Handheld VHF vs old school w/antennae

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by MariettaMike, May 16, 2013.

  1. MariettaMike

    MariettaMike Wish'n I was Fish'n!

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    I'm considering going offshore in my flats boat on calm days and figured I better take a radio because the cell phone won't work. My mother-in-law gave me her old VHF but I would need to buy an antennae. Looks like that would cost me around $60 for a 3' antennae and cheap mount. But I'm not crazy about having an antennae on a flats boat, so I looked at a few handhelds. There are several for around $100, but they say they are only good for five miles. That seems kinda short.

    Is anybody using a handheld getting over 5 miles?
     
  2. arcadiainc

    arcadiainc I Love microskiff.com!

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    Mike---Three to five on a handheld is good. Unfortunately, three to five is about all you will get out of a three foot antenna. VHF is pretty much line of sight. If your deck is two feet above water level and you have a three foot antenna, you are broadcasting five feet above the water surface. standing with a handheld roughly the same height above water surface. ie about the same distance in both. If you want distance get a tall antenna.
     

  3. MariettaMike

    MariettaMike Wish'n I was Fish'n!

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    Thanks for the info Rocki.

    I'll go with the handheld.
     
  4. I get asked the same question all the time at West Marine, If your cell phone will not work then your handheld will not either Spend a little extra money and work and go with a in dash
     
  5. cal1320

    cal1320 Well-Known Member

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    Handhelds are only 5-6 watts output. In dash types are 25 watts. So with both units at 5' off the water the in dash will be better. Some handhelds will take an external antenna. You could also temporarily attach an antenna to your 20' push pole to get more height/range should you need it.
     
  6. MariettaMike

    MariettaMike Wish'n I was Fish'n!

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I found this range calculator site.

    http://www.calculatoredge.com/electronics/lineofsight.htm