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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
VHF - Handheld or Fixed?
|Author||Topic: VHF - Handheld or Fixed?|
posted 08-30-2007 02:59 PM ET (US)
I'm considering getting a VHF radio for my Montauk and am trying to decide if I should purchase a fixed unit to mount to my console or purchase a handheld that I can use anywhere.
My Montauk already has an old radio that I want to replace, so I already have an antenae mounted to the transom.
Are there any other advantages going one way or the other besides flexibility and perhaps power?
Is this akin to buying a tower or laptop computer? I prefer laptops...
posted 08-30-2007 11:19 PM ET (US)
When i had an 18 footer all I had was the Uniden portable VHF connected to an 8 ft antenna and it worked great. The speaker in the radio is ok, but not great, so I also had a small portable speaker mounted on my console that I plugged into the radio. It was a nice setup because I could always take the radio with me if I needed it for something else.
You can pick this radio up for about $100. Its a nice radio, it comes with a 120 v charger, a battery pack that you can plug into a 12v outlet for charging, and it also comes with an empty battery pack that you can load with regular AA batteries.
posted 08-31-2007 09:21 AM ET (US)
See my comments in
posted 09-03-2007 03:27 PM ET (US)
Redundant safety devices are far better than one should one fail.
posted 09-04-2007 09:22 AM ET (US)
I have a Garmin handheld which I have had for about 5 years. Both of our boats have fixed VHF's installed so this one very rarely gets used, but. It came with the NiCad battery and charging base as well as the housing for AA batteries as madfin mentions and has a few other options as well. From sitting around too much the NiCad battery went bad but the radio still works fine with the AA's (I might consider looking into a new NiCad if I used it more). It works great and is in basically new condition and I would be glad to get a few $$ for it if you were interested. If so, please drop me an e-mail. Thanks!
posted 09-05-2007 07:33 AM ET (US)
posted 09-06-2007 12:08 AM ET (US)
I have the fixed mount now but plan on adding a waterproof handheld soon. I agree it is best to have both, just remember to keep the handheld batteries charged up!
posted 09-06-2007 09:47 PM ET (US)
Check out the current issue of Florida Sportsman (September 2007). There is an article about the DSC (Digital Selective Calling) function built into new fixed mount VHF radios. Seems like a good reason to get a fixed mount radio. But I agree with everyone else: get both.
posted 09-11-2007 08:47 AM ET (US)
Thanks for all of the input guys!
I'll probably start by upgrading my fixed unit and then in a couple of years get a handheld.
I really don't use the radio much now or really see much need for it now except as a safety device.
posted 09-11-2007 10:51 AM ET (US)
For information on Digital Selective Calling, check out the many prior discussions on it here in the SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL area, as well as a REFERENCE article:
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
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