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Old 21-04-2014, 15:12   #136
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
AllenR - since you operate Brunei Bay Radio (Brunei Bay Radio - HF/SSB radio email for isolated locations in SE Asia, the North West Pacific and Indian Oceans. The low-cost and reliable alternative to satellite email for isloated or remote locations, islands, communities, tourism, conservation,) and provide SailMail service for this region you have a dog in the hunt.

You are earning money in the HF/SSB game. Consequently, your comments shade the facts with all due respect and do not reflect my personal experience cruising for two years with a new ICOM and a new Iridium. I have passed on these experiences in this and other CF threads.

For example, as I am sure you pretend not to be aware, that with the purchase a phone card there are no monthly charges for the Sat Phone. One simple pays for minutes used.

If one chooses and it is not required the XGATE service monthly charge is equivalent to what you mentioned for the Sail Mail service.

The complexity of installing and use of an SSB is evidenced by the numerous threads in CF concerning these problems.

HF/SSB communication complexities and nuances should not be underestimated. IMHO it is a technology whose time has passed.
Thanks Lake Superior,

Looks like you've had some frustrations with your ICOM radio. If I can help in some way, please contact me through my website. I am not a HAM and I really have no technical knowledge about what's happening inside the radio box, but I can listen to people who have more knowledge than myself to combine the components and do the simple user-serviceable tasks to keep it working effectively. I have also learnt it is actually important to read the instruction manual.

I also encourage people to install the radio themselves – so they lean along the way – or be there with the technician. I recommend reading the book by Commander (US Navy - Retired) and long-time cruiser, Terry Sparks called “ICOM IC-802 Stating from Scratch” Great information and lots of specific advice to help a novice install and operate the M802(DSC). Most of the information – especially about operation - also applies to the M801(E). Look for it on Terry's website – Made Simple for Cruisers.

You are correct, I host the not-for-profit SailMail station for this region. The reason I host it is the same as what got me involved in HF/SSB radio more than thirty years ago; because it can provide a very valuable service for people at minimal cost. Operating the SailMail station has also exposed me to the sort of problems people can experience – many related to installation – which is why I recommend people install the radio, or work with the installer. And read the ICOM instructions and Terry's book first.

Providing the SailMail service has also exposed me to the problems created when cruisers from places with great S&R and recreational boating support services – Europe/UK and North America – arrive on this side of the world without a functional HF/SSB radio, and without email capability to obtain weather information, send position reports and operate self-sufficiently. Hence my interest to dedicate time to this forum.

Making HF/SSB radio work is not some mystical art. My experience is a successful HF/SSB radio installation is like baking a cake, put the right ingredients together in the right way and you get the desired result.

As a yacht owner, I've experienced the difficulties created for non SOLAS vessels – such as yachts and other small craft – since GMDSS for big ships began in 1999. Coast stations closed, access to METAREA forecasts was blocked by some countries, yachts can no longer call MAYDAY and expect a response from a commercial ship, and free-to-air broadcasts of weather forecasts mostly disappeared. Yachties had a free ride on the services created for the big ships. When the big ships were forced to install INMARSAT equipment those HF/SSB radio services closed, because the income earned through telephone interconnect service via HF/SSB – which paid the operators' salaries for taking yachts' position reports, reading the weather etc – evaporated.

But now that the DSC system has been refined and lower cost radios suitable for yachts are available, the opportunity to again tap into the existing maritime safety communications network, originally developed for big ships, has reappeared. We can contact them with a DSC call. They are obliged to respond to distress calls and/or pass on our alarm to an MRCC shore station.

In addition, DSC capable HF/SSB radios present yachties with opportunities for much greater control, inter-yacht communication possibilities, mutual self-support, and therefore the freedom to explore, knowing that it's easy and reliable to contact a specific friend (MMSI number), group of friends (a DSC group-call MMSI), or any other mariner nearby (a DSC Distress alarm), for assistance. The way DSC works to facilitate linking yachties together for mutual self-support – without needing shore stations, outside resources (which don't exist in many places) etc - is the magical part.

