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Old 03-03-2011, 08:33   #46
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Dont you have to be licensed to use a DSC VHF, and to be licensed, you would need to under take some sort of formal training.
When GMDSS was introduced, I had to undergo a 7 day course (commercial use), as my original Radio General Operators license was no longer valid.

False distress alerts are wasteful and annoying, but even more annoying I find is he use of the Distress Acknowledge Function. On the training course it was drummed into you, DO NOT USE THE DISTRESS ACKNOWEDGE. THis is for the shore station to use, ship/boats may use in exceptional circumstances, where the shore station has not acknowledged, and the vessel is in a position to offer assistance.
But no, what happens, distress alert is sent, alarm goes off, and for the next hour, tit continues to go off as idjits use the distress alert ackowledge function, to the extent it has been known that the radio is turned off. OK, not so often on the VHF DSC, but on the SSB DSC its seems to be really common
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:12   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell
Apparently the Coast Guard in New England prefers you to communicate via cell phone in an emergency. At least that's what they always ask the boater in trouble to do. However, the initial contact is usually made on VHF channel 16, before the CG asks the person to call via phone. One advantage I can see in using channel 16 is that everyone within range is alerted, not just the minority that have DSC and understand how to use it. I can remember quite a few times when a rescuer was able to assist long before the CG could get there, or in some cases even before the CG finished with their 40 questions. There was one nasty case in Narragansett Bay where people were in the water and injured from a flipped cigarette boat. A SeaTow operator immediately headed toward the scene and was pulling people out of the water while the CG was still asking questions.
I have no quarrel with anything you state. To a considerable extent it is why I started this discussion. I hope to raise the vail of mystery about this DSC mentioned on the box the radio came in and seems to in the manual. Please Pass it on.

On a personal note/rant please forgive:
Cell phones work for inland waters and very near shore. VHF in reasonably good installations can go out 12+ miles. In a good VHF installation it can reach 20+ miles. Personally I have occasionally had ship to ship DSC comm at 50 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. The issue in the Gulf is the distance the costal shelf goes out especially along the West coast of Florida. 20 to 30 foot open console fisherman with HUGE outboards love to SCREAM out to the drop off 50, 60, 80, 100 miles out and when they get in trouble, let the drama begin. I think you will find that CG sector St. Pete has the largest SAR traffic of ALL the CG sectors by a HUGE margin. It also has the largest air wing of all CG sectors. The Gulf is generally not notorious for being particularly treacherous outside of hurricanes, so it fools folks into doing things they shouldn't. Make no mistake the Gulf is very moody and goes from long periods of being placid to angry to rage quickly and without much warning or seemingly any reason. Today for instance we have a bright clear sky 76 degrees and 15 knots of wind In the marina, perfect sailing weather. But there is a "small craft exercise caution" in the Gulf due to 25 knot wind with higher gusts.

We also have an older boater demographic here, many with medical issues.

Your friend,
Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:48   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1
Dont you have to be licensed to use a DSC VHF, and to be licensed, you would need to under take some sort of formal training.
When GMDSS was introduced, I had to undergo a 7 day course (commercial use), as my original Radio General Operators license was no longer valid.

False distress alerts are wasteful and annoying, but even more annoying I find is he use of the Distress Acknowledge Function. On the training course it was drummed into you, DO NOT USE THE DISTRESS ACKNOWEDGE. THis is for the shore station to use, ship/boats may use in exceptional circumstances, where the shore station has not acknowledged, and the vessel is in a position to offer assistance.
But no, what happens, distress alert is sent, alarm goes off, and for the next hour, tit continues to go off as idjits use the distress alert ackowledge function, to the extent it has been known that the radio is turned off. OK, not so often on the VHF DSC, but on the SSB DSC its seems to be really common
My class D DSC VHF does not have a distress acknowledge. At least a search of the Uniden Polaris manual PDF for it turned up nothing.

In the US the rules for DSC VHF are the same for VHF without DSC. If you travel internationally you need an FCC station license. I filled out the forms online, sent my $$$ and ha presto my license arrived in the mail, that's all it took. The ship has a station license for DSC VHF, MF, HF, Inmarsat, EPIRB, radar, was issued an MMSI and I think one or two other things which includes SSB only because I checked ALL the boxes. When you get an FCC license it's not an inventory, they don't care what you have or don't have and they don't check, check all the boxes. If you use the inventory approach you pay every time you add something and you have to pay the fee again. Marine station licenses require no classes or tests. Classes and test are for personal licenses such as HAM.

FCC MMSI can be flushed through to the ITU (http://www.itu.int/online/mms/mars/ship_search.sh) if you fill out the forms properly. Enter the ships call sign WDD7616 or MMSI 367188830 and there she is.

