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Old 13 June 2018, 04:34   #1
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Handheld vhf for around the £100 mark

Im after a vhf for the sib i wont be going out too far around a mile out will be the furthest we will go..

I have seen a few im guessing the cobra hh125 aint upto much am i better off spending abit more for the likes of a standard horizon hx300e ?

Any suggestions guys for £100 or less
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Old 13 June 2018, 04:39   #2
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There was a Standard Horizon doing the the rounds not long ago for about £99 iirc
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Old 13 June 2018, 04:40   #3
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If you have £100 then you can't really go wrong with the SH HX300E.... the Ford Focus of the VHF world (in a good way!).

https://www.marinesuperstore.com/mar...iABEgI_b_D_BwE
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Old 13 June 2018, 08:52   #4
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I use a Cobra HH125....absolutely no issues what so ever and at 6Watts it's 20% more powerful than the HX300 .

What's with constantly knocking Cobra. Utterly bomb proof, never had one fail (and one of my handhelds must be 15 years old.) which is more than I can say for the dead Icoms lying in my garage.
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Old 13 June 2018, 09:05   #5
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The Cobra HH125 seems to be a 3W??

https://www.force4.co.uk/cobra-hh125...yABEgK4BPD_BwE

The HH350 at £110 is a 6W and it floats so is more comparable to the SH HX300E

https://www.force4.co.uk/cobra-hh350...vhf-radio.html
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Old 13 June 2018, 09:17   #6
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the only issue I have with cobra is the very quite (not so) loud speaker.
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Old 13 June 2018, 10:27   #7
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I use a Cobra HH125....absolutely no issues what so ever and at 6Watts it's 20% more powerful than the HX300 .
I've always wondered if they really put out 20% more or its just marketing and they both put out 5.5W and are within "reasonable error" of the claims!
Quote:
What's with constantly knocking Cobra.
when they first launched in the UK they produced a load of plastic tat. Things that claimed to be water proof that weren't, things that were clearly built to a budget so they could be the cheapest on the market. I can't say if they have improved or not, as after the PTT button on my cheap cobra H/h stuck ON when it was a few weeks old I swore never to buy one again.
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Utterly bomb proof, never had one fail (and one of my handhelds must be 15 years old.) which is more than I can say for the dead Icoms lying in my garage.
Have you discussed the dead Icoms with Icom. One of the things that made them the go to brand in marine VHF 10-15 yrs ago was that their approach to customer service was great. I never even got a reply to my email to cobra about a product that was essentially a safety issue not just for me but everyone else who I was drowning out (fortunately I spotted it before I had left it on 16 all day!).
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Old 13 June 2018, 10:47   #8
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I've always wondered if they really put out 20% more or its just marketing and they both put out 5.5W and are within "reasonable error" of the claims!

when they first launched in the UK they produced a load of plastic tat. Things that claimed to be water proof that weren't, things that were clearly built to a budget so they could be the cheapest on the market. I can't say if they have improved or not, as after the PTT button on my cheap cobra H/h stuck ON when it was a few weeks old I swore never to buy one again.

Have you discussed the dead Icoms with Icom. One of the things that made them the go to brand in marine VHF 10-15 yrs ago was that their approach to customer service was great. I never even got a reply to my email to cobra about a product that was essentially a safety issue not just for me but everyone else who I was drowning out (fortunately I spotted it before I had left it on 16 all day!).


6 or 5 is academic, your horizon in a RIB/SIB is only about 4/5 miles anyway & 5W is plenty to get you as far as you can see. You could argue longer battery life from the 5W depending on battery capacity.
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Old 13 June 2018, 11:02   #9
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The Cobra HH125 seems to be a 3W??

https://www.force4.co.uk/cobra-hh125...yABEgK4BPD_BwE

The HH350 at £110 is a 6W and it floats so is more comparable to the SH HX300E

https://www.force4.co.uk/cobra-hh350...vhf-radio.html
My apologies... it is an HH350 I've got.
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Old 13 June 2018, 11:10   #10
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..... Have you discussed the dead Icoms with Icom. One of the things that made them the go to brand in marine VHF 10-15 yrs ago was that their approach to customer service was great. I never even got a reply to my email to cobra about a product that was essentially a safety issue not just for me but everyone else who I was drowning out (fortunately I spotted it before I had left it on 16 all day!).
I can see the nature and consequences of this problem are extreme but it could well be a "one of". One of my dead Icoms was dead because the shafts of squelch and volume controls had rusted up solid on a set that was installed in a wheelhouse and never saw as much as a spit of rain.
IMO That's cheap tac.
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Old 13 June 2018, 11:32   #11
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I can see the nature and consequences of this problem are extreme but it could well be a "one of". One of my dead Icoms was dead because the shafts of squelch and volume controls had rusted up solid on a set that was installed in a wheelhouse and never saw as much as a spit of rain.
IMO That's cheap tac.


