View Full Version : Radio Help

06-27-2010, 01:26 PM
I'm looking to get a communication radio but I have no clue what to look for. I'm assuming when I hear fellow sniffers talk about talking to each other over a radio, they are using a VHF radio. I know I want a hand held because I have a center console and don't really have a good place to mount a base unit or an antenna. Am I right in thinking that it's a VHF radio that I want? Any suggestions on a brand and model of radio? Also, what channel does everyone tune into?
Thanks in advance for any info you could give me.

06-27-2010, 04:28 PM
Yes it's VHF. As for brand and model, that's like Dodge, Chevy or Ford... Look at the features and you might find one that you like. Some have slightly higher output. I know ICOM has a handheld that's 6 watts but generally you'll find most are 5 watts. Standard Horizon has one that has a built in GPS so it will transmit location in an emergency but it's pricey.

I know you said you want a hand held but you might look at some of the other center consoles and see where they have their units mounted. The major difference is that the mounted units transmit up to 25 watts whereas the hand held units are 5 - 6 watts. Which is ok for in-close communication. In an emergency the mounted units will be heard from a much longer distance which might save you someday. I just thought you should know before you make the purchase.

The channel varies but generally channel 69 is used for ship to ship general communication. Most hand held and mounted units have scanning capabilities. So you can scan a number of channels and find which channel everyone is using. On some lakes you'll find some guys talking on a number of channels.

Good luck.

06-27-2010, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the info. Maybe I will take a look at mounted units. I don't know much about radios, but I do know math and 25 is 5 times greater than 5. 5 times the power of anything to a man means I at least need to look into this some more. What about antennas? i know I have read where an antenna is more important than the radio itself. Is it necessary to have a big antenna sticking up, or can it be mounted horizontal and still get adequate reception?

06-28-2010, 05:56 AM
This is becoming quite redundant. With all due respect, if you do a search for 'VHF radio' it will bring up about 100 threads on the subject. More than you'll care to read, before you'll have made a decision.

Some of the central points on VHF communication are; 25 watts; rotary knobs; 8 foot antenna; and backup (for hand helds). We used to point out DSC, but it seems you can't buy a VHF without the minimum DSC capability. But the SEARCH feature holds a wealth of information.


06-28-2010, 07:32 AM
Re: Channel...68 on the Delta, 69 on Lakes