Marine radio

Is this a reasonable choice for a marine radio for my trip down the Ohio River?

Mostly I would use it to contact the lockmasters. Possibly to monitor barge traffic. Maybe contact a marina.

Why two?
One for you, and one for the person you’re talking to? (You could run it ahead.)

At first
I wondered the same, why two? Almost everything I looked at was one radio for about $79 to $119 depending on who was selling them. Then I go to thinking that one of the pair could be kept turned off and saved for use if or when the other one went dead.

This set doesn’t appear to have the option of using AA batteries and I’m not sure what opprotunities I would have to recharge the batteries.

Waterproofness is weak
The “waterproofness” ratings seem off. Most radio manufacturers use IEC (IP) standards. For some reason Uniden uses Japan Industrial Standards.

Maybe because it fails when just 1 centimeter underwater— JIS8 leaves it up the manufacturer to specify submersion depth whereas the IEC gives a range for most of its ratings.

It might work well for contacting the lockmaster but if you want to depend on it for an emergency I would get a higher power radio.

For around $209 you can get a radio with red button that will send out a mayday and your position. The distress call will be forwarded by all other vessels in range with dsc to the coast guard and any LE vessel in range. Much more useful if you are about to get smacked by a power boat or need to get back in the boat quickly.

Not usefull unless in you are in the one of the areas on the map:

No weather alert, far as I can see

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 7:38 AM EST –

It doesn't appear to have a weather alert feature, in addition to the the issues with its waterproof level etc above.

Agree with post further up - spend the money to get one good tank of a vhf unit that will issue weather alerts, maybe send a GPS location with a MayDay if it works with handheld technology and be of high enough power that you can understand what it is saying when the signal is imperfect. These cheaper ones tend to be quite hard to understand, too much static.

No expert but think the larger fixed
mount VHF radios need a 12 volt power source and also either built-in GPS or connection to one, and a registration & number, for the emergency “red button” to work. There is a new built-in model with this just on the market. A better emergency back up to a good hand held VHF (with more easily available AA batts) may be a Personal Locator Beacon. Not really a good subject for “bargain” gear. Just thoughts. R

waterproof spec OK
Uniden rates it at submersible for one hour at 5 feet which is better than most. For what that is worth. Lack of WX channels and max power of 2.5 watts make it not a bargain, but would be fine for general river use to communicate to harbor or lock folks seems to me.

Not a radio I would pick for coastal use.

For a little more,

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 8:56 AM EST –

unless for some reason you *need* 2 radios, I'd look at the Uniden MHS75. Weather Alert and dual/triple/quad watch is a plus. You can set quad watch to weather/16 and then commercial or bridge traffic channels to get relevant comm for where you are paddling and cut out a lot of chatter. If you are communicating with some other boaters in your party, I can see where you might want a pair of radios cheap, but cheap radios are often no bargain. I like my ICOM M-72. It has been utterly reliable. Get a good marine VHF. It's more than a's a lifeline.

The MHS125 may be even better since it comes with an alkaline battery option back as well as the Li-on re-chargeable battery, giving you options if you can't easily recharge.

You can always get a pair of cheap bubble pack GMRS radios that run on AA batteries for boat to boat if you can't afford 2 good marine VHFs.

No you dont need 12V

– Last Updated: Jun-25-12 9:34 AM EST –

You can the the red button feature in a Standard HX-851 a handheld with built-in GPS. No 12V and no separate GPS required.

Too bad they cannot fit an AIS receiver and transponder in it.

Because this radio can issue DSC test calls, you can send a test transmission to the coast guard which should reply with the reported test position--so you can test the radio before you go.

The response time to PLB is awfully slow for coastal paddling but it is useful when you are out of VHF range or outside the USCG monitoring net.

30 minutes
Actually its 30 minutes where did you see 1 hour.

In fairness the manual also reports IEC ratings— they were not on the amazon page.

I have the 125.
Its about four years old. I bought it because it was a good price. Frankly I didn’t expect it to be as good a marine radio as it has turned out to be.

On a two week Lake Superior trip the first year I brought alkalines for the backup battery pack. Turned out that the battery usage by the radio is mingy. Even after two weeks of having the radio on a hour a day…there was no decrease in battery level (there is an indicator)

It routinely picks up several weather stations. The variable power output is a plus for long journeys where you might need to leave it on all the time.

Yes it seems to be waterproof and saltproof. Saltwater is the bane of electronics and if not well sealed the radio will quit. The battery compartment of course being the most vulnerable.

Thank you
for all the responses. Very much appreciated. I didn’t need two radios and it seems like the MHS125 will be a better option.

Owners manual says it.
The owners manual available on the Uniden site says its JIS8 and then goes on to state it is rated for 1 hour at five feet.