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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
VHF Marine Band Multi-Band Radios
|Author||Topic: VHF Marine Band Multi-Band Radios|
posted 07-06-2014 03:37 PM ET (US)
There are several hand-held radios that provide a Marine Band VHF Marine radio and transceivers or receivers for other bands. The usual combinations are to add to the VHF Marine Band a Family Radio Service (FRS) transceiver, an FM-Broadcast Band receiver, an AM-Broadcast Band Receiver, and an Aviation or Aircraft Band receiver.
A brief summary of the frequencies, modes, power levels, and channelization for those five bands follows>
VHF Marine Band
Family Radio Band
posted 07-06-2014 03:57 PM ET (US)
The typical multi-band radio with VHF Marine Band features will usually have a transmit capability on the Marine Band and FRS Band. The broadcast bands and aircraft bands will be receive only.
I am interesting in compiling a list of hand-held (or fixed mount) radios that are VHF Marine Band and multi-band radios. I can start the list with these:
West Marine VHF 250 (no longer made)
Standard Horizon HX470 (no longer made) (This radio also had Multi-Use Radio Service MURS capability.)
Standard Horizon HX471S (not sure if still in production)
Are there any hand-held radios in current production that combine a VHF Marine Band radio with a Family Radio Service radio?
posted 07-06-2014 08:38 PM ET (US)
One important note is that if the radio can transmit in the
FRS band, it cannot have a removable antenna, which means you
cannot use your boat's antenna to get better range in the
marine VHF band.
My hand-held is a Standard Horizon HX470S. It's a decent
posted 07-07-2014 03:30 PM ET (US)
The MURS band is better suited to combining with a VHF Marine Band radio because MURS is allocated on channels just below the Marine Band, from 151 to 154-MHz. Also MURS is a 2-watt power limit.
That means MURS might be able to transmit on an antenna tuned for the VHF Marine Band, assuming the antenna was not a really sharply tuned, narrow band antenna, without having the VSWR be too high.
The 2-Watt power is 6-dB more power than FRS radios.
On the other hand, a UHF handheld radio probably has a more efficient antenna than a VHF handheld.
MURS is mentioned as being used by some government agencies. I don't know if they are on the same channels as the public. Also, the feds may be using encrypted transmissions on MURS channels. See
posted 07-07-2014 03:39 PM ET (US)
It appears that MURS radios can be used with an external antenna to increase range, at least that is the inference I get from this advertisement:
and confirmed by the FCC description: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/multi-use-radio-service-murs-0
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