If it uses AA batteries…
…it’s not submersible. “Waterproof” is not the same thing. It may be splashproof, but there isn’t a single submersible radio on the market that uses AA batteries. There are submersible radios that have AA battery packs available as accessories, but they’re no longer submersible when the AA pack is installed. I have no idea why this is, but that’s the state of the radio market.
IMO, any radio that’s not submersible (JIS-7 rating or higher) is worthless in a kayak. Sure, you can keep it in a bag, but that makes it bulkier, unwieldy, the knobs are harder to adjust, the volume is diminished and you can’t mount it on the shoulder strap of your PFD, which is the best place for a radio.
If it uses AA batteries…
I have I've owned for many years. It has both a rechargable pack and a AA pack that screws into the bottom of the unit. Both have been completely under water. I've lost and recovered that damn radio more times than I can remember on the shores of Prince William Sound getting out of the boat in knee to waist deep water, forgetting that it was once attached to my spray skirt. Wish my binoculars faired as well.
are there any?
VHF/GPS/FRS(GMRS) combo radio’s out there? I see FRS/GPS and VHF/GPS, but not anything of the combo’s. I’d like to get one of the new radio’s with over 20km range, but if the whole package can be put into one, the space and batteries it saves could be worth the fee.
You’ve been lucky
The Uniden MH120 is only rated as JIS-4, which means it is “Protected against splashing water”, specifically “Water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.”
By that standard, your radio should have died a long time ago. I certainly wouldn’t buy one of these for any use where it could become submerged.
I don’t know of any that have GPS…
…but IIRC, the Standard-Horizon HX471 meets your other specs. However, I’ve had such bad luck with the similar HX460-S that I would not trust my safety to an SH radio that uses that particular case design. I know of dozens of these that have failed, often multiple times.
It is simply not true that a radio which uses AA batteries cannot be rated as submersible. I know of at least one that is and there are several submersible cameras that have easy to open hatches for battery and memeory card replacement. One can debate the merits of the design and durability.
His good experience with a Uniden radio may simply speak to the quality of the radio as opposed to luck. They are generally known as tough, good radios.
I didn’t say that it couldn’t be done…
…what I said is that there aren’t any on the market. If you know of any JIS-7 or JIS-8 rated radios that use AA batteries, please provide details. Before you post anything, I suggest that you confirm it with the manufacturer.
Perhaps you regard lucky experience with a radio that’s only rated as JIS-4 as a good indication, but I don’t and the manufacturer will not cover submersion damage under warranty, either. Uniden makes fine radios. Since their Voyager is JIS-7 rated and reasonably priced, so I see no point in buying their JIS-4 rated radio when something better is available for not much more money.
To reiterate, IMO, if a radio is not rated at least JIS-7, it’s not suitable for kayaking unless it’s kept in a waterproof bag. That’s something that I’m not willing to do for reasons I’ve already stated. Of course, you’re free to do whatever you want. It’s your money and your safety at stake, not mine.
>If you know of any JIS-7 or JIS-8 rated radios that >use AA batteries, please provide details.
Standard Horizon HX270S with FBA-25A battery tray.
Before you post anything, I suggest that you >confirm it with the manufacturer.
Sorry, won’t rise to the bait.
I agree one should not rely upon a JIS-4 radio to do OK after being submerged, but that it has done well does speak to the build quality.
the Garmin Rino series has GPS…
and that was mentioned earlier in this I believe, but I’d like more than just VHF and GPS to gether, I’d really like it if it had FRS/GMRS plus VHF and GPS included. there are VHF/GPS and then there are GMRS/GPS, but no triple combinations that I’ve happened upon.
Uniden mystic combo gps/vhf waterproof
Love that tinyurl.com thing.
Found this as I was considering how to manage both gps and a vhf on my boat. Do not know the quality of either of the features but uniden makes some okay products. Found a marine boat review that said almost nothing about it but gave it a thumbs up.