Higher failure rate for more highly-featured marine radios? How has yours held up?

How has your more highly-featured location-sending marine radio held up? Recently two different kayakers complained to me that their newer, more featured radios are failing earlier and more frequently than their older lesser-featured radios did.

I have noticed that the failure rate for many new “smart” appliances has increased over tried-and-true older appliances, likely due to greater complexity (software bugs, need for software updates, and more parts = more failure points).

I cannot answer but have read threads elsewhere that the DSC radios drain power much more quickly and might not be as hardy. Google search will bring you to North Shore Paddlers and a couple of other boating threads.

Thank you for sharing that. I’m referring to newer DSC radios, but didn’t use the term “DSC” as many aren’t familiar with it. I’ve hear this now from two kayakers, but a sample of two doesn’t make a reliable study. Anyone else here experience early failure or rapid battery drain with DSC radios?

And does anyone here use a hybrid solution combining a good quality basic marine radio together with a satellite communicator, such as a non-DSC marine radio + a Pro Zoleo Satellite Communicator or Garmin inReach Mini 2?

I asked this here about 5 months ago. Didn’t get many responses. I have an inReach and it wouldn’t be my 1st choice b/c at least with text messages there can be a 20 min delay depending on cloud cover etc. If you’re in trouble that’s a long time. If I buy a non DSC radio I’d pair it with a personal locator like the ACR or Ocean Signal. But now that’s a fair amount of 'electronics to stuff into you PFD.

The Ocean Signal PLB is tiny and takes up very little real estate. Mine fits in the pocket of my Astral YTV. On the other hand, my DSC radio is chunky. But it still works.

Zero problems with my Standard Horizon radios from 750 series 10+ years ago to the newest one available now. I have 5 SH at the moment.

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