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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
need opinions or experienced opinions as to which vhf radio...hand held or fixed mount...will better fit my needs.

i am aware of the range differnces, but since i will only be at the coast once , maybe twice a year, and since 99% of that will be spent in the ICW, will a hand held be sufficient? i have a friend who says i can borrow his if i need it.

and who wants to share their hot spots for trout or reds at Oak Island????? i'll share my hot spots on High Rock!!!
 

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If you are going to stay south of Harker's Island and stay inside I would feel comfortable with a handheld vhf. You shouldn't ever need any more range than it will provide. I would suggest having a spare set of batteries onboard. They tend to be the most unreliable link. You will find a lot of boats on the inside do not carry any radio whatsoever. That in my opinion is asking for trouble but it is a risk many take. I would recommend having a radio mount on top of the console if you going to be spending time on the outside. From what you indicated I would not think you would be spending more than a couple hours a week there . IF that is truly the case I would think the hand held would better suit you. I haven't used a hand held in several years so I'll leave that part of your Question to someone with more recent expierence. They got the job you described done then and should now.
 

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k5ranger---There is a possible alternative here for emergencies, the cell phone( I take a list of area Coast Guard phone numbers on board along with the marina number) I've been amazed at the good signals inshore and close in when offshore where I fish. My reason being, several years ago I broke down on the Pamlico late one Sunday afternoon,I radioed the Coast Guard in Hobucken they in turn phoned one of my neighbors in Atlantic to get towed in.

The last time I broke down, I used my own phone to call the marina and advised them that I needed a tow and help was on the way. Of coarse I could have radioed them , but it was a matter of convenience and a better line of communication.

I feel that everyone who boats on the coast these days should have a GPS on board hand held or fixed in case of emergencies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the replies.....i always have my cell phone with me and will take the advice and get some local emergenciy numbers before launching this year. i agree with the gps. i have a hand held garmin 72 that has helped me find my way back more than once on a pitch-black night on the lakes i fish. also great for scouting out new hunting property.

i feel safe with the hand held vhf, only because if i do go off-shore it will not be far and from what my friend tells me there will no doubt be other boaters where i'm headed if the weather permits.

cell phone, gps, vhf, flares(day nd night), floatation devices for everyone + pillow, paddle, trolling motor, horn + whistle, sunblock, water.....am i missing anything? oh yeah, everyones secret hot spot for trout and reds!!!!:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the replies.......i always have a cell phone onboard. i will take the time to gather some imprtant numbers in case of emergencies. my gps hand held has helped me find my way back to dock on many pitch black nights. also workds great for scouting new hunting properties.

i feel confident that a hand held will be fine for my needs. besides, from what my friend tells me, if the weather is nice and the seas cooperate, there will be several boats at the reefs i want to try off shore. ofcourse with my limited knowledge, these reefs will not be to far off shore!

thanks again.
 

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k5ranger--- Sounds like you are definitely in GO MODE!! Don't forget your fishing pole. LOL:) Can't help with any fishing holes down in the SE coast, anywhere else as a matter of fact. It's been a strange season so far, as water temps have been like the air, no gradual warming, just straight from cold to hot. It seems we missed the regular fish runs in the spring in my area.

Good Luck, Forrest
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bought a Uniden Atlantis 250. rechargable battery pack and AA compatible, along with an AC/DC adapter. weather channels ...yadda, yadda, yadda........i do have a question. i kept getting replies about vhf radio choices and most everyone was dead set on a handheld not reaching far enough. only 5-6 miles. then why is it i can sit in my living room and pick up the weather channel being broadcast form an antenna ove 50 miles away? i live in davidson county, north carolina; the antenna is on saurtown mountain in surry county. i was under the impression that vhf was line of sight radio? i don't understand(confused), just want to further my knowledge.

thanks.
 

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You almost answered your own question without quite getting to the point. Antenna height and wattage are the most critical factors. You can hear them, but they can't hear you. There are two reasons for this. They broadcast at 250 watts IF my memory serves me right. Their antennae is just a little bit longer than yours and it is a little higher off the ground. Now add to that the fact that it is up near the top of the mountain. Darn, them engineers know what they are doing. They can be heard by the most people without having transmitters all over the place. When you are close to the ground your signal loses a lot of strength to the (ground or ocean). When you are on the outside your range will vary more because when your boat is down in the trough between waves your antenna height is reduced by the amount of the height of the wave from the bottom of the trough to the crest. Most of your transmission is being sent into the water which is basically ground. In other words a handheld is going to lose range quickly when you are most apt to need it. Simply put the higher your antennae is the less affected it will be by ground attenuation. Also take into consideration that when offshore you will be transmitting 25 watts and a permanent set up gets its power from your boats electric system instead of a small battery pack. Boat to boat range will normally be shorter than to the 250' tower at the coast guard station. i hope this helps . AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i understand know...so on the water, i will be able to hear the coast guard or other radios, but i they may not be able to hear me.


i'm most definite gonna get a fixed mount in the future.
one more question....i was reading that you should have atleast 3 ft. betweent he radio and the antenna. how can i achieve this on a 19' c/c? the console itself is not that large1?
thanks
 

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k5ranger said:
i'm most definite gonna get a fixed mount in the future.
one more question....i was reading that you should have atleast 3 ft. betweent he radio and the antenna. how can i achieve this on a 19' c/c? the console itself is not that large1?
thanks
I'm not sure why 3' either, but I know a shorter works fine. I too have a 19' CC and the cable is a few inches long.

Okay - now I'm reaching way back into my Navy Electronic Technician training, but here goes what I remember: The important thing is having the cable the right length in relationship to the "half-Wave" of the radio frequecies the radio uses. There are several factors like length of antenna, coils in the base, etc, so there is a formula to figure that out. Its important to note that MANY lengths would be correct (they would be multipuls of the shortest one). With that said, nobody uses the formula anymore, they just use a little meter to get the lowest singal to nosie ratio and off you go.
 

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I think that you can acheive 3 ft by mounting the antenna as high as you can on the opposite side of the console. Antenna on the top of the windshield frame/rail if possible, radio on right hand side of console or in the right front side of console. I would recommend following factory instructions: They generally save headaches . Like I said them engineers are pretty smart ...until they get carried away in straight jackets. lol AL
 
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