By Ben Ellison
Uniden Polaris, Wham, & Mystic
Uniden is back! Once known mainly for plain-jane value radios, the company might now justifiably call itself “Univation.” First introduced was the unique WHAM wireless microphone, which lets a user fully control Uniden’s Polaris fixed 25-watt VHF, including its fairly complete suite of DSC features. That means you can take the pocket-size mic anywhere onboard, even onto a nearby dock, while still being able to enjoy the full transmit and receive power of the boat’s main radio—even control a hailer. A Polaris retails for $200 and will support two $130 WHAMs. Both worked well in testing, though the screen fonts were a little skinny for my old eyes.
Uniden’s brand-new Mystic is a strikingly innovative and well-executed marriage of WAAS GPS plotter and DSC-VHF. The former function is a full twin to partner Magellan’s able handhelds, while the latter is the first portable 5-watt radio to offer advanced DSC functions like buddy lists. The two work together, plotting incoming DSC calls or including your position with outgoing calls (for fun, fishing, or distress). The submersible unit demonstrated long battery life and solid performance in my testing. It comes with detailed U.S. street and buoy maps and supports Magellan’s full-detail BlueNav charts. At 13 inches tall and with a $699 list price, the Mystic is not a trivial gizmo to clip on your belt. But, wow, is it capable.
Uniden Phone: (800) 297-1023. www.uniden.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.