I suppose the flip side to that, would be my 10yr old (or thereabouts) Icom M71. It gets taken out on the boat, usually clipped to my LJ, its been dunked, chucked in a locker for weeks on end, rinsed off when I rinse the boat off & is still going strong.
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Old 13 June 2018, 11:51   #12
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I can see the nature and consequences of this problem are extreme but it could well be a "one of".
of course it could (although I took at apart to see what the cause was and it appeared to be a mechanical issue with the case design. Had they responded, or replaced I might have been more enthused that they cared.
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One of my dead Icoms was dead because the shafts of squelch and volume controls had rusted up solid on a set that was installed in a wheelhouse and never saw as much as a spit of rain.
IMO That's cheap tac.
Iíve never owned an icom! 3 different SHs here and all work perfectly!
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Old 13 June 2018, 14:18   #13
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Gael Force Glasgow

We went to Gael Force Marine Glasgow ( 01-06-18 ) to load up the boat for our week of offshore boating & asked for a handheld radio for about £ 100.00 this was there recommendation & very pleased with it:

Standard Horizon HX300E Handheld VHF Radio £99.95
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Old 13 June 2018, 15:33   #14
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I've always wondered if they really put out 20% more or its just marketing and they both put out 5.5W and are within "reasonable error" of the claims!
I think you'll find the 6W appeared around the same time as NiCd/NiMH was replaced by Lithium. I think there is likely to be a genuine power difference enabled by a beefier battery. But as Pikey says - it doesn't add jack. Even if you can get beyond the horizon - increasing power by 20% will only increase range by 4% (rule of squares).

Quote:
when they[Cobra] first launched in the UK they produced a load of plastic tat. Things that claimed to be water proof that weren't, things that were clearly built to a budget so they could be the cheapest on the market. I can't say if they have improved or not,
Certainly did. They produced kit marked as waterproof that was actually IPX4 which means splashproof.

People with the newer models say they are pretty decent. BUT... if it breaks you'll be exercising your statutory rights with the retailer not the maker...

Quote:
Have you discussed the dead Icoms with Icom. One of the things that made them the go to brand in marine VHF 10-15 yrs ago was that their approach to customer service was great.
Yip I've technically owned 3 Icoms. 2 M31's that both leaked and a EuroM1 which has been robust. The first M31 leaked - and I sent it to Icom. A replacement M31 sent without question by return. It also leaked straight out the box and so was returned -- I was cheezed. A EuroM1 arrived by return with a note explaining they were returning the current M31 stock to Japan in view of my issue and hoped I'd accept the M1 instead. That was £30 more expensive. Its live in the water in a dinghy a lot, its battery holds charge for a year at a time without being used.

I know of others who have returned sets 3 years old - faulty - fully expecting to be told will cost £100 for repair and so expecting to replace. To then be sent a new unit FOC.

Also used SH's and also bomb proof IME, and heard similar customer support stories.

If price is identical - worth checking the interface... ...how easy is it to do the things you want.

I prefer turning squelch knobs rather than digital for instance.
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Old 13 June 2018, 16:31   #15
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Certainly did. They produced kit marked as waterproof that was actually IPX4 which means splashproof.

People with the newer models say they are pretty decent. BUT... if it breaks you'll be exercising your statutory rights with the retailer not the maker...


Yip I've technically owned 3 Icoms. 2 M31's that both leaked and a EuroM1 which has been robust. The first M31 leaked - and I sent it to Icom. A replacement M31 sent without question by return. It also leaked straight out the box and so was returned -- I was cheezed. A EuroM1 arrived by return with a note explaining they were returning the current M31 stock to Japan in view of my issue and hoped I'd accept the M1 instead. That was £30 more expensive. Its live in the water in a dinghy a lot, its battery holds charge for a year at a time without being used.

I know of others who have returned sets 3 years old - faulty - fully expecting to be told will cost £100 for repair and so expecting to replace. To then be sent a new unit FOC.

Also used SH's and also bomb proof IME, and heard similar customer support stories.
I bought one of the early Cobra HH100 that long ago I can't remember but somewhere between 12 and 15 yrs. It cost less than £40. Plainly states on the front of the unit "Splashproof", that's what it was advertised as and, as you rightly say, that's what IPX4 means.
I've still got it. It's been to Ireland twice, the Small isles, Skye three times, Harris, Summer Isles, Staffa, Colonsay....etc and it still works perfectly. I would undoubtedly, not get the level of service of those who returned their Icoms but I'd rather not have to return it at all and of the last six boats I've owned five have had fixed Cobras and not a single fault with any of them.
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Old 13 June 2018, 16:43   #16
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Cheers guys im going to get the standard horizon hx300e i have looked at the icoms but im sure the SH will be more than enough for what we will be doing
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Old 02 May 2019, 14:10   #17
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Is the hx300e still the go to budget handheld? Or is there something better out there?
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Old 02 May 2019, 23:24   #18
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Is the hx300e still the go to budget handheld? Or is there something better out there?
Marginally more expensive is the Icom M25 which floats:

https://www.marinesuperstore.com/mar...held-vhf-radio

I've got one of these and its a pretty solid unit. You can't go wrong with Icom IMHO
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Old 03 May 2019, 01:31   #19
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Handheld vhf for around the £100 mark

The HX300e floats too. The Icom is 40% more expensive and offers nothing that the SH doesnít. I know which Iíd choose
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Old 03 May 2019, 01:36   #20
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I know which Iíd choose


The Icom?
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