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Standard Horizon GX1300 Eclipse Fixed Mount VHF Radio Review

Standard Horizon GX 1300W VHF marine radio review
Standard Horizon GX 1300W VHF marine radio review

The Standard Horizon GX1300 ECLIPSE is a 25-watt compact fixed-mount VHF marine radio with an ITU-R M493 class D rating for DSC (digital selective calling). Like its earlier predecessors the Eclipse models, the GX1300 is also waterproof BUT re-engineered with an IPX8 rating (which means it can be submerged to around 4.92 ft of water for 30 minutes). Made for all types of users, the GX1300 comes with an easy-to-operate menu system featuring a 31mm x 55 mm full dot matrix display.

The sought-after GX1300 has a large screen display that allows for easy and convenient use and reading. No more squinting to see all the details and no need for a flashlight during nights or dark stormy days. Compared to other models, the GX1300 is more compact (11.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches) which makes mounting easier and quicker. In fact, you can mount the GX1300 numerous ways ensuring that it will fit on almost any boat no matter the layout or available space.

A good combination of vale and size, the Standard Horizon GX1300 is a reliable and efficient marine VHF radio perfect for recreational boaters who enjoy the venturing offshore as well. If you’re looking for a low-cost fixed mount VHF radio that has all the needed features for a safe and secure boating experience, the Standard Horizon GX1300 is our best choice for you.

Main Features:

Choosing a marine radio based on looks won’t give you the best bang for your buck. To ensure you’re getting the most of your money, don’t forget to check out the device’s included features. Let’s have a look at some of the best features of the Standard Horizon GX1300:

  • IPX8 Waterproof Rating (Submersible) – the GX1300 has the latest submersible technology which ensures a waterproof rating of IPX8; this allows the radio to last up to 30 minutes in 4.92ft water without any water damage. This feature gives your device a longer life and saves it from unfortunate accidents!
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    DSC (Digital Selective Calling) with Distress Function – the GX1300 meets ITU-R M493-13 Class DSC which allows users to transmit digital MAYDAY by including ship identification details including current location (longitude and latitude), time, and vessel name. This feature makes it very easy during emergency situations to call for help almost instantly.
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    Large and Bright Screen Displa ​​- oversized screen display with bright bold back lighting makes it easy to read in dark settings. It can also be adjusted for different lighting situations, so you can use the device easily eve n in direct sunlight.
  • Microphone with Clear Voice Noise Reduction Technology – the GX1300 is equipped with an advanced microphone that helps eliminate unwanted background noise. No more buzzing engine sounds or static noise coming through your transmissions. This ensures transmissions are sent clear and clean no matter the weather or other background noises.
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    Compact Size and built with E2O Menu Display – the GX1300 may be small but it has all the features expected in a high-quality marine radio. Don’t worry as the GX1300’s easy to use interface makes using it very easy and intuitive for all users.
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    US, Canada, & International Channels – the GX1300 is pre-loaded with a complete set of channels from different regions all over the US, Canada, and primary stations around the world.
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    Dual Watch - feature that enables you to monitor your working channel and Channel 16 (emergency/distress channel) at the same time. This is recommended for boat to boat navigational safety.
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    NOAA weather channels - supplies you with up to date weather information so you stay safe and prepared for the worst storms.
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    Ultra-Compact 5.9” rear chassis design - slimmer than other Eclipse models for easier mounting in small areas. This makes installation and mounting much easier compared to the larger and bulkier previous models.
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    Automatic Position Polling - Gathers other vessels position and GPS location.
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    3-Year Warranty - free replacement for broken device in the first three years of ownership.

Other Features Include:

  • DSC Test Calling, Auto DSC channel change selection
  • Seperate receiver for CH70
  • NMEA In and Output to a GPS Chart Plotter
  • Preset key used to recall up to 10 favorite channels
  • Programmable Soft Keys
  • Dimensions - 11.5 inches, 4.5 inches, 9.5 inches

Specifications:

Brand: Standard Horizon
Model:
GX1300
Transmit Power:
25/1 Watt
Frequency Band:
VHF
NMEA Inputs:
GLL, GGA, GNS, RMC
NMEA 0183 outputs:
DSC and DSE
Available Colors:
Black and White
Dimensions:
11.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches.
Waterproof:
IPX8, submersible 4.92 ft. (1.5m) for 30 minutes
Flush Mount Cutout:
2" (H) x 5.4" (W)
Scanning Modes:
Programmable Scan, Priority Scan and Dual Watch Weather
Type:
Mounted In-Boat Marine Radio
Current Draw:
5A/0.5A
Display Type:
Backlit dot matrix display
Controls:
Backlit keypad, squelch, volume spring loaded DSC distress cover
Channel Selection:
Front panel keys


