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Old 27-12-2009, 17:38   #16
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5 or 6 Watts, which is practically the same.

But they do seem to put out diffenet amount of usable power depending on the brand!!!

I have a SH and it is great - very clear reception - clearer than my station ICOM.

I like the Ray a lot though - because it comes with a boat (12 Volt) charger and it uses the plain NiMH accus - so easy to charge, replace or substitute with alkalis.

The Ray got very good marks for transmit range in YM tests.

So to me a Ray or a SH are a great choice.

b.
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Old 27-12-2009, 18:16   #17
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Hi Ocean Girl

As others have said, you are limited to line of sight and maximum allowable power (around 5 watts)

So in analyzing which VHF handheld is best, the real focus should be on Receive sensitivity and frequency error.

This is where Standard has always been on top and why they generally get the best rating.

Look at Gord’s provided links and it will explain better.

I have tried a few others on super yachts (where we use them a lot daily) and always come back to Standard
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Old 27-12-2009, 19:49   #18
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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I have an antenna already up my mast (looks like a metz from down here), I can tap into that? how?
I don't think you'll find a waterproof HH that will let you connect to a masthead antenna.
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Old 27-12-2009, 20:32   #19
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Sounds like you'll be having fun with the decisions....you are at an advantage with having an antenna already mounted. "The Big Marine" stores will have a simple adapter for you to utilize your mast antenna connection to your Hand Held.


.......enjoy the wind for it is free.....
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Old 27-12-2009, 20:40   #20
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Sorry, I failed to mention, my HH is a ICOM M34 with the mast antennae cable to HH adapter. Ziggy is correct in that other units may not have compatible/available adapters.


..........enjoy the Wind for it is Free.....
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Old 27-12-2009, 20:54   #21
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Sounds like you'll be having fun with the decisions....


.......enjoy the wind for it is free.....
Fun? Sorry but buying electronics is a guy thing. Well, I am sure some women love this stuff but not me Boy, imagine how much I am going to whine when its is time to buy a radar or rewire my DC! I should probably not post during those dark days

I am going with Standard hx 270(I think), skip the external antenna adapter, get the fancy shmancy HX850 in the spring.
Thanks to all for the info,
Erika
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Old 27-12-2009, 21:50   #22
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"Hand held VHF's do not get over 6 watts....not that I have ever seen. "
6 Watts is the FCC regulated maximum power based on how much radiation your skull and eyes (corneal burns) can safely absorb during use.
And the difference between 5 and 6 watts will be insignificant in the larger picture of things. MOST manufacturers will not actually "tune" the final power of the transmitter, they allow for variations in manufacturing and assembly so that if the parts have, say, a 10% variation, they will design for 5 watts knowing that way they can't exceed the watt maximum.
If you really want to get that last watt...you take the radio to an authorized tech and ask them to tune it for maximum legal output power. And, you might want to look for a radio with a metal case and chassis, which makes for a better heat sink. Most handhelds will heat up during use (typical design is based on 10% transmitting time) and as they heat up--the good ones lower power so they don't burn out. A metal chassis and case makes for better heat transfer, allowing longer transmissions without overheating.

Standard Horizon have made many of us very happy, they build a commercial-grade product and take real good care of their customers.
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Old 28-12-2009, 10:03   #23
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Instead of obsessing about 5 vs. 6 watts you would do better to

1. Stand on your cabin top or whatever is the highest place you can get to

2. Hold the radio VERTICALLY because the antenna has maximum receptivity and transmission power from the side
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Old 28-12-2009, 12:44   #24
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In Alaska work boat, I have an adapter made up that I can unscrew my handheld antenna and screw in any one of the big VHF antennas leads. This is a safety feature I wanted as most radios get ruined when you take the windows out in the Bering Sea by waves. This is big boat stuff but thought I would throw it out.
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Old 28-12-2009, 14:56   #25
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Hi Erica:

Here is a slightly better price on the SH. It is recommended as gear of the year product by Practical Sailor. I am in process of buying one too. It is a high end HH at a reasonable price. Seems to me that it would be a good one for your ditch bag b/c of the floating and the GPS capability. I bought some inexpensive (two for less than $100) HH from Westmarine and they worked well for four or five years. The are not waterproof but came with dry bags. Perhaps someone more knowledgable can comment on this question: If you are in a dingly with an antenna level of 2' to a max of say 6' (as you would have in a dinghy)is the wattage goign to be make that much difference. Seems that the lack of height would be the controlling factor rather than the wattage. Am I right?Consumers Marine > Standard Horizon HX850S Handheld VHF/GPS - Electronics > VHF Radios > Handheld VHF Radios :
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Old 28-12-2009, 15:13   #26
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Hi Erica:

Here is a slightly better price on the SH. It is recommended as gear of the year product by Practical Sailor. I am in process of buying one too. It is a high end HH at a reasonable price. Seems to me that it would be a good one for your ditch bag b/c of the floating and the GPS capability. I bought some inexpensive (two for less than $100) HH from Westmarine and they worked well for four or five years. The are not waterproof but came with dry bags. Perhaps someone more knowledgable can comment on this question: If you are in a dingly with an antenna level of 2' to a max of say 6' (as you would have in a dinghy)is the wattage goign to be make that much difference. Seems that the lack of height would be the controlling factor rather than the wattage. Am I right?Consumers Marine > Standard Horizon HX850S Handheld VHF/GPS - Electronics > VHF Radios > Handheld VHF Radios :
I always had the hand held VHF and hand held GPS ready to go in the raft. I figured I could call the helicopter right in on me. After the EPIRB get their attention via the big sky birds.
But every situation is different, if I wanted a local Panga to see me, smoke or flares or mirrors.....what ever it took to get attention.
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Old 28-12-2009, 16:02   #27
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Antenna height

Yes, it matters and in theory your "line of sight" distance to the horizon goes from 1.6 to 2.8 miles when you go from 2' to 6' ASL.

BoatSafe.com

But the flip side is that that range has to be ADDED to the "line of sight" range of the other party. So if you are working a USCG station's antenna at 50'ASL, or 100'ASL, or a big fat beautiful Hercules at 5,000 feet...your range will be determined almost totally by their height, not yours.
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Old 28-12-2009, 16:11   #28
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Thanks HS. That means that wattae will be your determingin factor and not height. I didn't relaize that it was the height of either antenna that makes the difference though now that I think of it it makes sense.
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Old 28-12-2009, 20:05   #29
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Charlie, the wattage again won't be much of a practical difference. Typically, you'd need to double the output power to hear an audible difference in the signal, i.e. from 3 watts to 6 watts, you'd hear a change. But the difference between 5 and 6....probably just means the guy advertising 6 takes the extra time and expense to design and align their output section more carefully, so the radio may have been built with more care. But not necessarily an audible power difference.
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Old 28-12-2009, 21:41   #30
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Don't worry about the difference between 5 watts and 6 watts in output. That in itself will make no practical difference in your range or talk power. What might make a difference in readability in a marginal contact is speech compression, a feature some handheld VHF radios do have.

If you have an antenna mounted high on your boat with a coaxial cable run down to your Nav station, then should be able to use this with your handheld. The coax probably has a PL-259 UHF connector on the radio end. If the antenna on your handheld is removable, and most are, you can find out what kind of connector is used and buy a mating adapter for just a few dollars that will let you attach the PL-259 to your handheld en lieu of the rubber ducky antenna. This higher antenna (which will also have better radiation efficiency and a bit of gain) will make the biggest difference in range of contact - far more than the difference of a couple of watts.
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