BTW if SSB is your only means of calling for help you really, really need the MMSI I listed earlier. SSB voice is no longer monitored or GUARDed by the CG or any other SAR authority. The only people listening is the NSA and they aren't listening for SAR purposes.

Your friend,
Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:08   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarrar
I have programmed my DSC radio with a registered MMSI, and the radio has position data from my GPS. That's all I need in order to send a distress call, right? Is there a benefit to programming MMSI numbers into the phone book?

Note: I see we're supposed to update my MMSI information "bi-annually." I just did so via the Boat U.S. website. Took a couple minutes.
You got it covered, it's just that easy. I can not address the free MMSI renewal as my MMSI was issued by the FCC and is good for several years before renewal. But bi-annual renewal doesn't seem to burdensome and could actually be a good thing.

The phonebook is just like the phonebook in your cell phone or speed diaper, it's a convenience to speed DSC VHF to VHF calls without dialing in the 9 digit MMSI.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:34   #50
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Apparently the Coast Guard in New England prefers you to communicate via cell phone in an emergency. At least that's what they always ask the boater in trouble to do. However, the initial contact is usually made on VHF channel 16, before the CG asks the person to call via phone. One advantage I can see in using channel 16 is that everyone within range is alerted, not just the minority that have DSC and understand how to use it. I can remember quite a few times when a rescuer was able to assist long before the CG could get there, or in some cases even before the CG finished with their 40 questions. There was one nasty case in Narragansett Bay where people were in the water and injured from a flipped cigarette boat. A SeaTow operator immediately headed toward the scene and was pulling people out of the water while the CG was still asking questions.
The USCG only suggests using a cell phone after the initial call has been made on VHF. Once the initial call is made and other boaters have the ability to respond or there's no true emergency...then the USCG may switch to cell phone. In the case of a MEDEVAC/medical situation...then cell is often preferred to keep personal info to a minimum and there's no real chance of losing comms because you can always switch back to radio.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:37   #51
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
My 14 year old RS8300 does not display GPS data, so I can't tell if this unit is actually receiving the position data, let alone transmitting it. I wonder if the later class D sets do so. Otherwise it seems that the process suggested above will only tell you that your SelCall function is working.

If the authorities are interested in solving the missing position data problem, a means of testing the installations must be created. Such requirements exist in the aviation industry, and periodic checks of similar systems are required.
My 10 YO VHS does display my data and I believe all the new VHS do.

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The answer is simple: Both.
I'm not disputing that!
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:39   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere

My 14 year old RS8300 does not display GPS data, so I can't tell if this unit is actually receiving the position data, let alone transmitting it. I wonder if the later class D sets do so. Otherwise it seems that the process suggested above will only tell you that your SelCall function is working.

If the authorities are interested in solving the missing position data problem, a means of testing the installations must be created. Such requirements exist in the aviation industry, and periodic checks of similar systems are required.
My Uniden Polaris displays the GPS information it is receiving. Speaking only for it the position, speed and heading as well as the current date and time from the GPS are displayed.

You can test your DSC with TowBoat US using either their group MMSI or individual MMSI. Individual MMSI 000338040 group MMSI 003380400.

For an explanation of what a group MMSI is please refer to http://www.navagear.com/2007/10/31/m...-mmsi-numbers/

Your DSC can be tested with a friend by making VHF to VHF DSC calls, polling a DSC VHF position of a friend you have the MMSI for. Since I have an AIS receiver I know all the local commercial vessel MMSI including cruise ships and I poll their DSC for position. It don't hurt anything and they are totally unaware it is happening.

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Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:53   #53
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Enough View Post
.....

Why so hostile about getting you free MMSI, programing your radio and connecting it to a GPS with 2 wires? Is it because the gov didn't ask your opinion first or you resent excuses for yanking on the radio are being reduced?

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Mark Fay S/V Enough MMSI 367188830

I'm not trying to be hostile by any means. You asked why there is resistance am I'm letting you know my reservations about it. I have a DSC radio, but again I have a handheld GPS. There are no two wires to connect.

And to be honest, my vessel isn't even required to have a radio on board (and the same goes for almost everyone in this thread). Typically I just have a handheld scanning 13 and 16. 16 in case there's anyone in distress, and 13 because that's what most merchant vessels use as their primary bridge to bridge.

So for me to go from a handheld GPS and handheld VHF to a DSC just seems like a stretch. The DSC sits down in the cabin, powered off 9/10 of the time. I use that radio for hailing distances that the handheld just can't get to.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:43   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Enough

My Uniden Polaris displays the GPS information it is receiving. Speaking only for it the position, speed and heading as well as the current date and time from the GPS are displayed.

