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Old 28-09-2013, 18:25   #1
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MMSI Transmissions

2 days ago I obtained an MMSI number from BoatUS and today correctly entered into my Standard Horizon DSC capable VHF. After doing so, I left the radio on while checking with Marinetraffic.com to see if I would show up. It didn't. Have I omitted a step? Should I have activated my GPS? Does it take awhile for the USCG to process the registration through BoatUS? Any advice will be much appreciated.
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Old 28-09-2013, 18:32   #2
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Re: MMSI transmissions

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Originally Posted by Skipper Jay View Post
2 days ago I obtained an MMSI number from BoatUS and today correctly entered into my Standard Horizon DSC capable VHF. After doing so, I left the radio on while checking with Marinetraffic.com to see if I would show up. It didn't. Have I omitted a step? Should I have activated my GPS? Does it take awhile for the USCG to process the registration through BoatUS? Any advice will be much appreciated.
Marinetraffic.com = AIS not DSC, big difference.
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Old 29-09-2013, 06:27   #3
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Re: MMSI transmissions

Yep. You do need an MMSI in order to transmit a legit AIS signal, but the DSC-capable VHF radio doesn't do that all by itself. You'd need an AIS transceiver.

In the meantime, at least having the MMSI allows you to make emergency calls, and you'd want the GPS connected to the radio and activated in order for those distress calls to include your current location info (lat/long coordinates). And you can also hail other DSC-capable bubbas.

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Old 29-09-2013, 06:38   #4
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Re: MMSI transmissions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Skipper Jay.
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Old 29-09-2013, 09:59   #5
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Re: MMSI Transmissions

Skipper Jay, I don't know which Standard Horizon VHF radio you have, but if it is one of the Matrix series with the built-in AIS receiver, be aware that this is AIS-receive only. It is not an AIS transponder. You need a transponder to transmit AIS, and for other vessels (and AIS-tracking websites) to receive your signals.

But, the receive-only AIS capability of the Matrix VHF radio is still extremely useful. And has been mentioned, the DSC features off the radio can also be very useful, and you need an MMSI # (and GPS connection) to use them. If you eventually get an AIS transponder you will use that same MMSI #.
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Old 29-09-2013, 19:25   #6
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Re: MMSI Transmissions

Paul, thanks for the guidance. I've been looking over the SH chartplotters and the cp390i looks like an excellent candidate to replace my old Garmin. The customization of the screens is really what I've been looking for.
I purchased Boat Beacon, put in my MMSI number and the boat showed om Marinetraffic.com and of course Boat Watch.
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Old 29-09-2013, 20:38   #7
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Re: MMSI Transmissions

Just in case you are not aware, with Boat Beacon alone, other ships in the area will not see you on their AIS screens.

Eric
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Old 30-09-2013, 05:53   #8
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Re: MMSI Transmissions

Eric, that's a very good point. I just got back from helping a friend get down to the Chesapeake and one of the crew was quite worried that the few tugs with tows might not see us. Radar, yes, AIS, no.
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