battery tray available

    You’re better to buy both at the same time  from someplace like Steveston Marine because I don’t think Amazon bothers to sell the bits and pieces but I could be wrong. also this might be available for some models but not others. This stuff usually is discounted at Boat Show time in Feb.

    The Li-ion batteries are however getting more compact all the time and maybe some of the models can no longer offer bulky AA packs which need to generate around 7 or 8 V to work so that means 6 AA batteries – a bigger pack than the Li-ion.

    Radios are notorious for working fine until you actually need them so it is not redundant to carry a backup power pack.

    In addition, I would personally recommend a PLB for more on-water security.

    #21814
    Gary Christensen

    Thanks for the Info.

    #21813
    Chris Fleming

    Hello Gary

     

    I have both a Standard Horizon (7yo) and a Uniden (4yo) hand held radios.   They both are Lithium Ion rechargeable but each  also came with an additional battery pack that accepts AA batteries.  I use the rechargeable primarily but always carry the battery pack as backup.  Both of my radios have an amazing rechargeable battery life on standby or scanning mode .

     

    If the battery pack does not come with the radio you might be able to purchase it separately from the manufacturer.

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