"The maximum power is limited to 25 watts by law." For a fixed radio. That's cut down to 6 watts for a handheld though.
I'm one of many fans of Standard Horizon. They're generally built to a higher standard (commercial market) and their customer service
has really gone beyond what other vendors would do to make things more than just right.
My H/T is my primary radio because it can be with me, and like they say about firearms, if it isn't in your arms, you can't fire it. I think a radio is important enough that there SHOULD be two on board, at least one fixed installation
. That's the one I'll use to listen to wx when starting up, and the one I'll use to call the launch when shutting down. But mainly--that's below and I'm not, so even though it may be the better radio it won't be my primary one.
Now with DSC
and a permanent tie-in to the GPS
...a permanent fixed radio starts to have other uses, and the extra range from higher power and a good antenna
factor in as well. The counter-point to that is that the "good antenna" is usually UP THERE where it is quietly taking damage and aging and eventually may fail, where the H/T is...here in my hands.
If I had to budget
one first, I'd buy a top quality H/T and a regular battery tray for it, to make sure alkalines could be used in a pinch. Or at least, a spare battery or 12v cable for it. Then a cheap
simple used VHF
($25) for the permanent--with money
spent on a top quality antenna installation
for it. And when the piggy bank felt better, by all means, a nice new permanent on board.
mikes and and controls and all that fancy stuff...I don't quite trust them or like their prices yet. Some makers are playing around with bluetooth now, so the "remotes" may become more standard, or just apps that you can use on a Smartphone. (Treo, Blackberry, iPhone
, Droid.) That would make more sense to me than the current
crop of expensive radios.