Thread: VHF Radio
10-29-2012, 01:08 PM #1
I am looking into buying 2 VHF Radios so we can communicate on the skis.
Any advice would be appreciated.
10-29-2012, 03:07 PM #2
If all you're doing is communicating between skis, you'd don't necessarily need a VHF, you can get by w/the "walkie-talkie" radios. A VHF, however, is an extra layer of protection though, as you can communicate w/other ships, the coast guard and some land based elements. If you go that route, be sure you buy a "marine" VHF (waterproof and floats).
10-29-2012, 03:09 PM #3
10-29-2012, 03:13 PM #4
This is being picky, but is says "floating design"... OK, but does it float? I would also try to find any consumer reviews of this model. It seems a little cheap. I bought one and it cost me about $110. I don't use it often, but over at two years old it's never failed. I don't rem. the brand, but can report back tonight from the house if interested.
10-29-2012, 03:18 PM #5
Yes I did note that and reviews are hard to come by for these. They are rated JIS8 submersible but probably don't actually float. I'm sure if they did they would say FLOAT and not just hint at it.
10-29-2012, 03:19 PM #6
10-29-2012, 05:35 PM #7
Unless it's bright yellow you won't see it if you drop it in the lake.
What we've done is added a couple of bright yellow floating keychains to some of the waterproof electronic gear we take on the water. That way we're sure it floats and we can see it bobbing in the water. Our black VHF radio floats upside down like an ice cube (mostly submersed), so once it's in the water it disappears. Do a test before you use it and drop it in a bucket of water to make sure it actually floats and how much of it is visible above the surface.
Don't have any experience with the ones you're looking at, but we do have a couple of waterproof 2 way radios that we clip onto our PFDs. My lament with the radios is that when the ski is running, you can't hear anything. Even with just wind noise the audio can sound garbled. We try to stay in visual range and use hand signals instead.
10-29-2012, 08:20 PM #8
10-29-2012, 09:01 PM #9
Dart, I'm +1 w/M447, but I can't see a reason for not buying that model, as I have no experience w/it. For comparison though, here is the model I purchased a while back: https://cobra.com/detail/hh330-floating-vhf-radio.cfm Just the one unit retails for around $150, but can likely be found cheaper.
I did note the following: Yours has a max of 2.5 watts, and figuring a watt/mile, is that enough range for where you'd use it (other than communicating w/the other ski)?
One other thing, if you're into really using it, you might want to look for a model that has a mic/ear phone jack for nearly hands free operations. But I think you'll find you won't be using it that much.
10-30-2012, 03:32 PM #10
It's a "Standard Horizon" Floating HX850S. Took a closer look at it and its got a repair on it as the case had cracked. This one is the warranty replacement for the first one we got that ended up with a cracked case. Seems to be a problem. Not sure if we would get another of this type. Hopefully by the time we need to replace it, there will be better product available.
BTW, both K447 and I have a VHF Restricted Radio Operators License. I don't know what the US rules are for VHF radio operation, but it is worth taking a course and learning how to properly use the unit, understand the different levels of distress calls and how to properly make one.
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