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Old 14-11-2015, 09:50   #16
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

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Even worse passing through Florida, i found, "Hey Joe! Want to come fishing at xxx?"

USCG Sector Miami guy was audibly livid. Said all is being recorded, triangulated. and basically screamed USCG sector Miami out!
than it wasn't the CG.
they'd just show up at xxx ,)
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Old 14-11-2015, 10:02   #17
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

This summer I was on this really nice 42 Cheoy Lee, Clipper Schooner, S/V Alchemy going from Norfolk to Maine.

It was the first time I'd seen a fog horn integrated with a system. We could select under motor or under sail for the fog horn.

The fog horn which was a speaker mounted on the mast, would sound automatically. It was great to not have to set the timer on our wrist watch !
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Old 14-11-2015, 10:10   #18
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

The OP was about the land-based fog horn system - those big OOH-OOH things, not the personal ones on the boat.

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Old 14-11-2015, 11:16   #19
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

Uncontrolled airports adopted a similar system to turn runway lights on more than 40 years ago and I remember the hue and cry from users at the time. Pretty much the same concerns people are voicing here. "what about airplanes with no radio?", "what about idiots that just want to turn on the lights for the heck of it?", "what about the nitwits that don't know the system exists?" ad infinitum. These were all valid concerns back then and are still valid today for aircraft. Airplanes can still fly around with no radios in certain airspace. Even at night. The big difference is that the FAA requires licenses, training, and regular refresher training, for all pilots. I've been a pilot for nearly 50 years and flew professionally for 40 of those years. Thousands of hours in all kinds of weather, day and night, it was a given that the other folks up there sharing the airspace with you, generally knew what they were doing. I have been a boater most of my life as well. Most of my experience was in the midwest on lakes and rivers, until I retired and moved to Florida. I realized pretty quickly just how little I knew about serious boating. I took it upon myself to get some education and have worked pretty hard to learn as much as I can. Still learning. It would be nice to think that everybody sharing the water with me knew what they were doing, as well. That isn't going to happen unless boaters are required to be trained and checked. We all know that will never happen. So, keep a good watch (as required), and always expect that the other guy does not know what he is doing. Keep in mind that he may think that YOU don't know what you are doing. (and he may be right!)
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Old 14-11-2015, 11:27   #20
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

No reasonable person would discourage a technological improvement to an existing system. However, when the goal is cost cutting rather than improvement with a new system that, questionably, may not be as safe . . . this is a different matter. This is yet another example, in my opinion, of inept leadership at the highest level where the powers to be refuse to see the forest through the trees. Just another example of a system in decline. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 14-11-2015, 11:29   #21
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

If you are already on the rocks t is too late to key up the horn. Seemingly, the bureaucrats failed to think of this. Query for those knowledgeable in the ways of the Coast Guard 'crats: Did they hold hearings and compare the costs and safety of a replacement fog sensing system with the costs and safety of a mariner activated system, or was the latter supplied by some kin of Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell?
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Old 14-11-2015, 12:25   #22
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

I may still have a bell around.
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Old 14-11-2015, 18:27   #23
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

Problem I have with this is what about somebody who don't know they need to key the VHF to get the fog horn. What if someone is mistaken in their dead reckoning, and doesnt realize they are close to the fog signal in the first place? What if an electrical failure has rendered all electronics (Including VHF) useless ? Not hearing a fog signal might cause one to deduce that they are not close to it.... it's just complicating the whole nav system. So what... once in a blue moon a film maker wants quiet. USCG could more easily shut down a signal on request when safe to do so, than adopt a silly system that is so flawed.
Our local light house sounds it's horn 24/7/365 by the way. Far enough offshore that nobody hears it on land. It is solar powered too, so saving electricity not a factor.
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Old 15-11-2015, 00:03   #24
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

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Problem I have with this is ....
the solution is an automatic fog horn trigger device, that you just turn on with your own fog horn.
and i don't care about royalties for the idea in case someone wants to build it ,)
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Old 15-11-2015, 14:33   #25
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

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the solution is an automatic fog horn trigger device, that you just turn on with your own fog horn.
and i don't care about royalties for the idea in case someone wants to build it ,)
Probably easy to create and build, but difficult to impossible to sell to the powers who have a stake in the planned change.
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Old 15-11-2015, 15:04   #26
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

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In the UK foghorns have ceased to operate for a some time, the last one to be de-activated was at the Souter Lighthouse in the North East, near to South Shields.
I wonder if there are any UK statistics the US could look at? How many accidents/deaths have occurred since the silencing of the foghorns that might have been prevented by an automated landbased foghorn? There probably have been some . . . it's just a question of whether they've been documented as such. It would be instructive to see what kind of boats run into trouble without foghorns.
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Old 15-11-2015, 18:17   #27
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

Perhaps the manufacturer of the original warning system might continue to support their product if they were informed that there was no need for them to apply for any additional government contracts?
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Old 15-11-2015, 19:04   #28
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

Consider the number of land-based folks who complain about the noise of the fog horns going all night--they can hear it from their condo, you know the condo that exists where there used to be a haulout facility in the harbors? It's the same everywhere. Perhaps the shore-folks have whined enough to the right people.

I don't have much of an opinion other than to say KISS is to rely upon the existing sensor system, not human interaction (new opportunities for error) with what may or may not be a similarly complex technology system. We often hear the fog horns of lighthouse/harbor/morse alpha buoys far away and are happy to know there are backups to our GPS and modern systems that are letting us know a harbor is coming up.
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Old 15-11-2015, 19:10   #29
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

I've encountered a number of VHF-activated fog horns on the Canadian Great Lakes. Not sure when they converted over, or how many there are, but it seems like a good idea to me. Activate it when you need it. As far as I know, there aren't any increase wrecks, but I admit I haven't looked at it.
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Old 15-11-2015, 21:40   #30
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Re: Foghorns to be on-demand, VHF-activated

Hard to believe these are no longer supported. I used to work on these when I was an ET2 in the coast guard, simple equipment. Flashes a strobe and looks for a return echo from fog, no echo no horns. How is someone who does not know where they are still supposed to know they should key the Mike to turn on the foghorn? Might as well just remove the horns if they are meant for people who know where they are.A pilot said he remembers the brew haha when going to keyed runway lights. Not the same deal in my mind as the pilot who keys for the runway lights knows they are there and needs final approach visual. A foghorn is supposed to alert all of a miscalculation or provide a reassuring confirmation of dead recogning.
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