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I'm in the market for a portable VHS marine radio. Are any better than the others? Best place to buy?
 

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I've got a couple Uniden Atlantis 250 radios... work nice for not much $$$... I like to pay for more features & "quality" in my mounted radios... as I've dropped too many (two actually) hand-helds into the water over the years to put big bucks into hand-helds...

www.Jamestowndistributors.com has one for around $77.

There are many others out there... I prefer Icom or RayMarine electronics but for hand-helds for me cheaper is better
 

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I have been looking at hand - helds also as a back up to my mounted Icom. I have been looking at the floating water proof radios with a emergency strobe light. Hoping I would never have to use it in a ditch situation, but it could be helpful..I have also noticed that the floating models have a rubber like case that may protect them in case they are dropped.They are not that pricey if you stick with west marine or similar product. just my .02 cents worth
 

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Please bear in mind that 1, they only reliably work for a short disatance( like 1/4 mile RELIABLY) and 2, they only work when charged.

A handheld as a primary communications device is not a good idea, its better than nothing, not dont expect to be able to call for help at the first island.

(as a referance, I can talk to our dipatchers in berkley with a Standard Horizon and a 8ft 8db antenna from sandbridge- close to 30 miles)
 

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Please bear in mind that 1, they only reliably work for a short disatance( like 1/4 mile RELIABLY) and 2, they only work when charged.

A handheld as a primary communications device is not a good idea, its better than nothing, not dont expect to be able to call for help at the first island.

(as a referance, I can talk to our dipatchers in berkley with a Standard Horizon and a 8ft 8db antenna from sandbridge- close to 30 miles)
Agree but I keep one charged in my ditch bag next to my EPIRB. I will use it if I'm in the water or floating in my liferaft while clutching my EPIRB. I figure the EPIRB will get the rescuers close, then I can talk to them on the handheld.
 

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Keep in mind that VHF radio performance is a function of antenna height. We've got desktop VHF's but we've also got a pigtail to connect the handheld to the 8' VHF antennas. Both radios have the same output capability.
 

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I have a Uniden with GPS, its waterproof, floating, and handheld. It has a setting that if you push the emergency button it will send the Coast Guard your position. And to top that it has a LED light that will flash SOS....
 

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Keep in mind that VHF radio performance is a function of antenna height. We've got desktop VHF's but we've also got a pigtail to connect the handheld to the 8' VHF antennas. Both radios have the same output capability.
Antenna height and gain are probably the most important factors in determining range. HOWEVER handheld VHF units typically transmit at 5 or 6 watts whereas console VHF units typically put out 25 watts.
 

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One word ICOM

True story. I drop a ICOM handheld overboard at the pier. Next morning went back with my dive gear and found the radio, "Still on" in that black mud about 9ft underwater.

Also I can get easily +5 mile range with that handheld.
 

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IMO, any radio, whether it is fixed mount or hand- held is better than no radio. I like to have a spare, if my boat has a major problem and my 12 volt system is out then a hand held should work just fine even though it is usually only 5 watts. There is usually someone close by that will receive your transmission and get you the assistance that you need. If an emergency occurs then the hand held would be you main communications should you have to ditch the boat. I usually always prepare for the worse and hope it does not happen..There is usually PLENTY of traffic on 68 if you need help, you may have better luck there than 16.
 
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