For example, race and rally organisers previously contacted me to provide voice services for skeds, position reports etc, but it's no longer necessary. The modern DSC capable HF/SB radio makes that requirement redundant. Yachts – in events or together with other cruising friends – can establish DSC group-call IDs, so they can instantly contact all the members' radios with one button press. This helps them look after themselves – important in places were S&R resources are limited or non-existent – and satisfy the racing regulation requirement for constant monitoring of the race radio frequencies. Event organisers can either use their own DSC capable HF/SSB radio – in a club or yacht - to distribute identical information by voice to participants simultaneously, or send it via email to the yachts from their PC at home.

If my purpose was to make money from yachties, I'd be selling satphones, not hosting a SailMail site. Far easier to sell satphones because it has the captivating illusion of a quick fix solution, the handset price is heavily subsided knowing the big money will be made on usage, where I'd get an ongoing commission on the subsequent top-ups. I would not get any enquiries about how to improve functionality or questions about installation or repairs; because people accept there are no user serviceable components. A far simpler way to make easy money. But I'd have some ethical problems about what I'd sold to people and the illusions they might be working under. Perhaps I'm odd, but I'd also find it difficult to sell sub-prime loans, lifejackets that don't work or safety helmets with known design flaws.

While satphone technology can easily create the illusion of a quick fix solution for emergency communications, and therefore make people think the role of HF/SSB radio is passed, there are a lot of people - who make accountable decisions and put their reputations and jobs on the line – who don't. That includes people at MRCC Australia, RHKYC, and Yachting Australia on this side of the world. The facts are that since satphones arrived on the scene:

1. MRCC Australia has twice updated their website and they continue to say use a radio. And this most recent update has highlighted the importance of making contact - via radio - with nearby vessels to get prompt help. Or contact them and be prepared to survive a few days, in isolated areas, while an official response arrives.

2. Yachting Australia has specified that all new or replacement HF/SSB radios must be DSC capable, and in the latest edition of their Special Regulations, HF/SSB radios are now compulsory for shorter/inshore Category 2 races, whereas they were previously only compulsory for longer/offshore Category 1 races. And satphones are still not permitted as a replacement for the required HF/SSB radio.

3. RHKYC has made DSC capable HF/SSB radios compulsory for their events beyond the range of shore VHF (with DSC) services. From 1st January 2015 a yacht without a functional DSC HF/SSB radio cannot participate in their offshore events.

4. Marine and communication authorities in Australia, the USA and Europe/UK require a DSC capable HF/SSB radio for new and replacement installations. Notice that the ICOM website in the USA only has the M802 (DSC) available for marine use. In Australia and the UK/Europe it is only the M801(E).

5. People putting together communications systems for natural and man-made disasters are using HF/SSB radios, and in some cases with Pactor controllers for email and postion reporting. Because they continue to work when the fancy networks are broken or overloaded.

6. HF/SSB radios sales around the world have boomed since 9/11, the TS that devastated New Orleans, and the bush fires that ravaged Victoria (Australia). Many people learnt the hard way that the sophisticated communication systems we have come to rely on are actually quite fragile, and they stop working completely without electricity. International or regional phone and data communications via satellite do not work when the ground stations, exchanges and cables that link them into the terrestrial network are damaged, flooded or have no electricity.

7. The military is using more sophisticated HF/SSB radio communications. Trucks, tanks, planes and infantry still carry HF/SSB radios, even though the military has plenty of money for sophisticated satellite based systems and they use them continuously. Because HF/SSB radio communications still works when the other systems are damaged.

The digital age has come to HF/SSB radio equipment and created more reasons to use them. The capabilities of these new marine radios has created more opportunities for yacht owners to lower operating costs, link with other services (eg via email) and create mutually supportive networks to broaden their cruising horizons and enjoy uncongested locations beyond the umbrella of shore based VHF radio and S&R capabilities.
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:25   #137
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

(these "SSB vs. Satphone" discussions actually should be "PACTOR modem vs. Satphone"....see below for some details...)


Dennis,
I sometimes see posts like this, and I feel I should make sure that you understand this IS one of the primary reasons that I recommend HF-DSC-SSB Radio....(and to some extent, allowing non-radio-trained personnel to send distress messages, was even a consideration for the GMDSS....)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Some of this is due to my wife and Rebel Heart experience. She looks at the SSB and wonders how the hell she would get help if I became incapacitated. Have to agree - a satphone would be very valuable in such emergencies.
MF/HF-DSC has been part of the GMDSS for 20 years now, and has been required on all vessels over 300 tons and/or on international voyages since Jan 1999....
(but, unfortunately few US-based "radio guys" are interested in promoting it....)

