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Hand held radio with a GPS

Wife asked what I wanted for X mas. I thought a floating radio w/ a GPS would be a good idea. Don't know where to start. Any ideas? Recommendations? I got seperated from my fishing partner last year. A radio really would have came in handy. The GPS would be nice also.

Replies

  • uno--masuno--mas Posts: 346 Deckhand
    i'm not familiar with any models with GPS built in. never owned one, or no anyone who has. but, for just VHF radios, if you consider a purchase of a major brand--and not just whats on sale, you will end up better in the medium and long run. i have bought handhelds to keep in my skiffs that would only last a year. when choosing one for the kayak, i have never gone the 'sale bin' route, and bought the brand and model that had the features i was looking for. i personally don't think there is any reason to spend over about $250, but i would be skeptical of anything under a hundred bucks. Lowrance/Simrad , Raymarine, Standard or Icom.
    i like 'floating', and 'submersible'. most are all rechargeable, and i like stand type recharger. just preference. its worth buying the extended warranty. you might actually need to use it.


    cheers
    drew
    Cathedra Mea, Regulae Meae.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,955 Captain
    Wife asked what I wanted for X mas. I thought a floating radio w/ a GPS would be a good idea. Don't know where to start. Any ideas? Recommendations? I got seperated from my fishing partner last year. A radio really would have came in handy. The GPS would be nice also.

    Most of the GPS functions in VHF radios are for the purpose of rescue. If you want GPS for fish/position location purposes, I would recommend you use a separate item. Either your smart phone with navionics application in a waterproof casing, a hand held gps receiver with a small map screen or better yet a fishfinder GPS combo. If you want your VHF with GPS for rescue purposes, the feature is referred to as DSC (Digital Selective Calling). This allows you to send an encoded message with your position and the nature of your distress. The message sets off an alarm received by all other DSC receivers within range of your broadcast. Depending on your location, the Coast Guard may or may not monitor VHF DSC. The Coast Guard always monitors VHF channel 16 and will usually switch you over to 22A after initial communications. Remember that VHF is primarily only line of site communications. In a kayak your horizon line of site is limited because you are very low to the water, maybe 3-6 miles for other small vessels. All ships are required to have DSC so your range for antennas that are higher off the water is further. Just because you set off the alarm on someone elses DSC receiver does not mean that they will come rescue you. If I were in a distress situation I would use VHF 16 and a personal EPIRB. The "waterproof" Uniden Atlantis 270 that I own failed after being submerged 1ft underwater for less than 30 seconds. It was under warranty so they sent me a new one, but the moral is that nothing is 100 percent reliable.
  • 1simplemann1simplemann Posts: 200 Deckhand
    John, thanks for the reply. I'm definitely not looking for a rescue type radio. The Coast guard doesn't operate in my main water anyway. I just wanna keep in contact with my fishing partner. Cell phones don't work in a lot of the areas we fish. Something that floats obvioously and waterproof. I understand nothing is 100% and I just have to take that risk I guess. The GPS would be for fish location purposes only so that is good to know. I intend to put a fish finder on my yak this spring that little piece of advice was very helpful. Don't pay for something your not going to use. Thanks. Any suggestions on a radio that fit's my needs?
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,955 Captain
    John, thanks for the reply. I'm definitely not looking for a rescue type radio. The Coast guard doesn't operate in my main water anyway. I just wanna keep in contact with my fishing partner. Cell phones don't work in a lot of the areas we fish. Something that floats obvioously and waterproof. I understand nothing is 100% and I just have to take that risk I guess. The GPS would be for fish location purposes only so that is good to know. I intend to put a fish finder on my yak this spring that little piece of advice was very helpful. Don't pay for something your not going to use. Thanks. Any suggestions on a radio that fit's my needs?

    Sorry, failed to notice you are in Montana before my previous post. If I was in your situation, I would buy a cheap one. I have used alot of hand held UHF radios and if you were to buy one of those instead, Motorola is by far the best brand. Motorola makes some recreational UHF radios for hikers, you can probably buy 2 for less than one VHF. UHF does not have the range of VHF, but has good penetration abilities for transmitting through steel and buildings. As far as hand held VHF's, I would guess that Motorola makes superior quality there also, but more expensive, and a cheapy of another brand will probably fill your needs. Good luck.
  • GreenfeanGreenfean Posts: 77 Deckhand
    John could you recommend a gps app for the phone? one that doesn't need service signal.
    Tarpon 120
  • uno--masuno--mas Posts: 346 Deckhand
    Greenfean wrote: »
    John could you recommend a gps app for the phone? one that doesn't need service signal.

    there is not one that does not require a signal. unless someone has created one that works from the magnetic pull of the poles and Stonehenge and the Mayan calendar.

    john, you recommended UHF radios? i think VHF would have better range, and i'm not sure of any UHF that are waterproof. if I'm using electronics in a kayak, they are waterproof.
    Cathedra Mea, Regulae Meae.
  • AaronCannonAaronCannon Northwest ArkansasPosts: 856 Officer
    Ive had good luck with rhinos from garmin; waterproof, but they don't float. Gps and uhf radio. Can also pair them up to locate other users on your screen.
    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
    Jeff Cooper
  • Riptide ReaperRiptide Reaper Posts: 21 Greenhorn
    Kayak anglers are the best at improvising and getting creative. For either the GPS or the VHF radio, I'd recommend getting waterproof models of your choosing and then making them able to float yourself. Attach some foam to the back, or tie a float to em.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,955 Captain
    Greenfean wrote: »
    John could you recommend a gps app for the phone? one that doesn't need service signal.

