DSC VHF Woes

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
Northern Blue
Posts: 344
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:11 am
Location: Kirkcudbright
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 41 times

DSC VHF Woes

Post by Northern Blue »

Standard Horizon HX870E

I was out for a day paddle from Tayvallich, Mid West Symposium on Friday and had one of three radios in our group. While we were test calling each other before setting off, it soon became apparent that my radio was jammed in transmit and was continually blocking the other radios in the group.
I had to switch the radio off and noticed there was a little bit of fogging on the inside of the display screen, which I’m assuming is from a small amount of water ingress.

Since returning home, I have kept the radio warm and dry, hoping to dry it out and return it to working order, but last night the radio switched itself on and began to transmit an emergency call. I couldn’t cancel the call via the keys and had to power the radio down to stop it, but within a few minutes, it powered itself back up and started transmitting the emergency again.

The battery has now been removed and an email sent to SH, querying if this is likely to be repairable, or if a new radio is on the cards.

ian johnston
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by ian johnston »

Hi NB,

Interesting...I've not had a handset do that particular trick! (I'm a seafarer and responsible for all the onboard radios on ships). The SH HX870E is rated at IPX8 which should give adequate water ingress protection, but I note that the strobe is water activated - even when the set is powered off. We'd not normally use a set with a feature like that as having a strobe activate when the handset was soaked by spray or flying "green" water isn't always a desirable feature.

Out of interest, are you using the radio in a bag? Sometimes the heat and humidity in an Aquapac type bag is worse than immersion for electronics in a salt water environment.

Given the symptoms you've described, not sure I'd be completely confident in that handset.....

Kind Regards

Ian

Northern Blue
Posts: 344
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:11 am
Location: Kirkcudbright
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by Northern Blue »

Thanks Ian,

The radio is not used inside an Aquapac or similar. I carry it in the front pocket of my PFD with the aerial protruding from the zip and prior to this fault developing, the radio wasn’t submerged at any point. Two days earlier I was playing in small surf on Tiree, but my PFD was barely splashed and the inside of the pocket remained dry.

I believe from memory that the LED function is selectable within the menu and mine has never activated.

There is a red flap on the side of the radio, which has to be lifted to press a button to activate the distress call and it is this button that illuminated last night, as well as the display screen showing a distress message. There was nothing near my radio that could have accidentally lifted the flap and depressed the emergency button, so I’m assuming it to be an internal failing of some sort.

Ken.

ian johnston
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by ian johnston »

Hi Ken,

I'd agree that it sounds like an internal failure. The display fogging seems to indicate moisture ingress somewhere, I'm guessing you've done a detailed look sround for case damage....have you tried dunking it to check fir signs of water getting somwhere nasty?. It'd be good to know what the diagnosis from SH is...

Kind regards

Ian

sandybottoms
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:18 pm
Has thanked: 3 times

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by sandybottoms »

Sounds like a 'feature' of this set a paddling buddy had similar symptoms with his in March of this year

wildbadger
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: West Central Scotland

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by wildbadger »

Standard Horizon basically don't want to know - my HX870 screen was misted up after the last time I was out, & the only way to stop the strobe flashing was to take the battery out. The radio appears to be working otherwise, tho I'll need to check. Naturally it's 2 months over the 3 year warranty...... But, i can send it in to Std Horizon, at my cost, for the privilege of paying £36 (incl VAT), for an initial exam, to then be told how much it will cost to fix it. If it's fixable. 'Kayakers often have problems' I was told. After having been also told it was 'water resistant'. At which point I had to quote their own web page stating water proof. Excellent. Kinda pricey bit of kit to chuck in the bin every three years :(

Northern Blue
Posts: 344
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:11 am
Location: Kirkcudbright
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by Northern Blue »

Just by way of an update.... after drying my radio out in my airing cupboard back in June, it returned to full operational status and at the same time, I had contact from SH, inviting me to send the radio to them for examination. Similar to Wildbadger’s experience, this was to be at my cost and risk.

As the radio was fully functional at the time, I was reluctant to send it away and declined the invitation, pending any further problems.

To date, the radio has continued to work correctly, despite many deliberate dunkings during rolling and self rescue practice sessions.

wildbadger
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: West Central Scotland

Re: DSC VHF Woes

Post by wildbadger »

Thx Northern Blue, that's encouraging :)

Post Reply