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Old 27 August 2014, 11:57   #11
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If you don't know what DSC is then don't buy a radio, never use a marine VHF without a licence unless you are supervised by someone who has one. DSC is nice to have but you then need a handheld with a built in GPS, pretty pointless otherwise unless you are going to wire it in.

One day you might need to use it in an emergency so a few quid saved now could be costly, buy a decent brand from a reputable seller.

I never saw the point of floating handhelds till I dropped mine!!
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Old 27 August 2014, 12:28   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
With reference to the Cobra handheld:

Cobra are utterly awful. Just don't.

Lots of negatives on here but just to redress the balance I've had a Cobra HH475 waterproof/floating/bluetooth etc handheld for nearly 3 years with no problems thus far.📞
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Old 27 August 2014, 12:51   #13
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Quote:
If you don't know what DSC is then don't buy a radio, never use a marine VHF without a licence unless you are supervised by someone who has one.
Just to add, here's why:

Ofcom | I've been told I need a Ship Radio Licence, why do I need one?

The key point being:

Quote:
5,000 fine and/or a six month prison sentence
(Their bold, not mine.)

Once you've got a licence, we've had Icom M31, M33 and M35 handhelds for years, and on the whole, they've been pretty reliable. We've still got some M31s, and we must have had them eight or nine years now. All non-DSC though.
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Old 27 August 2014, 14:10   #14
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VHF exam is a days course and not difficult but they will train you in the way to use any VHF (handheld or static) there are training centers all over the UK and from memory around 125. Regards Jim
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Old 27 August 2014, 14:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas View Post
If you don't know what DSC is then don't buy a radio, never use a marine VHF without a licence unless you are supervised by someone who has one. DSC is nice to have but you then need a handheld with a built in GPS, pretty pointless otherwise unless you are going to wire it in.

One day you might need to use it in an emergency so a few quid saved now could be costly, buy a decent brand from a reputable seller.

I never saw the point of floating handhelds till I dropped mine!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesF View Post
Advising boaters to do without a VHF is, IMO, bad, possibly dangerous advice. Certainly it is correct that a VHF should only be used by a licensed user, or under their supervision. However, in an emergency, anyone can use a VHF without fear of prosecution. Patently they will be better placed to use the VHF efficiently if they are trained.

The OP is looking for a "see me through" handheld. I'd advise against cheap tat like Cobra etc. Buy a used Icom or Standard Horizon from someone who will guarantee that the battery and charger still work.
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Old 27 August 2014, 15:16   #16
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THe 50 cobra are pretty awful by all accounts. but the higher spec ones HH500 etc are supposed to be ok but then they are 100+ Cobra HH500 Floating Handheld VHF Radio - Only 124.99 - Gael Force Marine


But no DSC for DSC Lowrance Link-2 Floating Waterproof DSC VHF with GPS - Only 179.95 - Force 4 Chandlery is about the cheapest i have found

Looking toget a radio myslef bu was planning on a used Icom

But http://www.seamarknunn.com/acatalog/...l#.U_4wiMU7uSp has 3 year warranty for under 100
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Old 27 August 2014, 15:23   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
<--- this is a Cobra handheld on fire. This is me not urinating on it.---->
Cobra are utterly awful. Just don't. Buy a second had Icom or Standard H
but oh so true !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Originally Posted by willk View Post
Advising boaters to do without a VHF is, IMO, bad, possibly dangerous advice.
And IMO + 1
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Old 27 August 2014, 17:03   #18
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Originally Posted by thomas View Post
DSC is nice to have but you then need a handheld with a built in GPS, pretty pointless otherwise unless you are going to wire it in.
Pretty much all handheld radios with DSC have GPS built in, at least as far as I know. So it goes turn on radio flip up red cover, and hold button for a few seconds. Call out a Mayday, or just hang on and wait for help. I would happily pay $5000 to live.

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Originally Posted by thomas View Post
I never saw the point of floating handhelds till I dropped mine!!
Agreed floating is important too.
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Old 27 August 2014, 17:27   #19
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Could be worth keeping an eye on.


Handheld Marine GPS VHF radio | eBay

Nowt to do with me willk

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Old 27 August 2014, 17:45   #20
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Originally Posted by calibra View Post
I don't want to go over board on price... ...
I was thinking something along the lines of this
COBRA MR HH350 EU VHF Marine Submersible Floating Radio Kayak Boat Vessel Yacht | eBay
Yeah you probably don't want to go overboard with that! Get the SH or Icom for similar money and you will have something that is still working next season. Buy the cheap brand and it may not be working when you really need it.

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Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
I can't offer much on purchasing from ebay, but I will recommend getting a radio with DSC. It could be the difference between being found or not.
Well it could be - but it will double his cost. DSC will also mean he has a bigger battery drain and therefore a risk that late on a long day he has no means to call for help. Whilst DSC will help identify your position more accurately (1) Any sensible boater should be able to give a rough description of their location anyway, DSC is especially handy though when the one person on board who knew that is unconscious or no longer on board! (2) UK Coastguards (and most of our lifeboats and helos) have direction finding equipment which means they can pinpoint positions from a long VHF broadcast where necessary. (3) Having GPS in a separate device introduces redundancy and means a dead radio isn't a lost guy with no means to call for help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwatson View Post
What's dsc?
do a VHF course (or even a Powerboat course is likely to cover this at this level)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
With reference to the Cobra handheld:-

<--- this is a Cobra handheld on fire. This is me not urinating on it.---->
Nos is being unfair...

...at least if it was on fire it might help signal distress!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas View Post
If you don't know what DSC is then don't buy a radio, never use a marine VHF without a licence unless you are supervised by someone who has one.
as others have said this is bad advice. if he only had 110 budget (as per the ad he linked to) its far better he has a radio and avoids using it for routine traffic than does a course and wishes he had a radio.

Quote:
I never saw the point of floating handhelds till I dropped mine!!
Accidents will always happen and if its little extra cost they make sense - but they all come with lanyards which can be made reasonably fail safe - so its not an absolute must have.

If it is your primary means of calling for help - consider getting one with AA battery option (or spare battery).
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