Final Thoughts:

Just because its small, doesn’t mean it’s weak. From the top makers of marine radios for both commercial marine business and recreational boaters, the Standard Horizon GX1300 is an easy-to-install and operate VHF radio, one of the best choices if you’re looking for a low cost but full-featured Marine VHF radio. Accidents can happen anytime so don’t risk your life! Equip your boat with a life-saving marine radio such as the Standard Horizon GX1300.

Standard Horizon HX870 Floating Handheld VHF Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review
Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review

If you  are looking for an efficient floating marine radio that includes a 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver and ability to transmit and receive distress calls? Look no further; the Standard Horizon HX870 VHF Marine Radio does this and much more. Built with its own powerful GPS/DSC receiver, buoyant die-cast chassis, and submersible waterproof construction, rest assured that you’ll effortlessly navigate the water like a true captain.

The Standard Horizon HX870 is the successor of the popular HX851 portable marine radio. Up until now, the HX870 remains one of the best handheld marine radios on the market today. The premium features tough construction waterproof design are just a couple of the reasons it is our favorite handheld radio.

The HX870 works with all US, international and Canadian marine radio channels and has a dedicated receiver for CH70 (DSC calling). During the set up, you are are able to choose your group setting - US, Canada or international. To activate distress function, hold DISTRESS key for 3 seconds. A special signal will be sent to all nearby vessels in a range of 5 miles. Make sure to register for MMSI number and set it up on your HX870 handheld radio. DSC signal with your coordinates will NOT work if you don't complete this step.


Design:

The VHF marine radio is one of the best models which include an easy to operate menu system perfect for non-tech savvy mariners and crewmen. The Standard Horizon HX870 comes with a 6 Watt VHF radio with a 2.3-inch screen size twice as large as its competitors. Focusing on intuitive and efficient design, its operating buttons are all positioned strategically near the screen for ease of use. It’s also waterproof and floats, a helpful feature should you drop it in the water.

Performance and Battery Power:

In event of any emergency or terrible weather condition, the Standard HX870 ensures that you can contact the coast guard or other boaters. It uses noise-canceling microphone technology that enables clear outgoing and incoming calls so you can send and receive clear messages without disrupting noises from your ship’s engine or the water.

With its built-in class DSC, you can simply push the distress button in order to send a message to the coast guard and other vessels nearby. It can save as many as 200 waypoints and 20 routes using its own compass page which shows COG, SOG, bearing, and distance to individual waypoints. With its unique and high tech compass page, you can see up to nine vessels in range!

When it comes battery power, the Standard Horizon HX870 comes with a long lasting 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery and a glow-in-the-dark gasket ideal for emergency use. The Standard HX870 also comes with a three-year warranty; many other radios only have a 1-year warranty.

Built in GPS:

The HX870 has the ability to receive weather alerts and has an assigned WX soft key to get current weather information. The biggest advantage of this portable VHF radio vs other VHR radios is built in 66 channel GPS receiver. The internal GPS antenna allows this radio to display your position either in a compass  or numerical style. You can log your GPS location at regular intervals using the LOGGER function. The HX870 also allows you to share your GPS position and request GPS positions from other vessels.

HX870 built in GPS receiver

Navigation: 

So what else makes this a top notch VHF radio? Built in navigation! You can store up to 200 waypoints on the HX870. Go to menu > NAVI> WAYPOINT and you will get access to your history, memory or manual entering of coordinates. The large display will show the compass with the coordinates of your final destination. This is extremely useful especially for smaller boats or kayaks where the space is limited and you want the radio to do it all.

In case of emergency:

If you ever end up overboard, the HX870 has a few things to help you in emergency situations. First of all, this is a floating radio that is IPX8 rated (30 minutes under 4.92ft of water). It also has water activated SOS strobe light. If the radio is dropped, it will turn on (even if it was powered off before) and start flashing an SOS light. 

MOB function (Man )ver-Board) will memorize the position information instantly if the radio is dropped into water.

submersible marine two way radio

The high capacity 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery with a 3 hour quick charge function will provide plenty of battery life for regular use. You can also use supplied alkaline battery tray that takes 5 AAA batteries.

