TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By DeeepSouth
#2288060
Gearing up to make my 1st BTB trip this summer. Need a handheld VHF. Is this a decent one? Is it worth spending much more? What features should I be looking for?

Cobra MRHH350FLT Floating VHF Long Range Marine Radio, Tri-Watch, Burp Feature https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AJVMVQQ/re ... dDbYX3PXDE




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By Kalait
#2288067
To give you the information I found and was backed up by Blake, Floating, long battery life, waterproof, NOAA radio, 5-mile radius. I am thinking of adding GPS to mine which is available on Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF with GPS. with an extra battery, the shipping is $250.

Good luck, and tight lines.
:D
By bigfost
#2288078
There have probably been more Cobra VHFs returned by dissatisfied customers than all other brands combined.
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By Drifting Yak
#2288079
I second the Standard Horizon 300. Great radio. I also have a Standard Horizon HX150 which is also a great radio.

Tip: Keep in mind the size of any radio that you purchase. A 1/4" here and a 1/4" there bulks up the radio. May not seem like much but it all adds up - especially when you're attaching it to your life jacket.
By SWFinatic
#2288080
I've heard a lot of good things about the Standard Horizon 300 and Standard Horizon in general. They still have the 300 but they also have newer models out. I just bought the HX210. Looks to have similar features as the 300 but a little less expensive. We'll see how it does.

https://www.thegpsstore.com/Standard-Ho ... gLh_PD_BwE
By Yakety_Yak
#2288136
Many people try to buy the Cobra VHF radios and many times, not always, it's because of the low price. The Cobra brand is commonly sold at Academy. That is how I find that many find out about these radios. There are other cheap brands out there, not just Cobra. The problem is that you get what you pay for many times with these brands. Because of the lower price, you sacrifice something for the cheaper brands out there. I have explained in the past the five things to look for in a quality VHF radio but I have now found a sixth thing. Here are the six things you should look for in purchasing a quality VHF radio:

1) floats
2) water proof
3) it should have NOAA weather radio
4) at least a 5-mile radius
5) good battery life (if you are going to be on the water all day, make sure your battery will last)
6) Make sure your radio has a channel 16 emergency button so that you can reach coast guard immediately

The sixth item is the newest I have added to the list. The reason for this is that a common station that many are allowed to be on are the upper channels. Us kayakers choose channel 69 many times. Even though we use the radio for fishing talk, it's important to remember that this radio's primary purpose is for emergencies. What happens if you are on channel 69 and there is an emergency. On a cheaper radio, you will have to push through all the stations to get from channel 69 to channel 16 (channel 16 is the coast guard station). That is a lot of channels to thumb through. My radio has a button that has "9/16" on it (this is a common feature on some radios). Once I hit this button, it immediately takes me where I need to be without going through other less important channels.

Another thing that is not necessarily needed but is a nice feature, is a channel lock feature. I'm almost definite this lock feature I am about to talk about will be the seventh thing on the list before long. On my radio, there is a button that has a key pic on the top of the button. Once I hold this down for a few seconds, it locks all of my keys. To reverse the process, repeat the same thing and it will disengage this feature. If the feature is active, a small pic of a key will present itself on the electronic screen. Once disabled, the key pic goes away. This feature is useful because as kayakers, we are limited in space. Constantly you will find that your radio buttons will get pressed somehow during the day taking you off of the channel you are trying to be on. If you are fishing with friends and you don't hear them the entire time, you will think their radio is off or has gone down. In reality, your radio channel is on the wrong station. Also, when you are talking to the coast guard, you will want to make sure you stay on the designated channel and not accidentally get switched.

Some of the brands that many use on the water that are considered reliable are (in no particular order):

1) Standard Horizon
2) ICOM
3) Uniden

I personally roll with the Standard Horizon HX300. For the value of this radio, it's hard to beat the quality and price. All of these radios are good that I just listed. If you search on the internet, sometimes you will find that there are mail-in rebates. My radio had at one time a $20.00 mail-in rebate. The average going price on the Standard Horizon HX300 is $100.00. That is a great price for a quality VHF radio. I have heard people talk about the HX290. It has everything the HX300 has except one thing. The HX300 has a longer battery life. For a few bucks more, I am more than happy to buy the HX300 to have a longer battery life. If you find that you are the kind of person that is only going to be on the water for about half a day, then I could see buying the HX290.

