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Old 24 August 2010, 13:22   #1
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Mobile and Fixed VHF

We are a sea scout group (a charity) and are looking at purchasing a fixed VHF for our safety boat and 2 mobile VHF radios for on the water.

As we are a charity we do not have a lot of money to spare and so are wondering if anyone has any recommendations on what radios to go for.

The mobile radios would be floating if preferable and we would be looking to spend around 500 for the whole lot.

We do not need DSC.

I was thinking 2 of these: http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/marin...e_Handheld_VHF
and one of these:http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/marin...c-m41167.bhtml

Any ideas?

Many thanks.
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Old 24 August 2010, 17:01   #2
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Just bought an HX280E, seems well enough built, not used it in anger but listened into a couple of conversations and they were clear. Only thing is it doesn't float and there's no earpiece option but that didn't bother me.

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Old 24 August 2010, 17:09   #3
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Thanks.

Maybe http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/marin...ic-m3381.bhtml then?
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Old 24 August 2010, 17:37   #4
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Why not try approach one or more of some marine chandlers life force4 etc to see if they could either do you a great deal or provide them free of charge in exchange for some publicity .
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Old 25 August 2010, 00:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhar View Post
The mobile radios would be floating if preferable
My experience with floating radios is that they don't have the same battery life as the non-floating versions. My recommendation would be to buy non-floating handheld radios and add buoyant straps so that they will float if dropped in the water
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Old 25 August 2010, 06:14   #6
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Thanks for all the help so far.

May I ask what VHF channel we should be using for between our safety boat and instructors?

Is channel 9 ok for this type of work?
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Old 25 August 2010, 06:46   #7
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All those who use the radios will obviously need to attend a vhf course which would be expensive and impractical for a bunch of scouts. My local sailing club bought those Motorola 2 way radios which worked a treat. Range is a couple of miles, perfect for communicating between safety boats, don't require training or a licence and they are cheap as chips. might be a better bet?

For the record you can get the vhf's for well under 500quid.
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Old 25 August 2010, 06:47   #8
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Hi

The training is sorted and it is only the instructors who are going on it. We have tried 2 way radios before and it hasn't worked very well.
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Old 25 August 2010, 11:30   #9
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Maxhar:

1. You should be able to get a fixed VHF (like the Standard Horizon 1100) for less than 120 inc VAT.
2. You should be able to get handhelds for less than 90 each inc vat. They won't float - but the SH model at that price is very robust.
3. There are some advantages to using the same make for h/held and fixed - the style of operation, menus, and channel names (for M1/M2) are all the same which cuts down on confusion.
4. Including an aerial you should be able to get it all for 350 rather than 500 if you ignore the floating requirement.
5. Don't discount the value of DSC.
(a)I'm assuming you are on the sea: not only are you more likely to hear a distress or urgency call from another vessel, you can at the touch of a button (for 5 seconds) issue a distress message with your location; I'm sure that the Army Cadets accident is in the mind of everyone taking young people afloat. An incorrect position contributed to a delay in getting rescue services to the scene; whilst the ability to call for help without needing to stop what you are doing might have prompted an earlier call to the CG.
(b) you are teaching young people about the "sea" therefore the latest ways of summonsing help should presumably feature in that?
6. Good luck getting someone to sponsor the kit - I suspect the margins aren't high enough for anyone local to do it (unless e.g. the local chandler's son is in the troop) - and anyone national would get hounded by every other sea scout/cadet group in the country.
7. You'll learn which channels are appropriate on your course. If there isn't much chatter on M/M2 then these might be more appropriate than 9?
8. If two way radios haven't worked well - what makes you think this will be better?
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Old 25 August 2010, 14:10   #10
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Thanks for the advice.

No, we are not on the sea. River Thames.

Our CB radios were not brilliant in terms of range and battery life. We have just purchased a new safety boat and so we are having VHF fitted on that. Replacing the CB and getting VHF handhelds makes sense in the long run.
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