Standard Horizon HX851E^

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riph72
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Standard Horizon HX851E^

Post by riph72 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:29 pm

Hello all,

I'm thinking about upgrading to this (from my HX270E), has anyone tried one out yet?
I tend to wear my radio attached to the front of my PFD, what's the GPS reception like, will the HX851E be able to "see" satellites ok in this position?

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Richard.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Summit to Sea » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:43 pm

I've used our demo unit for about a week now, every time i've removed it from the pocket of my Peak Adventure Zip PFD, it's still giving a position, so that location doesn't appear to impede its performance.

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Pete

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:18 pm

Richard, why not keep your HX270E and spend the same amount of money on a proper EPIRB. Hand held VHF radios batteries are notorious for going flat. Who are you going to call then? An EPIRB battery will continue to call for assistance for 24 or 48 hours depending on the model.

Douglas

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Wenley
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Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Wenley » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:33 am

Hello Douglas,

I remember that you owned the previous ACR AquaLink GPS 406 Epirb. How do you compare to the Mcmurdo Fastfind 210 PLB EPIRB GPS?

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The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:13 pm

Greetings Wenley, I still have the old ACR. It was 5 years old in July and required a new battery. This cost about £150 at Sartech. (I have spent more than that on Icom VHF radio batteries!) I did wonder about buying a new PLB/EPIRB but I hate waste and was impressed by the Sartech service package. It came back with test certificates less than a week after I sent it off. It is comparable in terms of power output with the new Mcmurdo Fastfind 210 PLB EPIRB GPS but having a bigger battery will transmit for 48 hours rather than 24 of the smaller McMurdo unit.

For the life of me I can't understand why more sea kayakers don't carry these. At about £200 they are cheaper, more effective and longer lasting than a few flares. I think the main benefit (apart from being found) is that it reduces the time (both expense and time exposed to danger) that the rescue services spend looking for you. To me it is a no brainer and on our trips we generally have at least two.

Douglas

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Wenley
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Wenley » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Thanks Douglas,

The truth is that I followed your same route with several Icoms VHF handheld sets and paid dearly to replace the battery of the first one, whose terminal was terminally corroded at exactly the same spot than yours. Something similar happened with a broken screw in the microphone set. Now I use them in a Aquapac waterproof case. Yes, that is wishful thinking as I sometimes I fancy that I might end up procuring a waterproof cover for the waterproof cover of the waterproof radio.

I am keen on the new SH HX851E mostly because sometime ago, on a very late winter evening, I had a bad dunk in a rip tide, and I realized that there were only terminal chances that a voice could be heard at all with the lines of surf breaking on me, so the release of an automated message by DSC really pays to me. Still I should pay close attention to the Lithium batteries. I do not know how Standard Horizon deals with the rapid discharge problem.

I have thought of buying an EPIRB but Unique Identifier Numbers are in my country just granted to ship sets. Having applied and got one in the UK, I'll go for a PLB/EPIRB too: They are the really life-savers.

By the way, the ACR seems easier to deploy with cold hands. The McMurdo seems like a practical, unexpensive option but the manual states that once the spring antenna is pulled, a plastic seal breaks and cannot be reset by the user; plus although the set is waterproff, the spring antenna cannot be submerged and I cannot imagine how that can be done easily if you need to activate the PLB if you happen to be swimming.

So, if we add the DSC VHF radio and the PLB, to the fact that I am a Catholic, I think I will be on the safe side of things.
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The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by MikeM » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:06 pm

Is the DSC signal sent by this new Horizon sent by VHF and thus prone to problems of the signal being received if you are under a cliff for example? I think at least half the time I'm paddling close to the coast, I don't hear the coastguard (eg. miss the weather update for eg.) So if I had an issue, I do worry the VHF would be of little use (until someone is in range)..?

In which case an EPIRB would be better because its signal is received by satellite?

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Owen » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:37 pm

MikeM wrote:Is the DSC signal sent by this new Horizon sent by VHF and thus prone to problems of the signal being received if you are under a cliff for example? I think at least half the time I'm paddling close to the coast, I don't hear the coastguard (eg. miss the weather update for eg.) So if I had an issue, I do worry the VHF would be of little use (until someone is in range)..?

In which case an EPIRB would be better because its signal is received by satellite?
The signal sent out by these sets goes out on VHF just the same as any other messages. They are prone to the same problems as any VHF signal. The biggest problem being that your set is only giving out a 5w signal and the antenna is at or even below the tops of the waves. If you really think sea kayaking is that dangerous then get an EPIRB, get a basic standard horizon VHF (£90) for group control, chatting to your mates, weather forcasts etc.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Summit to Sea » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:10 am

Owen wrote:The biggest problem being that your set is only giving out a 5w signal
The highest setting on this model has a 6w output, might not sound a lot more, but it's 20% more powerful.

