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Old 29-07-2016, 11:51   #46

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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

It has been legislated. In the US for some years now, VHF's have to be built with DSC capabilities. However. No one is forced to use DSC. Same way that voluntary (i.e. recreational) VHF-equipped boaters often do not bother to turn on their VHF, which legally must be monitoring 16. Simply because you can't hear it from the cockpit, or you can't spare power for it all day. Or you just don't want to hear the chatter. Wait until Rachel starts placing DSC calls, offering to lower your credit card interest rates.(VBG)
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Old 29-07-2016, 12:21   #47
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
It has been legislated. In the US for some years now, VHF's have to be built with DSC capabilities. However. No one is forced to use DSC ...
My point exactly. It's a straightforward idea to legislate that manufacturers meet a given specification, but until such time that individual users are similarly compelled to actually employ specified procedures and methods, we are swimming uphill.

In effect there is no legislation that demands DSC use on recreational vessels. Further my recent tests indicate that few commercial vessels are routinely programming on board VHF devices to use (and automatically respond to) DSC calls. Note: cannot address MF and HF, since I don't use.
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Old 29-07-2016, 14:02   #48
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

This has been a great thread and I applaud John and the other contributors for providing valuable information....

My favorites DSC commands are:

Position Reports - Most DSC Radios are connected to your NEMA 0183, which not only obtains the Lat/Long for other boats, but can display other boats on your chart plotter when polled. This allows the Lat/Long of the boat you requested the position report from to appear on most newer (ten years or less) Chart Plotters.

It goes like this... Request a Position Report from another boat using DSC; Other Boat Acknowledges the DSC Call, which returns the Lat/Long to your boat's radio; The position shows up on your Chart Plotter, in my Raymarine E-120 it shows as a RED "X"

GROUPS: If you are a RACE COMMITTEE or RALLY LEADER or just traveling with a group of boats - You can pre-program all the participating boats into your VHF. Then make a Group. This will allow you to either call ALL THE BOATS to a working channel or find out where they are at the push of a button.

COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC - Most Commercial Vessels, especially in Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Zones are NOT REQUIRED TO MONITOR CHANNEL 16. This frustrates many recreation boat skippers when Commercial Vessels don't answer their hail on Channel 16.

For a list of VTS Zones go here:
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=vtsLocations

COMMERCIAL VESSELS are required to have an active Watch Stander monitoring DSC (GMDSS) or a passive audible alarm that sounds on the bridge when a DSC call is received.

So by using AIS you can find the ship's MMSI number and send a DSC Call to them or use an ALL CALL, which will sound the ships alarm and require the Watch Standers to listen to you.

Finally, for routine/non-distress calls, you can pre-program you local USCG Stations into your VHF/SSB:

Astoria 003669910
Baltimore 003669961
Boston 003669901
Charleston 003669907
Corpus Christi 003669916
Delaware Bay 003669905
Detroit 003669930
Hampton Roads 003669922
Houston/Galveston 003669915
Humboldt Bay 003669909
Jacksonville 003669962
Key West 003669918
Long Island 003669931
Los Angeles/Long Beach 003669912
Miami 003669919
Mobile 003669914
New Orleans 003669908
New York 003669929
North Bend 003669911
North Carolina 003669906
Northern New England 003669921
Port Angeles 003669904
Portland 003669937
San Diego 003669913
San Francisco 003669926
Seattle 003669938
Southeastern New England 003669928
St. Petersburg 003669917
All USCG coast stations 003669999

(List Obtained from Power & Motor Yacht Magazine: USCG Sector MMSI numbers )
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Old 29-07-2016, 14:14   #49
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
...for routine/non-distress calls, you can pre-program you local USCG Stations into your VHF/SSB:

Baltimore 003669961
Boston 003669901
Delaware Bay 003669905
Long Island 003669931
New York 003669929
All USCG coast stations 003669999

(List Obtained from Power & Motor Yacht Magazine: USCG Sector MMSI numbers )
NOTE: I edited your list to apply to my local conditions.

I have quite recently tired all these stations, sending DSC calls directing the responder to 22a. I have yet to get a working response. Let's assume I am able to program the DSC device and send calls correctly.

Just sayin'.
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Old 29-07-2016, 14:15   #50
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
...for routine/non-distress calls, you can pre-program you local USCG Stations into your VHF/SSB:

Baltimore 003669961
Boston 003669901
Delaware Bay 003669905
Long Island 003669931
New York 003669929
All USCG coast stations 003669999

(List Obtained from Power & Motor Yacht Magazine: USCG Sector MMSI numbers )
NOTE: I edited your list to apply to my local conditions.

I have quite recently tried all these stations, sending DSC calls directing the responder to 22a. I have yet to get a working response. Let's assume I am able to program the DSC device and send calls correctly.

Just sayin'.
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Old 29-07-2016, 14:55   #51
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by kerrydeare View Post
I have quite recently tried all these stations, sending DSC calls directing the responder to 22a. I have yet to get a working response. Let's assume I am able to program the DSC device and send calls correctly.

