Which VHF radio to buy?^

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Joe.
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Which VHF radio to buy?^

Post by Joe. » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:45 pm

I'm thinking of buying a VHF radio for sea kayaking and was wondering if anyone has any advice regarding which to go for. I would like something that will last, be properly waterproof and easy to use, although I don't expect to use it much - mainly for emergency and listening out for weather forecasts.

I see there's a good review of the icom M-71 on this website, the icom M-33 looks good too, also submersible and floats, which I like the sound of, and is cheaper. I have also had a quick look at some Standard Horizon radios which are a bit cheaper but also appear to be good quality and waterproof. I have very little experience of using VHF radios - hence why I'm asking for advice, although I do have a licence.

Thanks,

Joe.

garya
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by garya » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:53 pm

I went with the ICOM M-71 based on the huge battery life of over 15 hours I have been able to run mine for 4 days paddling without a charge by turning of when off the water and am really pleased with it. It seams a well built unit and is very easy to use with a 3 year warrenty

I chose battery life over the slight increase in size of the M-33 as making sure you can still communicate for as long as possible when in distress was important to me. The M71 floats fine in and aquapac with a thin bit of foam slipped in the back.

The other one I was looking at was this standard horizon HX851 but I understand that it has not had CE approval yet. I will certainly look at getting one when they become avaliable in the UK as a second set for the group. The GPS DSC is the best feature on it.

http://www.standardhorizon.com/indexVS. ... Archived=0

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MartinW
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by MartinW » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:21 pm

I too have an Icom M-71 which I am very happy with. I don't use an Aquapac, but keep it leashed in the pocket of my BA. It won't fit there in an Aquapac, and as I frequently paddle solo, I want it with me should I get separated from my boat. At the risk of hijacking the OP's thread (although I'm sure the OP will be as interested as I am), if anyone has any words of wisdom to impart on this subject I would be very grateful.

Martin
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Mr Hoppy
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Mr Hoppy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 pm

I use an Entel. Very similar to the M-71 in terms of spec, size and price. Mine just sits on my BA with no cover and has done a year with no obvious signs of salt problems.

Chris

Summit to Sea
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Summit to Sea » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:09 pm

Standard Horizon units are the only brand that we stock, the reason for that is that I've found their customer service to be outstanding to date.

The HX-851 should start shipping to dealers this month (we're waiting eagerly, having had the demo unit on our stand at the Anglesey Sea Kayak Symposium).

The HX-750 has now been superceded by the HX-751, a 750 with a luminescent strip rather than an Orange one.

The HX-280 continues to be our best seller, there's a simple reason for this, quality & price.

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:47 pm

Summit to Sea wrote:The HX-280 continues to be our best seller, there's a simple reason for this, quality & price.
My several years of experience with this radio and its predecessor, the HX-270, support this view. The HX-280 does what it says on the tin, at a bargain price.
Nick.

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MePower
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by MePower » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:28 pm

Mr Hoppy wrote:I use an Entel. Very similar to the M-71 in terms of spec, size and price. Mine just sits on my BA with no cover and has done a year with no obvious signs of salt problems.

Chris
Ditto, no probs on the rib or kayak. Attach to ba with a lanyard and you`re off.

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Mr Hoppy
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Mr Hoppy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:39 pm

MePower wrote:
Mr Hoppy wrote:I use an Entel. Very similar to the M-71 in terms of spec, size and price. Mine just sits on my BA with no cover and has done a year with no obvious signs of salt problems.

Chris
Ditto, no probs on the rib or kayak. Attach to ba with a lanyard and you`re off.
There's a reason that they're used commercially a lot, appear to be as tough as boots from everything I heard when reviewing them.

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maryinoxford
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:15 pm

Summit to Sea wrote:The HX-280 continues to be our best seller.
I might have bought one from you, but your on-line store doesn't appear to be working.
Not in Oxford any more...

adi2410355
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by adi2410355 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:22 am

Mary, try the link to their e-bay store below:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-Standard-Hori ... 0314398730

After my latest multi-day trip I find a marine radio enormously helpful and am going to buy one too, but what's it like with licences and permits?

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Mr Hoppy
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Mr Hoppy » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:32 am

adi2410355 wrote:Mary, try the link to their e-bay store below:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-Standard-Hori ... 0314398730

After my latest multi-day trip I find a marine radio enormously helpful and am going to buy one too, but what's it like with licences and permits?
you need to license it with Ofcom, free and easy, and you should do a course to get an operators cert. I am sceptical about the courses relevance to paddlers, I use my radio to listen to the weather and that's it. If the proverbial hits the fan the I know the protocols and phonetics to call in if needed, if it is bad enoughnthen I'll take the rap for not having my operater cert.

