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Old 25-03-2011, 01:41   #136
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Laszlo I'd be very interested in that card.
The distress procedure card is in the inside cover page of my Marine VHF Radio Handbook, please find attached.

You can, of course, make a tailored version with the name of your boat, call sign and MMSI number. Regards, Laszlo Mercz
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Old 16-12-2011, 10:01   #137
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Hi there all,

Hate to resurrect a dead thread but this has been very helpful and I have a comment.

I just bought a boat that has a DSC VHF on it that has never been registered. I sail with my young son so I really want that distress button to work. I went to the FCC site to get an MMSI but found that on the very first page they wanted my Social Security Number. Now I am not on the run or anything like that but part of the appeal of getting a cruising sailboat for me is to be free, independent and able to "drop out" when I want. I've worked IT and databases and I know that if I enter my SSN in that FCC application and then register my MMSI to a VHF radio that is equipped with GPS and can be polled as to its position, then the government can effectively track my whereabouts whenever I use my radio.

That is just contrary to what sailing is all about for me. So the process is opn hold for now. Thoughts, anyone?

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 16-12-2011, 10:09   #138
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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Hi there all,


That is just contrary to what sailing is all about for me. So the process is opn hold for now. Thoughts, anyone?

Thanks,

Nick
Then you also want to avoid AIS and GPS enabled cell phones.
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Old 16-12-2011, 10:11   #139
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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Originally Posted by ChannelIslander View Post
Hi there all,

Hate to resurrect a dead thread but this has been very helpful and I have a comment.

I just bought a boat that has a DSC VHF on it that has never been registered. I sail with my young son so I really want that distress button to work. I went to the FCC site to get an MMSI but found that on the very first page they wanted my Social Security Number. Now I am not on the run or anything like that but part of the appeal of getting a cruising sailboat for me is to be free, independent and able to "drop out" when I want. I've worked IT and databases and I know that if I enter my SSN in that FCC application and then register my MMSI to a VHF radio that is equipped with GPS and can be polled as to its position, then the government can effectively track my whereabouts whenever I use my radio.

That is just contrary to what sailing is all about for me. So the process is opn hold for now. Thoughts, anyone?

Thanks,

Nick
Your radio will only give a position report in non emergency conditions if you set it to allow that. Of course conspiracy nuts will believe no matter what you do it will report your position.

To get any FCC license you have to give your SS number. You aren't required to have an FCC license unless you're planning to talk or go to other countries though.

Seems kind of contradictory to me. You want the government to FIND and save you, but you don't want them to FIND you?

John
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Old 16-12-2011, 10:31   #140
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Yep, that's about it! Life is full of contradictions.

Is it really that unusual to want to be anonymous and able to have one's whereabouts unknown, but also to want to be found and rescued in distress?

I have a lot of respect for and trust in SAR folks (although more so in other countries than the US, these days) . . . almost none in other branches of the government.

I went ahead and applied for an FCC MMSI anyway . . . but I do feel vulnerable to observation. I would not choose to have an AIS transmitter on my boat, and I turn my cell phone off when I go sailing, for roughly the same reason.

Paranoid? Once, upon returning to the US from abroad (I am a permanent resident with a "green card"), I was picked up by ICE at the airport because of an erroneous record of an unresolved misdemeanor that had actually been dropped before ever being filed in court. I was held for hours, missed a connecting flight, had my passport confiscated and had to report to an appointment in LA to get it all cleared up, because of a wrong checkbox in some computer screen somewhere. These days your "file" is flagged and you are detained wherever found, rather than them having to "run a check" on you after having stopped you for some reason. That's a fundamental difference and one that is very open to errors, and abuse.

As I said, I've got nothing to hide. But I didn't in that airport in Atlanta either. I've got my MMSI and with an automatic distress signal I'll feel safer from the dangers of the sea, but not of the government!

- nick
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:03   #141
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

FYI As of today it's $160 for a radio license + MMSI from the FCC.
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:15   #142
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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I wouldn't say I'm resistant to it.......The old Apelco radio still has stellar range and works. When it breaks I'll get the ais/dsc super radio but not a moment sooner.
If you have an old VHF that works great, one solution is to get a DSC handheld. Standard Horizon make one with GPS included. Everything is built in to send DSC distress calls with position and MMSI. As the CG will establish communications on VHF voice anyway, your fixed is not redundant.

