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  #1  
Old 02-13-2012, 04:44 PM
brwhite brwhite is offline
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Default Best hand held radio?

I'm looking to replace the GRMS radios we have been using up in Canada with the next best thing. I'm wondering what everyone thinks is the best handheld radio I can get for boat to boat communications

I'm looking for voice clarity, distance, durability, etc...

From what I've read VHF/GRMS/FRS really don't make a ton of difference in the granite hills of Canada so I'm open to a clamp on antenna that can be put on the rental boat with a cable to the radio.

So what would you suggest?
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2012, 06:44 PM
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Icom and Standard Horizon are good brand names.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:59 AM
WALLEYE651 WALLEYE651 is offline
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Default handheld radio

the first thing if you are going to use a external antenna the radio has to have a removable antenna a sma or bnc connector in the radio and the external antenna should be of a half wave design bob
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:12 PM
brwhite brwhite is offline
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any thoughts on if vhf is any better than GMRS?
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:17 AM
WALLEYE651 WALLEYE651 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brwhite View Post
any thoughts on if vhf is any better than GMRS?
sorry i thought you were talking about marine vhf handhelds operating in the marine band frequency portion of the spectrum , sorry
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:35 AM
stjoeguy stjoeguy is offline
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Default Best hand-held radio?

Last year I got a pair of Cobra HH425 radios to use in Canada. They run on a rechargeable battery pack or 6 AA batteries and transmit via GMRS or VHF on 1,3, or 5 watts. They're not cheap, but I got tired of the radios we used before where you might as well holler at the boat. It was frustrating seeing the boat but not being able to radio them. I don't know if the Cobra 425 is the best, but they were a whole lot better than the old radios. I liked them. No hand-held is going to have the same range as an 8' antenna, but the trade-off is the versatility. This year there's another boat going with us, so I may add a VHF radio and antenna to my boat and let the others use the 425s.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stjoeguy View Post
Last year I got a pair of Cobra HH425 radios to use in Canada. They run on a rechargeable battery pack or 6 AA batteries and transmit via GMRS or VHF on 1,3, or 5 watts. They're not cheap, but I got tired of the radios we used before where you might as well holler at the boat. It was frustrating seeing the boat but not being able to radio them. I don't know if the Cobra 425 is the best, but they were a whole lot better than the old radios. I liked them. No hand-held is going to have the same range as an 8' antenna, but the trade-off is the versatility. This year there's another boat going with us, so I may add a VHF radio and antenna to my boat and let the others use the 425s.
I purchased handheld Cobra GMRS/VHF radios and couldn't be happier. I have a box of radios that were close to worthless - it almost became comical trying to communicate between boats. The Cobras I bought worked up to 8-miles on water in NW Ontario in an area that included islands, bays, trees, etc - not line of sight. In fact one guy was in a cabin. This was a remarkable improvement over GMRS. Of course, there are some rules regarding VHF usage on Canadian non-border waters - unless they recently changed some rules.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:04 AM
brwhite brwhite is offline
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WALLEYE651: Oh I was thinking of both! I just want the best handheld waterproof radio. Period. Don't care what frequency it's on!

I was looking at the cobra 425s, seemed like a radio we can use for the drive up and then switch to vhf on the water.

So what are the rules with VHF? Does anyone use it? Are there issues with other groups on the same channel (I read there aren't very many)? Are you going to get in any trouble joking around on it?

does the 425 have a removable antenna? I'm still toying with the idea of a large antenna!
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brwhite View Post
WALLEYE651: Oh I was thinking of both! I just want the best handheld waterproof radio. Period. Don't care what frequency it's on!

I was looking at the cobra 425s, seemed like a radio we can use for the drive up and then switch to vhf on the water.

So what are the rules with VHF? Does anyone use it? Are there issues with other groups on the same channel (I read there aren't very many)? Are you going to get in any trouble joking around on it?

does the 425 have a removable antenna? I'm still toying with the idea of a large antenna!
The antenna on the 425 is larger than any GMRS one that I have seen but I don't think it would be practical to look at replacing it with a larger one. Or even possible for that matter.

You do need to be aware of the VHF rules. IF I remember correctly, US citizens can operate VHF radios without a license on US inland waters and Canadian-US border waters. But you need a Canadian license to operate inside of Canada. I know there was some discussion about getting rid of the license requirements for both countries for non-commercial use but I don't know if that ever amounted to anything. Canadians also need a license for in the US non-border waters. Also, you do not want to get caught using a VHF radio on land. That is what is nice about the 425's - you can switch to other frequencies when needed.

You can obtain a course book from the Canadian government for taking the license test. It cost about $25 if I remember. I do not have the contact information of where to get it readily available.

If anyone knows if the licenses are no longer required I would like to hear about it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:14 PM
brwhite brwhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluff View Post
The antenna on the 425 is larger than any GMRS one that I have seen but I don't think it would be practical to look at replacing it with a larger one. Or even possible for that matter.

You do need to be aware of the VHF rules. IF I remember correctly, US citizens can operate VHF radios without a license on US inland waters and Canadian-US border waters. But you need a Canadian license to operate inside of Canada. I know there was some discussion about getting rid of the license requirements for both countries for non-commercial use but I don't know if that ever amounted to anything. Canadians also need a license for in the US non-border waters. Also, you do not want to get caught using a VHF radio on land. That is what is nice about the 425's - you can switch to other frequencies when needed.

You can obtain a course book from the Canadian government for taking the license test. It cost about $25 if I remember. I do not have the contact information of where to get it readily available.

If anyone knows if the licenses are no longer required I would like to hear about it.

I found the following:

http://boating.ncf.ca/vhf.html

"After April 1999, VHF Radios on pleasure boats are no longer 'required' to have a ship station licence within Canadian waters due to changes to the Industry Canada Radiocommunications Regulations (Section 15.2 Exemption of Radio Apparatus on Board a Ship). (You do not need a ship licence or operator certificate to use FRS or CB radios on a boat.)"

of course I am completely unable to translate the following:

Exemption of Radio Apparatus on Board a Ship or Vessel

  • 15.2 (1) This section applies in respect of a ship or vessel that is
    • (a) registered or licensed under an Act of Parliament; or
    • (b) owned by, or under the direction or control of, Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.
  • (2) A radio apparatus that is operated on board a ship or vessel in the performance of the maritime service or the radiodetermination service is exempt from subsection 4(1) of the Act, in respect of a radio licence, if
    • (a) the operation of the radio apparatus occurs when
      • (i) the ship or vessel is within Canada,
      • (ii) the ship or vessel is outside Canada and the territory of another country, or
      • (iii) the ship or vessel is in the territory of another country with which Canada has entered into a reciprocal agreement that confers similar privileges on Canadians; and
    • (b) the operation of the radio apparatus is in accordance with the technical requirements for mobile stations operating in the maritime service specified in section 34.2.
    • (c) [Repealed, SOR/2011-47, s. 6]
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