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Old 23-09-2014, 20:05   #1
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Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

Hi Guys,

Today I found out that the marine HF radio in my boat requires an "apparatus license" (ship station license) and that this requires annual renewal. I made inquiries with ACMA about this as I'm about to upgrade the old 10 channel crystal oscillator transceiver on my boat with a new to me Icom 710. I suspected that there would be a license of some kind required, but then it occurred to me that I've never read of anyone actually mentioning this apparatus license in discussions. Without being too subtle, what are you other Aussie cruisers doing in regard to having an apparatus license for your HF radio?

Cheers, Jeff.
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Old 23-09-2014, 20:26   #2
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

The interesting thing is that the Licence requirement is a Federal issue and the guys who tend to patrol the water and check on you tend to be State, SO unless they are looking to get you for being an idiot then they will probably never ask. The only time I have ever had to produce me VHF card in 20 years was when applying for a MMSI and I had to send a copy of it. I think the state guys feel that you having it and using it responsibly for what it is designed and not being and idiot is safer than you not because of a licence. But hey I'm just a boatie what would I know
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Old 23-09-2014, 20:40   #3
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

Yes you do need HF licenced & a HF operators licence. Further ACMA is collecting for the ATO!! Are you sure on model? If it is not a marine radio then there maybe further issues like are you a licenced Ham?

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Old 23-09-2014, 21:21   #4
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

TBH Dod, that's kind of my thinking. I'm wondering if I've never heard it discussed because no one bothers lol. With the set I have currently fitted to the boat I wouldn't bother because I've never transmitted with it and have only used it for weather forecasts when out of range of all other signals. With the new unit installed, I might be inclined to use it a little more, but who knows. Having said that I'm somewhat keen to have a play with the right gear as, being a youth in the 70's, I have fond memories of playing around with CB radios.

Yeah Bill the radio is a bona-fide marine HF - it's even and specific AU version that is NLA (the ICOM AU site only lists the 710 for "export only" these days). Having said that, I've got the intention to open it up for HAM bands to allow use of WinLink so a medium term plan is to get a the relevant operators cert to operate it in this mode. Not sure of the legality though of modifying a type certified radio, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
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Old 23-09-2014, 21:39   #5
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

If you want to do winlink, you'll have to have a ham license, because it's all on ham frequencies. If you do sailmail, not so, your regular HF license will cover that.

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Old 23-09-2014, 21:40   #6
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

The only reason I am going to get the licence is because I need it to get an MMSI number for my AIS and DCS VHF radio.
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Old 24-09-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

I sat the exam; pay for the licence renewal each year.
Bit of a waste of money really, as I only use it to check the weather when i am out of VHF range.
I have never been asked for my radio licence over the past 8 years of boating .
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Old 24-09-2014, 15:56   #8
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

That's the thing guys, I'm not talking about the operator's license - MROCP - (which I have). The MROCP involves the one off test and fee and remains current forever. I'm referring to the license required to license the HF transceiver itself on the vessel and this needs to be renewed annually. This is referred to as the "apparatus" or "ship station" license which also gives you the call sign that nominally starts with the letter "V".
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Old 24-09-2014, 16:31   #9
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

I just paid my yearly apparatus licence renewal: $55 per year. It can be cancelled if i wish, but i will keep it going. Although it does seem a waste of money and unnecessary for my "check the weather" use. I also pay $30 a month for my Sat phone which doesn't get a lots of use either. Glad the don't charge me for the 3 EPIRBS I carry
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Old 24-09-2014, 17:02   #10
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyjeff View Post
....
Glad the don't charge me for the 3 EPIRBS I carry
Give 'em time... ha ha
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Old 24-09-2014, 17:55   #11
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

I was a radio operator with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard for ten years and unless the rules have changed in the last 4 years, then for a marine radio HF transceiver all you need to operate it legally is the MRCOP, but also the radio itself needs to be registered with AMSA in Canberra who will issue you with a radio ID code, which is used for identifying the caller and charging of the call itself. There is cost involved but it is a once only for the life of the set, if you buy a boat with a radio installed you must re-register it in your name and get a new ID code.
Check with AMSA for latest info and costs.
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Old 24-09-2014, 18:11   #12
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Re: Marine HF apparatus license in Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishiwa View Post
I was a radio operator with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard for ten years and unless the rules have changed in the last 4 years, then for a marine radio HF transceiver all you need to operate it legally is the MRCOP, but also the radio itself needs to be registered with AMSA in Canberra who will issue you with a radio ID code, which is used for identifying the caller and charging of the call itself. There is cost involved but it is a once only for the life of the set, if you buy a boat with a radio installed you must re-register it in your name and get a new ID code.
Check with AMSA for latest info and costs.
That's the apparatus license which, as Robyjeff said needs to be annually renewed @ 55 bucks a year. It may have changed, because our recently updated Australian registration certificate lists a call sign that expired in 2009 (we purchased the boat late last year). This is what made me think issue was for life and issued to the vessel but further queries with ACMA indicate that the license is required to be renewed annually and even though issued to the vessel, can be transferred which makes it effectively attached to the applicant.

What gets me is that I found looking up the info on the ACMA site to be totally confusing. I originally thought the "apparatus license" was for the use of custom frequencies when trying to make sense of stuff originally. It took a phone call to their enquiry line to get the complete picture.

Even now I'm not sure if the license is required just to have the transceiver onboard or if only intending to actually transmit (in cases other than an emergency)!
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