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Old 28-05-2008, 04:52   #1
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Are you using DSC on your SSB radio ?

Digital Selective calling (DSC) is a system designed to Send & Receive calls ship/shore and ship/ship.
Most commonly know by yatchsmen is the DSC on VHF ch 70.

To Bluewater yachtsmen DSC on MF/HF is just as important. Too often have I heard/read statements like:
We don't need it, too complicated etc. Some don't even have an antenna connected to their DSC receiver !?

By not utilising this facility already installed on your MF/HF radio you are reducing safety for fellow yachtsmen.
Shortwave emergency channels - both DSC and voice - are in my opinion important channels to know and use.

As seafarers we have a common duty to look after each other - and keeping good watch on the emergency channels makes the sea a safer place for us all.

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Old 06-11-2008, 08:39   #2
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Can't believe how few cruisers use this facility, available on all new VHF transceivers. Once you have another boats MMSI number you can call them with two or three button presses. Once acknowledged their radio could be auto tuned to the channel you chose. If you hook up your GPS to the set (as you should for safety reasons alone) you can send your position, request theirs & set up your system so it will automatically respond to a position request without any input from you. All this as well as the all important automatically formatted distress message - that's what the big red button is for

As a start ensure that your radio is set to DSC watch & auto acknowledge. Hook up your GPS to VHF set by jumping across what ever else it's feeding. Let your buddies know your MMSI number & get theirs. Have fun!
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:17   #3
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One side benefit of DSC is that when it's hooked up to your GPS your position is displayed on the VHF. My chartplotter is on the helm and my VHF is at the chart table so when I go down below to plot my position I don't have to scribble it on a piece of paper at the helm. In effect I got a position repeater at the nav station with the VHF. Another advantage is in busy anchorages where everyone is "reading the mail" you can contact your friends without all the busy bodies knowing it. For those unfamiliar with "reading the mail", it's the practice of listening in to every conversation on the VHF.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:42   #4
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Re: Are you using DSC on your SSB radio ?

Thought this thread could use a bump. I am thinking of getting an Icom m802 for the DSC function, my worry being that should I become incapacitated, my wife would not be able to use the m710 to call for help. We are lucky to have a number of radio geeks on this board and I was just wondering what they felt about the utility of DSC calling on SSB.
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Old 30-04-2015, 12:43   #5
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Re: Are you using DSC on your SSB radio ?

We have a m710, not dsc. We are in the process of updating all our dsc vhf units now we have our Australian MMSI.

At this stage well probably spend money on a sat comm option. This gives us redundancy with our HF and Ham radios.

Vhf dsc makes perfect sense. Hf dsc. Hmmm. Not so sure. Has anyone ever benefited from it in an emergency. Im not aware of any examples.

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Old 30-04-2015, 12:58   #6
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Re: Are you using DSC on your SSB radio ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Vhf dsc makes perfect sense. Hf dsc. Hmmm. Not so sure. Has anyone ever benefited from it in an emergency. Im not aware of any examples.
Yes, that is what I am wondering. Problem is that now that 2182kHz is no longer monitored one must pre-program the emergency frequencies into the radio and, when needed, keep trying them until one gets a response. With DSC, as I understand it, you push the panic button and go back to dealing with your emergency while the radio keeps broadcasting until there is a response.

We carry a satphone as well when underway, but have had problems when they cut our service while we were in mid-pacific so I am reluctant to depend on it.
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