    Greenfean:

    I am pretty happy with Navionics sonar charts. As long as you have already downloaded the files for the area that you are going to be operating in, the application works independent of cell towers and wifi. It utilizes your smartphones internal GPS for location. That being said, your phone needs to be in a position where it can pick up GPS signals. I find that while hiking with hand held GPS's they can sometimes get lost in the woods and you need to find an open area to get a good GPS signal. Good luck
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,344 Moderator
    uno--mas wrote: »
    john, you recommended UHF radios? i think VHF would have better range, and i'm not sure of any UHF that are waterproof. if I'm using electronics in a kayak, they are waterproof.
    UHF does not have the range of VHF...

    I think John was only suggesting UHF as a cheaper route since saltwater and coastguard are not concerns for our friend from Montana.

    That said, 1simplemann: How large is the lake/river where you go fishing? If you and your fishing buddy are going to be fairly close (within a 5 mile radius of each other) then something like this would be fine:
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-MS350R-35-Mile-Talkabout-Waterproof/dp/B004PGM9PO/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1417647872&sr=1-1&keywords=2-way+radio+waterproof
    That way you don't have to make your friend buy his own. I also like the large loop so you can use a d-link and clip it to your vest/kayak.

    As for GPS functions (like marking a spot or navigating a chart) you really want a standalone unit with a usable display. Something like this if you want a handheld GPS to do double-duty for camping or navigating http://www.rei.com/product/825491/garmin-etrex-20-gps

    Of course, if you want a GPS just for fishing and intend to get a fishfinder anyway, why not get a combo unit like the Lowrance Elite-4: http://www.amazon.com/Lowrance-Elite-4-Fishfinder-Transom-Transducer/dp/B00A9X7YIO/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1417648395&sr=1-2&keywords=lowrance+elite+4

    Whatever you choose, good luck and report back with pictures of the catch!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • 1simplemann1simplemann Posts: 200 Deckhand
    jcanracer wrote: »
    I think John was only suggesting UHF as a cheaper route since saltwater and coastguard are not concerns for our friend from Montana.

    That said, 1simplemann: How large is the lake/river where you go fishing? If you and your fishing buddy are going to be fairly close (within a 5 mile radius of each other) then something like this would be fine:
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-MS350R-35-Mile-Talkabout-Waterproof/dp/B004PGM9PO/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1417647872&sr=1-1&keywords=2-way+radio+waterproof
    That way you don't have to make your friend buy his own. I also like the large loop so you can use a d-link and clip it to your vest/kayak.

    As for GPS functions (like marking a spot or navigating a chart) you really want a standalone unit with a usable display. Something like this if you want a handheld GPS to do double-duty for camping or navigating http://www.rei.com/product/825491/garmin-etrex-20-gps

    Of course, if you want a GPS just for fishing and intend to get a fishfinder anyway, why not get a combo unit like the Lowrance Elite-4: http://www.amazon.com/Lowrance-Elite-4-Fishfinder-Transom-Transducer/dp/B00A9X7YIO/ref=sr_1_2?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1417648395&sr=1-2&keywords=lowrance+elite+4

    Whatever you choose, good luck and report back with pictures of the catch!
    Well thanks for the replys! It's been a while since I checked this post. I'm a UPS driver. Working a ton of hours and too tired to do much of anything when i get home except eat and sleep. Basically I fish ranch ponds. and the Missouri River and hopefully Fort Peck Reservoir this summer. I also fish SWFL for 2 weeks every March. We had a situation last year where I went Left around an island and my partner went right. I found a great hole and was really catching fish. Partner never showed up and basically went down the river. We eventually got back together but it's the kinda place where you really need a partner and also should always know where each other is. We learned a lesson that we need radios! Plus he coulda got in on the action if I had a way to tell him. If we're gonna have radios then I figured they need to be waterproof and FLOAT! If something sinks then I'll drop it in the water! (I have a nice set of Cacoons that fell off the back of my head when I set the hook on a nice pike last summer. Just like that, GONE!) Everything now is either tied down or floats. I prefer if it float because leashes just get in the way after a bit. Based on what I'm learning, I'm really looking for a floating radio since i intend to put a fish finder on my yak this spring which will have a GPS feature. I hadn't considered this when making the original post. Thanks for the feed back. Hope to get some more. Not in a rush since yaking season is at least 4 months away for me. It's a little chilly up here right now!
  • frankthetankfrankthetank Posts: 863 Officer
    Hx150 would be good a good start for you especially since your mainly a freshwater guy but if your looking for the better the icom m24 would have to be my fav good waterproof rating it floats and 10+hours of battery life
    :fishing
    OCEAN KAYAK: PROWLER 13
  • YaktalesYaktales Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Just had the Wife order the Cobra HH500.
    2 features that did it for me was floating and blue tooth. You are able to use your phone
    through the radio. So now I can stow away my phone nice safe. Picked it up on Amazon for
    $132 suggested retail is $150. Plus there is a $20 rebate offer on the unit right now.
    Here is the description :
    Bluetooth® wireless technology
    Rewind-Say-Again®
    Floats
    6-watt VHF
    Ultra-compact design
    This Cobra HH500 Floating Handheld VHF Radio is a handheld marvel! Sporting an ultra-compact design, the HH500 features Bluetooth wireless technology that lets you make and receive phone calls while keeping your cell phone safe and dry. Cobra's exclusive Rewind-Say-Again digital recorder feature allows you to replay missed VHF calls and automatically records the last 20 seconds of incoming audio. Select between 1, 3, and 6 watts for short and long range communication. The HH500 is easy to hold, intuitive to operate, and JIS7 submersible. Other features include: noise-canceling microphone, NOAA weather radio, and weather alerts. Dimensions: 4.75"H x 2.66"W x 2.09"L. Weight: 0.60 lb.
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