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Auxiliary power for VHF?

suke

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So I've done some searching and haven't come up with much. I'm wanting more radio range than a handheld VHF, but I don't want to mount it permanently. I'm sure I could get some suction cup mounts for the radio itself and put it on my window. My antenna mount goes on my tower, and is easily removable. I'll use the radio probably once every couple of years at best. I'd rather it not be clanging around in my boat the whole time. Can I just hook it up to the auxillary/cigarette lighter outlet for power so I can remove it when not using it? If it isn't possible I'll just stick to handheld. At this point in time I have no plans to go more than a few miles from shore.
 
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212s

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What is the wattage rating of your handheld? We have a handheld as well, 1/3/5 watt which is enough for 1/3/4 miles on open water. It's harder to transmit beyond 4-5 miles due to surface curvature becoming an obstacle. Having a 25w radio with a short or low antenna won't do a lot better than a handheld at the same height. But if you get a whip on the tower like you said, you can get out further - the higher the better. But you simply would not get the same range as a freighter or a sailboat with a 60' mast simply due to lack of height above the water. For casual or occasional use, the handheld is more than enough for us and I've never had to go above 1 watt. If you're within a mile of shore, you shouldn't have any issues with the handheld - basically if you can see the other boat, even with binoculars, you should be able to hit it with a few watts. Set up a test call with a friend, get to double your expected range (say 2 miles apart), and then confirm your signal is strong and clear.

Forgot to say that if that doesn't work well enough, I'd recommend you run power to the radio from the battery - I doubt the 12v outlet is rated much higher than a couple amps.
 
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suke

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What is the wattage rating of your handheld? We have a handheld as well, 1/3/5 watt which is enough for 1/3/4 miles on open water. It's harder to transmit beyond 4-5 miles due to surface curvature becoming an obstacle. Having a 25w radio with a short or low antenna won't do a lot better than a handheld at the same height. But if you get a whip on the tower like you said, you can get out further - the higher the better. But you simply would not get the same range as a freighter or a sailboat with a 60' mast simply due to lack of height above the water. For casual or occasional use, the handheld is more than enough for us and I've never had to go above 1 watt. If you're within a mile of shore, you shouldn't have any issues with the handheld - basically if you can see the other boat, even with binoculars, you should be able to hit it with a few watts. Set up a test call with a friend, get to double your expected range (say 2 miles apart), and then confirm your signal is strong and clear.

Forgot to say that if that doesn't work well enough, I'd recommend you run power to the radio from the battery - I doubt the 12v outlet is rated much higher than a couple amps.
Don't have a handheld yet, but looking at this one(says it's 6/2/1 selectable watts): Amazon.com: Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF - Floating 6 Watt Class H DSC Two Way Radio: Car Electronics

My antenna is a 4 ft antenna that would go on my wake tower. So you're looking at 10-11ft up at best.
 

212s

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Don't have a handheld yet, but looking at this one(says it's 6/2/1 selectable watts): Amazon.com: Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF - Floating 6 Watt Class H DSC Two Way Radio: Car Electronics
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K2G7NF5/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=reelreports04-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B07K6T9F43&linkId=7d54c51a94cebd3c17dcb5f236fffd67&th=1
That one would work fine.
My antenna is a 4 ft antenna that would go on my wake tower. So you're looking at 10-11ft up at best.
Since you don't have one yet, it's up to you...prices are similar and the radio/antenna combo would be better if you feel you need it.
 

suke

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Beachbummer

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What's your concern with a permanent mount? Why do you want it to be portable?

As a kid in a different part of the world, 30 years ago, boaters would connect and disconnect VHF on every outing for fear of theft when boat was unattended. Doable, but not fun. Took about a minute to screw back on to the mount, and plug in the power and antenna. If it wasn't for fear of theft it would have been left in place..
 

suke

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What's your concern with a permanent mount? Why do you want it to be portable?

As a kid in a different part of the world, 30 years ago, boaters would connect and disconnect VHF on every outing for fear of theft when boat was unattended. Doable, but not fun. Took about a minute to screw back on to the mount, and plug in the power and antenna. If it wasn't for fear of theft it would have been left in place..
Cause I'll use it very rarely. So I don't want to drill holes or wire anything in for something that'll only be used maybe once or twice. I'd like to do a keys trip and in the ever so rare chance a bimini trip. Those will likely only ever happen once with this boat. Also want it to look good, and there's not many places to install one that doesn't look like an afterthought.
 

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I'm right there with ya on a radio install. I have no real reason to have one accept the upcoming Bimini trip. I like the suction cup idea(not sure if it would be strong enough for rough water) and am just trying to figure out the power source. I ran a large enough wire to the amp behind the helm so I might just pull power from that lead. For an antenna I'm going to probably go with a 8' stick on top of the tower, just trying to figure out the best way to mount it for temporary use but still strong enough to take a beating. I've had some members come up with good mounting ideas but trying to pick the right one seems to have me stumped so I'll just wait until another day to figure it out.
 
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