The DSC-Distress function is a "press the button, and get help" design....
In many ways MUCH easier to use than a satphone....and many times more effective, especially in a heavy seaway and/or inclimate weather!!!

Please understand, I'm NOT anti-satphone....I was one of the earliest users of Iridium in the 90's.....but, if you understand the GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) and the way it works, you'll see that long-range cruisers and those that cross oceans should REALLY understand that an HF-DSC-SSB radio is they to equip there vessels....
(if they wish to have an Iridium phone, that's fine....but the DSC radio is a vital piece of the puzzle....)


Please have a look at my posting here.....it will explain things...
SSB or SatPhone ?


Also, please have a look at these threads, and the links provided there.....understanding these might save your life (or that of your loved ones), someday!!
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!


Further, I'd recommend watching these videos....








This posting here from Bill, was from over 3 years ago....and nowadays even he recommends an HF-DSC radio!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
They are complementary technologies, not identical either in how they work or their potential uses.

SSB is a two-way long-distance communications technology using radio waves, broadcasted from your antenna. Anyone can listen and participate. It is extremely useful for such things as: keeping in touch with other boats, getting weather forecasts and broadcasts, participating in the various maritime nets, making phone calls thru a marine radio operator, just listening to other boats and boating news, sending/receiving email, etc., etc. It is also a valuable safety technology and is still much used by the cruising community.


Satphone technology is a point-to-point technology based on satellites. Just like a telephone, you talk to -- and only to -- the person you're calling or who has called you. Other boats and shore-based stations cannot hear you. It is very useful for personal and business phone calls. The cost of satphone service varies a lot, depending on your plan and on the amount of use.

Which is the more useful? That depends very much on your preferences, your personal style, and what you intend to do with it.

To use a SSB effectively you must learn some things, and this takes time and patience. It also takes experience on-the-air and listening, e.g., to maritime nets. You can't just walk up to a SSB installation -- even a perfect one -- and expect to use it effectively.

Satphones require very little learning; they're more like "appliances".

Personally, I find SSB to be far more useful than satphones for the cruising sailor, but that's a personal preference. Maybe my years as a ham and marine SSB user bias me, but literally hundreds of cruising sailors out there right now would agree. And, their ranks are growing.




Gosh, there's a lot more....

I especially wish to clarify el pinguino's postings where there is a misunderstanding about what s/v Brilliance used to signal "Mayday"....it was NOT HF-DSC, but rather they tried on HF-SSB Voice, where nobody but the USCG (6000+ miles away) would be monitoring....
But, I gotta' go....more later!!!



Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:31   #138
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I especially wish to clarify el pinguino's postings where there is a misunderstanding about what s/v Brilliance used to signal "Mayday"....it was NOT HF-DSC, but rather they tried on HF-SSB Voice, where nobody but the USCG (6000+ miles away) would be monitoring....

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
Hola John, to the best of my knowledge Mike on 'Brilliance' was calling on the DSC working (voice) frequencies not only before getting in contact with MRCC in the UK but also after they (SA and NZ ) had been alerted by MRCC... an imperfect situation I know
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Old 21-04-2014, 16:37   #139
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post

For example, as I am sure you pretend not to be aware, that with the purchase a phone card there are no monthly charges for the Sat Phone. One simple pays for minutes used.
Has the pricing structure changed?

When I was running a sat phone the linen rental was hidden in the minutes plan, with, say, so many minutes/6 months you could extend beyond the 6 months indefinitely by paying an additional line rental. It was there all the time, just hidden in the price plan.


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Old 21-04-2014, 16:47   #140
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

El Ping,
Sorry more later...but until then....WATCH my videos!!!
It is explained there...
s/v Brilliance was NOT equipped with an HF-DSC radio, and hence was not sending out any HF-DSC messages/Distresses....
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Hola John, to the best of my knowledge Mike on 'Brilliance' was calling on the DSC working (voice) frequencies not only before getting in contact with MRCC in the UK but also after they (SA and NZ ) had been alerted by MRCC... an imperfect situation I know
El Ping
He was calling on a couple HF Voice freqs, NOT HF-DSC freqs (DSC= DIGITAL SELECTIVE CALLING)....
The DSC freqs are NOT voice freqs/channels, they are DSC freqs....
(NOBODY, except for the USCG here in the US, are monitoring these Voice freqs.....but every vessel > 300 tons, and/or on int'l voyages, and all of the Sea Area A3 and A4 coast stations, ARE monitoring the DSC freqs....for the past 20 years!!! and this has been a requirement since Jan 1999....)


