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Old 24-01-2019, 10:23   #1
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Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I was thinking about buying one of these and came across this review:

https://www.amazon.com/hz/reviews-re...7iMGR3xPcX6iU&

Does anyone else who has one of these radios have a review?

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Old 24-01-2019, 10:38   #2
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I have a HX870 which is the older version and my main complaint is the short battery life. There are a number of settings you can adjust to lenghten the battery but it still seems to only last around 6 hours. I find hard to believe that standard horizon wouldn't stand behind their product and the amazon review doesn't mention getting a new one under warranty. Only that they weren't happy with the water proofing so they bought any other one which also failed.
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Old 24-01-2019, 13:48   #3
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I have the 870 and have had no problems, battery life on mine has been fine. It sits for weeks at a time and is ready to use when I need it. I use it when cruising and leave it on channel 13 to communicate and listen to the tows. Being in fresh water I’ve never had to wash of any salt residue.
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Old 24-01-2019, 14:07   #4
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I've had one for about a year and had no problems. But I've managed not to submerge it during that time. Maybe a few splashes in the dinghy. I think I've accidentally left it on standby overnight a couple of times without killing the battery. But active GPS tracking is going to chew up power on any device.
Hmm... one of the "winter projects" I was going to do was installing a power outlet in the dinghy. Maybe next winter.
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Old 24-01-2019, 19:49   #5
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I have the HX870 and the Icom M93D. I prefer the Icom (though I am slightly biased since I also sell Icom). As a sailor, here are the things that I prefer about the Icom..

1.) The Icom M93D is lighter than the HX870, and likely the HX890 also.

2.) The Icom M93D battery can be charged in the charging cradle without being in the radio, or the radio can be placed in the cradle. This means that if you have back to back standing watches with people carrying the radio on their PFD, or maybe constant use with the dinghy or ashore, you could have two batteries, keep one charged and swap them out when they get low. With the S-H HX8x0 models the battery is behind a cover and can only be charged while in the radio. So if the battery needs charging, the radio needs to sit in the cradle.

Feature wise they are pretty much the same. Price-wise the Icom is generally more expensive.

My opinion of course based on owning and using both radios on my own sailboat from Alaska to El Salvador.
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Old 24-01-2019, 20:39   #6
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
I was thinking about buying one of these and came across this review:

https://www.amazon.com/hz/reviews-re...7iMGR3xPcX6iU&

Does anyone else who has one of these radios have a review?

Fair winds and calm seas.
Well the guy does give varied reviews on products
https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/am...gw_btm?ie=UTF8
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Old 24-01-2019, 21:02   #7
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

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Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
I have the HX870 and the Icom M93D. I prefer the Icom (though I am slightly biased since I also sell Icom). As a sailor, here are the things that I prefer about the Icom..

1.) The Icom M93D is lighter than the HX870, and likely the HX890 also.

2.) The Icom M93D battery can be charged in the charging cradle without being in the radio, or the radio can be placed in the cradle. This means that if you have back to back standing watches with people carrying the radio on their PFD, or maybe constant use with the dinghy or ashore, you could have two batteries, keep one charged and swap them out when they get low. With the S-H HX8x0 models the battery is behind a cover and can only be charged while in the radio. So if the battery needs charging, the radio needs to sit in the cradle.

Feature wise they are pretty much the same. Price-wise the Icom is generally more expensive.

My opinion of course based on owning and using both radios on my own sailboat from Alaska to El Salvador.
Oh, and if anyone would like the excellent Icom M93D radio, you can get it from me Here. Use coupon code CF2019 for free shipping in the US.
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Old 25-01-2019, 13:30   #8
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

Water ingress for a submersible radio should be non-existent. I have had a HX870 for over 2 years. I submerse it regularly and have never had a problem with it. My guess is the 890 had a bad production run. The way electronics are made these days, if one unit has it then all of them are subject to the same issue until the design is tweaked. I also used to sell ICOMs and they are a great radio although a bit pricey.
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Old 25-01-2019, 14:11   #9
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I like my HX870. The battery life is OK for a full day of heavy use. Voice quality is a cut above previous radios I've had - DSP, I guess. This radio got a real workout last summer in the Arctic where no mobile phone works. The only thing offhand I can think of which would be an improvement, would be if it were about half the volume and weight. It's a bit of a beast. But otherwise I have no complaints at all.



I had the previous HX851 and hated it. The HX870 has addressed just about every drawback of the previous model.



Would be interesting to try an HX890, but my HX870 has been quite adequate.
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Old 25-01-2019, 17:34   #10
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I’m sure the 870 can be shrunk in size, but it wouldn’t likely float then
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Old 25-01-2019, 17:53   #11
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

I've had an ICOM M91D for a number of years now. Very first trip on the water I knocked it from my belt when launching the dinghy and off it floated. To it's credit it did the light flashing thing, making it easy to retrieve. Rinsed it off under the tap afterwards and it's never suffered from that dip in seawater. Wasn't cheap to purchase (in fact about 3 times the price of the fixed VHF in my case) but, imho, I think a handheld VHF should be considered an essential piece of safety gear as it may be the last line of communication in an emergency.
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Old 26-01-2019, 02:35   #12
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

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. . . . but, imho, I think a handheld VHF should be considered an essential piece of safety gear as it may be the last line of communication in an emergency.

I agree completely.


I have an AAA battery tray for the HX870, and a bunch of AAA batts in a vacuum sealed container in my grab bag, and the radio itself is at the top of the grab list.


DSC distress call, even from a handheld, is better than a flare, I guess, and could very well be the only means of communication in the last phase of a rescue.
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Old 26-01-2019, 08:48   #13
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

At a seminar for people joining the Pacific Puddle Jump to the South Pacific in Puerto Vallarta, Eugenie Russell told how a handheld VHF might have saved the lives of her crew and herself. After the J120 they were sailing down the Baja California coast hit a whale and pushed the rudder up through the hull, the Coast Guard helicopter flew right over the life raft and it was the call from the handheld VHF that alerted the CG that they had missed the life raft with six people aboard.

By the way, in the Coast Guard’s final report on the incident, they said that Captain Eugenie Russell did everything exactly right except that she delayed too long before activating the EPIRB. They said that she should have ‘pulled the cord’ immediately.

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Old 26-01-2019, 10:11   #14
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

Dockhead, I have the 851 and no complaints. What were yours?
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Old 27-01-2019, 11:01   #15
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Re: Standard Horizon HX890 Hand Held VHF Radio

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Dockhead, I have the 851 and no complaints. What were yours?

Very poor, actually unacceptable battery life, no battery gauge, poor controls, poor audio (no DSP; constant complaints that I could barely be heard), tiny screen, too big, limited normal GPS functions.


I liked it least of all the many handheld VHF radios I've owned over the years and couldn't wait to get rid of it. I owned a cheap Cobra HH325 which was excellent (better in every way than the HX851 except that it lacked DSC), and as an old time Icom man, many different Icom handhelds, which were all good (I still use an Icom ham handy-talky for VHF/UHF; and both my fixed radios are Icom, M802 SSB and M604 VHF, both excellent).


The HX870 is, in my experience, a great leap forward, a totally different radio.


By the way, Yaesu actually reached out to users of the HX851 when they were developing the HX870 -- and I was one of those who gave detailed feedback, which they seem to have paid attention to.
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