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Thread: Handheld VHF recommendations?

  1. #1
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    Default Handheld VHF recommendations?

    Was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for a good handheld VHF radio. Where I work we currently use Icom IC-M72 handhelds. Here is the radio on Amazon.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/Icom-IC-M72-Wa...9074451&sr=1-5

    They seem to work pretty well, they are kind of expensive and seem to unlock and change channels easily.

    I am looking for advice on something that is possible to use with AA or AAA batteries (out in the bush when one doesn't have access to recharge using a wall charger), has good output wattage, waterproof, and has a full range of channels.

    Cobra makes this one which uses AAA:

    http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Compact-...9075289&sr=1-1

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    In my experience if you want a good handheld you're going to have to pay for it. The cheap ones work but they have a limited range and often aren't waterproof or handle being banged around much. For my work we were using these but they are pretty pricey.

    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50160

    We just recently started using these to save money and I now personally own two that I keep on my boat and use when I'm in the bush. I don't care much for west marine as they're expensive but these have held up and worked well.

    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50160

    Another bit of experience I've had. You'll lose a ton of range and performance on these radios when you use AA batteries instead of the rechargeable ones they come with. The two types of radios above come with a AA battery pack but it cut our range in half and when using them off and on all day, we'd only get half a day out of the AA batteries vs 2 days with the battery pack. Just my experience.

  3. #3
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    I use the IC-M34 and am happy with it and it floats.

  4. #4
    Member anonymous1's Avatar
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    standard/horizon HX471X

    http://www.katerno.com/detail.php?s=109539

    I have been using these for a few years in my com fish and Transporter operations. They have held up real good and the batteries last a long time. Has 3 power ranges 5w, 2.5w and 1w. I think a spare battery is around 60 bucks. They had an older model that I like better that was only VHF but it has been dicontinued. It had a shorter antena and was better for shirt pocket carry. You should be able to find one around $200.

    By the way what is your connection to Kaguyak I have friends from there.

  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=pacific23;1079154]I use the IC-M34 and am happy with it and it floats.[/QUOUte]

    +1 for the IC-34. According to their web site you can get an accessory that allows alkaline battery use.

    http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...4/default.aspx

  6. #6
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I have the M34 as well, and it has always worked when I need it. I have used Icom through the years and they seem to have good quality and reliability.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  7. #7
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info and replies. I had never thought of the reduced range and performance with AA or AAA batteries. Per everyone's recommendations it looks like there are a couple good options out there, and as usual you get what you pay for - trying to save a few bucks is likely to translate into a radio that's not real durable or capable. The Icoms we use are pretty rugged, I can't even keep track of how many times they've been dropped or banged into something and they still work well.

    Anonymous1 - I just learned that there are two Kaguyaks, one on Kodiak and another which is an old village site on the Peninsula near Hallo Bay, I used to work out there a few years ago when I signed up for this site.

  8. #8
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Having one that floats would be a real +++. We always take our handheld VHF to shore and I just know one of these days it going in the drink. Water proof isnít much good when the radio is setting on the bottom 40 feet down.

    http://www.ecrater.com/p/7825812/ico...held-vhf-radio
    Best online price I could find for IC-M34, must be a recon.
    Jay
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  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Last summer, or maybe it was the summer before costco had dry bag backpacks. They are great for keeping your emergency stuff in and taking it on your dinghy for shore trips.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  10. #10
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Yea, we put everything important in a dry bag when we go to shore; it just seems that anything that's not screwed down on a boat eventually finds it's way into the water.

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