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Old 24-03-2011, 20:12   #1
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many DSC alarms, or false alarms

In another thread people were talking about too many DSC distress alerts on their radio, many of them false alarms. I haven't had any DSC alerts on my radio in the Puget Sound area, false or real. I haven't been out very much the last year or two though. Are there specific regions where this has been a problem? Has anyone heard of DSC problems in the PNW? Do we just have very few people that have bothered to opt in and set up their DSC here?


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Old 24-03-2011, 20:20   #2
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Re: many DSC alarms, or false alarms

We've only had one alarm (false) in the 2+ years that we've had a DSC capable radio.

We're in the Los Angeles area, down by LA Harbor, so it isn't that quiet.


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Old 24-03-2011, 21:20   #3
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Re: many DSC alarms, or false alarms

I haven't heard anything at all down in San Diego for the last three + years we've had the DSC VHF.
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Old 29-03-2011, 07:36   #4
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Re: many DSC alarms, or false alarms

Sailing 6 or 8 weeks each year at the West Coast of Europe (France, UK) and the Mediterranean, and having a DSC capable VHF always turned on, I never received a Distress alert (false or true).
However, back in 1999 or 2000 sailing in North Brittany (close to Alderney) we received a Distress Relay call from Brixham Coastguard about a MOB situation (see enclosed picture). The DSC alert was followed by the Mayday Relay message, as it should be.
I was quite surprised to receive such a call on a Class D VHF-DSC set, as it was not even mentioned in the User's Guide, that you could receive such call.
Coming back to false distress alerts, I think the statistics are showing much more false alerts from EPIRBs, than from VHF-DSC radios.
Anyone has good figures for DSC and EPIRB Distress alerts (true or false)?
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Old 29-03-2011, 13:48   #5
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Re: many DSC alarms, or false alarms

Etel MRCC (south Brittany) 2010 report:
Flares: 53 (43 false alerts)
Other signals: 2 (no false alert)
EPIRB: 26 (22 false alerts)
Inmarsat C: 5 ( 4 false alerts)
DSC 9 (5 false alerts)
Indeed, there are much more false alerts from EPIRBs than from VHF-DSC radios.

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