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Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio
Standard Horizon HX400 Handheld Marine Radio

Standard Horizon HX400 is a unique VHF radio in the Standard Horizon line up. It has two features that makes it really stand out, and you will have to decide for yourself if that's what you need.

First of all, I want to start by saying that it has a crazy big capacity Lithium-Ion battery - 2300mAh! That is enough to power this handheld radio for about 17 hours of operating time. Just for comparison, our best rated HX870 has a 1800mAh battery life. If you are out on water for a long time and don't want to think about recharging the radio, this might be the VHF radio for you. It is capable of quick charging (takes around 3 hours to fully charge it).

Second important feature is LMC capability - programmable Land Mobile Channels. You might have a need for it on land, and this handheld VHF radio has the ability to work with LMC. A dealer can program up to 40 channels in the 137-174Mhz range (VHF or High Band). Typically, LMR radio frequencies are used by public safety personnels. 

Communication is crystal clear, loud and the built in noise cancelling works really well. The built in loudspeaker is rated at 700mW of power, which is plenty loud. It is not floating, but it is rated IPX8 (just make sure the battery cover is closed properly).

Overall, this is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a high quality powerful VHF handheld ratio with a long battery, but don't need all the features found in the high end radios.

Some of the features include:

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    2300 mAh Lithium-Ion battery
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    Programabble Land Mobile Channels
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    Built in noise cancelling and voice scrambler
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    NOAA weather channels and weather alert
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    All USA, Canadian and international marine channels
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    Tri-watch
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    3 year warranty

  • plus
    Long battery life
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    Loud and clear voice quality
  • plus
    Programmable LMC
  • minus
    Not floating
  • minus
    No built in GPS

Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Marine Radio Review

Uniden Atlantis 270 marine radio
Uniden Atlantis 270 marine radio

Uniden Atlantis 270 replaced the popular Atlantis 250 handle marine radio. Having mostly the same specifications, this is a good radio for anyone who is looking for a budget VHF radio. The power output has been increased to 6 Watts, providing a slightly stronger signal (you can still regulate output - choose 1/2.5 or 6 watts). There is a shortcut key "BOOST" which basically enables full 6 Watt power output for a short time.

Dual and Triple operation allows you to monitor up to 2 Coast Guard/Hailing channels plus a regular marine channel (pretty standard these days). All NOAA channels are also available on this radio.

Another difference between this radio and the discontinued Atlantic 250 is the upgraded body that is now rated JIS7/IPX7 - it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

The addition of squelch feature enables to filter some background noise, but be careful with it, since you may not hear weak signals (they will be filtered out).

Overall, this is a good handheld radio with a good battery life, easy to read display and all the basic filters included. It lacks GPS, and is rather large. For those people who desire some high end features like GPS, look into the Standard Horizon HX870 which is one of our favorites handheld radios.

Some of the features include:

    • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts for short and long range communication
    • 9 weather channels
    • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
    • Submersiable to 1 meter for 30 minutes
    • Button Key Lock
    • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
    • LCD Display
    • Rechargeable Lithium Ion 1100mAh battery
    • Instant Channel 16/9
    • Tri-Watch
    • 120v/12v Charger Included
    • Reasonably Priced
    • Dimensions - 5.35 x 2.44 x 1.53 inches

    • Inexpensive​​​
    • Reliable
    • Good power output
    • IPX7 water protection
    • Squelch level
    • Easy to read display
    • No built in GPS

Uniden Atlantis 250 – Budget Handheld Marine Radio

Uniden Atlantis 250 handheld vhf radio
Uniden Atlantis 250 handheld vhf radio

Uniden is well known name among communication device manufacturers and has a full line of VHF handheld and fixed mount marine radios.

Uniden Atlantis 250 was introduced in 2011 and have proven to be a decent choice among budget marine radios. This particular radio does not have high end features found in more expensive radios, but what it does have is a strong reception and signal transmitting (thanks to the switchable 1/5watts power output), rugged waterproof construction, all NOAA weather channels with weather alert to keep you safe, as well as a 10 hour batter life from NiMH battery pack. You will stay always connected thanks to the 16/9 triple watch.

The Uniden Atlantis 250 has since been replaced with Uniden Atlantis 270 - Read review HERE.

Some of the features include:

    • 5 watt VHF Select between 1 and 5 Watts for short and long range communication
    • All NOAA weather channels
    • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
    • JIS4 Waterproofing
    • Instant Channel 16/9/Triple Watch
    • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
    • Backlit LCD Display and Backlit Keyboard
    • NiMH and Alkaline Battery 
    • Instant Channel 16/9
    • Tri-Watch
    • Waterproof
    • 120v/12v Charger Included
    • Memory Channel Scan
    • Reasonably Priced
    • Limited 3 Year Warranty
    • Dimensions - 3 x 2 x 6 inches

    • Strong and solid communication 
    • Inexpensive
    • Backlit Display Display
    • 16/9 Tri watch
    • Reliable
    • Not submersible 

This radio has been discontinued, please go to UNIDEN Atlantis 270 page.

