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gobigblue

handheld VHF

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Wife asked me what I want for christmas, figure I should ask for a handheld VHF since im hoping to do more night fishing next year and outfront. looking quickly online seems like <$100 cobra type models will only last a year or 2 and maybe let me down when needed the most and there are some that seem to have way more bells and whistles then I need and cost >$300. Really all I want is something that floats, is waterproof has decent range for Raritan bay and mon cty, and a good battery. And is small enough to clip on my pfd. what do you guys use and like, or don't like?

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This is going to sound a bit crazy, but read to the end.

 

What device meets the following criteria:

 

1. Battery life - will beat the pooh out of any handheld radio's battery life

2. Range - will beat the pooh out of any handheld radio's range (based on where you intend on using it)

3. Can be used for triangulation

4. Dependent on the device, can be a backup GPS device

5. Small and light

6. Backup camera

 

Unless you plan to use the radio often as a communication device - in my experience, used extremely seldomly - it appears that the CG prefers cellular comms anyway. Get a trustworthy waterproof kit and get a second cell phone!

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I highly disagree with the phone idea. VHF's are made to be wet and good ones float. You can hail the CG on 16 in an emergency and can give your location to boaters that would probably help before the CG arrived. Cell phone would be great as a backup but it is NOT a replacement for a VHF. Get a Standard Horizon HX290, it floats and is submersible.


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my cellphone is an awesome backup and I keep it in a case that floats. it was tested once by accident lol

 

the hx290 seems like it has a lot of what I want, and don't want, I really thought they cost more than $130 maybe ill ask for a gopro from santa too.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Africaster View Post

Heaps of factors influence the range but typically seems to be between 20 and 45 miles versus the VHF handheld's 5 miles (line of sight).



I don't know what cell service you have but for ATT and Verizon once land is out of sight service drops off as well which is around 7-9 miles. VHF is definitely the way to go, you don't have worry about it getting wet and its a lot easier to hail the coast guard in an emergency. My icom has a shortcut to channel 16. If you use a cell phone you most likely will have to take it out of a dry bag or case and then search for the phone number. 


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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Oliver View Post

Out of interest how far out to sea will a cell phone work and what is the coverage like around the coast line of the USA?

Mike


My cell phone cuts around 7 miles or so on the boat. A handheld VHF will have problems receiving or transmitting to boats 5+ miles but not problems to the CG. They have towers several hundred feet up and can contact you. 

Look at the guy last week off MB, only a cell phone you only texted his friend he was in trouble. Had he had a VHF the CG or a close by boater could have helped him out a lot sooner.

Don't be a statistic...


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I had gotten cell service out at shark river reef two weeks ago, thats around 10 miles off.

 

A cheap handheld is a cheap handheld. That being said, handhelds on kayaks dont work all that great because being so close to the water. Get something with the strongest power for what is in your price range.

 

I use a uniden mhs125. Works like it should.

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Marine VHF Channels / Tx / Rc / Use:

01A /156.050 /156.050 / Port Operations and Commercial, VTS

05A /156.250 /156.250 /Port Operations

06 /156.300/ 156.300 /Intership Safety

07A 156.350 156.350 Commercial

08 156.400 156.400 Commercial (Intership only)

09 156.450 156.450 Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial.

10 156.500 156.500 Commercial

11 156.550 156.550 Commercial. VTS in selected areas.

12 156.600 156.600 Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.

13 156.650 156.650 Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.

14 156.700 156.700 Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.

15 -- 156.750 Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.

16 156.800 156.800 International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.

17 156.850 156.850 State Control

18A 156.900 156.900 Commercial

19A 156.950 156.950 Commercial

20 157.000 161.600 Port Operations (duplex)

20A 157.000 157.000 Port Operations

21A 157.050 157.050 U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York; Helo's; Fixed Wing Homeland Security Patrol

22A 157.100 157.100 U.S. Coast Guard Working Channel; Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.

23A 157.150 157.150 U.S. Coast Guard only

24 157.200 161.800 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

25 157.250 161.850 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

26 157.300 161.900 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

27 157.350 161.950 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

28 157.400 162.000 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

63A 156.175 156.175 Port Operations and Commercial, VTS

65A 156.275 156.275 Port Operations

66A 156.325 156.325 Port Operations

67 156.375 156.375 Commercial

68 156.425 156.425 Non-Commercial

69 156.475 156.475 Non-Commercial

70 156.525 156.525 Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)

71 156.575 156.575 Non-Commercial

72 156.625 156.625 Non-Commercial (Intership only)

73 156.675 156.675 Port Operations

74 156.725 156.725 Port Operations

77 156.875 156.875 Port Operations (Intership only)

78A 156.925 156.925 Non-Commercial

79A 156.975 156.975 Commercial

80A 157.025 157.025 Commercial

81A 157.075 157.075 U.S. Government only

82A 157.125 157.125 U.S. Government only

83A 157.175 157.175 U.S. Coast Guard only

84 157.225 161.825 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

85 157.275 161.875 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

86 157.325 161.925 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)

AIS 1 161.975 161.975 Automatic Identification System (AIS)

AIS 2 162.025 162.025 Automatic Identification System (AIS)

88A 157.425 157.425 Commercial, Intership only

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My cell phone cuts around 7 miles or so on the boat. A handheld VHF will have problems receiving or transmitting to boats 5+ miles but not problems to the CG. They have towers several hundred feet up and can contact you. 

 

 

Look at the guy last week off MB, only a cell phone you only texted his friend he was in trouble. Had he had a VHF the CG or a close by boater could have helped him out a lot sooner.

 

 

Don't be a statistic...

Cell phone app seatow tap button locks gps for them I have both cell and radio

I m curious if u dial 911 and your provider has poor signal doesn't it goto roaming automatically

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May be late on this topic but I carry standard horizon hx 851 and iPhone in lifeproof. Always carry two, three if you can. The hx851 is basically a beacon in that it's distress button send gps tags over radio to the coast guard every so often(although it doesn't transmit via sat). Honestly iphone with lifeproof/navionics app is all that ever gets used.

 

-Jeff

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