Sorry I can't go into details at the moment...
WATCH the videos....









I'll have more time later....I'm working for a client at the moment....gotta' go!


John
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Old 21-04-2014, 17:56   #141
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

boating2go,
We are all entitled to our opinions...but I think you may be laboring under some serious false impressions of how the GMDSS works, how the COSPAS-SARSAT system works, and especially on how sat phones work...

I'm glad that everyone on Rebel Heart was rescued and is back on-shore safe 'n sound....but, PLEASE understand that you are stating an opinion here (and one that is quite possibly totally unique!) that nobody who understands the COSPAS-SARSAT system and the GMDSS would ever give any credence to!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by boating2go View Post
I do not know if you followed the story of Rebel Heart but what enabled their rescue was a sat phone. I would not cruise long range without one.
You can not count on anything like you can on a sat phone.
I cannot in good conscience ignore this....as it may very well cause someone to lose their life and/or vessel...
When you write "You can not count on anything like you can on a sat phone.", I cringe when I read that!!

Please understand that I'm NOT anti-satphone....but there is NO way that I would ever say that a sat phone was a reliable piece of gear (even the most reliable INMARSAT-C has had some equipment failures)....
{FYI, in addition to starting my cruising/voyaging as a kid in the 1960's....and have sailed across oceans multiple times, etc. and cruised offshore for many years....I have also made my living in the sat comm industry for over 30 years now...the past 20 years specializing in commercial sat comm systems design and engineering......and I was one of the first commercial/private users of Iridium back in the 1990's!! So, I am NOT in anyway anti-satphone!!}



I feel this could deteriorate into a argument, which nobody here wants (and which I will not participate in), so maybe I could sum things up this way...

a) Read these discussions AND the links provided there....
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!


b) And if you can stand a bit of tongue-in-cheek.....
I fear that the wonderful outcome of the Rebel Heart rescue (which is being touted on-line as the best all-time maritime rescue), will be used as a way for many to ignore the virtues of the GMDSS and the COSPAS-SARSAT systems (both of which save lives worldwide, EVERY DAY).....
{Saying that "heck, they used a sat phone to get rescued, so that's what is best.".....would be like saying that since the teenager who stowed-away in the wheel-well of the Hawaiian Airlines flight across the Pacific yesterday miraculously survived the flight, so now when I fly up to Chicago for a meeting, I don't need to buy a plane ticket, as I can just sneak into the landing-gear wheel-well, and I'll be fine.....
How many of you would think I'm serious....and if I was, how many would think me completely nuts???}



I hope you take my words here, to heart.....
I intend to help and inform.....not criticize....


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie


those looking for excuses to not properly equip their vessels
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Old 21-04-2014, 18:42   #142
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
I especially wish to clarify el pinguino's postings where there is a misunderstanding about what s/v Brilliance used to signal "Mayday"....it was NOT HF-DSC, but rather they tried on HF-SSB Voice, where nobody but the USCG (6000+ miles away) would be monitoring....
But, I gotta' go....more later!!!

Fair winds..
John
s/v Annie Laurie
Further to my last.... 2187.5/4207.5/6312.0/8414.5/12577.0/16804.5 are DSC alerting frequencies, distress working then proceeds on the traditional MF/HF (voice) distress frequencies such as the ones Brilliance was told to try working Taupo on - 8291, 12290,16420 which along with 2 4 and 6 megs Taupo keeps a continuous listening watch on ( yes Taupo still keeps a listening watch on 2182 ). Likewise VHF DSC alerts are on Ch 70, distress working then continues on Ch 16.

SWLD - Shortwave Listeners Delight - MF/HF Maritime frequencies New Zealand

Digital Selective Calling (DSC) - not that hard, really....

El Ping ((Australian) GMDSS General Operator's Certificate of Proficiency No. V22 issued 14/5/92)
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Old 21-04-2014, 18:48   #143
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SSB or SatPhone ?

John.

