Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-02-2019, 18:46   #1
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minneapolis area
Boat: Morgan 250, 25'
Posts: 980
HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

I've been reviewing brokerage listings with an eye towards the future purchase of a new sailboat. Many of the yacht listings I've looked at have older SSB installations that lack DSC.


Assuming they are functional would you consider these installations to be of any value, or are they candidates for a refit based on the lack of DSC capability?


Do you believe that DSC+HF is a useful means of obtaining emergency assistance?


Do you believe that an HF installation is useful in an emergency without it?


Are there any examples where use of DSC over HF resulted in obtaining assistance that otherwise would have been unavailable?
__________________

Jammer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 06:20   #2
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,301
Images: 6
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

I am a ham operator myself, so I will always have some means of HF communications on my boat. That said, were I not a licensed ham, I would think long and hard before putting money into an HF system these days. Satellite communications are getting better and better -- as well as cheaper and cheaper -- every day.


HF communications do serve a purpose that EPIRBs and sat-phones don't, but is it worth the money to fill that gap? I don't know. That's the decision you have to make. Some will certainly say "yes." Others will probably say "no." All I'm saying is that I would have to spend some serious time weighing the pros and cons; this is not a "no-brainer" sort of decision, in my opinion.
__________________

denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 06:31   #3
Registered User
 
MartinR's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sweden
Boat: 73´ULDB custom ketch
Posts: 533
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Do you believe that DSC+HF is a useful means of obtaining emergency assistance?
No!

Quote:
Do you believe that an HF installation is useful in an emergency without it?
Yes

Quote:
Are there any examples where use of DSC over HF resulted in obtaining assistance that otherwise would have been unavailable?
Probably, in polar regions HF is still very much needed.

To summarise, if you have some sort of satellite communicator, you are much better off today than with HF.
MartinR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 06:32   #4
Registered User
 
flyingnut40's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cobourg, Ontario,Canada
Boat: 1975 Scirocco 24 (Bulb Keel)
Posts: 63
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

following
flyingnut40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 06:49   #5
Registered User
 
flyingnut40's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cobourg, Ontario,Canada
Boat: 1975 Scirocco 24 (Bulb Keel)
Posts: 63
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

I am pondering the same question. I am a HAM and I LOVE my ICOM 756 PRO.

Unless my next boat comes with a BETTER radio, I will be installing the PRO.

As far as NETS, Weather and the social side of things, the HAM radio will do all that and despite having fewer channels available, I can fix that with a sheet of frequencies and my VFO. In some ways, the PRO might be better..... smaller tuning steps etc.


Following, so see where the extra $2000 is justified.
flyingnut40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 06:57   #6
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,824
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

This week Defender is selling the 802 HF radio with DSC for $2,200+shipping. About 45% off the RRP of $4,200.

https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=4112397
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 08:01   #7
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: The boat: Cowes (Winter), Above 60N (Summer); me: somewhere in the air!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 23,175
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I've been reviewing brokerage listings with an eye towards the future purchase of a new sailboat. Many of the yacht listings I've looked at have older SSB installations that lack DSC.


Assuming they are functional would you consider these installations to be of any value, or are they candidates for a refit based on the lack of DSC capability?


Do you believe that DSC+HF is a useful means of obtaining emergency assistance?


Do you believe that an HF installation is useful in an emergency without it?


Are there any examples where use of DSC over HF resulted in obtaining assistance that otherwise would have been unavailable?

There are a series of excellent sticky threads in the Marine Electronics section, by KA4WJA, which will give all the background on this you could want. I hope KA4WJA, who is our resident expert on the topic, will weigh in here.



IF you are going to consider HF radio to be a principle means of emergency comms, THEN, yes, you really want DSC, in fact, I think we have to say you MUST have it.


WHY, is because there are no more listening watches on HF radio anymore. You will find it difficult to contact any rescue or coast guard authority, without DSC. That's because HF marine radio works in a fundamentally different way from VHF -- there is no Channel 16 which most vessels are monitoring. That's because there's not even one frequency band, which suits for all purposes. Even when there were listening watches, you would have to faff around trying out the different bands, before you could finally raise someone -- something you might well not have time for in an emergency. But there are no more listening watches on MF/HF, almost anywhere, so you simply won't be able to make a distress call on HF radio, without DSC, at least not directly.



So DSC absolutely transforms the usefulness of HF radio, for emergency comms. IF you expect to use a marine SSB set for this purpose, then yes, you need DSC.




A different question, however, is whether you need HF radio for this at all. EPIRB plus some kind of satellite phone is going to be a much cheaper and simpler solution for most people.


