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Old 29-03-2012, 07:55   #1
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Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

Sea Tow announced that the number of stations transmitting its free Automated Radio Check service in coastal and inland boating areas across the U.S. has broken 100, according to a press release. Today, there are 107 Automated Radio Check stations, and several more are pending authorization. The service lets boaters quickly and easily check that their vessel's VHF radio is working.
To check your VHF radio, tune it to the local Automated Radio Check channel, key the mike, and ask for a radio check. An automated response plus your request is transmitted back, which helps you assess the transmission strength as well. For an interactive map showing transmission locations and channels, click here.
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Old 29-03-2012, 09:42   #2
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

That sounds like a good idea, but if the people who clog up 16 asking for checks don't even know that doing so is illegal, how can anyone expect they'd ever find out (or care) about this service?
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Old 29-03-2012, 11:09   #3
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

Spread the word, brother! ...At least now instead of "Idiot calling for a radio check...no radio checks allowed on Ch 16" we can say "Radio checks are on channels 24 through 28, not channel 16, you bonehead." Sometimes ignorant people just need to be shown an alternative.
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Old 29-03-2012, 15:18   #4
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

There are so many people who want to make sure that their radio works properly on Ch16, to be able to call for help.

By the way, radio checks on Ch16 aren't illegal everywhere. In Europe at least, it's the way it's done: you are supposed to call a coastal signal station.

Alain
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Old 29-03-2012, 15:32   #5
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
...
An automated response plus your request is transmitted back, which helps you assess the transmission strength as well.
This is the key feature for me, I can hear myself, I can hear the wind in the microphone, or when I am talking too loud, or too close into the mic and the sound is distorted. Great tool!

Dirk
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Old 29-03-2012, 15:39   #6
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

The free automated radio check idea is good. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available yet in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Never done a radio check for my boat, but am aware that at least in the U.S. they are not to be done on channel 16. (The radio has always worked when calling bridge tenders and specific boaters.) How frequently do you all do a radio check?
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:05   #7
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

I'm with Dirk. Being able to actually hear what you sound like to everybody else is a key feature of the service. I also think it encourages more people to give the radio a test before setting out. Once you tell a group of boaters about the service just listen later to the channel Sea Tow is using to hear all the same people checking their radios.
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:11   #8
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

Maybe it's only an Atlantic-coast thing.
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:31   #9
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

Ahh any radio tech could set ya up with a Talk back speaker so you can hear your transmission over your own speakers! not to expensive either. just a thought
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Old 30-03-2012, 06:02   #10
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Re: Automated VHF "Radio Check" Service is Expanding

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The free automated radio check idea is good. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available yet in the San Francisco Bay Area...
The only West Coast SeaTow operations, of which Iím aware, are in San Diego & Newport Beach.
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