Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
VHF Handheld with Bluetooth
|Author||Topic: VHF Handheld with Bluetooth|
posted 02-16-2014 09:33 PM ET (US)
Having Bluetooth in a handheld VHF radio that connects to your cellular telephone so it could be kept safe sound and you just use the waterproof handheld VHF is a pretty good idea. I am not a big fan of Cobra electronics. At a selling Price of about $150 their radio features:
--Bluetooth® Wireless Technology - Keep your cell phone safe and dry by pairing it to the radio.
The PDF spec sheet: https://www.cobra.com/sites/default/files/features/MRHH500_SPEC.pdf
posted 02-17-2014 10:25 AM ET (US)
That looks like a great idea particularly for those who don't do a lot of off shore boating. Is this unique or are there other manufacturers with similar products? Would like to get Jim's opinion of the viability of this radio.
posted 02-17-2014 02:31 PM ET (US)
Twice as many batteries to go dead.
posted 02-17-2014 02:40 PM ET (US)
I do not make many cellular telephone calls from my boat while underway. Part of the reason for that is due to the areas I am operating the boat. Often there is very poor cellular coverage. A cellular telephone is a radio transceiver, and if it is stowed away below deck, it is not going to get very good coverage, much worse coverage than if you were holding it in your hand and standing on deck.
Another problem with making a cellular telephone call while underway is the ambient noise on a boat. When cruising along at planing speed there is usually too much wind noise and engine noise to permit good communication using a cellular telephone.
If I have to come to a slow speed or stop, and if I have marginal coverage with my cellular telephone stowed below, I am not sure that there is any great advantage to being able to use my VHF Marine Band handheld radio as a very expensive Bluetooth handset.
Also, how are you going to set up a cellular telephone call from the VHF Marine Band radio? Is this radio automatically going to pair with the cellular telephone so the radio can take over call origination? I have my doubts about that.
As for the Rewind audio replay feature, I am a little skeptical about that, too. If we are communicating, and I missed part of your transmission, I would just ask you to repeat. If I stopped, rewound the audio, and replayed it, you (or whomever I am communicating with) would probably wonder what happened to me, and why I was not responding.
The Rewind feature might be handy if I just missed part of the MAFOR code for weather forecasting and did not want to wait ten minutes for it to repeat. Or maybe if I happened to hear some distress call and missed something. But for normal communication I do not see it having too much application. But, since you can have it and not use it, there is no harm in having it.
posted 02-17-2014 02:50 PM ET (US)
The aspects of a handheld VHF Marine Band radio that would appeal to me are:
--really solid receiver with excellent sensitivity, very high tolerance of strong signals and intermodulation, and plenty of receiver audio output without distortion;
--excellent transmitter power and voice modulation
--good battery life, drop-in charger, and emergency battery pack with AA-cells;
--resistance to damage from being dropped and good water resistance;
--ability to be run on external power and external antenna in a pinch.
After those qualities, the rest are mainly bells and whistles.
By the way, I do have a hand-held radio. It covers six bands:
--VHF Marine Band FM TX and RX
--VHF Aircraft Band AM RX-only
--VHF NOAA Weather Radio FM RX-only
--VHF Family Radio Service (FRS) FM TX and RX
--FM Broadcast Band RX-only
--AM Broadcast Band RX-only
It has a drop-in charger cradle, and AC and DC power cords. It does not have a GPS, has no DSC. But it is a fun radio to bring along, not only on boat trips but on other adventures, too,
posted 02-17-2014 04:02 PM ET (US)
Seems like the main mode of dialing is via voice:
Using Voice Dial
Voice dialing is an advanced function and may not be
To Initiate a Voice Dial Call:
posted 02-18-2014 11:11 AM ET (US)
Second thought, what is the point and or advantage over hand-held VHF? Some redundancies--what was I thinking!!
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