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Old 10-08-2014, 06:56   #1
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Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Hi All

Looking at buying a new Handheld VHF / DSC for the boat and have come across three which in all honesty look very similar, Has anyone got any views on them?

1, Lowrance Link-2 Handheld DSC VHF/GPS Cost: 189
Max 5w transmission power but big screen.

2, Standard Horizon HX851 DSC handheld VHF, Cost 179


3, Icom M91D VHF/DSC Handheld Radio, Cost 229

Cant see a lot of difference so has anyone got any experiance of using them? are they all too chunky?, too heavy, have you tried more than one of the above? are they clear, do you think Icom is worth the extra 50.

Any suggestions would be great before I part with my cash.

Yes looked at VHF's with no DSC but for the extra bit I may aswell go for one with DSC (safety first and all)..

Many Thanks
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:08   #2
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

I think Dockhead just posted a thread about this. I have been a solid fan of Standard Horizon VHFs for almost 40 years, never had one fail. However I think Dockhead nixed the SH handheld because others had a little longer battery life.

Whichever one you choose I recommend getting one that can use AA batteries as well as the built in rechargeables.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:18   #3
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

There's a fairly good side-by-side test of several models here:

BoatingLAB Tests: Handheld VHF Radios | Boating Magazine

The West Marine radio that scores very well there is actually a rebranded Uniden MHS235.

I haven't bought one yet, but I've been leaning toward the Uniden.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:35   #4
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Can only see a licensing one on dockhead past posts page, If there is another let me know, more interested in the product at moment.Thanks for the info on new horizon though gives me some confidence.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:39   #5
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
There's a fairly good side-by-side test of several models here:

BoatingLAB Tests: Handheld VHF Radios | Boating Magazine

The West Marine radio that scores very well there is actually a rebranded Uniden MHS235.

I haven't bought one yet, but I've been leaning toward the Uniden.
Yes I have had a good look all over internet already. Looking for some hands on knowledge from someone who has bought recently or is using one, Thanks anyway.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:30   #6
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by zooplax View Post
Can only see a licensing one on dockhead past posts page, If there is another let me know, more interested in the product at moment.Thanks for the info on new horizon though gives me some confidence.
Here's 2 posts re ditch bag VHF w/DSC... And another specific problem with the X851 only working with alkaline batts in the spare tray for DSC function.

Best Handheld VHF (or otherwise) Radio for Ditch Bag

Standard Horizon HX851 Battery Tray

I've got an X851 sitting about 2 feet away... Tons of great things about it, but clunky interface took time to get used to... I'd rather have a squelch/vol knob instead of up/down buttons... All in all, a good working radio...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
There's a fairly good side-by-side test of several models here:

BoatingLAB Tests: Handheld VHF Radios | Boating Magazine

The West Marine radio that scores very well there is actually a rebranded Uniden MHS235.

I haven't bought one yet, but I've been leaning toward the Uniden.
I've heard lots of good things about this one too !
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:50   #7
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Can you get the uniden mh135 in the UK?? Or is it a American product, it seems you may not be able to get European weather reports on it.



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Old 10-08-2014, 10:50   #8
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

And it seems to have the best battery life.


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Old 10-08-2014, 11:41   #9
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by zooplax View Post
Can you get the uniden mh135 in the UK?? Or is it a American product, it seems you may not be able to get European weather reports on it.



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It doesn't matter European weather is broadcast on standard VHF channels. Once the VHF can do international channels ( which it can ) you're good to go

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Old 10-08-2014, 11:51   #10
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Great, thought it may have had an extra function than the usual vhf weather reports. Still not much luck finding the west marine or it's predecessor. Looks like I may be going towards icom. Most expensive sadly but battery life seems the best after west marine..

Import duties to UK make the others about the same price if bought from America.


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Old 10-08-2014, 13:41   #11
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

We have a SH handheld. It is 11 y.o. now and I still love it. I would buy a SH again.

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Old 10-08-2014, 14:26   #12
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Here's the recent thread where there was a discussion of DSC handhelds.

Best Handheld VHF (or otherwise) Radio for Ditch Bag
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Old 10-08-2014, 14:40   #13
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Quote:
Originally Posted by zooplax View Post
Great, thought it may have had an extra function than the usual vhf weather reports. Still not much luck finding the west marine or it's predecessor. Looks like I may be going towards icom. Most expensive sadly but battery life seems the best after west marine..

Import duties to UK make the others about the same price if bought from America.


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Personally I rate Standard Horizon well above Icom

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Old 10-08-2014, 14:42   #14
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Re: Which Handheld GPS/DSC to buy??

Thanks, 60 cheaper too :-) thinking that will buy me a second battery if needed...



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