Some of the features include:

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    Floating with 1/2/6 Watts of Power
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    ​​​Internal 66 Chanel WAAS GPS receiver
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    Separate Receiver for CH70
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    All USA/Canada/International Marine channels
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    NOAA Weather Channel with weather alerts
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    DSC
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    Full dot matrix 2.3" display
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    Navigate to a DSC Distress Call
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    Water activated emergency strobe light
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    MOB (man over-board) function
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    Submersible, rated IPX8
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    Waypoint navigation
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    NMEA 0183 output
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    1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery
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    Alkaline Battery Tray
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    Dimensions: W 2.44" x H 5.43" x D 1.69"
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    3 year Factory Waterproof Warranty

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.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 173 Total Customer reviews
  • 71% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Display
  • High End Marine Radio For Serious Boaters
  • Reliable
  • Waterproof
  • White LED Illumination is not great
  • Rather Large
  • Higher cost

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a reliable, fully featured handheld marine radio, look no further! The  Standard Horizon HX870 is one of the best portable VHF radios on the market today!

Standard Horizon GX1700 Review – Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio

Standard Horizon GX1700W marine radio
Standard Horizon GX1700W marine radio

The Standard Horizon GX1700W GPS VHF Marine Radio is a higher end fixed mount radio with many features. The features include a 12 channel GPS, DSC calling, navigation, and a compact size with only 3.5in. depth making installation in tight places very easy. Over 100 waypoints can also be stored in the radio. This is an ideal radio for the serious boater who wants a high end radio with plenty of features in a small package. Please note that this radio does need an antenna; which is sold separately.

Let's take a look at some of the main features of this radio.

Ultra Thin and Compact Rear Case Design:

This radio has a beautiful, bright easy to read display with plenty of information on it. But you should also know that the depth of this radio is only 3.5".

Built in GPS:

Not only this fixed mount radio has a built in GPS but the GPS antenna is located at the front panel, allowing you to use brackets or flush mount and not worry about covering GPS antenna. You may also connect external GPS antenna using NMEA 0183 output.

fixed mount radio with gps

GPS Compass:

One of the benefits of having a higher end marine radio is the ability to save waypoints and navigate to them using GPS compass. Standard Horizon GX1700 can save up to 100 waypoints. Built in display allows you to select COMPASS, WAYPOINT or GPS STATUS from the menu.

GX1700 display with gps

Class D DSC:

GX1700 and GX1600 have VHF/FM marine transceivers are capable of ITU 493-13 DSC Class D operation. What does it mean? This means that you can continuously receive DSC functions  (digital selective calling) on channel 70 even if you are are on another call. Why would you need a DSC? It allows you no send/receive distress, urgency, safety, position info and routine to and from other vessels equipped with a DSC transceiver.

Noise Reduction:

There is a lot of background noise on a boat - engine, wind, etc. GX1700 features a built in noise reduction technology - Clear Voice Noise Reduction, which helps eliminate those unwanted background noises. 

Some of the features include:

  • Integrated 12 Channel WAAS GPS receiver
  • 25 Watts
  • GPS antenna built-in to the front panel allows reception when bracket or flush mounted
  • Ultra thin and compact rear case design (3.5” depth)
  • Meets ITU-R M493-13 Class D DSC (Digital Selective Calling)
  • Automatically poll the GPS position of up to 4 ships using DSC
  • Programmable Scan, Priority Scan, and Dual Watch
  • Submersible JIS-8 1.5M (4.92Ft) for 30 minutes
  • Oversized display with customizable channel names
  • Capable of connecting to a Second Station RAM3+ Remote Access Microphone
  • Intercom between radio and Second Station RAM3+ Remote Access Microphone
  • 3 Year Waterproof Warranty
  • Dimensions - 5.9 inches, 3.4 inches, 3.6 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.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 77 Total Customer reviews
  • 81% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display that is bright
  • DSS with GPS built in is great
  • Very well made
  • Some people has expirenced issues with the radio not working after getting wet
  • Without the seperate antenna the radio has zero range

Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio – White

Fixed mount two way marine radio Uniden UM380
Fixed mount two way marine radio Uniden UM380

The Uniden UM380 is a sleek 25-Watt Fixed Mount VHF radio with full DSC capability, a rugged non-slip front microphone, and instant Channel 16/9 keys. From the brand that makes great commercial marine electronics, the Uniden UM380 stands out in their current lineup. Considered a great improvement from the previous Uniden models, the UM380 boasts clear audio and extended range. It has loads of useful and intuitive features that easily makes it our top choice for a VHF fixed mount radio.

