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Old 08 March 2012, 11:39   #11
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Generally you will find on here people are fans of Icom and/or Standard Horizon h/helds, as representing reasonable value in a robust package. As you say SH have a DSC unit (with GPS built in). Icom will have the same very soon. How important is that feature to you?

- You will probably be on a boat with fixed DSC radio anyway.
- DSC is useful, but certainly not essential to making an effective distress call.
- The GPS readout could be useful if your charter rib plotter fails - but only if you know how to plot GPS position on a chart and carry spare charts. Modern mobile phones will provide similar functionality.

If they are the same money then DSC and GPS is nice to have. If it is a lot more money then for something you probably won't ever need, that is a back up to systems with that have that capability it might not be so obvious.
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Old 08 March 2012, 11:46   #12
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Originally Posted by thomas View Post
DSC is nice to have, you probably have more chance of getting a distress signal out using DSC over voice.
This was proven with a smaller handheld, called a Nautilus Lifeline meant for scuba divers. The DSC function traveled somewhere around 12 miles, but the radio transmissions were only usable to around 3 miles.

Plus a few people bobbing in the ocean say "around the point" are not as easy to find as someone transmitting their GPS coordinates. If I am in the cold water, the less time spent in it the better.

I wish my handheld VHF had that feature.

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Old 08 March 2012, 12:13   #13
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Thanks for coming back to me, Joe. I have asked my daughter to pick one up for me.

Appreciate it. Many thanks.
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Old 08 March 2012, 14:30   #14
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From experience waterproof HH's don't fail when they get wet (well they shouldn't) but they might not work until they have got rid of the water so the mic and speaker can obstructed by water... as DSC might enable you to transmit an understandable (text) distress message even if the voice part can't be understood.

If you are going single handed away from any immediate assistance from other water users where a handheld flare might be more useful then I can see the advantage of being able to send a DSC alert from the water. BUT if my budget only covered a fixed DSC + Handheld or a Handheld DSC I'd have Fix + Hand

I seem to recall my instructor asking me for reasons for someone ending up in the water. He said they were all the skipper's fault... there is a question to think about why you are worrying about going for an unplanned swim...
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Old 09 March 2012, 08:09   #15
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We use Standard Horizons at our UK Centres, and they have been very reliable.

We've opted for the HX751s, as they are waterproof, and also float, which is very useful when our instructors are up to their usual tricks! Reliability has been good, and they also seem to stand up quite well to being bashed about a bit.
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