One last thing I would like to mention. Sometimes I like to use TV's in relation to VHF radios. I consider buying a Cobra in relation to a RCA. Buying one of the better brands is like buying a Toshiba. By buying a RCA, is that what your life is worth? We take a VHF radio for granted because we hit the water never suspecting anything will ever happen to us. If that time ever comes when you need a radio and you bought a RCA, I can only pray that it works for you. I know my Cadillac will as it has on a few occasions that I have needed it.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to post on here, PM me, or even give me a call. I'm always happy to chat with people on kayaking. 832-588-7091

Tight lines!
By DeeepSouth
#2288145
Thanks guys! That is great info and feedback! SH300 it is! That one just keeps coming up so I know I can’t go wrong there! Ordered it just now and it should be here on Thursday! Appreciate the help and saving me from wasting money on a bad decision!




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By GregO722
#2288174
I have the HX300, no issues. I think that I've had it a few years now. I'm also pretty sure that I came here for the recommendations.
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By Ron Mc
#2288943
Standard Horizon has a good line of hand-held VHF and VHF+GPS.
The HX300 is $109 at several places (v. $149 retail). They sell the newer, smaller HX40 also for $109, and the newer HX890 with GPS is a really nice package for $199 ($50 cheaper than its predecessor, the HX870).
They seem to be the benchmark VHF and sold from every marine dealer.

If you've never dealt with TackleDirect, they've one of my favorite vendors
https://www.tackledirect.com/standard-h ... onics.html
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By Kalait
#2288958
How much reprogramming do you have to do when you change batteries?
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By Ron Mc
#2288967
it says it will run 11 hours with both GPS and DSC in operation, so you may never have to change a battery.
Maybe just set it in the charging cradle every evening. Of course carrying a spare charged battery is a good idea.

Looks like you can back it all up on your PC, and also get firmware updates online.
You can also call Standard Horizon product support at 800-767-2450
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By Kalait
#2288973
Ron Mc wrote:it says it will run 11 hours with both GPS and DSC in operation, so you may never have to change a battery.
Maybe just set it in the charging cradle every evening. Of course carrying a spare charged battery is a good idea.

Looks like you can back it all up on your PC, and also get firmware updates online.
You can also call Standard Horizon product support at 800-767-2450


My plan is to have both a regular battery and a Double-A battery pack for the radio, on safety equipment it is best to plan for the unexpected. However, carrying three batteries is way over-kill. :D You can only backup to your computer once you get safely back home. :dance: :dance:
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By Ron Mc
#2288976
if you don't want to call the product support phone, instead, e-mail marinetech@yaesu.com and ask, using HX890, will you lose your stored GPS waypoints, GPS log data, DSC directory, and DSC groups if your battery goes dead, and you swap in a charged battery pack.
no dancing monkeys required, just get the question answered :horse:

One thing nice about the GPS/VHF units, you can send out an All-Ships Distress Call that gives your latitude and longitude, and anyone with a DSC locator will see you as a waypoint on their GPS, and can navigate straight to you.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Kalait
#2288978
Ron Mc wrote:if you don't want to call the product support phone, instead, e-mail marinetech@yaesu.com and ask, using HX890, will you lose your stored GPS waypoints, GPS log data, DSC directory, and DSC groups if your battery goes dead, and you swap in a charged battery pack.
no dancing monkeys required, just get the question answered :horse:

One thing nice about the GPS/VHF units, you can send out an All-Ships Distress Call that gives your latitude and longitude, and anyone with a DSC locator will see you a waypoint on their GPS and can navigate straight to you.