While almost all you say, is correct , there are a few inaccuracies

While all radio equipment in europe and the UK for sale Is now required to have DSC functionality, there is no requirement for non SOLAS Vessels to fit DSC equipment. The m801E is currently not approved under the latest ETSI regulations and at present there is no approved medium cost MF HF DSC set available for sale in Europe.

Compulsory fit vessels operating in sea area A2& A3 do not have to carry MF/HF DSC. They can comply by using Inmarsat A/B/M or C Sat systems. Many sea going vessels no longer fit or listen to HF. It's my experience that's its impossible to raise large vessels by MF for example.

The purpose of alerting equipment carried on board is to reach a shore based MRCC. This is one of the primary changes from the SOLAS convention to GMDSS. In that regard an iridium sat phone programmed with the number of a convenient MRCC is more then adequate as an alerting tool. Every year Falmouth MRCC takes several sat phone based distress calls from boats all over the world.

I agree with all you say re HF DSC and GMDSS. And NGOs etc are not gong to reccomend ordinary sat phones in the face of GMDSS requirements, that understandable. But equally, a modern sat phone is a more then an adequate distress alerting system as well. ( as RH clearly showed )

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Old 21-04-2014, 21:10   #144
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Has the pricing structure changed?

When I was running a sat phone the linen rental was hidden in the minutes plan, with, say, so many minutes/6 months you could extend beyond the 6 months indefinitely by paying an additional line rental. It was there all the time, just hidden in the price plan.


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I don't know if things changed but for my experience...

I bought the Iridium 9555 in spring of 2010. Along with the purchase I bought a "phone card" for 1000 minutes. I had to use the minutes in one year. I used only 700 minutes the first year and bought another 1000 minute subscription for 2011. The 300 minutes I didn't use the first year were rolled into the second year for a total of 1300 minutes. This was because I had purchased more minutes from the same company.

No subscription, no monthly fee, etc. It is the same experience as using a non-contract cell phone from Walmart.

If you don't think HF/SSBs are complex just read some of the posts on this thread. Think you or your wife will remember this stuff when the boat is sinking and you are trying to deploy the life raft. Not a chance!!
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Old 22-04-2014, 00:02   #145
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Just before I am picked up on it... please insert GMDSS for DSC wherever you feel it is appropriate in my posts.
Thank you,
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Old 22-04-2014, 00:06   #146
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I don't know if things changed but for my experience...

I bought the Iridium 9555 in spring of 2010. Along with the purchase I bought a "phone card" for 1000 minutes. I had to use the minutes in one year. I used only 700 minutes the first year and bought another 1000 minute subscription for 2011. The 300 minutes I didn't use the first year were rolled into the second year for a total of 1300 minutes. This was because I had purchased more minutes from the same company.

No subscription, no monthly fee, etc. It is the same experience as using a non-contract cell phone from Walmart.
It sounds like nothing has changed, like it or not you paid line rental as it's built into the minutes deal. Once the second year is over you need to buy more minutes (and line rental) or line rental on its own, if the provider allows that. These guys do and itemise the line rental in the minutes deal
http://www.mailasail.com/Communication/Iridium-Airtime

This is a pain for long distance with a sat phone, say you need the phone for a month every year or so for an offshore passage you either need to pay monthly for line rental to keep the sim active or risk having to get a delivery of a new sim, which in much of the world can take weeks of being stuck watching weather windows come and go.
There may be ways round this, but AFAIK there isn't a way to keep a sim "dormant". It's either active or a new sim is required.

As well as finding it interesting, this is one the reasons I switched to Ham.

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Old 22-04-2014, 03:01   #147
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
It sounds like nothing has changed, like it or not you paid line rental as it's built into the minutes deal. Once the second year is over you need to buy more minutes (and line rental) or line rental on its own, if the provider allows that. These guys do and itemise the line rental in the minutes deal
Iridium Prepaid Airtime Plans (Pre-Pay)/ Communication | MailASail

This is a pain for long distance with a sat phone, say you need the phone for a month every year or so for an offshore passage you either need to pay monthly for line rental to keep the sim active or risk having to get a delivery of a new sim, which in much of the world can take weeks of being stuck watching weather windows come and go.
There may be ways round this, but AFAIK there isn't a way to keep a sim "dormant". It's either active or a new sim is required.

