Mailport: October 2013
Your July 2013 issue arrived just in time as it contained a great review of portable VHFs. My current radio, a four-year-old Uniden MHS350, works great, but the battery needs replacing and Uniden does not make the battery anymore. It seems that obsolescence is defined by the battery casing, not the electronics. Which radios that you reviewed will have batteries for the expected life of the radio?
Uhoo!, Ultimate 20
It’s impossible for us to know which models will still have available batteries on the market for the life of the VHF, especially with battery technology changing so rapidly. But, a little research will give you insight into a company’s history of post-production support for VHF batteries; just check out their available stock for older VHFs, or contact them to find out what their policy is. For example, it is Standard Horizon’s policy to support radio products’ repair services and accessories for seven years after the product is discontinued. Icom explained that often times, products are discontinued because their second-party parts have been discontinued.
Some handheld VHFs come with alkaline-battery trays, and investing in one of these would be a good backup plan, if you’re concerned about a battery’s obsolescence. Another option is to find a third-party business that can rebuild your VHF’s original battery or that sells rebuilt batteries. NiCd Lady Co. (www.nicdlady.com) is one such business, and it rebuilds batteries for many handheld VHFs, including the Uniden MHS350.
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