Chris

Bards
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Bards » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:39 am

My Standard Horizon was bought through EBay and has matched its relative cheepness with great cheerfulness despite a lot of use, and very little care... ticked all boxes at a good price.

Bards

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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Summit to Sea » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:38 am

maryinoxford wrote:I might have bought one from you, but your on-line store doesn't appear to be working.
Sorry. We had one up very briefly, but it was pretty basic and didn't reflect live stock levels, I decided it was more trouble than it was worth, so took it down again and we're working on a new online store with better software behind it.

In the meantime, we're always available using some of the older methods like the phone.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Pete

Joe.
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Joe. » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:44 am

Thanks everyone for your advice, I've decided to go for the Standard Horizon HX-280, looks like the best combination of quality, feature and price.

Cheers,
Joe.

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:32 pm

Summit to Sea wrote:In the meantime, we're always available using some of the older methods like the phone.
IIRC, don't you have an e-bay shop?
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

Joe.
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Joe. » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:58 pm

IIRC, don't you have an e-bay shop?[/quote]

Yes, it's http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Anglesey-Kayak ... mbing-Gear

I don't know if providing free advertising on an internet forum is a bit dodgy, but I just bought my radio from Pete at Summit To Sea and I'm a satisfied customer!

Cheers,

Joe

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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Summit to Sea » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:56 pm

garya wrote:The other one I was looking at was this standard horizon HX851 but I understand that it has not had CE approval yet. I will certainly look at getting one when they become avaliable in the UK as a second set for the group. The GPS DSC is the best feature on it.
We're expecting delivery of these units on Monday. They're going to be £249.95, but we are offering free UK delivery.

Pete

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Wenley
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Wenley » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:41 pm

Hello Peter,

Do you know whether MMSI numbers are already available for the handheld DSC HX851 Standard Horizon radio?
http://www.onkayaks.squarespace.com/
The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

John N
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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by John N » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:40 pm

What's going on! I made many enquiries with OFCOM (via. my MP) / STANDARD HORIZON / ICOM etc. Everybody said this model wouldn't be available for use in the UK until the CE situation was sorted and that that was not likely to be anytime soon. Indeed, I felt I was getting the run around from OFCOM so wrote to my MP again asking for clarification. In short, it would be illegal to use non CE approved equipment. I believe it was Wenley who was encountering similar problems in Spain and asked for a copy of the reply to my MP which I forwarded to him. Now I see the set I based my enquiries on is available in the UK - prior to CE approval and I don't understand why.
Good luck to those that get it but having been told it was not going to be available for quite sometime I bought an ENTEL 644 at a good price from a local supplier of 2W radio devices etc. The 644 has a much higher claimed battery life than other similar sets and it's yet to run out during the limited use I've had with it. Much as I appreciate the benefits of DSC I'm in no rush to replace the 644.

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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Summit to Sea » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:58 pm

Wenley wrote:Do you know whether MMSI numbers are already available for the handheld DSC HX851 Standard Horizon radio?
It took me about 20 mins to wade through the OfCOM guff and tick the appropriate boxes, but only because I read the terms and conditions I was agreeing to.

My blog comments on the process

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Re: Which VHF radio to buy?

Post by Summit to Sea » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:18 pm

John N wrote:What's going on! I made many enquiries with OFCOM (via. my MP) / STANDARD HORIZON / ICOM etc. Everybody said this model wouldn't be available for use in the UK until the CE situation was sorted and that that was not likely to be anytime soon.
John,
Standard Horizon have worked VERY hard to push this through and force the EU to enable them to bring this to the market. Last March, they told you it would be at least 12 months, they were right. I had the demo unit at the Anglesey Symposium in May, they were hoping to ship these at the end of May having secured CE approval and once again OfCOM threw another spanner in the works by not offering licenses for Portable VHF with DSC. They've put a lot of time into pursuing OfCOM and ensuring that they get their house in order.

I would imagine other manufacturers will be jumping on the bandwagon now that the situation has been resolved.

A number of local coaches have had these units already, to replace their corroded units from another manufacturer. They haven't really had them long enough yet to function on their performance.

I'm glad you're happy with the unit that you've got and understand your frustration, but the one set of people who aren't to blame are Standard Horizon.

Happy Paddling,
Pete

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