;-)

Pete

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by orkfay » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:23 pm

Just got one of these home for birthday
Not tried out at sea yet but generally impressed.
A bit bulkier than previous model but that's because it floats
Picks up signal and location inside house effectively which my wife's Garmin GPS doesn't

Heard the arguments about EPIRBs but VHF does go out to local boats not just Coast Guard.
It was that response from local boats which made a huge difference in my "episode" 18m ago.
They got our message as it went out, whereas there is an inherent delay with EPIRBs
That being said, I hope never to have to pull back the red tab in anger!

Not knocking EPIRBs - in ideal world would have VHF AND EPIRB AND mobile phone AND flares.
Each has its place

Only disappointment is that although HX851E has wires to connect to a Marine Plotter, there is no official way to connect up to PC to download your route on return. It does have facility to store waypoints so you could do this manually, but that would be a tad tedious

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by burpblade » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:14 pm

This obsession with epirbs is fine, but to use a well worn cliché, if you’re gonna be stupid you’d better tough. Every time the SAR helo or the RNLI get called out those people are exposing themselves to greater risk by virtue of the equipment they’re using (which can and does also fail) and the environment they operate in. I’m getting a little tired of well known names on here constantly pushing epirbs on these radio threads (we get it, ok? Let it go.) without including the caveat that proper planning and risk assessment is as or more important. No one doubts the utility and wisdom of covering all the options, but next time you’re intentionally going out of VHF coverage, do a little risk assessment based on the fact that you’re at leisure, nothing more, and then ask yourself if the potential risk to those who might have to come and get you is worth it.

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MikeB
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by MikeB » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:47 pm

Hello burpblade - while the sentiment you are expressing makes some sense, perhaps it could safely be assumed that the principles you advocate might have been taken account of by the people to whom you refer? Notably so given their pedigree and fairly considerable experience?

There are some things which really are "given's" in the minds of intelligent, experienced people who know what they are talking about, I rather suspect this is one of them.

For those people who may not have the same level of experience then shall we reasonably assume that they just might have the wit to work out for themselves what they should be doing?

Because otherwise every time we post on something esoteric we're going to end up adding the sort of caveats we see on cups of coffee in some places. "Warning - this hot liquid will be hot".

Regs, Mike

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ArnoG
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by ArnoG » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:32 pm

Burpblade,

I trust you never ever wear a seatbelt. Makes sense. A

A.-

Chris Bolton
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:42 pm

burpblade wrote:but next time you’re intentionally going out of VHF coverage, do a little risk assessment...
I don't think whether you're inside or outside VHF coverage has anything to do with it. Surely your objection to EPIRBs [whether I agree with it or not] applies equally to VHF?

Chris

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Ceegee
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Ceegee » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:31 pm

MikeB wrote: "Warning - this hot liquid will be hot".
Best one I saw recently was the warning "may contain traces of nuts" ON A PACKET OF PEANUTS!!!

Steve
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Steve C. G.

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:33 pm

Burpblade - people don't get sued over here on internet forums for giving free advice without mention of all of its caveats.

Don't put your dog in the microwave to dry it out :P
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by orkfay » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:30 pm

To return this thread to its original topic ...

Given the previous discussion about height of aerial and coverage:
it is surely possible to transmit a DSC distress signal from a HS851E clipped to a paddle blade held high
(DSC messages don't require proximity to mouth and distress ones are repeated).
This would at least triple effective aerial height.
Just a thought - hope never to put it to test!

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MikeB
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by MikeB » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:41 pm

TechnoEngineer wrote:Burpblade - people don't get sued over here on internet forums for giving free advice without mention of all of its caveats.

Don't put your dog in the microwave to dry it out :P
I seriously doubt that they would be anywhere. And even if such an unlikely thing was to happen somewhere else, that wouldn't set precedent in this country.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by John W » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:54 pm

I've only got to paddle behind the Breakwater at Holyhead to be out of VHF coverage...

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by dpround » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:19 am

I think the argument against DSC goes like this. Having some flares is a smart idea. Having more flares is better, certainly, but investing the same money in a VHF would be better. The thing is that it is a different vector to help. Flares may not work simply because there is nobody there to see them. In this case no amount of flares will help. DSC uses the same vector as VHF and so while there is no doubt it is better, like buying more flares it may not be the most effective use of limited resources. (If resources are unlimited, it follows that you should certainly buy a radio with DSC.)

An EPIRB uses a completely different vector and so has a chance of working even in situations where flares and VHF have failed. Given that we mostly operate in locations where the distress mechanisms are compromised (remote areas, flares unlikely to be seen; tight to shore, with poor antennas and too low so VHF reception chances poor) then the more vectors we have the better. Carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof bag adds another cheap vector.

So far I can only field a mobile phone and VHF. I chose the VHF first as in most of the reports I have read this seems the most effective option and it also has very real uses within the group. Flares are likely to be next as sufficient flares to be useful look like they will cost about £50-60, which is a lot less than an EPIRB.

