So, we can pay ~ twice as much for a multiband VHF/UHF radio with GPS, APRS, etc.
...but do we really NEED to anymore?
Hams who sail would have seen Standard Horizon's HX-850 & its recent successor,
In a nutshell it combines feature from several Ham handhelds:
+ VX-7R's waterproof (up to 30 min's in <= 1m of depth)
+ It has a very bright LED "strobe" that can send SOS, in Morse
+ The strobe comes on if it senses that it's floating [in water]
+ VX-8GR's inbuilt 12-ch GPS & knows how to send your location "bread-crumbs"
+ It can ALSO receive others' digital "bread-crumbs" & lead you to one of them
+ 6-watt VHF transmitter like some older ICOM gear, etc.
+ reasonable battery-life (if not quite as long as HX-400's or, in AU, ICOM's IC41S,
which is a UHF-CB radio)
+ It's easy-to-use, not unlike some other single-band Ham handhelds
+ It's priced near enough to other Japanese single-band Ham h'helds
NOTE: Some of the above features may be new to HX-851's,
as you'll see on this clip - on HX-851E - by Jake Kavanagh:
I guess the HX-851 is "cheap" because its maker anticipates that it
will sell in greater numbers than, eg, the multiband VX-8GR, which
is fair enough...
BUT is there ANY way Hams could Mod an HX-850 or HX-851 to 2m?
If so, could we Hams "import" the well-defined DSC standard (by
which all those GPS-based "bread-crumbs" are exchanged, now,
over Marine VHF channels), & give new Hams all that functionality
in a low-cost, single-band radio?
Having an HX-850/-851 converted to 2m would sure make land-based
positioning cheap & easy, ie, if there are no hitches to doing so.
Has anyone tried? ...or worked through the trade-off's that might
arise in trying? ...are there any technical or regulatory hurdles
to jump over here?
Yaesu might like to consider offering a similar radio to Hams, &
save us all the time pondering such questions, but - until they
do - what do you think? ;-)
Can we do it? If not, why not? If not now, when & how? ;-)
Has anyone done any first-look experiments or test?
I'd appreciate any feedback or results on the possibilities.
Chuck Vk5CQ, etc.
"Ham Radio Advocate"
[ IANAL ]