PDA

View Full Version : Vhf radio



westcoasterjim
02-18-2011, 08:56 PM
Is there one that sticks out above the rest?
Would like one that transmits and receives well -- let's say it needs to work from one lake to another like, amador to Camanche (sp)
One that is waterproof and floats would be helpful.
Anything else?
Jim

FishWisher
02-19-2011, 06:34 AM
Floats? You're talking portable? They'll be limited to about 6 watts power - at least I've never seen one with more. The units you hardwire to the boat will go to 25 watts. And for range, besides to the wattage it will depend greatly on your antenna.

Here's some VHF info:
Marine VHF radio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_VHF_radio)

ReelJerks
02-19-2011, 09:10 AM
Fixed mount VHF radios use to be either 'feature rich' or feature void, and their price generally reflects this. Today.....not so much, but there are a few features I find important. I like the rotary knobs for VOL, SQL, and CH. For me, they are easier to manipulate in trying times. The tri-watch feature is nice so you can monitor 3 channels, and weather is always nice to have. It seems that all VHF radios now have controls on the mic, but I find you can easily change channels without knowing with this type of mic. Now days all VHF radios (new) have either class 'A' or 'D' DSC. You can form your own opinion from reading this; VHF DSC technical specification (http://www.vhf-dsc.info/tech.html) .
The radio I have is a West Marine (Uniden) with all the features I like but is not available any longer (new). In your search remember that a 'best' VHF radio with an average antenna is ONLY an AVERAGE setup, where an average VHF with a quality antenna is a BETTER setup. VHF is a line-of-sight mode of communication. The higher the antenna (boat A and B) the farther the communication ability. Fixed mount (now very small) has 25 watts and hand held VHF has only 5 watts of transmit power.
This is all great for lake fishermen like myself, but if you venture out in OPEN water, some of this changes.

Edd

Delta_Rose
02-19-2011, 09:21 PM
+1- a good quality 8' antenna is just as important as the radio.

westcoasterjim
02-21-2011, 11:02 AM
Fixed mount VHF radios use to be either 'feature rich' or feature void, and their price generally reflects this. Today.....not so much, but there are a few features I find important. I like the rotary knobs for VOL, SQL, and CH. For me, they are easier to manipulate in trying times. The tri-watch feature is nice so you can monitor 3 channels, and weather is always nice to have. It seems that all VHF radios now have controls on the mic, but I find you can easily change channels without knowing with this type of mic. Now days all VHF radios (new) have either class 'A' or 'D' DSC. You can form your own opinion from reading this; VHF DSC technical specification (http://www.vhf-dsc.info/tech.html) .
The radio I have is a West Marine (Uniden) with all the features I like but is not available any longer (new). In your search remember that a 'best' VHF radio with an average antenna is ONLY an AVERAGE setup, where an average VHF with a quality antenna is a BETTER setup. VHF is a line-of-sight mode of communication. The higher the antenna (boat A and B) the farther the communication ability. Fixed mount (now very small) has 25 watts and hand held VHF has only 5 watts of transmit power.
This is all great for lake fishermen like myself, but if you venture out in OPEN water, some of this changes.

Edd


With my 14' westcoaster, I will be sticking to just lakes.

Thanks for the help, Jim

westcoasterjim
02-21-2011, 11:05 AM
+1- a good quality 8' antenna is just as important as the radio.


If I buy a hand held unit, is there an external ant. that could be used?

ReelJerks
02-21-2011, 11:47 AM
With my 14' westcoaster, I will be sticking to just lakes.

Thanks for the help, Jim

I see plenty of 12-14er's with fixed mount and 8' antennas. Of course these are upgrades after battling unsuccessfully with the need to talk to other boats. If the battery is a problem, that pretty much limits you to the handheld unit. Buy a handheld that has the 1/4 turn BNC connector detachable antenna, then you can get a external antenna and attach it there. But if there is anyway possible, go with the fixed mount. Remember 5w vs 25w.

Edd

westcoasterjim
02-21-2011, 07:29 PM
I see plenty of 12-14er's with fixed mount and 8' antennas. Of course these are upgrades after battling unsuccessfully with the need to talk to other boats. If the battery is a problem, that pretty much limits you to the handheld unit. Buy a handheld that has the 1/4 turn BNC connector detachable antenna, then you can get a external antenna and attach it there. But if there is anyway possible, go with the fixed mount. Remember 5w vs 25w.

Edd

I have two blue top batts so that part would work fine for powering a radio. I was simply hoping a hand held would work well, thus creating less clutter then having a fixed mount. More things to think about now LOL. Would be nice to find a used set up.

Thanks, Jim

AnglingWes
02-21-2011, 08:14 PM
Jim,

Try the boat boneyard in Rancho Cordova. They usually have a big box full of radios they have pulled out of boats. Sometimes you can find a great radio in great condition for a few bucks.

Try Shipwreck Marine
http://www.shipwreckusedparts.com/index.html

Delta_Rose
02-21-2011, 09:12 PM
If I buy a hand held unit, is there an external ant. that could be used?

As Edd pointed out, at only 5W of transmitting power, that's like lipstick on a pig...

ReelJerks
02-22-2011, 08:14 AM
I have two blue top batts so that part would work fine for powering a radio. I was simply hoping a hand held would work well, thus creating less clutter then having a fixed mount. More things to think about now LOL. Would be nice to find a used set up.

Thanks, Jim

Shipwreck Marine is a GOLD MINE!

As for mounting a fixed 25w VHF, I remember seeing a fellow in a 12' Valco Aluminum who fixed a piece of plywood across 2 ribs, then mounted the radio facing up on that board. He also mounted the ratchet mount for the 8' antenna alongside the radio about 1' forward. It was very functional and very clean, and....no clutter.

Edd

westcoasterjim
02-28-2011, 10:15 AM
OK scratch the hand held unit

SO what radio brand should I buy?

Would a 3 ft ant. work? I see they also make a 4ft one as well. Yes, I do understand that the 8 ft would be better.

Your thoughts are valuble so bring them on please

Jim

ReelJerks
02-28-2011, 11:59 AM
What ever fits your hand the best, is what you should settle for. If you can't get to a boat store, just check 'em out on line and try to decide which best suits your needs and try to visualize holding the mic. Any fixed mount with a 3' antenna will out perform any handheld and I don't think you'll have any problems on inland waters, sans the Great Lakes. I am partial to Uniden or West Marine (same radios), but that doesn't make them the Cadillac.

Give me some models and I'll give you .02 cents worth.

Edd