RE: handheld vhf

Eric Johnson (
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 11:17:41 -0800

> On Wed, Dec 15, 1999 at 05:19:51PM -0800, wrote:
> [...]
> > I have a cigar lighter adapter that lets me plug my Garmin
> GPSII+ into the
> > boat's supply if the alkalines run down. If Santa brings me a
> handheld vhf,
> > I want one that will use either rechargeables or alkalines and
> has both a
> > 12 V dc and 115 V ac charger. I don't know if they can also be operated
> > directly from a 12 V source.
> If Santa brings me a handheld vhf, I would like those things, as well.
> Which leads me to the obvious question: what experience have people
> had with handhelds, and what should I -- er, Santa -- buy?

I have a Standard HX150S. Its inexpensive. I like it, seems to work fine.
The battery tray has a nice feature - you can pull out the nicad pattery
pack and put in alkaline AA cells if you need to, and since alkalines store
well, you can always have a backup power supply ready to go. It has a 120v
charger. I think a 12V charger is available. The system will run without
batteries on just the charger, but the manual says you're not supposed to. I
suspect it wouldn't transmit very well. But i woulnd't know - I dont think
I've ever transmitted with mine. It seems to be reasonably water-resistant.
Overall its hard to beat for the money - they've come down quite a bit in
the couple years since I bought mine. I store mine in a little beckson white
poly holder screwed to my companionway steps.

One thing I dislike about it is that standard has used some proprietary
antenna connector, which is basically a screw-on thing. I wish they had used
BNC or TNC some other connector type (like they do on their more expensive
models) so I could experiment with a mast-mounted antenna. I might just buy
another duck antenna for it, take it apart, and build an adaptor from it. I
emailed Standard about it some time ago and they don't have an adaptor
available, but they did confirm the unit expects a standard 50ohm antenna.