Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gear Review: Standard Horizon HX290

Image form www.StandardHorizon.com
          After discovering the benefits of a handheld VHF Radio on the ocean last December, I had trouble seeing myself going back on the ocean without one. It was time to stop borrowing from others, and buy my own. The ocean is a large loud place and being able to call for help when it is needed can be priceless. Besides calling in the Calvary when things get tough, the VHF provides weather reports, and facilitates communication not otherwise possible on the water.
       I decided on buying  a Standard Horizon VHF because they are a leader in the industry. I have read nothing but good reviews, and they have a solid warranty. I wanted a unit with simple features that floated in case I become all thumbs out on the water. The HX290 was right up my alley. I used a $50 gift card I got from my parents to make it official (thanks mom and dad). Once I bought it I discovered there is a twenty dollar rebate deal going on as well, not bad.

The Features as listed on Standard Horizon's Website:

  • Floating
  • Submersible JIS-8 / IPX7 (3.3 feet for 30 minutes)
  • Slim form fitting case
  • Selectable 5 and 1 Watt transmit power output
  • Supplied with a Li-ion battery, AC and DC chargers and a charging cradle
  • Glow-In-the-Dark strip
  • Huge channel display
  • Optional speaker microphone or headset capable
  • All USA, International and Canadian Marine Channels
  • Programmable Scan, Priority Scan and Dual Watch
  • NOAA Weather channels and Weather Alert
  • Key lock
  • Squelch level on display
  • Low battery indicator
  • Preset key used to recall up to 10 favorite channels
  • Optional FBA-42 Alkaline battery tray available
  • 3 Year Waterproof Warranty

      The first thing that about the radio I noticed is just how light it is. The little brick of a radio my buddy Derrick would lend me must weigh twice as much, no wonder it floats. The controls are simple, I had programmed my favorite channel and learned how to use scan mode in minutes. The buttons respond quickly and smoothly when switching between channels. I have not used it on the water yet, but the weather forecast for the South Valley came in loud and clear with limited interruptions. It was money well spent and will enhance my experience on the water for sure.

Thanks for reading,



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