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Old 19-03-2023, 08:15   #1
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Need Handheld VHF recommend

Hi folks. Looking for recommendations on handheld VHF. There are many units on the market with unfavourable reviews. “Standard”… up to date features preferred. I prefer not to make purchases based on cost. Good long term value is better for me. Thanks for your Suggs.
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Old 19-03-2023, 08:26   #2
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

I recently bought an Icom with everything incl. DSC and think it’s a cheap pos. I recommend something like this:
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Old 19-03-2023, 08:37   #3
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

Icom and Standard are two reputable quality handheld manufacturers. Opinions vary which is better.
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Old 19-03-2023, 08:47   #4
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

I've got the Icom M94D. The sound quality is really good and I like having a backup AIS (usually I use an app on my phone). Downsides are it's pretty chunky and expensive.
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Old 19-03-2023, 09:20   #5
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

I've had the Standard Horizon I think it's 800 or 850 for a few years. Works great, provides GPS and speed.
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Old 19-03-2023, 10:40   #6
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

Here are reviews of the best handheld VHF radios according to Yachting Monthly:

I have one of them, the ICOM IC M94D, and like it quite a bit. It has many features, including AIS receiver and DSC. It floats and would be ideal for a ditch bag. I also have an ICOM fixed VHF. ICOM makes good products, although they are bit more expensive than others.
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Old 19-03-2023, 11:32   #7
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Re: Need Handheld VHF recommend

In a handheld you're going to use routinely for communication, you should be looking for:
- A volume knob.
- A squelch knob.
- Loud, clear audio that can be heard over weather and engines.

That actually rules out quite a few.

Decide if you need DSC and a GPS for anything. I don't. My handheld VHF is not part of my plan for initial contact to summon rescue assistance. I do not use my handheld VHF for navigation because in nearly all cases I'd rather use my phone, or the chartplotter, or a dedicated portable GPS. Your use case may be different.

Decide if you need a battery tray. They are perhaps useful for standby uses. Some handhelds have larger battery trays that can provide enough power to support transmit at 5 watts, most don't.

Decide if you need to be able to swap batteries in a wet environment. Some radios are sealed even when the battery is being replaced, others are not.

Decide what kinds of charging connections you can live with. Some are set up for USB charging, which has to be done in a dry location but uses cables and a brick you already have. Others have drop in chargers which are bulky but more convenient for regular use.

Decide whether you want the radio to float. Usually floating radios are bulky or have smaller batteries and therefore shorter battery life.

I like the Standard Horizon HX380, which doesn't have a GPS or DSC or AIS but is particularly well designed otherwise. There are other good radios out there.
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men, vhf

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