Worried about signal problems? With UM380 you can reach a wide range of local and international channels. Best for off-shore communications, it has a reliable connection to all Global, US, and Canadian marine channels.

Designed for recreational vessels, the Uniden UM380 features a class D equipment grade and its own distress button during times of emergency. Unlike other marine radios that are equipped with a fixed transmission power, the Uniden UM380’s transmission can be changed from 1 to 25 watts.

It’s one of the most durable low-cost marine radio available in the market today. The Uniden UM380 is manufactured in Japan where all the materials used are at the highest level of quality and performance. The Uniden UM380 is the best choice if you’re looking for a long-lasting, affordable VHF radio for your boating needs.

Main Features

What makes Uniden UM380 special? Here are some of the best features of this radio.

  • Rugged Non-Slip Front Microphone - The UM380 features a high-tech microphone made from a non-slip rubberized material for easy to grip and use. It also minimizes the mechanical surface vibration allowing clear and smooth voice transmission.
  • DSC capability - allows the user to send radio message to other vessels in order to note their position and communicate with other crafts nearby. This feature also allows users to press a distress button (red emergency button) to call for help during an emergency.
  • NOAA Emergency Weather Alert - gives up-to-date weather information and alerts you to incoming dangerous weather and hazards. Accidents can happen anytime, so make sure you’re always prepared. This channel is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Channel Names - Assign new names to all your marine channels for saving and remembering specific channels.
  •  Specific Area Message Encoding (S.A.M.E. ) Weather Alert - alerts you of severe conditions in your immediate area. It’s the protocol used to encode the NOAA and EAS in US and Canada.
  • JIS4- Water- Resistance Specification - includes a splash proof radio housing to protect the device from water damage. Don’t confuse water-resistant with waterproof though, the UM380 is not submersible so don’t drop your device overboard!
  • Class D VHF Radio - standard class for recreational boaters. Required capabilities include all-ships call, distress call, individual station call, distress coordinates, distress acknowledgment, geographical area call, etc.
  • Orange Backlit Text Display - Easy-to-see large LCD text display with a backlit design. Great for dark and stormy situations where low light can affect visuals.
  • Triple Watch Feature - Never miss a transmission. With Uniden UM380’s triple watch feature, you can monitor up to three channels at once. This allows you to monitor the weather alert channels while keeping up with marine news from other channels.

Other Features

  • Hi/Lo Power Switch
  • Memory Channel Scan
  • Save Scanned Channels
  • Channel Names
  • NMEA input/output
  • Large Full Dot Matrix Display
  • LCD Contrast Control
  • Compact Case Depth
UNIDEN vhf marine radio

Available on Amazon.com

Specifications

  • Brand: Uniden
  • Model: UM380
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX4
  • NMEA Interface: NMEA 0183
  • Display Type: Backlit dot-matrix LCD
  • Channel Selection: Up/down buttons
  • Type: CB Radio
  • Frequency Band: VHF
  • Scanning Modes: Programmable, Dual- and Triple-watch
  • Receiver Spec: Sensitivity 0.27 uV
  • Rejection: 70 DB
  • Warranty: 1-year Limited Warranty

Final Thoughts:

Despite falling short in waterproof rating and transmission range compared to other VHF radios, the Uniden UM388 features an amazing GPS and DSC capability which ensures your safety wherever you are in the sea under the most extreme weather conditions! It’s a compact, sleek, and convenient marine radio for recreational boaters and fishermen. Our verdict? The UM380 is more than just a radio, it is a life-saving tool every marine vessel should have on-board that can be acquired for a very reasonable price.

Uniden MHS75 Review – Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio

Uniden MHS75 VHF radio
Uniden MHS75 VHF radio

The Uniden MHS75 is a compact handheld VHF marine radio complete with adjustable power wattage, submersible tech, and waterproof features. The MHS75 is equipped with a lithium-ion rechargeable battery which can last up to 12 hours. It has an adjustable transmitter power available in 1, 2.5, and 5 watts. The Uniden MHS75 is one of the most efficient and consistent handheld marine radio in terms of receiving and transmitting signals. It has a large and bright easy-to-read display screen that shows channels and information in large segment block-style numbers. Using the Uniden MS75, you can add up to more than 100 saved locations. And with its NOAA weather alerts, you can better prepare for  any impending dangerous weather conditions. MHS75 is backed with a 3-year waterproof protection warranty, making it one of the best low-cost VHF handheld marine radios available on the market today.

