Originally Posted by chris.moody
Both have their place and if you can afford it have both.
Controversial(?) question Chris and evryone...
Lets say you had £250 to spend... would you -buy one really good set or two less good...
(a) Buy a fixed icom M323 £180 /SH GX1700E* ** and aerial (£50)
(b) Buy a handheld icom/SH - possibly the M91D (£230) or the SH851 (£200)
(c) Buy a Cobra Fixed £110** + Aerial (£50) Plus Cobra Handheld HH350 (£90).
* 1700E has inbuilt GPS if he has no GPS to interface
**although I think you could get a SH GX1100 for £100 from GaelForce right now, and an aerial packaged cheap too.
So Jed44 couple of things you need to think about
1. Who are you calling for help? Where are they? Do they have a listening watch on CH16 or something similar or will they need a call by DSC (a digital text message to start them listening).
- Aerial > 5 miles away from you then you probably need 25W transmitter.
- No listening watch you need DSC (if its a fixed set it has to be DSC)
2. If they aren't great English speakers would DSC be helpful so that in an emergency your distress and position are sent in a similar way to a text message which they would understand.
3. Are you boating alone or with others?
- If alone and you were to not be in the boat (like you go overboard) a HandHeld in your oil skins would be useful!
- If in company and you go overboard and are unconscious a briefing to your crew to hold down the red button for 5 seconds is quite simple but no good if the only radio is in your pocket and they can't get to you
4. What alternative kit will you carry for summoning help?
- PLB in pocket achieves similar to the DSC in pocket. No range issues. But slower to get help and if all you need is to shout to Bobby 100m away it doesn't...
- Flares etc?
5. Do you have a GPS on the boat. DSC needs it to be properly useful.
- If not you either need a GPS: three choices: Plotter (?£300+), GPS (screen position in Long Lat but no map)(£100+), GPS dongle (black box no screen, sends data via NMEA) (£30+)
- Or a set with a GPS built in - fixed or HHeld.
6. If you are abroad how will you charge a HHeld? You can get car chargers etc but need to check if supplied.
7. If a HHeld does it have the capability to use AA batteries so that you can carry spares...
8. Not really a choice - on a RIB it all needs to be at least IPX7 waterproof. And ideally float (or be secured to you +/- have a float on it...)