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Fri, Sep 30, 2016
Icom “M24 Float ‘N Flash” VHF Radio

Icom “M24 Float ‘N Flash” VHF Radio Hot

 
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Icom “M24 Float ‘N Flash” VHF Radio

Make & Model

Brand:
Icom
Model:
M24 VHF Radio
MSRP ($):
149.99

The Icom “M24 Float ‘N Flash” VHF radio is a top-of-the-line, lightweight, durable, and waterproof handheld for boating, fishing, and kayaking enthusiasts. The innovative M24 presents user-friendly features like its illuminated nine-button front panel interface, low-range power saver mode, and its emergency submersion flashing beacon light. The radio floats, and the red beacon light will help you find your radio, even in the dark. The beacon works even when the radio is switched off when it enters the water.

 

 

Features:

  • Float 'n flash
  • AquaQuake draining function
  • Smallest and lightest in the world
  • Energy-saving 3.7V circuitry

Frequency Range:

  • Tx 156.025–157.425 MHz
  • Rx 156.050–163.275 MHz    

 

Editor review

Stars 
 
5.0

Icom M24 "Float n Flash" VHF marine handheld

I’ve had the chance to use a lot of different types and styles of radio equipment in my 30+ years of Amateur (“ham”), aviation, and other radio activities. Icom gear has always been top shelf in terms of quality, reliability, and ease of operation. In addition to their amateur, commercial and aviation lines, Icom also makes marine radio gear. The newest addition to their handheld VHF radio line is the Icom “M24 Float ‘N Flash”, which lives up in every way to my expectations for Icom’s high standards.

Like most modern handheld radios of the genre, the M24 covers the standard US marine VHF radio channels, as well as the standard US NOAA weather frequencies. Transmit power can be quickly switched from a battery-saving 1 Watt (perfect for chatting with your in-sight buddies a few hundred yards away) to a full-power output of 5 Watts when you really need to be heard. Without putting on my radio wonk hat and “waxing technical” about microvolts and decibels, the M24’s transmit and receive specs are very respectable!

Functions of the radio are controlled using the nine front-panel keys, which illuminate when pressed. What at first glance appears to be a volume or channel select knob on top of the radio is actually a screw-in cover for the charging port. This helps the M24 meet the “IPX 7” standard, which means that the radio can withstand accidental immersion in 1 meter (about three feet) of water depth for up to 30 minutes. The fact that the M24 floats so quickly when dropped in the water keeps it well above that depth.

There are several features about this radio that really make it stand out from the crowd. The first is its size. Icom claims that the M24 has the smallest and lightest radio body in the world*. I wandered through a local West Marine and another marine dealer with the M24, and compared it side-by-side with every other handheld VHF I could find. While not a scientific study, the M24 was indeed smaller and lighter than any of the other radios I held. At about 2.3” x 5.1” x 1.4” (minus the antenna), it’s perfect for clipping onto your kayak PFD while you’re on the water!

My first immersion test was tossing the radio into the pond behind my house. When the M24 hits the drink, it floats face-up and slightly antenna down. This puts two little contacts in touch with the water, and causes an LED on the base of the radio to start blinking red. This should make recovering the radio a simple task, even in the dark. Take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k1jnfto_u0

As with any radio, water in the speaker and microphone grills makes it almost impossible for other folks to understand you, and muffles their audio coming from your radio speaker. The M24 features Icom’s “AquaQuake” - press two keys, and the radio emits a several-second low-frequency sound that is intended to clear the water from the grills. While in Chokoloskee, FL for the Boondoggle in February, I dunked the radio, and confirmed that everything was gunked up from the water. No one could understand me, and I could barely make out other voices on the radio. One AquaQuake activation, and all was right with both my transmitted and received audio. This is a big plus, especially for anyone who has spent time blowing into their radio grill, trying to get the water out.

On the receive side, scan options include dual and tri-frequency watch, as well as an auto-scan feature and weather alert. The spec sheet calls for about a ten-hour battery life with a typical 5% listen/5% transmit/90% standby cycle. I fired up the radio at 7 a.m. in Chokoloskee, intentionally talked more than I should have during the day, and at 5 p.m. the battery indicator was still showing three of four bars. The included charger will have the unit ready to go in 8.5 hours or so, and an optional desktop charger will top off the battery (removed from the radio) in 2.5 hours.

Price-wise, the M24 will cost you a few dollars more than some of the other what I consider “hobby grade” radios available on the market, and it’s definitely money well spent. You can find the M24 for around $140-$170 online. It is head-and-shoulders above some of the cheaper “one season and done” handhelds out there. In spite of its light weight the M24 feels solid in my hand, where other units remind me of the toy walkie-talkies I had when I was seven years old.

For more information, specs, user manual, etc. go to www.icomamerica.com.

The compact size, powerful audio, easy-to-use controls, and legendary Icom quality all combine to make the M24 an outstanding choice for anyone looking to add a VHF handheld to their kayak fishing safety gear!

*As of December, 2010, researched by Icom

User Info

Waters Fished:
  • Salwater Flats
  • Saltwater Bays
Used:
30+ times

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Compact, durable, floats, flashes in water
Cons:
none
The New Icom M24 Float N Flash Marine VHF Radio
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5.0  (1)
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Stars 
 
5.0

iCom M24 VHF Radio

I keep this clipped onto my PFD 90% of the time. With weatherband and a dedicated button to jump to the emergency channel, it is an often overlooked piece of safety equipment. Bettery life is excellent. I can take it out on a dozen trips or more before charging. I have been able to recieve and transmit up to 10 miles on a clear day. It is not cheap, but iCom is what Navy Seals use, or so I have been told. This radio should stand up to many years of hard use and one day might save your life.

User Info

Waters Fished:
  • Large Rivers
  • Small Creeks
  • Large Lakes
  • Small Ponds
  • Salwater Flats
  • Saltwater Bays
  • Offshore
Used:
30+ times

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Durable, floats, and lightweight.
Cons:
None.
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