How It Works

Uniden MHS75 has three main operation modes: 1) normal, 2) scan, and 3) weather mode. Using the device in normal mode allows you to monitor and talk on a single channel. Its scan mode allows you to monitor all the channels you have saved in memory. While the weather mode monitors the selected NOAA weather channels. Apart from these operation modes, the MHS75 also provides watch modes which you can activate at any time.

  • Weather Alert Watch - Checks last used weather channel every 7 seconds.
  • Dual Watch - Checks channel 16 every 2 seconds
  • Triple Watch - Checks channel 16 and 9 every 2 seconds.
  • Quad Watch - Checks channels 16 and 9 every second while monitoring the weather alert channels every 7 seconds.

Main Features

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    Submersible Design - Uniden MS75 complies with JIS8/IPX8 water resistant standards. It can be submerged in 1.5 deep waters for over 30 minutes without damage.
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    Supports U.S, Canada, and International Channels - Secure connection to different channels in almost all parts of the globe. Keeps you updated with all marine activities happening in your region and beyond.
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    Tough Die - Cast Aluminum Housing - 2 x 4 inch and 1.5 inches deep aluminum housing.
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    Adjustable Output Power - Only a few marine radios have this very useful feature that allows you to switch output power anywhere and at any time.
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    NOAA weather channels and weather alert - Get weather alerts for NOAA weather warnings as soon as they are issued. It sounds a warning tone when a potential hazard is in your region.
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    Triple Watch - Monitor three different channels and emergency channels every two-seconds. Very useful at night when weather patterns are very unpredictable and dangerous.
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    IPX8 waterproof rating​​​​​ - Allows the device to stand submersion to 1.5 meter-depth for 30 minutes without damage.
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    1040 mAH lithium-ion battery - Quick 4-hour charger with 12-hour battery life that can be connected to a cigar lighter or power port.
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    Battery level gauge - Displays battery level indicators on your device so you can measure remaining power and take the device off the charger once it’s fully-charged (to prevent overcharging)
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    Memory Channel Scan - Programs channels you frequently visit or those you’ve saved in memory.

Other Features:

  • JIS8 Submersible
  • VHF Marine Frequencies
  • 1, 2.5, 5.0 Watt Switchable Output Powers
  • Adjustable Squelch
  • Compact Size
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Power Selectable
  • Battery/Power Saver
  • Keypad Lock
  • Key Beep
  • Channel Memory
  • Plug-In Charge Capable
  • Water Resistant
  • JIS8/IPX8 Submersible
  • Three Year Manufacturer Warranty
uniden mhs75 vhf radio

Available on AMAZON.com

Accessories included with purchase:

  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Flexible Rubber Antenna
  • Belt Clip
  • Rapid Clip-On DC Charger
  • Wrist Strap
  • Owner's Manual

Specifications:

  • Brand: Uniden
  • Channels: All US/International/Canada marine channels + 10 Weather channels
  • Oper. Temp. -4°F (-20°C) to +122°F(+50°C)
  • Antenna : Flexible Whip
  • Microphone: Built-in Electret type
  • Display Liquid Crystal Display
  • Speaker 8Ω 0.5 Watt
  • Power Source Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery 7.4V 1040 mAh
  • Size (without antenna): 4.57 (H) x 2.49 (W) x 1.53 (D) inch, 116.2 (H) x 63.3 (W) x 39 (D) mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz (290g) (w/battery and antenna)

Transmitter

  • Frequency Range: 156~158 MHz
  • Frequency Stability: ±10 PPM
  • Power Output: 1.0 W & 2.5W & 5W
  • Spurious Emissions: 70 dBc
  • Current Drain: 1400 mA (5W)

Receiver

  • Type : Double Conversion Superheterodyne, Phase Locked Loop system for Local Oscillator
  • Frequency Range : 156~164 MHz
  • Sensitivity : 0.20 μV for 12dB SINAD
  • Squelch Sensitivity : Threshold 0.12μV
  • Audio Frequency Response : +5 dB @ 500 Hz; -6 dB @ 2000Hz
  • Adjacent Channel Selectivity 75 dB @ ±25 kHz
  • Audio Output Power : 0.4 W @10% THD
  • Current Drain Squelched: 55 mA; Max. Audio: 210 mA

Important Safety Tips

  • Use the radios own battery and charger. Using a different charger or battery can cause damage or fire risk.
  • Setting the squelch level at max will prevent you from hearing weak transmissions. If you’re having any difficulty hearing a transmission, the best solution is to simply lower the squelch level.