David

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by mduncombe » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:55 am

John W wrote:I've only got to paddle behind the Breakwater at Holyhead to be out of VHF coverage...
out of coverage of what, the Coastguard transmitter? the chances are that there will be someone out there at some point who can hear you on 16.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by John W » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:19 am

mduncombe wrote:out of coverage of what, the Coastguard transmitter? the chances are that there will be someone out there at some point who can hear you on 16.
Yes that is obviously true but far from guaranteed. To take that example further then it could be argued that a paddler is almost never out of VHF coverage surely?

I thought to argue that we should never paddle beyond direct VHF coverage was too simplistic (and far too restricting). Back to the limited example of Anglesey; handheld VHF coverage is very patchy in many places along a reasonably populated coastline, it is not exactly wilderness there. There is limited or no coverage behind the breakwater (1 km from the Coastguard station building), limited coverage at North stack/Gogarth, Carmel Head and so on. Whilst on the east coast where you are the furthest from the station you have usually excellent coverage due to a rebro station on the Gt Orme. If we were to limit our paddling to only areas of direct VHF coverage then we would lose many popular and often straightforward trips/venues.

As we know handheld VHF coverage is by its nature limited and very susceptible to the vagaries of line of sight communications, weather and so on. (I have had continuous VHF coverage whilst crossing from Dun Laohghaire to Holyhead, but as I mentioned I struggle to call up when I get on at Soldier Point just over 1km from the station). As always there are numerous safety practices and devices we can and should use, in combination - never relying on just one form.

Above all our own knowledge and experience are the best way to ensure our safety.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by MikeB » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:35 am

mduncombe wrote:
John W wrote:I've only got to paddle behind the Breakwater at Holyhead to be out of VHF coverage...
out of coverage of what, the Coastguard transmitter? the chances are that there will be someone out there at some point who can hear you on 16.
South coast of England? No doubt.

West coast of Scotland? Possibly. Would I want to rely on that? No.


Mike.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by mick m » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:20 am

Hear in Australia the VHF cuvarage is impruving with a good set of repeter stations, I cary both VHF and eperb, once the eperb goes of and help is onit way , when you can hear the plain/helicopter you can then talk to them via VHF, you might see or hear them befor thay see you

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Lindisfarne » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:19 am

Sorry to stray from the original post but I find the comments on the Mcmurdo interesting.

I was looking at purchasing a SPOT GPS Location Tracker but after reading through this thread I'm now thinking would the Mcmurdo fastfind be a better option ?

Any advice or input would be greatfully recieved.

Thanks
Neil.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Owen » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:13 pm

I think, but I could be wrong, the SPOT requires an annual subcription the fastfinder doesn't.

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by MikeB » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:20 pm

Owen wrote:I think, but I could be wrong, the SPOT requires an annual subcription the fastfinder doesn't.
Wasn't there a question mark over the SPOT's reliability? That said, I ntice that Justione Curvengen is going to use them on her upcoming trip.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:17 pm

Hello Neil, Mike and Owen have mentioned two drawbacks with SPOT (Patrick Winterton's failed on his Faroes crossing). The SPOT is a great way to update friends as to your position but in a distress situation it does not send a message to the coastguard, it sends a message to SPOT HQ, who you then hope will transmit it to the coastguard without delay. The SPOT uses the satellite phone system, the PLB/EPIRBs work on a dedicated rescue satellite system. PLB/EPIRBs have a battery that is guaranteed to last for 5 years (and stay working at low temperatures), the SPOT battery can flatten if you use it too much. Once activated the PLB/EPIRB will transmit continuously for 24/48 hours depending on the model. The SPOT only transmits once. PLB/EPIRBs transmit at 15 times the power of SPOT.

In summary, the Spot is a fun but expensive gadget to keep in touch with friends, the PLB/EPIRB is a serious and highly effective distress beacon.

Douglas

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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Lindisfarne » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:59 pm

Thanks Owen, I done a bit of research and your quite correct, an anual subscription is required, looks to be around £100.00 as well...

Mike, it seems like you are spot on (no pun intended), confirmed by Douglas's posting.

Thanks Douglas, that's the kind of information I was looking for and has helped make my decision a lot easier. I spoke with an RNLI Sea Safety Officer today and he pretty much told me the same as you have typed. the Spot is a nice gadget for sending confirmation messages back to a shore based contact on multiday trips where as the Epirb seems to be a serious piece of equipment that can be relied upon when the proverbial hits the fan.

Thanks for all your input, just need to get my order into Santa now, I'm cutting it fine ..........


Neil.

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Mark R
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Re: Standard Horizon HX851E

Post by Mark R » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:13 pm

On serious trips,I carry the following communication equipment...

Whistle
Flares (rocket, smoke, etc)
Mobile
VHF
PLB

...If there were more toys available, I'd probably buy them and carry them too.

Any arguments for carrying one or the other, or that one is more useful than the other, are ridiculous. Obviously they all have different benefits and limitations, respectively come into their own in different situations, and would be selected for use in different situations to each other. They're also all fully capable of failing to operate properly when most needed, regardless of how much they cost.

Arguing that one particular communication device overrides/ negates the usefulness of all others is taking a point to its illogical extreme.
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