That handheld is also a great single handed precaution, if you go overboard with it you can call for help AND know your position.

If you are a conspiracy nut, that's another reason this is a good solution. Continue to use your old fixed as normal. Keep the DSC handheld for emergencies, and only turn it on then.

The easiest way to get an MMSI is here, btw :

http://www.boatus.com/MMSI/
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:38   #143
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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FYI As of today it's $160 for a radio license + MMSI from the FCC.
And it doesn't cost a cent from Boat US for an MMSI.
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Old 16-12-2011, 11:58   #144
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Do you think they will check your SSN ?
I don,t think you would be jailed for an error.
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Old 16-12-2011, 12:01   #145
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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Do you think they will check your SSN ?
I don,t think you would be jailed for an error.
There is no field to input a SSN on the Boat US MMSI form.
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Old 16-12-2011, 12:12   #146
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

If one applies for an FCC license then they will get a new MMSI #, and cancel the old one. But you don't need a license to get a MMSI #. And you don't need a license for VHF in the USA, if you are a USA citizen.

http://wireless.fcc.gov/commoperator....htm?job=wncol
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Old 16-12-2011, 12:22   #147
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Thanks to all of you who suggested going for a Boat US-issued MMSI, but if you plan ever to take your boat into non-USCG waters, you need an MMSI that will be registered and acknowledged by international SAR organizations. That was explained repeatedly in this thread.
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Old 16-12-2011, 12:40   #148
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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If one applies for an FCC license then they will get a new MMSI #, and cancel the old one. But you don't need a license to get a MMSI #. And you don't need a license for VHF in the USA, if you are a USA citizen.

Commercial Radio Operator License Program: Who Needs a License
I just read the entire text and there is no mention of citizenship. Your post implies that non-US citizens need a license to operate a VHF, this is not the case.
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Old 16-12-2011, 13:07   #149
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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I just read the entire text and there is no mention of citizenship. Your post implies that non-US citizens need a license to operate a VHF, this is not the case.
There is a fine line. What I was implying was non US citizens need a license to operate a Commercial radio. Sorry, a little misquote.Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:

Quote:
§ 13.9 Eligibility and application for new license or endorsement.
top
(a) If found qualified, the following persons are eligible to apply for commercial radio operator licenses:
(1) Any person legally eligible for employment in the United States.
(2) Any person, for the purpose of operating aircraft radio stations, who holds:
(i) United States pilot certificates; or
(ii) Foreign aircraft pilot certificates which are valid in the United States, if the foreign government involved has entered into a reciprocal agreement under which such foreign government does not impose any similar requirement relating to eligibility for employment upon United States citizens.
(3) Any person who holds a FCC radio station license, for the purpose of operating that station.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the FCC's rules, no person shall be eligible to be issued a commercial radio operator license when
(i) The person's commercial radio operator license is suspended, or
(ii) The person's commercial radio operator license is the subject of an ongoing suspension proceeding, or
(iii) The person is afflicted with complete deafness or complete muteness or complete inability for any other reason to transmit correctly and to receive correctly by telephone spoken messages in English.
(b)(1) Each application for a new General Radiotelephone Operator License, Marine Radio Operator Permit, First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, Ship Radar Endorsement, Six Months Service Endorsement, GMDSS Radio Operator's License, Restricted GMDSS Radio Operator's License, GMDSS Radio Maintainer's License and GMDSS Radio Operator/Maintainer License must be filed on FCC Form 605 in accordance with §1.913 of this chapter.
And: http://wireless.fcc.gov/commoperators/index.htm?job=mp
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Old 16-12-2011, 14:38   #150
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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There is a fine line. What I was implying was non US citizens need a license to operate a Commercial radio. Sorry, a little misquote.Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:



And: Commercial Radio Operator License Program: Types of Licenses: Marine Radio
But so do US citizens. So US citizens and non-US citizens alike need a license to operate a commercial radio, and likewise both don't need a license for a non-commercial VHF. The citizenship is totally irrelevant.
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