A radio rant
OK, after yesterday’s absence of controversy, I have an equipment rant for you today: in my opinion the drop-in chargers for handheld VHF radios SUCK! If ever there was a device destined to fail in a marine environment, it is these things.
Why? The little spring-loaded contacts in the cradle which are supposed to make a secure connection with the back of the radio fail to do so in short order, either due to their weakening and/or the oxidation which develops on the contacts’ mates on the rear of the radio. The worst part of this is that there is no alternative but to use the stupid cradle. You’d think that perhaps the manufactures might plan ahead and put a simple little port in the radio that you could plug the charging cord into but nope, no such thing exists. So, when the cradle fails to charge the radio, you are left with an expensive piece of crap.
Now, to be entirely honest, we’ve never quite had it come to that exactly. Our first handheld radio, a Standard Horizon, went for an overnight swim, which turned out to be somewhat beyond its waterproof capacity. Our second one, a West Marine unit, died for reasons still unknown. Yes, I probably could have taken that one back to the store IF there was a West Marine nearby, but alas, there isn’t. Both of those radios though, and the new Standard Horizon one that we currently are using, experienced exactly the same trouble with the charging cradle. Whenever we want to charge the radio, we have to jiggle it around in the cradle until the light illuminates, which sometimes takes a considerable amount of time, even after making sure that the contacts on the back of the radio are spotless.
This is a problem which begs for a solution and I can’t imagine that it would be all that tough for the manufacturers to come up with one. Get busy guys!
EDIT: After reading all of the positive comments on the device here on this post, our next radio will definitely be the Uniden Atlantis 250.
Decent radio, crappy charger.