As well as finding it interesting, this is one the reasons I switched to Ham.

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What do you think is buried in a cell phone plan (federal taxes, 911 charges, free cell phones to the poor, corporate fee, etc.) ? One can either buy minutes or a monthly contract. Who cares what the line item break out is.

The retailer I bought the Iridium didn't provide a break down of the charges. Also, I am sure your reference somewhat incompletely listed all of the buried fees.
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Old 22-04-2014, 03:11   #148
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
What do you think is buried in a cell phone plan (federal taxes, 911 charges, free cell phones to the poor, corporate fee, etc.) ? One can either buy minutes or a monthly contract. Who cares what the line item break out is.

The retailer I bought the Iridium didn't provide a break down of the charges. Also, I am sure your reference somewhat incompletely listed all of the buried fees.
Generally in the UK to keep a cell phone active you just need to make 1 call or text every 6 months to keep the sim active, no additional charges.

Makes no difference as far as a sat phone goes, if you want to keep a sim live you need to pay. For a cruiser on any kind of budget that can add up to a lot over a year or two when the phone isn't needed. Which is fine if you are in a bit of the rich West where FedEx et Al are reliable, just get a new one. Unfortunately not case in many places.

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Old 22-04-2014, 09:38   #149
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

El Ping,
Thanks for staying with me....sorry it took so long to explain...

Yep, there is a BIG difference between these things....
DSC = Digital selective Calling
GMDSS = Global Maritime Distress and Safety System...(of which both VHF-DSC and MF/HF-DSC are a part of)
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Just before I am picked up on it... please insert GMDSS for DSC wherever you feel it is appropriate in my posts.
Thank you,
El Ping
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Further to my last.... 2187.5/4207.5/6312.0/8414.5/12577.0/16804.5 are DSC alerting frequencies, distress working then proceeds on the traditional MF/HF (voice) distress frequencies such as the ones Brilliance was told to try working Taupo on - 8291, 12290,16420 which along with 2 4 and 6 megs Taupo keeps a continuous listening watch on ( yes Taupo still keeps a listening watch on 2182 ). Likewise VHF DSC alerts are on Ch 70, distress working then continues on Ch 16.
They also maintain a 24hr/day MF/HF-DSC watch on 2187.5/4207.5/6312.0/8414.5/12577.0/16804.5...and this IS the preferable means of radio contact for Sea Areas A3 and A4....




This is really off the main topic and I don't wish to contribute to drifting this tread further afield, so I won't ramble on...
And, I appreciate the info about Taupo Radio, but they do also state that their coverage area is mainly NavArea XIV, and extending to the area bounded by:
South Pole; 45°S, 160°E; 29°S, 170°E; Equator, 170°E; Equator, 120°W; South Pole.
So, having them attempt contact with a vessel in the S. Atlantic Ocean, while certainly possible, would be secondary to Cape Town Radio....except that Cape Town was apparently not monitoring the HF-GDMSS Voice freqs...

In my opinion here, Falmouth Coastguard was doing the best they could, advising a vessel in distress of his possible contact capabilities (without HF-DSC, nor INMARSAT-C, on-board)....
Further in my opinion, this is another example of vessel owner/captains being ignorant of the GMDSS, and of the importance of a reliable way to contact both shore stations/facilities, and other vessels in your area, in the event of a Distress situation....
HF-DSC, and/or INMARSAT-C, and/or a reliable/all-weather satellite terminal (NOT a handheld sat phone), are all choices for the mariner at sea....
And, this is NOT an indictment of s/v Brilliance in anyway.....but in general, it is still surprising to me that so many "experienced offshore sailors" seem to be happily ignorant of many of these...
Although, it DOES go to show you that HF radio DOES work...as he used his HF radio and Sailmail to send the "E-Mail Distress"!!!


Okay, I guess I did ramble on after all....



Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 22-04-2014, 10:32   #150
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Re: SSB or SatPhone ?

I think we can overthink these issues, compulsory fit ships are bound by a set of rules, and such rules arnt always sensible or may pre-date certain technologies.

Hence any solution that allows a cruiser to alert a shore party is a benefit. Be that EPIRBs , inReach , sat phone , DSC HF etc etc it's better then having nothing. After that it's down to personal preference. All of the devices mentioned can be used to instigate a rescue even if through unconventional means.

Dave
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