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Old 28 September 2002, 05:11   #1
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Hand held VHF

I'm looking for a budget Handheld VHF to use as a back up and also to carry when sea kayaking.

I'm attracted to the XM2000 does anyone have any experince of it or any other suggestions.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 28 September 2002, 08:26   #2
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Hi Mike

I dont think the XM2000 is waterproof.

I would go with the ICOM M1 or new M21 as they are waterprrof as they stand.

I dont think the new M21 is that much more cost either

If cost is a issue look at the new Standard HX260E. This claims to be waterproof but I have no idea how well it peforms or stands up in use.


Regards Gary
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Old 28 September 2002, 08:33   #3
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i have the icom m1 and it is great. the nice thing about it is the lithum ion battery. you dont have to discharge it completely like the other rechageables. the battery also seems to last forever.
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Old 28 September 2002, 21:49   #4
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i am with these guys I have an XM2000 and I don't like it's performance. I bought on the basis that it might be needed to save my life one day and I don't have any confidence in it's ability to do that.

I am going to buy an ICom next week .

The XM2000 aren't waterproof either. I have found the ICOM X1 for around 140 exc VAT anybody know where to get them cheaper?
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Old 01 October 2002, 08:27   #5
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I bought the Icom M21 and it's fine, but it depends on what range you need - you will be very close to the water in a kayak. I was advised to fit an additional antenna (5/8ths wavelength?), which is a bit impractical with a handheld, but I am looking into it. The unit cost me about 190
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Old 01 October 2002, 12:44   #6
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A number of friends and clubs I know have Standards, very easy to use and programable yourself if you need that fuction. 140 at Kelvin hughs at the time.

Our's are not waterproof and live in aquabags.
Aquabags are a pain and can of course leak if misused, but we use ours for safetyboats and they are not a hugh problem and can take serious weather.

Standards are the toughest radios we have met, abused by students and still give fantastic battery life. Good speaker, good mic, so so light. They are also very resistant to the damp, so to say rain proof a least.

If standard made a waterproof radio to the same standard I would bite their hand off!!!

Icom M15 (solid, but obsolit) and M1 well regarded by users on safety boats.

Dont buy swiftec or the waterproof Navicos, rubbish!
Think I saw a race officer using an XM and not working well, but have to say that may have been user error!
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Old 01 October 2002, 13:10   #7
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Aquapacs
I can aggree with Tiger ( cant get use to calling you that! )
That the Standards are tought (you can also program them yourself - did I say that ). Mine lasted 3 years constant use till the fourth drowning when umpteenth the aquapac failed ( only one week old ) Was never the same again
If any one is selling second hand an IC -m15e there'rrr Great to quote that other 'Tiger - Frosties Tony '
The field crews at work have dificulty breaking them.
The IC-M1v I think is good, but even better with a head set attached.
Okay I'm a bit biasd ( & can't spell ) but the field crews have broken all the cheap handhelds and the Icom and Motorola's keep on trucking. You can buy really good waterproof encloures for radios from Davis Comms, DS Developments etc.
But if its for Kayaking it needs to be really watertight and if you are working in the Sea wash it out with flesh water as the salt crystals can build up and do lots of damage.
Have a look at the M1v if you are on a budget and try not to go rolling with it, then leave it in the bottom of the boat till next time, jump up and down on it, as one outdoor Ed centre does often saying waterproof = bomb proof then wonders why it doesn't work anymore
Thats definatly enough from me
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Old 01 October 2002, 13:45   #8
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All,

Many thanks for your input it has been a great help.

To keep it short:

I'm not going to bother with the XM2000

Cost is an issue and as it has had some praise I'm going to try out The standard HX260E - Probably from MES 149.99 inc VAT and if necessary using their 10 day try before you buy to go for the icom M21 if I'm not happy with the Sandard.

Cheers again

Mike
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Old 01 October 2002, 13:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tiger
Dont buy swiftec or the waterproof Navicos, rubbish!
I'd have to disagree strongly about the Navico. I have had an Axis 200 for several years and it performs superbly -- often better than fixed sets in RIBs!

They are genuinely waterproof and very tough and I doubt that any hand held would give better results. They are expensive though . . .

Since Navico was bought up by Simrad I think that the Axis range has been discontinued and replaced with the Simrad HT50. I haven't used one of these, but they appear to be very well made and a fair bit smaller than the Axis.

If I was looking for a new handheld this is what I'd go for. The HT50 is available from 225, or the DSC version HT52 is about 300.

John
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Old 01 October 2002, 14:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sea rabbit
... I was advised to fit an additional antenna (5/8ths wavelength?),...
Antenna manufactures have found what was obvious for the hams (Hamateurs). We are using this type of antennas for the past 25 - 30 years. At the begining there were only the 1/2 L (half wave length). This means that the lenght of the antenna was 1/2 of the wave length. Later the hams discovered that it's easy enough and more efficient to tune an antenna with lenght 5/8 of the wave length. Nowadays most of the antennas in use are of that type. As far as the connection between the coaxial connector of the antenna with the hand held it's an easy task if the rubber antenna can be removed from the unit. Of course you must be carefull how to maneuver the unit with the connectors attached.
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