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Icom M34 VHF

Ben Fuller

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The nicad on my venerable Standard HX 350 is dying or is dead.... replacement is about a hundred bucks. So the temptation is to continue to use it as a backup with alkaline batteries and get a new radio. Size is not an issue, as I use a North Waters gear vest; the ability to use alkalines is important as it is often used in non recharging situations. So the new floating IC M34 is pretty tempting. My VHF often lives in a dry bag as when I am guiding I need the ability to pass the radio.

Have any of you looked at it? Sale running that gets it for 150 bucks.


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Looks interesting and promising. Not sure of the tech details, but seems to have less talk time than the m88 but the same wattage. Is the only reason why it floats is that it's made completely of plastic now? They mention it might not float depending on the batteries used in the optional battery pack. Have you held one yet? Can't really tell how large it is compared to the M72 or m88.

The price point is definitely a plus.

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> Size is not an

>issue, as I use a North Waters gear vest; the ability to use

>alkalines is important as it is often used in non recharging


It won't float and that might be a big negative for you, but the Standard 270S is a real bargain at $90 and comes with a AA battery tray as well.

It is one tough radio with good audio and RX is solid.

Just another option, the Icom 34 and 72 fine too.

May be the Hamilton folks down the street have some experience with these radios in terms of customer satisfaction.

Ed Lawson

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Size seems comparable to my old Standard 360; 5.56 long, 2.44 wide 1.68 deep. Li time is indeed shorter than the M88. How I think they get flotation is give away some space for battery weight. So I would not be surprised if there was a problem with the alkalines. The 88 and similar sized VHF's are not big enough to float their weight. I noticed this when I got my new model GPS. My old Garmin 12 had four batteries and a small case. The 76 series and Magellan equivalent run with two batteries and a larger case.

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>The old Standard Horizon 460SX units take a battery case for

>backup AA power, but when you use them, you lose the

>waterproof rating. Make sure to check any unit you consider

>that it remains waterproof.

Just to clarify, AFAIK, all the Standard AA trays are not rated submersible. However the radio section retains its submersible rating when the AA tray is used and, as a practical matter, the tray might stay dry. Even if the tray leaks and fills with water, the radio section should not be harmed as the water will not get into it. Of course that would be scant consolation at the time.

Having said that, I take all claims of being submersible with a grain or two of salt, and I know there have been some bad experiences with Standard radios among club members especially with that model. BTW, I never liked it in its ham radio version as well.

Ed Lawson

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