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Old 15-06-2009, 08:47   #1
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Be Careful Pushing VHF Buttons

I being one of those people who have to see how things work got me in trouble recently.
We were coming across the Gulf Stream recently. Well I had three boats, "Searays" coming at us full tilt. I tried hailing them with no response. So I figured I would hit the "All SHips Call" on the vhf. Naturally they still did not respond, but only waked us and did not hit us. BUT, about 15 minutes later I hear the CG hailing, " Lagoon 37, white hull with D Deranek on board"!! My first response was to hide so they did not know I was playing with the radio. But the Admiral convinced me to answer them. After several questions concerning and confirming that we were not in distress. They ask what I had activated and I explained that I had indeed hit the "All SHips" option, but also hit the safety option! The agreed that it was proper use and wished us well! BUT the Admiral did not agree with the CG,(go figure)! And verbally thrashed me for pushing buttons just to see what happens
So two things happened: 1 is the system works, the CG did call to make sure we were fine. 2 I am now restricted from hitting buttons on the radio without her approval!!!!!!!!
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Old 15-06-2009, 09:53   #2
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do you have a Standard Horizon radio? My 850 has that option as well and it's real easy to get into trouble using that function. It's so easy to hit the ENT and the "ALL SHIPS" button which seems to default into an automatic transmission. LoL Glad they did notice and you certainly shouldn't be embarressed about a "safety" call like that. Think for a minute if one of those oil burners had hit you and rendered your communications inoperable. Hmmm, that broadcast might have been your last and the fact they responded so quickly lets my mind ease a bit.
Good job.
Dumb questions are much easier to answer than dumb mistakes are to fix. LoL
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Old 15-06-2009, 10:17   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdennyb View Post
do you have a Standard Horizon radio? My 850 has that option as well and it's real easy to get into trouble using that function. It's so easy to hit the ENT and the "ALL SHIPS" button which seems to default into an automatic transmission. LoL Glad they did notice and you certainly shouldn't be embarressed about a "safety" call like that. Think for a minute if one of those oil burners had hit you and rendered your communications inoperable. Hmmm, that broadcast might have been your last and the fact they responded so quickly lets my mind ease a bit.
Good job.
Dumb questions are much easier to answer than dumb mistakes are to fix. LoL
It is a Standard Horizon Matrix3000 but probably the same config
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Old 15-06-2009, 11:37   #4
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:53   #5
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- - All VHF radio models introduced since year 2000 are required to have DSC - Digital Selective Calling - installed. The "red button" is the DSC Distress button which broadcasts an ear-splitting alarm in All the surrounding vessels with DSC equipped radios within range of your radio transmitter. In a "Distress" situation and you are guarding VHF Ch16 all the other ship's radios will be reset to your channel 16 and the alarm sounds. Obviously if the radios are turned off this will not happen. You then have to initiate a transmission stating your vessel name, and nature of distress. Also your DSC ship's Identity number will be displayed on all the receiving radios. If you have a GPS hooked into your DSC radio the lat/long of your vessel will also be displayed. The USCG entered your ID number into their computer and called up your registration information which is how they knew your boat and name.
It is imperative that you initiate a broadcast stating your vessel and nature of distress or say - "sorry, hit the wrong button - we are not in distress." Otherwise some vessels may turn to your lat/long to provide assistance thinking your are disabled, in peril and cannot reply.
The DSC function can also be used as a "private telephone" connection to your friends who also have DSC radios. You program in their Ship's ID from block 10 of their USA Ships Radio License into your DSC library in the radio with a "name". They do likewise. Then you set your radio to a channel you wish to talk on (obviously not channel 16) and select DSC "Call" and select their "name". Press the "call" button again and your friend's radio (if turned on) will re-channelize to your channel automatically and sound a "telephone ringing" sound. You then can talk to them. This feature is really great because you avoid having to make blind calls on the local cruisers net frequency. And especially where there isn't a net it is great. DSC radios can operate just like your telephone's speed dial at home.
- - Finally, the DSC "Distress" is very important in the Bahamas as Channel 16 is used there as local business advertising and booking channel and channel 68 is the normal Cruiser calling channel. With one radio and underway, you are supposed to guard Ch16 - but in the Bahamas - nobody is listening, they are all on Ch 68. The DSC "Distress" sets off all radios within range and changes their channels back to Ch16 where they can receive your Distress call.
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