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Old 03-12-2013, 03:05   #16
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Re: Dumb DSC VHF questions

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Do people actually use the DSC function? I've never called anyone, never had anyone call me, and don't know anyone who's had it happen either. I've had a DSC radio for years, broadcast AIS, etc. Everyone just hails on 13 or 16.
I have my radio on most of the time and, in the past 2 years in the Caribbean have only gotten 3 or 4 DSC distress broadcasts (DSC radios do not allow the user to erase distress messages from the log); it is surprising how little DSC is used there. Europe, on the other hand, almost exclusively uses DSC; in fact the GMDSS legal requirement is to have a watch on VHF CH70 (the DSX channel) primarily, and VHF CH16 (the general hailing channel).
I'm not sure of the exact dates, but new ships stations have required DSC since 2005 or earlier.
I love DSC, since I can contact my friends using their MMSI digitally and suggest a working frequency and we can communicate without ever going anywhere near VHF CH16. When used with AIS it is even better, since the AIS signal also sends the MMSI, so instead of calling "Big tanker about to run me over" on CH16 you can dial the vessel directly.

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Originally Posted by ITU
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) became fully operational on 01 February 1999 and Channel 70 is now the primary channel for Distress, Urgency and Safety alerting using Digital Selective Calling (DSC).
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:46   #17
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Re: Dumb DSC VHF questions

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Europe, on the other hand, almost exclusively uses DSC; in fact the GMDSS legal requirement is to have a watch on VHF CH70 (the DSX channel) primarily, and VHF CH16 (the general hailing channel).
All signatory countries to GMDSS are bound by that rule , not just Europe. In europe its still very rare to get DSC calls, the coastguard radio stations do announce on DSC , but most voice calls are not preceded by DSC alerts outside of that ( including calls to coastguard radio stations).

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