Ideas for Handheld Marine Radio

Ideas for Handheld Marine Radio

This is a discussion on Ideas for Handheld Marine Radio within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Ok, I need your help, suggestions and ideas. My son is in Pensacola courtesy of the Navy and our tax dollars. While learning to become ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array windowman2's Avatar
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    Ideas for Handheld Marine Radio

    Ok, I need your help, suggestions and ideas. My son is in Pensacola courtesy of the Navy and our tax dollars. While learning to become a pilot, he has found time to buy a used boat. It seems to me that it would be a good idea to get him a handheld radio, just in case, but I live in Ohio. Any water we have here (Cincinnati) you can see across so I'm clueless as to what make, model, etc... would be a good one to get. Thanks for your help and ideas.


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    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    I've used both Midland and Uniden. Both make good units, and like everything else, cost varies with your needs.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    I've used both Midland and Uniden. Both make good units, and like everything else, cost varies with your needs.
    Agreed. Both are very good choices. I use the handheld "bridge-to-bridge" VHF radio's a lot and Uniden is generally our first choice but Midland's are just as good.
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    Ditto on the Uniden. Excellent choice and, I think, best bang for the buck.

    I would have to say that ICOM would be my next choice and then Midland. Of course, cost wise, Midland would be a better choice than ICOM. OMO, ICOM is probably the top of the line but again, price being a factor, it only gets rated at second.
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    Member Array hardlivin's Avatar
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    I have had good experience with Standard Horizon. They even have models with a LED strobe light that flash SOS.

    Not sure how far out he plans to go but VHF is line of sight. He may not have the range that he requires.

    You might also consider getting a fixed mount radio with a 4' or 8' antenna. This could be done for around $200 and up.

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    Member Array One of Many's Avatar
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    Line of sight does not mean what you can see with your eyes. It means that the radio signal does not need to reflect back to earth from the atmosphere. I have used 5 watt hand-held amateur radios with telescoping antenna to communicate through a repeater over 30 miles away, and that was over land, with trees and buildings partially blocking the signal. Transmitting over large bodies of water usually increases the range of communication.

    I would recommend that a fixed mount radio be used rather than a handheld, as the power output is usually higher, the controls are easier to use, and the speakers are louder. They also don't fall overboard when you need them. Mounting a decent antenna on the boat will have the greatest effect on the ability to communicate, as it will improve reception significantly. The higher the better. Hand-held antennas are notoriously inefficient, and that is where the greatest limitation on distance of communication comes from.

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