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

The Uniden handheld MHS75 is quite impressive and packs a whole bunch of features. It’s a great choice if you’re looking a low-cost quality radio that will not disappoint.

Icom M36 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio Review

Icom M36 01 VHF handheld radio review
Icom M36 01 VHF handheld radio review

The ICOM M36 is a powerful handheld VHF radio complete with Clear Voice, Noise-Canceling, Submersible & Waterproof Tech features. It is made by award-winning Japanese manufacturing company Icom Inc. which is located in Osaka, Japan. Recently, Icon was awarded the 2017 NMEA Award for the best VHF Marine Radio. The company has been manufacturing multi-model wireless marine communication devices for over 30 years with the highest degree of quality and dependability. They are also the first company to create innovative marine wireless products with submersible tech and Li-ion powered batteries. You can read about our favorite handheld marine radios here.

One of the ICOM M36’s frequently mentioned and praised features is its noise-canceling internal microphone and clear voice technology that helps reduce interference during calls. With this feature, all your transmissions will be received clearly by the listener on the end no matter the weather.

You don’t have to worry about dropping the ICOM in the water. The ICOM M36 floats and has a waterproof rating of IPX7 - making it almost impossible to damage by submersing it in water. In fact, it can stay submerged in up to 3 feet of water for more than half an hour and still fully function.

For a low-cost hand-held radio, the ICOM M36 provides one of the best reception ranges and signal strengths. It also has an outstanding 8-hour battery life which is very useful during emergencies. The ICOM M36 features a large backlit display and easy-to-use keypad that make it suitable for use even during nights.

Let's review Icom M36's Main Features

  • Clear Voice and Voice boost - This feature allows the speaker output to adjust according to the ambient sound, making transmissions clearer and louder. The device also includes a special LOUD button which allows the device to instantly increase its volume.
  • Noise Canceling Microphone - Noise canceling technology that cancels out background noise, making it easier to understand and communicate with other people on the other end of the line. This feature also improves incoming signal to boost your overall voice quality.
  • Easy-to-Operate Buttons and Pinched-Waist Design - ICOM M36 is known for its intuitive controls that make the device incredibly easy-to-use. Its slim-waist design allows for easy grip while it’s large display makes it readable even at night.
  • Dual Watch & Scan - You can scan between channels whilst monitoring channel 16 for news and weather alerts. This feature also allows you to monitor all the channels you want without missing an important harbor call. A great feature to stay connected especially during times of emergency.
  • High/Low Volume Control - Choose between high or low power to determine the amount of watts you want to use for transmitting and receiving signals. The lower power you use, the longer the battery will last.
  • Battery Life Indicator - This allows you to measure how much battery is left. Your device’s battery is crucial so make sure that your marine radio has an easy way know how much battery is left.
  • Channel Scan - You can set your favorite channels anytime. This feature also allows channel scanning for 59 US, 63 Canadian, and 59 international Marine channels.
  • Waterproof - The ICOM36 is not only weatherproof, it’s also waterproof. Even if you handle your things with great care, accidents can happen. Also, you never know when a big storm may come so having a weather and waterproof radio is very important.
  • It Floats - Sure, waterproof is nice but even better is if your marine radio’s life floats. The ICOM M36’s ability to float will help save your device if you ever need to abandon ship. This feature is also important so you can easily retrieve your marine radio when it is dropped overboard.
  • AquaQuake Water Draining Function - Removes water away from its speaker grill. Great feature for rainy weather or if it falls in the water.
  • Essential Accessories - The ICOM M36 comes with necessary accessories like a wrist wrap, belt clip, and battery pack for convenient use. It also has a removable antenna which you can connect to a larger mounted radio to increase range.
  • Weather Alerts - The ICOM M36 is complete with an automatic weather alert so that you stay informed about changes in weather even when you are miles off the coast. Sea weather is very unpredictable, so make sure you’re always prepared.

