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Old 26 August 2021, 15:43   #1
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Fixed vs handheld dsc

So handheld dsc is £200 SH hx890 cobras hh600 etc, on a small rib fitting a fixed vhf with built in gps is going to be about the same a little more? SH GX1400 £160 plus antenna £40 and cable £20 plus £10 in wiring consumables?
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Old 26 August 2021, 16:25   #2
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If physically possible, Iíd always go fixed over handheld.
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Old 26 August 2021, 16:28   #3
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I agree and that’s what I suggested just wondered if i was missing something, small rib no a frame so console mounted antenna? Any better option as without adding a nav light pole?
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Old 26 August 2021, 17:06   #4
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I agree and thatís what I suggested just wondered if i was missing something, small rib no a frame so console mounted antenna? Any better option as without adding a nav light pole?


Height is king when it comes to VHF antennas. Good antenna as high as possible. Quality cable & connectors too.
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Old 27 August 2021, 01:01   #5
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Can you add an external aerial to a handheld? I know I can do that with the mic.
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Old 27 August 2021, 05:07   #6
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Handheld don’t have the same power/range do they?
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Old 27 August 2021, 05:23   #7
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Quote:
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Can you add an external aerial to a handheld? I know I can do that with the mic.
Handheld don’t have the same power/range do they?
Bit like PikeyD says, height is king, 5 or 6w from a tall aerial will go further than the same power out of the 8" one on the handset?
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Old 27 August 2021, 06:10   #8
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>>>Can you add an external aerial to a handheld?

Certainly with the SH HX300E. Just remove the rubber aerial and add an adaptor plug called something like a CN3.

How much difference it would make I don't know. Guess I could rig a temp extra aerial taped to the end of the extended boathook in an emergency??
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Old 27 August 2021, 06:15   #9
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Can you add an external aerial to a handheld? I know I can do that with the mic.
On many you can. But they you need to: mount the h/held, possibly wire in power, either live without DSC or get a more expensive DSC h/h etc.

You are right that height matters more than power though.

Quote:
I agree and thatís what I suggested just wondered if i was missing something, small rib no a frame so console mounted antenna? Any better option as without adding a nav light pole?
I added a pole to the back of a seat rest - that sits just about head height when standing. Its actually made from a s/s brush handle (available in chandlers) - with the right brackets you can actually make it height adjustable (so I can reduce for towing/storage, or add even more height if I'm struggling for signal).
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Old 27 August 2021, 06:22   #10
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Antenna on a pole for a handheld is a good shout he doesn’t have an A frame but does have a rail around the console any suggestions on a cheap but decent antenna that would have the right screw connections for a SH handheld that will fold down for transport?
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Old 27 August 2021, 06:52   #11
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a cheap but decent antenna that would have the right screw connections for a SH handheld that will fold down for transport?
I don't think you'll get one packaged with the h/held fitting. IIRC most don't even come with the fixed vhf fitting - you buy it separately. Presumably you can buy the right fittings. You might want to look at strain relief though - a h/h getting used essentially as a fist mike is going to get a lot more movement than the antenna on a fixed unit.
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Old 27 August 2021, 08:04   #12
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Bit like PikeyD says, height is king, 5 or 6w from a tall aerial will go further than the same power out of the 8" one on the handset?
A fixed set is 25watt I know with my sets the hand held doesnít pick up anywhere near my fixed set with aerials the same height.
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Old 27 August 2021, 08:53   #13
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A fixed set is 25watt I know with my sets the hand held doesnít pick up anywhere near my fixed set with aerials the same height.
Odd as the wattage is transmit power nowt to do with receive power on same rig should pick up the same squelched differently? Or different gain antenna?

You can fit a fist mic to hx851/870/890 so unit would be stationary once on board but same unit can then be taken kayaking etc
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Old 27 August 2021, 09:36   #14
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I would look at your intended usage and then decide the best way forward that meets your needs. Consider who you want to talk to, your and their location when doing so and the sea conditions you will be out in. Also consider if you are relying on the radio as your 'safety net' with the Coastguard, or if you always go afloat with another boat, or in busier areas where you can get more local assistance.

Using a handheld with a fixed antenna is a good capability to have if your fixed set fails, and having both a handheld and fixed set is also good so you have some elements of redundancy.

I would not consider using a handheld with fixed antenna as my usual setup for several reasons:
1. Handhelds are designed to work on smaller antennas so the receive circuitry is different - this can mean poor reception in areas with high RF noise as the receiver gets overloaded with a big antenna.
2. The antenna connector is fragile part of the set and will not like to be wet or damp inside - I have seen radios ruined by ingress of water through the inside of the antenna connector. It's also easy to break the connector, or disturb the waterproofing.
3. The antenna cable will need a connector on the end (usually SMA, but some have proprietary connectors) to fit the handheld. These are fiddly to fit and fragile, not the most reliable of things to use afloat when they are connected/disconnected regularly.
4. Audio quality is likely to be poorer than a fixed set, especially when you have the handheld fixed to the boat and not close to your ear.

I think I, I would aim to have a fixed DSC set with antenna on a pole on the transom (this can be removeable). I would also aim to get a handheld, but without additional features - purely as a backup for voice comms.
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Old 27 August 2021, 09:51   #15
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Odd as the wattage is transmit power nowt to do with receive power on same rig should pick up the same squelched differently? Or different gain antenna?

You can fit a fist mic to hx851/870/890 so unit would be stationary once on board but same unit can then be taken kayaking etc
Yea not same make radios so possible having said that nice to have both
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Old 27 August 2021, 15:35   #16
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Both is the ideal, but boating in a budget here, dsc handheld vs none dsc fixed on a budget of £200 ish
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Old 27 August 2021, 16:42   #17
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https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Cobra/F57-VHF-Radio/9V1 Gets you a DSC Fixed radio for £129.99 (if you already have a NMEA0183 GPS) A bit more for the inbuilt GPS model if not. It's worth shopping around as there seems to be wide variation on prices here, but some 'special offers' to be had for <£160.

Less than £50 will get you a decent antenna. If you are not confident with soldering and don't need to route the cable through small holes, then consider one with a pre-terminated PL259 plug. Aim for something at least 45cm long, ideally 1m or longer. Feel free to post links to anything you find if you would like advice from others.

EDIT: That F57 seems to be available for £99.99 from other retailers. If it works for you, you will likely end up with almost enough spare cash to get a handheld as well.
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