VHF Radio Recommendations

General Kayak Fishing Discussions
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DocProfit
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:27 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Reload
Location: Auckland

Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:38 am

I'm looking to buy a VHF Radio.

Just wondering if anyone has a recommendation of what to get/avoid?

Budget is around $150-$200.

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awondering
Posts: 6633
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Viking PF400 Custom Black
VHF Call Sign: ZMT8884
Location: Auckland
Contact:

Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:31 pm

There always seem to be three brands that pop up, Uniden,Cobra, Icom...

With your budget see what is the best deal around.
I am no techno freak, BUT I would look at a 5w, good IP rating, some of the review sites out there are quite pathetic to be honest..

I would also look at "whats in the box" IE charger types , fixings etc...

The is a fair bit in here regards VHF, if you can spend the time, So my 2cents worth from what i have read in here and used... Wouldn't go near Cobra, there have been problematic units and those who have had them are way more technical folk than me and they haven't sussed them out... But very popular, but then people buy into the " I have one so its awesome" syndrome...

I had a uniden which was a great little unit, BUT the cost of replacement battery was about the cost of a new unit, so bear that in mind as well, when I replaced the uniden, I opted away from them because of the charger options on the new models, car charger type.

I ended up grabbing an Icom, I have started hearing stuff that i had never heard before, fishing in the same areas, someone explained why, something to do with the receiving bits in the handset..
Battery life ! so two weeks ago I went fishing and forget to turn my VHF off looked at the battery charge still had heaps left after being on for a week, did the same thing again this week... so while not ideal leaving it on, pleased it still had plenty of charge left...

Icom for me at the moment :y:

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AndrewRawlingson
Posts: 2542
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:03 pm
Location: Northland

Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:32 pm

I've got a Cobra 350. Have mixed opinions on it. Battery life is good and direct comms with another vessel are crystal clear. Things like weather reporting are always very broken which doesn't fill me with confidence.

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Blazer60
Posts: 1077
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:51 pm
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5911 - Blazer60
Location: Whitby, Wellington

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:41 pm

Icom here as well.


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samtayl
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:14 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Prowler Ultra 4.3 Orange/Yello
Location: Howick

Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:21 pm

I picked up what seems to be a good unit from marine-deals: standard horizon hx300. seemed a good unit for the price ($239). haven't actually had it on the water yet, but seemed to get good reviews from what i could find online. few features: floats, waterproof, red light that activates in water, fits in pocket in my PFD, 5W or 1W, good battery. time and use will tell how good it actually is

https://www.marine-deals.co.nz/standard ... -vhf-radio" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Jordan_jh
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:55 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean kayak
Kayak Model: tetra
Location: Whakatane

Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:17 pm

I got a gme that I won in comp. not sure what the cost is but it really is a lot better then the uniden I had. Battery lasts a lot longer and get heaps better range.


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TwoSpoons
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:35 pm
Kayak Make: CLC boats
Kayak Model: Sea Island Sport
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5652
Location: Pukekohe

Mon May 01, 2017 1:14 pm

I ended up grabbing an Icom, I have started hearing stuff that i had never heard before, fishing in the same areas, someone explained why, something to do with the receiving bits in the handset..
From wikipedia:
A typical example, quoted from a commercial hand held VHF or UHF radio, might be:

Receiver sensitivity: 0.25 μV at 12 dB SINAD.
This is stating that the receiver will produce intelligible speech with a signal at its input as low as 0.25 μV.
12dB SINAD (Signal-to Noise-And-Distortion) is regarded as the minimum for intelligible speech, and is the 'test' condition for measuring sensitivity.

So if you are looking for a 'better' radio, pick one with a better sensitivity - that is the first number in the example will be smaller in a better radio.
e.g 0.20 μV at 12 dB SINAD is better than 0.25 μV at 12 dB SINAD.

And yes, its all to do with the quality of the parts used in the receiver "front-end".