Summary of Features

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    980mAh lithium-Ion battery pack (with rechargeable battery included)
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    Battery Meter
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    Battery Saver
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    6W RF Output
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    Channel Scan
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    Hi/Low Power Button
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    Adjustable Squelch
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    NOAA Weather Alert System
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    10 NOAA weather alerts
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    Dual and Tri-Watch
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    Dedicated Buttons for Channels 9 and 16
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    Large Backlit Display and Keypad
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    Auto Power Save Function
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    Removable Antenna

What's included with purchase?

110v charger, Battery Pack, Belt Clip, Wrist Strap, Device Manual, 3 Year Warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight : 90.4oz (295g)
  • Dimensions : 2 7/16 W × 5 1/2 H × 1 11/16 D in.
  • Antenna Connector Type: J Female

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.

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • 48 Total Customer reviews
  • 75% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Very Loud 
  • Extra long battery life
  • Reliable
  • Range was not as long as expected
  • No Car/boat charger

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

From the company that makes great marine radios, the ICOM M36 has everything you need. It’s a powerful life-saving tool to keep on your vessel whenever you’re going on the water. Make sure to invest in one for a safe and secure boating trip.

Standard Horizon HX300 Review – Handheld VHF Marine Radio

Standard Horion HX300 handheld VHF radio review
Standard Horion HX300 handheld VHF radio review

Standard Horizon HX300 VHF marine radio is a handheld waterproof radio made from the highest quality materials with useful features and an easy-to-use interface. Considered one of the smallest and lightest VHF marine radios on the market today! The Standard Horizon HX300 boasts of its powerful lithium-ion battery that comes with its own USB charging system and rechargeable battery with belt clip.

The Standard HX300 is IPX8-rated waterproof which means it can be submerged in 5ft. of water for 30 minutes without damage. The HX300’s float and flash feature is very helpful during retrieval in case it falls overboard. The HX300’s E20 menu system makes the device easy to understand and operate while its loud internal speaker makes it possible to hear transmissions perfectly even during stormy or windy days on the water. With the inclusion of the NOAA weather channels, programmable scan, and Dual/Tri-Watch, the Standard HX300 easily becomes one of the highest-rated VHF marine radios for all your boating needs.

Main Features

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    Unique USB Charging System - Standard HX300 is supplied with its own USB charging cable with 110V AC adapter making it easy to recharge the battery anytime, anywhere. Its small size enables the device to be more compact and ergonomic.
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    Waterproof to IPX8, Floats, and Supports LED flashing - The Standard HX300’s waterproof feature that protects the device in case of accidental drops overboard is its IPX8 rating. The IPX8 rating/design allows the device to withstand water damage for up to 1.5 meters deep in 30 minutes. Floating and water-activated LED flashing feature allows you to find the device easily when accidentally thrown off the boat.
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    Loud internal speaker audio - allows for smooth and clear communication. This is a very useful feature when you’re making or receiving a transmission in stormy situations where wind and water make it difficult to hear.
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    E20 Easy to Operate Menu System - The Intuitive menu system is easy to use. This makes the radio very customizable depending on the preference of the user.
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    1560 mAH 3.7v Li-on battery - a long-lasting power source made especially for rugged and regular use. With a battery life that lasts for approximately 10 hours, rest assured that the HX300 will always have power when you need it.
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    Large and Easy-to-Use Buttons - convenient soft-key buttons that have a backlit edge for easy use even during the night. This makes the buttons light up for easy reading during the dark.
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    NOAA Weather Channels - give you an audible alert to help you monitor weather and hazards. They will help keep you safe when exploring the sea or when you’re planning on venturing out much further than normal. It can alert you to strong storms, sudden temperature drops, or incoming deadly tornadoes. 
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    Programmable Scan, Priority Scan, Dual/Tri-Watch - monitor two or three channels at the same time. Can be setup to monitor one priority channel (Channel 16) and another one or two from the channel list.
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    Three-Year Warranty - Repair or replace damaged device for free. No hassle, no questions asked.
standard horizon hx300 handheld vhf radio

Other features include

  • 5 Watt Transmit Power
  • Selectable five-watt and one-watt transmit power output
  • Volume & Squech indication on the display
  • Preset Key
  • Prest Channel Scan Function

