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Old 23-05-2014, 13:55   #46
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

Cheechako,
In my long-winded response, I may have given a false impression that Maritime HF-Voice comms are no longer common...
This is NOT the case, as Voice comms over HF frequencies ARE still being done regularly (especially by "cruising boats")....
It is just that since nobody (few) are listening/monitoring the Voice frequencies, it is DSC that is used to signal/message/alert other vessels and shore stations, and THEN the Voice frequencies are used to pass detailed traffic, ask for or coordinate assistance, or further distress info/coordination of rescue, etc....
But, you must signal via DSC FIRST....and then use the Voice freqs...


When I wrote the details earlier, it might seem like there is no use of HF voice comms....and that is not true....
Just wanted to be clear...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
So there are people readily listening on SSB now? I've been left with the impression that "no one's home" in the past.
[As has been posted here many times....for more than 15 years now, there are MANY MANY stations listening to MF/HF-DSC....> 80 HF-DSC shore stations 100% operational, > 450 MF-DSC shore stations 100% operational (and ~ 1000 VHF-DSC shore stations 100% operational), worldwide....
As well as 1000's of SOLAS-grade vessels at sea required to monitor these DSC frequencies...
But, aside from the USCG, Aus Maritime Auth, NZ Maritime Auth, there are NO other shore stations maintaining a VOICE radio watch, and NO vessels at sea are maintaining a VOICE radio watch...
Aside from these few stations, it is ALL "DSC", and this has been the case for more than 15 years now!!!
PLEASE read over the many threads discussing this, and you'll see a LOT more details.... ]



Then of course there is the detail of using the right freq's the right time of day etc....
[This "detail" is one that the GMDSS and DSC is specifically design to circumvent....
In practice DSC-Distress calls are done on multiple freqs automatically, and await for ACK....not to mention the s/n advantage of the narrow-band FEC-SITOR signal (DSC)....]



Not a marine SSB user much, mostly ham.
is it possible your "35 second response" was a local receiver rather than a long distance one?
[Unless propagation is unusually bad, I can find ham radio stations at just about any distance away I desire, at anytime of day/night...from 20 miles away to 100's of miles away, to 1000's of miles away....
And, FYI, just sitting at the dock waiting for Herb's weather net over the past couple years, I tune up 3 - 6khz and hear Australian maritime weather broadcasts on 12362 and 12365, and I'm 10,000 to 11,000 miles away....and that is NOT rare, I hear them day-in and day-out, for weeks/months....


I hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 23-05-2014, 14:37   #47
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

Hellosailor,
You have a point about SOME modern ham radios (as well as smartphones, etc.)
But, this is not the case for all of them....

But even more importantly this is very much NOT the case for Marine HF Radios...[QUOTE=hellosailor;1548115] Give me any ham radio circa 1970, and I can work it without cracking a book.
But today? They are all computers in drag. Everything is menus and submenus and randomly organized sequential keypresses. Work one without spending time every month going through the menus and memorizing where stuff is hidden? Probably ain't gonna happen.
This is another reason to buy and install a REAL marine HF radio (preferably a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone, such as an Icom M-802), which is as easy to use and any marine VHF radio...
And with the DSC-Distress function, removes ALL the issue/concern over whether untrained laypersons can operate the radio...They CAN!!!

I am still baffled why some hams recommend that non-hams, and/or new-hams, install a HF ham radio on-board, rather than a real HF marine radio???
Yes, those of us that have electrons for blood cells, and have run just about every rig made in the past 40/50/60 years, usually have no trouble even with "modern" / "menu-driven" radios....but, in MY opinion, new hams (and non-hams) should never be pointed towards most modern ham radios, but rather to actual real HF marine radios, and specifically MF/HF-DSC-SSB radios...