My radio is a Lowrance model - still going strong after about 7 years. If I replace it I think i'll look for one with a built in GPS - would be handy for SAR, if I was in trouble.
Electronics : its still magic, even when you know how its done.
ZMW5652

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SitDown
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:53 pm
Kayak Make: reload
Location: West Auck
Contact:

Thu May 04, 2017 10:16 pm

Will the handheld work away from the water, say, at home, wanting an up to date weather report before heading out.
Do you always need to be coastal for it to work

Couta Dusta
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:07 pm
Kayak Make: Pinnacle elite
Kayak Model: Elite

Sat May 06, 2017 10:19 pm

20170506_181716.jpg
All the makes posted are great brands, however there are a few others that out perform these. The Baofeng bf-8hp 8w uhf and VHF gand helds are amazing. I purchased two of yhese ($60 each) for kayak fishing. They are also used extensively for paragliders. Scans fully programmable . You wont be wasting your cash. The 8 watt output. Channel or frequency mode. Full scanning.

icekayak
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Auckland

Sun May 07, 2017 6:46 am

There was an icom on clearance at burnsco Albany for $249 yesterday. Think it was a m23 reduced from $349.

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Flowrider
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:15 pm
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Kayak Model: Reload
VHF Call Sign: Flowrider
Location: New Plymouth
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Sun May 07, 2017 8:45 am

SitDown wrote:Will the handheld work away from the water, say, at home, wanting an up to date weather report before heading out.
Do you always need to be coastal for it to work
The weather casting works at home for me, ch 20 I think
Taranaki Kayak Fishing Classic http://kayakfishingclassic.org.nz/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Viking Reload

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Schecter
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:37 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish EVO IV
VHF Call Sign: ZMW8098
Location: Auckland

Sun May 07, 2017 9:31 am

I have the Cobra HH500. So far it's working well although I have two issues with this VHF radio. One of them is finding a replacement battery in NZ. My only option was to get a replacement in the US via Amazon.

There is an AA battery pack provided with the HH500 that requires 5 x AA batteries in the battery pack. Which leads to the other issue I have with the Cobra. My battery charger only charges 4 batteries at once.

First world problems aye. |(
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awondering
Posts: 6633
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Viking PF400 Custom Black
VHF Call Sign: ZMT8884
Location: Auckland
Contact:

Fri May 12, 2017 1:04 pm

Couta Dusta wrote:
20170506_181716.jpg
All the makes posted are great brands, however there are a few others that out perform these. The Baofeng bf-8hp 8w uhf and VHF gand helds are amazing. I purchased two of yhese ($60 each) for kayak fishing. They are also used extensively for paragliders. Scans fully programmable . You wont be wasting your cash. The 8 watt output. Channel or frequency mode. Full scanning.
So forgive me if I am not seeing it, But what is the IP rating of them ? I cant see anything on the spec page, and $60 hmmm GL with it :y:

TwoSpoons
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:35 pm
Kayak Make: CLC boats
Kayak Model: Sea Island Sport
VHF Call Sign: ZMW5652
Location: Pukekohe

Fri May 12, 2017 3:58 pm

in the user manual (check that last sentence!):
Attachments
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Electronics : its still magic, even when you know how its done.
ZMW5652

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awondering
Posts: 6633
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:47 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Viking PF400 Custom Black
VHF Call Sign: ZMT8884
Location: Auckland
Contact:

Fri May 12, 2017 4:15 pm

TwoSpoons wrote:in the user manual (check that last sentence!):
Silly me, just as well I take rice on my overnight trips otherwise I would be in the shit ;)

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MikeAqua
Posts: 3388
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 pm
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish 400
VHF Call Sign: ZMT-7387
Location: Nelson

Sat May 13, 2017 1:58 pm

I have the Uniden 6W waterproof floating unit with integral GPS. Quite bulky but great unit. Also has distress mode (break tab to activate), which activates a strobe.

Nice and clear.
"No good story begins with a salad"
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Viking Profish 400Stolen!! Yellow/Black
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