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Old 21-10-2013, 08:58   #1
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This may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, but does anyone make a prtable VHF radio with an antenna in any color other than black? I know that ICOM has a unit that is yellow with a yellow antenna, the GM1600. But that unit is set up for survival craft and is a bit pricey.

Here's my thnig - a while ago, I lost a portable VHF overboard. When i bought it, one of the selling points was that it floated - and it did. But, only about three inches of the antenna was out of the water. We were in a marina in a river, so there was a current and the water was dark. In addition, it was about an hour before night on a cloudy day, so lighting conditions were not optimal. It took about 20 seconds for that little floating stick of rubber to get swallowed up in the gloom and, by the time I got off the boat and onto the dock, I couldn't find it at all. For all I know, it is still floating gently out to sea.

I thought at the time - well, that would be a lot easier to find if it was some color other than BLACK! So, I started looking for a VHF portable that had an antenna in other than black. I have seen a West Marine unit that has a dark blue and the ICOM I mentioed above, but nothing else. I thought of trying to find an antenna and mating it to a portable, but most of the units that I have found that are waterproof and float, don't have a separate antenna.

I can't believe I am the only person that this has ever happened to. It would seem that it would be a reasonable request to have the antenna be some color that would actually be visible (neon yellow and blaze orange come to mind) or even better, retroreflective. It's not like we all need black antennas because we are busy trying to run a blockade or sneak ashore on commando raids.
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Old 21-10-2013, 09:05   #2
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The problem is that even with a Neon orange color, the portable VHF antenna is so small that you would lose sight of it within 10-15 feet, no matter what color it is.

When I am kayaking or in some other vessel I know my GPS or VHF might go swimming, I attach a large neon orange key float to the units so I can see them at a distance.

This is a lot cheaper than a new antenna and is visible at greater distances.

Tom Jeremiason
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Old 21-10-2013, 09:28   #3
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Or perhaps use some retroreflective tape to make a band around the antenna? As you say, there's no good reason to make them black.
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
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antenna, vhf

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