After all, there are gobs of "ham radio crib sheets" being sold for every model radio on the market, and that's to help folks who use their radios pretty much every day--but simply can't remember where all the settings are buried.
I'm a firm believer in crib sheets and checklists, because you never know who may have to operate this modern technology, which is SO opaquely designed.
We differ here....but, no worries...
Checklists, etc. do have a place, especially in the realm of "learning"....but in my opinion, it's better to learn things backwards and forwards, so that they become "second nature" / "instinct", rather than referring to crib sheets...
Again, this is just my opinion here... [/QUOTE]




Just some additional thoughts....
Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 23-05-2014, 14:55   #48
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

John-
By all means, sure, memorize it and put it into muscle memory so the fingers can work the buttons in the dark, too. All well and good if you use it every day. Not so good if you may be off the boat for a month or three, or don't use the radio for whatever reason. And then you're dealing with faded memories in a high-stress situation where a crib sheet really would serve a purpose.

Commercial pilots fly the same airplane every day, many times a day. They still use a pre-flight checklist, every time, before they fly it. (Yeah, well, everyone knows sailors are smarter than pilots.(G)
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Old 23-05-2014, 15:10   #49
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

WOW! Thank you so much, John, for taking the time to clarify so many issues, and for all of the very informative & helpful info, especially in Post #38 (plus links). You and others on CF have definitely motivated me to make a renewed effort to learn my HF radio system, and this is exactly the kind of start that I needed.

From my own experience, I can surmise that the answer to your question about why so many new cruisers are opting for sat phones vs. HF radios is mainly based on convenience, at least perceived convenience that is. I only knew enough to install a HF radio from childhood sailing experiences, but it has remained probably the only onboard system that I have thus far failed to get a handle on. When doing mostly coastal sailing and outside of cell or VHF range, I have relied (rightly or wrongly) on having phone numbers for various USCG stations that I have assumed I can simply call on my satphone if needed. I realize, of course, how indispensable a HF radio will be once I venture further offshore.

I do believe, as you mentioned, that lifelong experts like yourself may often forget that the rest of us are ignorant of much of the terminology, and that our radios may be considered more of yet another onboard "system" or "tool" as opposed to a hobby or passion. Then again, I for one have failed to exercise my own due diligence in throughly studying all of the widely available material (plus Google!), and have instead assigned it a lower priority given all of the other projects I've had to deal with since acquiring my boat. I suspect I am not alone in this regard and, who knows, perhaps RH was in this category as well.

OK, I have now watched all of your youTubes featuring the M-802 (incl. the vids of your two trans-Atlantic crossings -- excellent!), have started reviewing your links, and plan on re-reading my M-802 manuals before chewing up any more of CF member's time with questions (of which I'm sure I'll still have plenty).

Thank you again for your help motivating this noob.
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Old 23-05-2014, 15:52   #50
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pirate Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Where we sail boaty all you need is to follow the rising or setting sun. Conviently land appears eventually.

Simples

Dave
Yeah.. true.. but I got paper charts to work out where I am.. exactly..
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Old 24-05-2014, 04:28   #51
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

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Yeah.. true.. but I got paper charts to work out where I am.. exactly..

Exactness is overrated. ( unless of course you were Sir Cloudesley Shovell)

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Old 24-05-2014, 04:41   #52
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pirate Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Exactness is overrated. ( unless of course you were Sir Cloudesley Shovell)

Dave


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Dave.. just my way of saying.. the only thing I depend upon is myself.. two things I don't like about long distance comm's... and EPIRB's etc
1/ they encourage folk to take the easy option and bail out when not necessary... just uncomfortable..
2/ as illustrated by Cheeki Rafiki.. and other boats over the last couple of years.. 'Grande Soliel' and others like Nina.. they don't save your life.. don't even help find your body..

Just invest a false sense of over confidence and security..

A Luddite..
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Old 24-05-2014, 04:48   #53
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Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

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Dave.. just my way of saying.. the only thing I depend upon is myself.. two things I don't like about long distance comm's... and EPIRB's etc
1/ they encourage folk to take the easy option and bail out when not necessary... just uncomfortable..
2/ as illustrated by Cheeki Rafiki.. and other boats over the last couple of years.. 'Grande Soliel' and others like Nina.. they don't save your life.. don't even help find your body..

Just invest a false sense of over confidence and security..

A Luddite..

Maybe Phil we can agree to disagree.

I'm all in favour of self help, anyone who delivers other peoples boats, knows that you can do it with little or no " modern toys"

That doesn't mean that those who like their toys ( like me , being an electron man ) are are better or worse.