Icom M93D Handheld VHF Marine Radio Review

Icom handheld marine radio
Icom M93 handheld marine radio

The Icom M93 is a powerful 48-channel handheld VHF radio and a valuable marine accessory for every vessel. Its key features include its floating and waterproof capability which doesn’t just protect the device from water damage but also increases its lifespan. With the safety advantages of DSC (Digital Selective Calling), rest assured that you’re in good hands and have reliable access to distress channels should an emergency on the water arrive.

With an IPX-7 rating, Icom M93 can withstand immersion in 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes. A useful feature for those unfortunate accidents when you accidentally drop your device off the boat. You don’t have to worry about the speaker getting wet and damaged either, the Icom M93 has a high-tech feature known as “Aqua Quake” which puts the speaker on vibrating mode and shakes off water from the device. This allows your speaker to work with no disturbance from water stranded on its surface.

The Icom M93 is equipped with a long-lasting rechargeable battery which can remain powered up for the whole day. With its intuitive battery indicator display found on the screen, you know when you need to recharge your radio before it dies. It also has an active noise canceling feature that’s very useful for stormy or windy situations.

Main Features

  • Floating and Flashing Capability - Accidentally dropped your device in the water? No worries! The M93 has a floating design which allows it to float on its back while the backlit keypads flash making it easier to retrieve the device even in pitch black water.
  • Compact and Stylish Design - Even with a small height of 145mm and weight of 310 grams, The Icom M93D wows with its impressive design. Its flat sheet keypad makes the device look sleek and slim. It’s so well-built that it fits perfectly in your palm.
  • Intuitive User Interface - ICOM is known for creating the best user interface for marine electronics simply because they are so user-friendly and easy to operate. This is very important for non-tech savvy people.
  • Waterproof to IPX-7 - Can withstand immersion in 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes.
  • Active Noise Canceling Technology - reduces background noise for better transmissions. This feature can be a lifesaver when you’re transmitting in rough conditions or a around a noisy marine environment.
  • Aquaquake - feature that drains water from the speaker grill using the device’s vibrating mode.
  • Built-in Class D DSC - The ICOM M93 includes its own dedicated second channel which monitors Channel 70 regularly. When you push the red distress button on the rear of the radio, the distress signal gets sent to the coast guard and other DSC radio-equipped vessels. They will receive your GPS coordinates, boat name, and phone number for emergency contact.
  • Backlit LCD display - View all functions and information easily even in the dark.
  • Dual and Tri-Watch Feature - enables you to monitor the distress channel while receiving messages on another channel of your choice.

Additional Features:

  • High Contrast Dot Matrix
  • Dual/Tri- Watch
  • Save up to 50 waypoints with alphanumeric names
  • Favorite channel function
  • Weather channel alarm
  • Battery indicator
  • auto Battery Saver
  • Built-In GPS Receiver
  • MOB Position Marking

Accessories:

  • Antenna, FA-SC59V
  • Hand strap
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Cigarette lighter cable, CP-25H
  • Belt clip, MB-133
  • Battery charger, BC-220
  • Battery pack, BP-285
  • AC adapter, BC-123SA

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.3 Ounces
  • Dimensions:  2 3/8" Width x 5 5/8" Height x 1 3/4" Depth
  • Available Color:: Black
  • Display Color: Grayscale
  • Display: 2.3" Diagonal High-Visibility Polarized Dot Matrix LCD with Softglow
  • Battery Life: 9 Hours
  • Battery Type : Lithium-Ion 1570mAh
  • Material: Polycarbonate (Housing)
  • Die-Cast: Aluminum (Chassis)
  • Transmit Power: 1/5 Watt
  • Warranty Details: Three Years

ICOM M93 vs Standard Horizon HX870:

When it comes to transmitting power the Icom M93 has only two options 1 or 5 watts while the Standard Horizon HX870 has three (1, 2, or 6 watts) which means using the HX870 can give you more options to change the output power and save battery. In terms of waterproof rating, Icom M93’s IPX7 rating also falls slightly behind HX870 which has a IPX8 rating. An IPX8 rating provides more protection if you accidentally drop your device overboard (it can still work even when submerged of up-to 3 feet). Both radios have good battery life, however, the HX870 proves more powerful with its 1800 mAH lithium-ion battery compared to the M93’s 1570 mAH lithium ion type. Our verdict? The Standard Horizon HX870 packs a little more features than Icom M93. And with just a little price difference between the two, the wiser option is to purchase the device that will give you more for your money which is the HX870.

