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Author Topic:   Hand Held VHF Marine Band Radio Recommendations
Newtauk1 posted 07-04-2008 10:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for Newtauk1   Send Email to Newtauk1  
I would like to buy a new hand held VHF Marine Band radio, and I would appreciate any suggestions. I had an Icom for about 7 years and the battery will no longer hold a charge. This will be my main radio on board my 17-foot Newtauk.
HAPPYJIM posted 07-04-2008 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I use an ICOM that is about 5 years old. New batteries can be purchased through ICOM or on Ebay. Here's the new stuff from the ICOM site.

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/marine/default.aspx

Newtauk1 posted 07-04-2008 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Thanks. I did not look into the price of a battery. I assumed that a new unit would be close to the price of a battery. I will check out the replacement batteries first. The radio itself works fine for my use.
HAPPYJIM posted 07-04-2008 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I think that ICOM's are top of the line and easy to use. If the old one works I would get a new battery and use it. The big plus is you don't have to re-learn how to use it. I'm not a big fan of reading manuals to learn how to use new equipment.
I would buy new if your old one is not submersible.
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-06-2008 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Note that in another thread, Newtauk1 discovered that the
radio has standard AA NiCDs inside.

That makes "repowering" about $25.

Chuck

Newtauk1 posted 07-06-2008 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Yes indeed Chuck. I purchased 8 batteries for $21.00. The radio is working great. I hope the charger will work on these batteries. The OEM batteries were SAFT NiCD batteries.
Newtauk1 posted 07-07-2008 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Contacted Icom. Charger will not work. The tech rep suggested using Alkaline. He thought the NiMH's might run hot.
jimh posted 07-07-2008 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I consider a hand held VHF radio to be sort of a toy, so I got one with a lot of features. I bought the "VHF 250" WEST Marine branded radio (which I think is actually a Uniden radio) that has the following bands:

--AM Broadcast (receive only)
--FM Broadcast (receive only)
--Aircraft AM Band (receive only)
--Family Radio Service (receive and transmit, with continuous tone coded squelch options)
--VHF Marine Band (receive and transmit)
--NOAA Weather Radio

On sale at WEST Marine the radio, drop-in charger, and AC and DC power adaptors cost about $150.

The multi-band receive feature is very handy. I find it entertaining to listen to the airport tower and ground control traffic while waiting to pick up someone. I also find the FM broadcast receiver very handy for listening to NPR.

The user interface is quite good on this radio. I have never read the instruction manual. The radio is marked with the term "Submersible", although I have not tested that feature.

BellBoyBob posted 07-07-2008 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for BellBoyBob  Send Email to BellBoyBob     
If I had only a handheld radio to use on board, I would go with the Standard Horizon HX600S-Li 5W Marine VHF Handheld Radio with DSC, AM/FM, & Aircraft Band Receiver and Li-Ion Battery. This can utilize DSC distress calling if it is in its cradle and wired to either a helm mounted GPS or a hand held GPS with NMEA out.
Chuck Tribolet posted 07-08-2008 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The radios with builtin FRS generally do not have a removeable
antenna so you can't connect to the real antenna if the
main radio dies. I suspect there's something in the FCC FRS
regs about attached antennas.


Chuck

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