As for Ceeki, this isn't quite the time to debate the issues, but I've always said PLBs are body recovery solutions. ( and in this case not even so ) it would seem they ended up in the water ,then triggered a PLB. There are serious lessons to be learned for those that think these are usefull mob devices.

The unfortunate fact is that " common sense" is nothing of the sort.

The issue is not the gear on board. But the faulty thinking that put a racing boat that far north at that time of year.

The problem is not the level of technology, it's usually the " nut behind the wheel"

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Old 24-05-2014, 04:53   #54
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pirate Re: Advisability of depending on Satellite Comms & knowing the transmitter works

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Maybe Phil we can agree to disagree.

I'm all in favour of self help, anyone who delivers other peoples boats, knows that you can do it with little or no " modern toys"

That doesn't mean that those who like their toys ( like me , being an electron man ) are are better or worse.

As for Ceeki, this isn't quite the time to debate the issues, but I've always said PLBs are body recovery solutions. ( and in this case not even so ) it would seem they ended up in the water ,then triggered a PLB. There are serious lessons to be learned for those that think these are usefull mob devices.

The unfortunate fact is that " common sense" is nothing of the sort.

The issue is not the gear on board. But the faulty thinking that put a racing boat that far north at that time of year.

The problem is not the level of technology, it's usually the " nut behind the wheel"

Dave


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So you don't think its having 'The Gear' that's influencing/encouraging the 'Faulty Thinking'...
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Old 24-05-2014, 05:09   #55
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Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
So you don't think its having 'The Gear' that's influencing/encouraging the 'Faulty Thinking'...

I blow hot and cold on this argument

Yes I think it's obvious that we see newbies undertake journeys, for which they are manifestly unprepared for" , yes we see leaky teakies loaded to the gills with electronics get into trouble.

I've sailed with owners that couldnt plot a chart but relief on a chart plotter etc etc

But always where I see trouble is simply down to faulty decisions, almost always based on lack of experience.

Equally I've seen errors by " over familiarity " or " over experience " I cut my delivery teeth sailing with a guy who refused to look at weather forecasts., he was a superb heavy weather seaman , and taught me all I know, ( and all I want to know !!) about survival sailing. However on more then one occasion we came within a wisker of loosing the boat.

Personally I see the biggest issue is untrained skippers that engage on the search for " the best offshore boat " , " the best anchor", ," the best electronics package", yet have little understanding of the trade offs

Put them through a good training course bad they " begin" to see the issues. No training solves all the problems , but it helps stem the flood of " cheque book sailing "

Personally I beleive you should have a coastal skipper cert to buy a chart plotter and a YM to network anything on a boat !!!!

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Old 24-05-2014, 05:22   #56
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Re: Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

My personal feelings are that people spend a certain amount of money on perceived safety devices based on their own fears and sometimes lack of experience, so the more fear the more money they spend. I'm sort of in Boaties camp in that you should not expect help when you are crossing oceans and you had better be able to deal with what ever comes up.
I also understand Daves point of view that certain boats are not the best choice for northern sailing.
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Old 24-05-2014, 05:23   #57
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pirate Re: Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

Ahahahahahaaaa
Bit like my belief everyone should be made to ride a motorcycle for at least 2 years before they can apply for a car licence...
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Old 24-05-2014, 05:26   #58
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Re: Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

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Ahahahahahaaaa
Bit like my belief everyone should be made to ride a motorcycle for at least 2 years before they can apply for a car licence...

Exactly. Gives them a great perspective


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Old 24-05-2014, 05:26   #59
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Re: Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

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My personal feelings are that people spend a certain amount of money on perceived safety devices based on their own fears and sometimes lack of experience, so the more fear the more money they spend. I'm sort of in Boaties camp in that you should not expect help when you are crossing oceans and you had better be able to deal with what ever comes up.
I also understand Daves point of view that certain boats are not the best choice for northern sailing.

Actually I'd more say there are certain skippers that are not a good choice for Northern sailing ,,

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Old 24-05-2014, 05:31   #60
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Re: Advisability of Depending on Satellite Comms & Knowing the Transmitter Works

God Boatie don't get me going on motorcycles.lol. but do I ever agree with you, especially in NA where the drivers are so into their bloody electronics that they are lucky to see cars much less motorcycles.
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