That being said, HF radio does have some advantages over satellite phones, for emergency comms. A DSC distress call on HF radio will be received by other vessels directly, and could save a great deal of time in some emergency situations. I do like HF radio, and I have an Icom M802 on my boat, but I wouldn't say it's essential, or that it even makes much sense for anyone not venturing far offshore, out of Sea Area A1.




A footnote for Antipodeans: Australia, unlike most of the rest of the world, does not have seamless VHF coast station coverage. So the Australian coastal sea is Sea Area A2, not A1. There HF radio may be required carriage (some 'Straylian may correct me if this is misstated).
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-ętre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 08:06   #8
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 3,624
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Do you believe that DSC+HF is a useful means of obtaining emergency assistance?

Do you believe that an HF installation is useful in an emergency without it?

Where would you be sailing?

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 10:58   #9
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 22,877
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

I would not throw out a perfectly good, functioning HF and spend over $2,000 myself to get DSC, unless of course money was not an issue and I had plenty no point in saving $2,000
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 11:29   #10
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minneapolis area
Boat: Morgan 250, 25'
Posts: 980
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

A fact to consider in my particular case is that I do hold an amateur radio license and could probably always get in touch with someone (propagation conditions permitting).


Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Where would you be sailing?

-Chris

The area of most immediate concern is portions of Lake Superior that lack VHF coverage, particularly the Apostle Islands area, where VHF and cellular coverage is unavailable due to a combination of distance, terrain, and the signal blockage from the islands themselves, which are (with one exception) uninhabited.



https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/images/m...SteStMarie.jpg
Jammer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 11:37   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deltaville, VA
Boat: Moody M46 46
Posts: 295
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

If money is an issue and it is one or the other, get an EPIRB with internal gps. The gps can help locate you a bit quicker which could be important on Superior's cold waters. If you can afford both upgrading your HF to one with DSC and buying an EPRIB, do so. I figure the more distress signals going out, the better your chances of being heard and found. If you have DSC on your VHF and HF plus an EPRIB, that is three signals calling for help. When the boat goes down, the more the merrier.
Moody46CC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 11:47   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 671
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

A tough call. Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that very few people ever install the DSC system correctly and fewer regularly test and maintain it. Maybe only a HAM would enjoy something like that enough to do it. On the other hand, if you get your General ticket (not needed if it’s an actual emergency) there is always someone in the Midwest standing by on 14.300
(I assume that older sets can be “unlocked” to use the ham frequencies, but never really looked into it.)
toddster8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 12:33   #13
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minneapolis area
Boat: Morgan 250, 25'
Posts: 980
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
A tough call. Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that very few people ever install the DSC system correctly and fewer regularly test and maintain it. Maybe only a HAM would enjoy something like that enough to do it. On the other hand, if you get your General ticket (not needed if it’s an actual emergency) there is always someone in the Midwest standing by on 14.300

::nod:: If I'm going to go to the trouble to get a DSC HF installation, I'm going to install the second antenna and be sure it works. It's receive only, a connection to a chainplate is really all that is necessary.
Jammer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 15:09   #14
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: The boat: Cowes (Winter), Above 60N (Summer); me: somewhere in the air!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 23,175
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
::nod:: If I'm going to go to the trouble to get a DSC HF installation, I'm going to install the second antenna and be sure it works. It's receive only, a connection to a chainplate is really all that is necessary.

If you're a ham, then you might enjoy, just for its own sake, getting a proper DSC installation set up just right. Be sure to look at KA4WJA's videos.


And by the way, the M802, among all other marine SSB transceivers, is a superior amateur HF radio, with excellent DSP and voice compression (enabled through the hidden menu), and "ham mode" allowing easy unchannelized tuning.



The M802 is also easier to use in the digital modes.


It's altogether a very satisfying tool for a keen amateur, good for marine SSB, DSC distress calling, ham HF, and digital modes.



If you shop carefully, you can usually find a bargain in a used one. I bought mine for under $1000 -- including the tuner and a PACTOR modem.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-ętre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2019, 15:18   #15
Registered User
 
flyingnut40's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cobourg, Ontario,Canada
Boat: 1975 Scirocco 24 (Bulb Keel)
Posts: 63
Re: HF DSC important enough to warrant a refit?

Just curious, which pactor modem did you get when you stole the radio??
__________________

flyingnut40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dsc, import, refit

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'Enough is Enough!' . . . Yeah ! Right ! JustThinking Meets & Greets 22 21-02-2016 23:18
Looking for a fixed VHF *without* DSC (or ability to disable DSC) susswein Marine Electronics 31 10-11-2014 13:18
Enough's Enough - I Can't Stand No More Charlie Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 10 16-06-2009 09:44
SLEEP, enough or not enough?? shadow Off Topic Forum 22 17-04-2008 07:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:57.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.