I have no problem calling, however, I thought someone has changed their battery while out fishing and knows what they had to do to get the radio back up and running in this group. :dance: :dance: :horse: :horse:
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By Ron Mc
#2288979
except that no one who has posted on the thread has GPS/VHF - everyone who has posted has VHF.
There's not much to program on the radio except those radios with favorite channels. DSC radios have a programmed MMSI assigned to the hull by the FCC/MRS and registered with the Coast Guard, but that can only be programmed once.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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By Kalait
#2288982
Ron Mc wrote:except that no one who has posted on the thread has GPS/VHS - everyone who has posted has VHS.


Guessing you mean VHF, not VHS. Even with the difference in radios, someone has personal experience in changing batteries during a trip at BTB. Yes, the VHF/GPS only runs for 11 hours, what settings will have to be reset with changing batteries to the Li-ion, the battery pack the unit has to be run on a lower setting for the VHF if I understand the manual correctly.

BTW: can I have my VHS back as I am having to trash tons of tapes out, due to no player and tapes degraded :(
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By Ron Mc
#2288983
thick fingers and busy (doesn't help that I type 120 wpm) - here's where you can register your kayak and immediately get an MMSI number and even a certificate.
http://www.usps.org/php/mmsi_new/rules.php
On the Ship Classification, buried in the middle is Paddlecraft (Kayak/Canoe)
Image
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By Kalait
#2288985
Ron Mc wrote:thick fingers and busy (doesn't help that I type 120 wpm) - here's where you can register your kayak and immediately get an MMSI number and even a certificate.
http://www.usps.org/php/mmsi_new/rules.php
On the Ship Classification, buried in the middle is Paddlecraft (Kayak/Canoe)1
Image


Sorry for your inconvenience, maybe you need to read the post and type slower, or is your Faurie out of gas!
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By Ron Mc
#2288988
There are features with GPS/DSC radios that could be useful to fishermen and kayakers.
When you program a DSC group, you can have group-only communications and private calls.

You can locate every member of the group on GPS. You can "poll" - locate every other DSC/AIM vessel in range of your GPS,
which also means ships can locate you when they poll the area - essentially, ships see you with their navigation electronics.
But certainly the most valuable thing about it is automatic linking of GPS position to distress calls - that function and all DSC functions require having an MMSI number.
Seems like the greatest safety feature ever offered to a kayak - your radio and your hull are in an automatic CG database.
Even people running 20' cuttys up Aransas Channel navigate with DSC, and will see you on their electronics before they get to your position.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By kickingback
#2288993
I have the SH HX890 and I have GPS/VHF in case anyone is interested. I registered my MMSI and my radio can send a distress automatically with GPS if I set it that way. :wink:
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By Ron Mc
#2288995
trick - I bought one also after doing the on-line reviews, etc., and registered an MMSI - before doing the background, I was close to springing for a HX300 or HX40 VHF. I also didn't previously have GPS, except for what my phone can do, but it stays in a dry box.
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By Kalait
#2289020
kickingback wrote:I have the SH HX890 and I have GPS/VHF in case anyone is interested. I registered my MMSI and my radio can send a distress automatically with GPS if I set it that way. :wink:


That is the radio I am about to order, What do you think of it, how many hours do you get out of the battery?
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By kickingback
#2289068
I like it! The battery does not last as long as the HX300 when you leave it on as it is also using the GPS function in the background. It comes with a cradle and I put it in the cradle after each outing regardless of how much I use.
I went offshore two weeks ago and had it on and when I came in it was about 1/4 drained. Not bad but the HX300 I could get about 8 trips before charging. This one about 5 trips. But I charge every trip to make sure I have it full for a day trip.
If you use the "scan" feature you can scan a few channels you select and it cycles very quickly to hear any chatter. I like that function to monitor more channels like 16, 67, 68 and 69 all at once. But the downfall is it drains the battery faster thus need to charge more often. It is a good radio and registering your MMSI is easy.
Last edited by kickingback on Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Ron Mc
#2289075
at the price, it's tough to beat.
Again, here is where you can get an instant MMSI
http://www.usps.org/php/mmsi_new/rules.php
First have to create a USPS Member Account,
then Request New MMSI
far down the ship classification list, you can find Paddlecraft (kayak/canoe)
most of the information on the MMSI form is optional, and simply what you want the Coast Guard to be able to access about you.

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