Recommendations for handheld VHF?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Katamarino, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,024
    Location:
    Basra, Iraq
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Katamarino
    I'm looking to carry handheld air and marine band radios for my round-the-world flight next year. I'd be interested in any recommendations by those who possess such things already.

    Requirements/preferences:
    - Comm only (Nav not required)
    - Water resistance strongly preferred
    - USB charging strongly preferred, to avoid carrying extra chargers, and just use the USBs in the panel.
    - Compact.

    They'll ideally live in a pocket of my lifejacket, but more likely in my ditching grab-bag.
     
  2. hamer

    hamer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    SoCal
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hamer
    I have the Yaesu FTA-550L and I love it. Comes with the adapter to plug in your headset and you can use AAAs in a pinch if the battery dies, but the standard lithium lasts a long time.
     
    Katamarino and Ray Eaker like this.
  3. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    PHX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Scrabo
    I have the 450 model and love it
     
    Katamarino likes this.
  4. Ray Eaker

    Ray Eaker Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Richmond Hill
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Raymo
    Another vote for the Yaesu FTA-550L. Comes with every imaginable adapter.
     
    Katamarino likes this.
  5. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,105
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    arnoha
    I also have a Yaesu FTA-550L. Very happy with it. The Lithium battery lasts a long time. A AA-battery tray is included, so I keep that full as a backup. It has a 12V adapter, but no USB adapter. That's not surprising...that large battery isn't really compatible with standard USB ports. You'd need USB-C or one of the other fast-charge ports to work with it, and they weren't really a thing when it was designed a few years ago. (And still really uncommon in planes.) I recommend it. Ensure you keep two thing with you, if you use it: The included headset adapter and a PTT switch, not included. Surprisingly, the button on the body isn't functional when you plug in a headset. It's the only weird thing about the unit.
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,272
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    Ah, not so. There is a menu setting to select the internal or external mic. Switch to external and the PTT works fine with your headset. You can also enable VOX. Haven't tried VOX in the air yet, but it worked fine when I tested it.
     
    arnoha likes this.
  7. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,569
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    17075700-D064-4B32-9F29-FC035EB44ACB.jpeg Your need for Marine Band not yet addressed, I submit :
    Standard Horizon HX 600S: submersible; receives aeronautical VHF, marine VHF, AM/FM, weather channels. Broadcasts on Marine (including one push to 16/9 emergency), does not transmit on aeronautical frequencies.
    Have used mine extensively kayaking around Cedar Key with no adverse effects from salt water.
    It is a discontinued model but come up occasionally on eBay.
    I’ve been unable to find a handheld that transmits both Marine an Aero - would be interested if someone knows of such.
     
  8. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,272
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    I doubt very much that one exists, at least in the US. Radios that are FCC type accepted for a specific band/use (marine, aero, business band) are prohibited from transmitting out of band. It's why you can't find, for example, a aviation handheld that will also transmit on 2 meter Amateur Radio frequencies.
     
    TysonG likes this.
  9. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,569
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    Ah, OK, thanks ..... guess I remember that now from my previous research.
     
  10. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    3,591
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA (KGOO)
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weirdjim
    You've never heard of the Yaesu/Standard VXA 700? It does T/R on both 118-137 AM and 144-148 FM out of the box. No reason that it couldn't be "diddled" by somebody familiar with the guts of the machine to mod it into the marine band.

    Jim
     
  11. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,272
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    Actually, no, I hadn’t seen that one. I also note that it appears to be long out of production. I can tell you I’ve been looking for years for a way to enable AM transmit on my VX-7R... no dice.

    In my emails with Yaesu, they swore such an animal didn’t exist.
     
  12. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Indian Mound, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mooney Fan
    I use the Rexon RHP-530. Picks up ATis/AWOS 15 miles out or so @2.5-3.5K. Have yet to attempt a transmission. No USB function

    REXON AIR BAND HANDHELD RADIO/TRANSCEIVER
    RHP-530 WITH 1700MAH LI-ION BATTERY



    • TX: 118 to 136.975MHz. RX: 108 to 136.975MHz. Weather channels: 161.650 to 163.275 MHz (USA Only).
    • 5W output power. 10 weather channels. 100 memory channels. 121.5MHz emergency frequency recall. Semi-duplex operation.
    • 25KHz Spacing
    • Package includes: RHP-530 STANDARD air band radio transceiver, antenna, BP-17L: 1700mAh Li-Polymer battery, belt clip, RC-28L fast desk charger, headset adaptor, and English user's manual.
    • Waterproof/Water resistance IP 54.
    • 2-Year Warranty
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    15,708
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Really? I have one sitting on my desk right now. Vertex Standard 710. 2M FM and Airband AM. The later versions replace the 2M Ham stuff with GMRS which probably was purely a marketing decision.
    I've got several other handhelds that work cross service. If someone wants to get something type accepted for multiple uses they certainly CAN do it.

    Been using Business Band radios simultaneously on business and the ham bands going back to the hold Crystal Controlled rigs through all the modern ICOM and other synthesized rigs.
     
  14. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,272
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    OK, I stand corrected -- it looks like you could, at one time, buy a dual purpose HT with air and 2M ham transmit. I notice, though, that the VXA-700 and 710 are both long gone.