Just sayin'.
Maybe give USCG Sector Delaware Bay a call on the land line and confirm the MMSIs:

USCG Sector Delaware Bay

1 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 271-4800

Normal Hours of Operation
0730 - 1600
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Old 29-07-2016, 16:42   #52
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post

COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC - Most Commercial Vessels, especially in Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Zones are NOT REQUIRED TO MONITOR CHANNEL 16. This frustrates many recreation boat skippers when Commercial Vessels don't answer their hail on Channel 16.

For a list of VTS Zones go here:
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=vtsLocations

COMMERCIAL VESSELS are required to have an active Watch Stander monitoring DSC (GMDSS) or a passive audible alarm that sounds on the bridge when a DSC call is received.

So by using AIS you can find the ship's MMSI number and send a DSC Call to them or use an ALL CALL, which will sound the ships alarm and require the Watch Standers to listen to you.
They really are going to love you for doing that ( esp the 'ALL CALL') as if they don't have enough to do.

Reading up on my fancy new HX870E .... the default is that either a direct or an all ships rings the bells and automatically shifts the receiver's radio to the requested channel.

This can be changed to manual and the person at the receiving end can shift, ignore, pause or quit... I imagine that most commercial watchkeepers have it set to manual 'accept and change'. Hence why most calls appear to be ignored. You can also turn off the individual call ringer.

I think when you buy one of these units (VHF) it probably pays to find a mate with one and spend a day working each other and checking out the functions.
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Old 29-07-2016, 17:41   #53
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

I have a number of friends that we have used dsc to initiate communication and do position reports so I know my radio is working properly with dsc. I have on several occasions attempted to hail commercial traffic using dsc. I have never had a response. If I hail them by name on 16, I get an immediate response. I can only assume they have dsc disabled. Has anyone here ever received a response to a dsc hail to a commercial vessel?
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Old 29-07-2016, 18:43   #54
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
They really are going to love you for doing that ( esp the 'ALL CALL') as if they don't have enough to do.
Not only is this not some great Maritime Secret, that is there job and their responsibility under FCC and International Radio Rules.

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I imagine that most commercial watchkeepers have it set to manual 'accept and change'. Hence why most calls appear to be ignored. You can also turn off the individual call ringer.
Once again Watch Keepers under FCC and International Radio Laws cannot ignore radio calls... Also under FCC and International Laws they cannot turn off the "ringer" without having a Radio Operator Standing Watch (Listening) to ALL radio calls.
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Old 30-07-2016, 03:39   #55
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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... Has anyone here ever received a response to a dsc hail to a commercial vessel?
Not yet I haven't. However since AIS has given me the ability to identify particular commercial traffic and to hail if required, I have rarely not had a response on VHF. Of course there are instances where communication is difficult for other reasons (including language issues), but that aside.
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Old 30-07-2016, 03:45   #56
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Not only is this not some great Maritime Secret, that is there job and their responsibility under FCC and International Radio Rules.



Once again Watch Keepers under FCC and International Radio Laws cannot ignore radio calls... Also under FCC and International Laws they cannot turn off the "ringer" without having a Radio Operator Standing Watch (Listening) to ALL radio calls.
'Under the law' they can't.... however ...back in the real world....
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Old 30-07-2016, 03:54   #57
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by kerrydeare View Post
Not yet I haven't. However since AIS has given me the ability to identify particular commercial traffic and to hail if required, I have rarely not had a response on VHF. Of course there are instances where communication is difficult for other reasons (including language issues), but that aside.
Call a ship by name on 16 they know who you are... easy to answer ... pick up handset ..PTT

Their DSC VHF goes 'chirp..squeak.. chirp' in the dark... they look at it... 'xxxxxxxx' wants to talk to them... bugger that.. probably some telemarketer selling time share.. involves looking at screen... putting on reading glasses.. losing night vision... over running 'helm over' point ... running aground ... cupla thousand tons of HFO on the beach... name in papers.. court cases.. lose ticket ... unemployable...

Stuff it ... I think I'll ignore it ...
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Old 30-07-2016, 12:30   #58
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Re: DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Most DSC Radios are connected to your NEMA 0183,

It goes like this... Request a Position Report from another boat using DSC; Other Boat Acknowledges the DSC Call, which returns the Lat/Long to your boat's radio; The position shows up on your Chart Plotter, in my Raymarine E-120 it shows as a RED "X"

I wonder if that first statement is really true. Wouldn't surprise me if 90% of the 4 bazillion VHF DSC radios out there are not connected to a GPS or a plotter.

I'm still working on that last function. Radio says it will send, plotter says it will receive... but I don't get squat for position icons on the plotter. That said, not sure I've ever received a position report from anyone other than me (using my other radio), nor whether that would actually plot... nor whether the installer got the wiring correct. (We're still discussing that part of it.)

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