Accessories

  • Removable Belt Clip - easy-grip belt clip for cold or wet hands
  • Soft Rubber Antenna - comes with a flexible antenna that doesn’t break easily
  • Hand Lanyard - attached to the belt clip for better use
  • USB Charging Cable, USB Charger & Battery Pack - complete set of charging essentials

Specifications

  • Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.32”x 5.04”x1.3”
  • Screen Size: 1 1/2" x 1"
  • Scanning Modes: Programmable, Priority and Dual Watch
  • Material: Polycarbonate housing, die-cast chassis
  • Tactile Controls: On/off, channel up/down
  • Battery Type: 1,650mAh 3.7V Lithium-ion
  • Battery Life: More than 10 hours

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

The Standard Horizon HX300 is a superb, all-in-one, VHF marine radio full of useful new features at the highest quality. It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a low-cost, mini-sized handheld VHF radio that will help make your boating experience more safe and secure.

Cobra MRHH350FLT Review – Floating VHF Radio

Cobra MR HH350 FLT marine radio
Cobra MR HH350 FLT review

Looking for a radio that is reliable, has a complete set of features and sold at a low price? Cobra’s MRHH350FLT VHF radio is an affordable, compact and lightweight handheld VHF marine radio perfect for people on a tight budget. This is one of the best handheld radios for the money currently available to boaters! Let's take a look at some of the features of this handheld VHF radio.


Floating Compact Design:

Cobra MRHH350 is equipped with an intuitive floating design and orange core that makes retrieval easy and convenient. It has a total measurement of 4.75"H x 2.66"W x 2.09"D and weighs 9.59 oz (with the battery). With its submersible tech (this radio is rated JIS7), it can survive being in one-meter deep waters for 30 minutes. It’s secured with a tough case that prevents internal and external damage if dropped overboard. 

If you’re planning to wear it on your body, Cobra  includes spring-loaded belt clip and there is an external speaker/microphone jack for lapel speaker/mic. Cobra makes CM 330-001 that can be used with this radio as well as other handheld radios (via a special adapter). 

Display:

The device has a large and bright backlit LCD  screen that displays every critical piece of  information.  Your active channel is shown in 2 large digits, weather icon will display current weather condition, weather alert icon will tell you about critical weather alerts and there is also indicator of your signal level. It does not take long to get accustomed to the display and information on it, since everything is clearly labeled and it is not over-populated with information.

Performance:

Cobra MRHH350 works in the 156.050 to 163.275 MHz spectrum and works with all USA, Canadian and International channels. The output power is adjustable: 1, 3 and 6 Watts for short and long-range communication. If you are close to the shore or another vessel and don't need the full transmit power, just select the 1W output and conserve the battery energy.

Your further safety is increased with ALL NOAA weather channels with weather alerts. Cobra MRHh350 can monitor up to three channels and get instant access to channel 16 when emergency situations arise.

Integrated  noise-cancelling microphone works well blocking background noises, and there is also a built in BURP function. If the radio is dropped or gets wet, a speaker will vibrate to get the water our of the speaker grill.

Excellent Battery Life:

The device has a long-lasting 1040 mAH Lithium-Ion battery that is capable of 8 hours of operation at the maximum power output (6 Watts) and 16 hours with the 1 Watt output.  This battery has its own level gauge that allows display of battery-shaped icon onscreen along with four-blocked shaped level indicators. It gives the user a flash and audible alarm once the battery is low so you can charge whenever you’re going to use it for longer hours. Cobra did a great job including a desktop charger (with AC adapter) as well as 12V DC accessory plug which gives you even more flexibility. For additional power, you can purchase CM 110-024 adapter, which will  allow you to use regular AA alkaline batteries.

Some of the features include:

  • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 3, and 6 Watts for short and long range communication
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 3.3 ft for 30 minutes
  • Button Key Lock
  • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
  • Matrix Display
  • AA Battery Compatible
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Tri-Watch
  • Floats
  • 120v/12v Charger Included
  • Noice Canceling Microphone
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 4.75"H x 2.66"W x 2.09"D

What's included when you buy this radio?

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    1,000 mAh LiON Rechargeable battery
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    Locking desktop charger
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    AC adapter 
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    12V DC accessory plug
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    Replacement antenna
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    Belt clip
Cobra MRHH350 accessories pack

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 out of 5 Stars
  • 114 Total Customer reviews
  • 56% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Great audio quality
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Reliable
  • Shorter transmitting range compared to fixed mount radios
  • Batteries Are Proprietary And Expensive