You can test your DSC with TowBoat US using either their group MMSI or individual MMSI. Individual MMSI 000338040 group MMSI 003380400.

For an explanation of what a group MMSI is please refer to http://www.navagear.com/2007/10/31/m...-mmsi-numbers/

Your DSC can be tested with a friend by making VHF to VHF DSC calls, polling a DSC VHF position of a friend you have the MMSI for. Since I have an AIS receiver I know all the local commercial vessel MMSI including cruise ships and I poll their DSC for position. It don't hurt anything and they are totally unaware it is happening.

Your friend,
Mark
Oops I think I messed up. Individual MMSI 003380400, group MMSI 000338040. Sorry.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:00   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart

I'm not trying to be hostile by any means. You asked why there is resistance am I'm letting you know my reservations about it. I have a DSC radio, but again I have a handheld GPS. There are no two wires to connect.

And to be honest, my vessel isn't even required to have a radio on board (and the same goes for almost everyone in this thread). Typically I just have a handheld scanning 13 and 16. 16 in case there's anyone in distress, and 13 because that's what most merchant vessels use as their primary bridge to bridge.

So for me to go from a handheld GPS and handheld VHF to a DSC just seems like a stretch. The DSC sits down in the cabin, powered off 9/10 of the time. I use that radio for hailing distances that the handheld just can't get to.
May your God be with you and keep you and yours safe always. I also hope you and yours never loose sight of land. :-)

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Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:04   #56
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For those with the latest DSC VHF here is something for you.

DSC Radio Automatic Test Feature Debuts

http://www.boatus.com/gov/rescue21_update0906.asp

Your friend,
Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:52   #57
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

In regards to the OP. The "Golden Hour" is for severe trauma. If you have cardiac arrest (your heart stops) and you don't have a defibrillator and immediate treatment your chances of walking out of a hospital are very slim to none whether on a boat or on shore. If you are young and healthy and suffer electric shock or near drowning your out come is better. Its a rare event that you would survive an hour of CPR.
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Old 03-03-2011, 13:04   #58
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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Originally Posted by SV Enough View Post
For those with the latest DSC VHF here is something for you.

DSC Radio Automatic Test Feature Debuts

BoatUS.com: Government Affairs

Your friend,
Mark
Mark,
This post, and particularly the link, is the best information in this thread from my perspective. You've got me thinking about a radio upgrade.
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Old 03-03-2011, 13:33   #59
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Originally Posted by Badsanta
In regards to the OP. The "Golden Hour" is for severe trauma. If you have cardiac arrest (your heart stops) and you don't have a defibrillator and immediate treatment your chances of walking out of a hospital are very slim to none whether on a boat or on shore. If you are young and healthy and suffer electric shock or near drowning your out come is better. Its a rare event that you would survive an hour of CPR.
If you expect an argument your not going to get one. :-)

I would add that even in a situation where a defibrillator is appropriate, available and used to remedy the immediate issue you then get into the immediate treatment bit. What you need at that point isn't on the boat, you need a hospital/trauma center. Getting to a hospital/trauma center within an hour will make for a better chance of a favorable outcome. To my mind at least cardiac arrest is a server trauma and something the Golden Hour applies for having the best chance of having a favorable outcome. Taking longer sure will not improve that happening.

My point is a defibrillator without a rapid egress plan after it's use is something not completely thought through. Hence, if you are operating in a DSC area it is the fastest way to initiate that egress, use it and anything else you can get your hands on. ;-)

Your friend,
Mark
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Old 03-03-2011, 15:54   #60
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Re: Resistance to DSC VHF

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If you buy it in the US or anywhere else for that matter you will get it weather you want it or not. US law prohibits the manufactures, import or sale of fixed VHF without DSC in the US. By 2015 portable VHF will also have it by law.

Your friend,
Mark
I think the Australian authorities are not supporting DSC as much as it seems in the USA. Checking the latest VHF radios from a top quality Australian manufacturer, their entry-level radio does not have DSC, so I can get no-DSC if I want. There is also no official DSC shore infrastructure (see below) so I think it makes it hard for the government to compel us boaties to use it. Probably too few dollars in government kitty and not enough of a political 'issue' for them to provide infrastructure.



Info for Australian waters: http://www.amsa.gov.au/publications/...hfdsc_fact.pdf

Quoting from one source: "There is no official MF or VHF DSC shore infrastructure in Australia. Vessels fitting MF and VHF DSC equipment should realise that this equipment can only be used for vessel to vessel alerting in the Australian region. There is no official shore-based MF or VHF DSC infrastructure, but there are a number of volunteer marine rescue (VMR) stations that have installed VHF DSC and a check with your local VMR should be made. "
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