Closing thoughts and suggestions:

The Icom M93 is a good choice if you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-use, and compact VHF radio that has all the life-saving features like Float n Flash, Aqua Quake and Active Noise canceling. However, compared to same-price models like the Standard HX870, the Icom M93 significantly falls behind. Despite this, the Icom M93 is worth every penny, and if you’re a long time Icom buyer, this device won’t fail you. In fact, it can help keep you safe whilst out on the water. It is made especially for passionate and adventurous boaters.

Uniden MHS235 Review

Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio
Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio

Uniden MHS235 is a top of the line VHF marine radio from UNIDEN. Uniden is quite famous for making two way radios, and this model is specifically designed for marine use. This well made rugged case is JIS8 rated - meaning that it is usable for continuous submersion in water under specified pressure ( 5ft for 1 hour without damaging the radio). 

As you would expect from a high end radio, there is a GPS receiver with built in DSC function as well as GPS compass. Once you press the red distress button, an emergency signal with your coordinates will be transmitted every few minutes until you receive a response. Let's say you are thrown off the board or your boat sunk, UNIDEN MHS235 will be floating and sending signal - life saving feature!! 

Transmitter power select lets you choose from 3 power modes - 1W, 2.5W or full power 6W. This UNIDEN marine radio has dual and triple power watch - simultaneously monitor weather channel and 2 Coast Guard Distress/Hailing channels. All NOAA channels  will get you weather alerts, also extremely useful when you are out on the water.

Something that we don't see so often is the temperature measuring tool that lets you measure water and air temperature. ​There is a also a built in SOS function - this Uniden vhf marine radio will be flashing built in LED light in SOS pattern. 

The display on UNIDEN MHS235  has a backlit and can be reversed, meaning you can switch between light background and dark background. You can also pull up built in compass on it.

Overall, this is a great radio that you can find on sale for under $200. Check current price and reviews HERE.

Some of the features include:

  • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 5ft for 1 hour
  • DSC with GPS
  • GPS compass
  • Compass
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Tri-Watch
  • Floats
  • Water and air temperature measuring
  • Glow in the dark with key lock
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 2 x 2 x 2 inches

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.1 out of 5 Stars
  • 538 Total Customer reviews
  • 60% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • High end features
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Extra safety features like Glowing and SOS flash signal
  • Comes only with a 12V car/cigarette  charger

ICOM IC-M424 Review – Compact Marine VHF Radio with Hailer

ICOM IC-M424G Compact Marine VHF Radio
ICOM IC-M424G Compact Marine VHF Radio

Today we’re going to review one of ICOM’s latest and best-selling VHF fixed mount radio: The ICOM M424. The M424 features a new ICOM user interface which is better and more intuitive compared to older models. Complete with much-needed basic features, the M424 is equipped with VHF functionality, Class D DSC capabilities, and noise canceling technology. The radio is of medium size measuring 7 inches wide and 3.3 inches high.

One of the leading manufacturers of wireless communication products, ICOM was first founded by Tokuzo Inoue in 1954 in Osaka, Japan. Back then it was a manufacturing and engineering company creating radio equipment for various industries. 50 years later, ICOM keeps its spot on the top while proving to be one of the industry’s most trusted brand producing innovative marine electronics such as radios, navigation products and communication receivers.

What makes ICOM one of the best marine electronic brands in the world? ICOM’s products are not your ordinary marine electronics. With the help of their world-class designers and engineers, ICOM products are always intensely quality tested before distribution. In fact, ICOM products are often approved for the US Military standard 810 specifications. It’s no surprise that ICOM remains the best 2-way radio brand that is recognized globally. Currently distributing to more than 80 countries, ICOM was also the first Japanese company to supply radios to the United States Department of Defense and U.S. Marine Corp.

ICOM M424 Main Features:

  • New Icom Family User Interface - The M424 features a new easy-to-use menu system. In this new interface, the bottom line of the display shows software key functions for simpler operation. With this new design, the device has fewer buttons and is more efficient to use.

  • Built-in Class D DSC - ICOM allows you to monitor channel 70 while receiving messages from another channel. It also includes great DSC function calls such as distress, safety, urgency, position request, polling requests, etc.

  • Active noise-cancelling- With ICOM, you can now have smooth clear conversations without annoying background noise. This is a very useful feature especially when you’re out on the water having an emergency during a storm.

  • AIS Target Call with MA-500TR - With the optional MA-500TR Class B AIS transponder, you can make individual DSC calls without manually inputting the MMSI number.

  • High-Quality 10W Audio - The M424 includes its own 10W amplifier which can boost audio output from its external speaker. It also has its ‘public address function’ which allows you to make announcements through your mic. Now, you can use your marine radio like a megaphone or loudspeaker if needed.

  • Common NMEA Interface - with external GPS receiver you can see your current position and time on the display. It also allows other vessels to send position information to you through a navigational device via NMEA 0183 connectivity.

