Re: Hand Held VHS Radios

Posted by John Pollard on Nov 19, 2006


A safety radio is a great idea for a Christmas gift. And a GPS last year!? Wow, I hope the paddlers are reciprocating accordingly.

First, the name for these radios is actually VHF, as in Very High Frequency. Specifically, you are looking for a Marine VHF (as opposed to an aviation, or law enforcement version). An you're correct in identifying that its the Hand-Held variant, not the fixed-mount you want.

Second, it should be waterproof. Some lesser models are merely water "resistant", but a waterProof rating is very desirable.

Third, it should have a lithium-ion or some other rechargeable battery pack (preferably not ni-cad). Included with the radio should be a recharge cradle. It would be desirtable to have the 12-volt power supply cord as well as an AC plug (so you can recharge at home or in the car, etc). Also, some models come with a second battery pack that can take 3-4 AA alkaline batteries. This is a desirable, though not absolutely necessary, feature. It permits the user to swap battery packs for extended use, and to "re-fill" with AA batteries when away from the power grid for extended periods.

Another feature I like, which is now fairly common, is the ability to "scan" multiple channels simultaneously.

And the last thing I'd make sure of, is that the radio has not only weather bands, but the ability to sound an alert when a special weather warning is broadcast by NOAA/NWS.

Hope this helps.

In Response to: Hand Held VHS Radios by M Davis on Nov 19, 2006