  • IPX7 Submersible Protection - This waterproof rating allows the device to stay submerged for 30 minutes in 1 meter of water without damage.

  • AquaQuake Function - This vibrating function clears water from the output for better audio and transmission. Useful feature for rainy days.

  • Weather Channels and Alert Function - Keeps you informed, alert and safe during emergency weather and hazard situations.

ICOM M424 Accessories:

The M424 includes a hand microphone (HM -196B/SW) for second station/ intercom, (6.1m or 20ft) of power cable, plastic tilt bracket, SP24 and SP35 loudspeaker, metal mic holder/hanger and instructional manual upon purchase. The M424 is a fixed mount radio, but it can also be flush mounted. People who would like to flush mount this radio can improvise by simply building their own mount or purchase the ICOM MB-132 mounting kit.

ICOM M424 vs M424G:

ICOM M424 and M424G are both parts of the new series of Icom America’s VHF marine radios. Both these models feature built-in Class D DSC and Icom’s new interface. However, the G version is slightly more efficient having its own integrated GPS. It also has a more modern look with its backlit keys.

Final Thoughts:

From the brand that always puts safety first, the ICOM M424 is undoubtedly one of the most efficient VHF radios out there. So if you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use VHF radio, the ICOM M424 is our top choice for you. However, if you’re looking for a device with GPS and modern built and design, you can opt for ICOM’s G version: the Icom M424G.

MPD Digital VHF Antenna Cable review

MPD Digital RG8x-W-PL259-6ft VHF Antenna Cable review
MPD Digital RG8x-W-PL259-6ft VHF Antenna Cable review
  • Fully shielded
  • UV protection, salt protection
  • RG8x 1/4′ with 30% less loss than RG-58
  • 1 year exchange for defects
  • Eligible for Amazon Prime

But what do actual users say about this antenna mount? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this antenna mount. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • 39 Total Customer reviews
  • 85% of Customers Rated the Antenna mount 5 Stars
  • Standard 1″-14 thread
  • Teflon PL-259 connector 
  • Made in USA
  • Longer cable options (75′ & 85′) can get pricey.

Shakespeare 5187 SS Antenna Mount review

Shakespeare 5187 SS Antenna Mount review
Shakespeare 5187 SS Antenna Mount review

Similar to Shakespeare 4187, model 5187 has the same functions and specifications but feature a more polished look. There are less sharp and unpolished angles making this mountShakespeare ratchet mount features versatile four way design that allows on deck or side mounting application. The handle on it makes it easy to raise and lower the antenna. Stainless steel construction is ideal for high stress applications.

Some of the features include:

  • Stainless steel construction 
  • 5 degree teeth for fine adjustment
  • For deck and bulkhead mounting
  • Standard 1″-14 thread
  • Special slot for antenna cable

But what do actual users say about this antenna mount? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this antenna mount. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 13 Total Customer reviews
  • 77% of Customers Rated the Antenna mount 5 Stars
  • Standard 1″-14 thread
  • Stainless steel construction 
  • 2 year factory warranty
  • Some users reported issues with base screw not staying locked.

Shakespeare 4187 SS Ratchet Mount review

Shakespeare 4187 SS Ratchet Mount review
Shakespeare 4187 SS Ratchet Mount review

Shakespeare ratchet mount features versatile four way design that allows on deck or side mounting application. The handle on it makes it easy to raise and lower the antenna. Stainless steel construction is ideal for high stress applications.

Some of the features include:

  • Stainless steel construction 
  • 4-way ratchet design
  • For deck and bulkhead mounting
  • Standard 1″-14 thread

But what do actual users say about this antenna mount? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this antenna mount. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.6 out of 5 Stars
  • 67 Total Customer reviews
  • 85% of Customers Rated the Antenna mount 5 Stars
  • Standard 1″-14 thread
  • Stainless steel construction 
  • Eligible for Amazon Prime
  • Some users reported issues with incorrect thread
 

Cobra CM 300-004 VHF Marine Antenna review

Cobra CM 300-004 VHF antenna covers all marine band frequencies and is made out of durable fiber glass. Users will appreciate the packaging that includes 17f-FT RG58 A/U coaxial cable and PL-259 connector. Dual swivel nylon base is corrosion resistant.

Some of the features include:

  • Covers all VHF marine band frequencies
  • Made out of Fiber Glass
  • 3dB gain
  • Stainless-Steel L-bracket for side or mast mounting
  • 5ft antenna

But what do actual users say about this antenna? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this antenna. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • 5 Total Customer reviews
  • 60% of Customers Rated the Antenna 5 Stars
  • Comes with 17ft coaxial cable and connector
  • Excellent built quality
  • Reliable
  • Factory warranty limited to One Year