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Old 24-08-2015, 04:50   #31
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Does anyone police the not having a license for the ssb sets? Or is it like VHF, where the authorities just ignore it?

And it seems that quite a few people on CF and other forums recommend that if going far off shore or doing overseas trips a marine ssb is the way to go 'for safety'. But some of you seem to be suggesting this is not the case? Have I assessed this correctly?
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Old 24-08-2015, 04:57   #32
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Reading all this it appears that there a number of ways of tackling the problem of the radio itself. That looks to be a whole interesting area, but thankfully it has been well covered in CF.


The main thing seems to be that there are a couple of ways of getting some hands on transmit time, so I will follow up those options. Regardless of whether HF is coming or going, I think it will be a useful addition to the boat and I would like to be confident in both my hardware and the ability to use it.


For the record, having recently sat the MROCP, there was a strong sense from the instructor that radios without DSC were just no point any more, it seems the chance of being heard around Oz without it are pretty poor and based much more on luck than anything else.


From the MROCP handbook, section 3, 19.3 "Aural watchkeeping has been replaced by digital selective calling watchkeeping by maritime communications stations."


So right from the first chapter they are hinting that DSC is going to be needed. Can't remember what the deal was with the current requirements for ships monitoring 16 vs 70 DSC on VHF, it was there somewhere, but our own experience was that no ships answered our hail on 16 when we were sailing the boat home. Don't know if they would have answered on 70 in fairness...


Scary buggers.


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Old 24-08-2015, 16:07   #33
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Reading all this it appears that there a number of ways of tackling the problem of the radio itself. That looks to be a whole interesting area, but thankfully it has been well covered in CF.


The main thing seems to be that there are a couple of ways of getting some hands on transmit time, so I will follow up those options. Regardless of whether HF is coming or going, I think it will be a useful addition to the boat and I would like to be confident in both my hardware and the ability to use it.


For the record, having recently sat the MROCP, there was a strong sense from the instructor that radios without DSC were just no point any more, it seems the chance of being heard around Oz without it are pretty poor and based much more on luck than anything else.


From the MROCP handbook, section 3, 19.3 "Aural watchkeeping has been replaced by digital selective calling watchkeeping by maritime communications stations."


So right from the first chapter they are hinting that DSC is going to be needed. Can't remember what the deal was with the current requirements for ships monitoring 16 vs 70 DSC on VHF, it was there somewhere, but our own experience was that no ships answered our hail on 16 when we were sailing the boat home. Don't know if they would have answered on 70 in fairness...


Scary buggers.


Matt
My understanding is that the DSC aspect simply 'automates' and 'simplifies and speeds up' the emergency side of things. Where they suggest that shore based listening will mainly be for DSC, I think that just means the emphasis will be on including c70. But 16 is always going to be the communication channel.

And vhf is I think, with dsc also being added going to be around for a long time. It's the most easy to use, reliable and cheap form of communication on the water. There is virtually no where around bass strait (for example) you can't be heard. And whilst he's right, it's a bit of luck to be heard in an emergency, I wouldn't mind some Tatts tickets at the odds of being heard.

With large commercial shipping I find (as did Jessica Watson from memory) that if you call them by name they tend to answer. That's just my experience in the strait.
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Old 24-08-2015, 16:19   #34
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

HF competency is one of those 10,000 hours skills.

I don't get much time other than to check weather and time at the moment.

Listening to the ham nation podcasts helps me to keep up with hf.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 24-08-2015, 16:48   #35
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Wow, just reading up on doing a course myself (mine is from the 90's) and the AMC sight states that if I attempt to do the exam and fail, any previous certificates I have will be cancelled.

Not a great incentive to retrain
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Old 24-08-2015, 17:35   #36
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
El Pinguino what Kenwoods do you like? I have a ham lic and a friend used ham going across to England no problem.

I wonder what is wrong with using DSC on VHF I thought that that was intended for emergencies, complete with lat long and a simple button. Who is going to have time to screw around with Ham DSC when you are short handed? - I am guessing its advantage is range.
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Old 24-08-2015, 23:22   #37
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Hi guys,

I have both a Long Range SSB certificate and a Ham license. I also have a Icom 802/pactor installed on the boat.

Forgetting all the jargon - DSC is simply a radio version of the telephone. If you want to call someone and have their MMSI number - you simply punch this in and press call - their radio (at the other end) will ring and if it is turned on and they are in the mood to answer it - they will and you can get on with your conversation.

If you're off shore and want safety - the the DSC button on an HF radio is probably best - once pushed, it simply screams out a distress signal showing your mmsi number and your GPS location. If you had time, it will also tell the receiving end what type of emergency you have - but simply pushing the button sends the message.

Newer generations of sat phones also have a "DSC" button for emergencies but my understanding of these is that it is simply a pre-prorammed telephone number that is dialed, not a true distress button.


Once you have a radio, the best way to get familiar with it is to simply listen to the traffic. You'll get feel for what is being sent when on which channels fairly quickly

I used to have listings of some of the nets around the world but can't seem to find them.

Does anyone have SSB net listings? showing channel and time when they are sending.

If so, please post here.


Ham radio is an entirely different animal. Here you need a call sign and the Hams will not answer your call if you don't have one. Lots of intersting people to talk to, but they won't have a DSC functionality and therefore you can't simply dial up their MMSI (they also don't have one of these) and call them.

On your SSB you can also pull down grib files for weather and you can get Sailmail (cost a couple of hundred $ per year)

Lots of people are saying the SSB is dying and being replaced by satphones. Perhaps they are correct - but the big ships are still listening on SSB as is the coast guard in almost all countries (they are required to just as the big ships are).

I suspect that the reason for the above is that a satphone can be operated without any training whilst an SSB does require some training and at least a license (many are too lazy to get one)

Then there is cost. A satphone is cheaper to buy than an SSB, but once acquired, use of an SSB is free whilst the Satphone costs by the minute.

We'll be going RTW starting next year. Were we only going to cross the atlantic and spend the rest of the time coastal sailing, I'd only have purchased a satphone. But once you are in the pacific or the south atlantic - the SSB makes a lot of sense.

carsten
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:04   #38
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Hi guys,

I have both a Long Range SSB certificate and a Ham license. I also have a Icom 802/pactor installed on the boat.

Forgetting all the jargon - DSC is simply a radio version of the telephone. If you want to call someone and have their MMSI number - you simply punch this in and press call - their radio (at the other end) will ring and if it is turned on and they are in the mood to answer it - they will and you can get on with your conversation.

If you're off shore and want safety - the the DSC button on an HF radio is probably best - once pushed, it simply screams out a distress signal showing your mmsi number and your GPS location. If you had time, it will also tell the receiving end what type of emergency you have - but simply pushing the button sends the message.

Newer generations of sat phones also have a "DSC" button for emergencies but my understanding of these is that it is simply a pre-prorammed telephone number that is dialed, not a true distress button.


Once you have a radio, the best way to get familiar with it is to simply listen to the traffic. You'll get feel for what is being sent when on which channels fairly quickly

I used to have listings of some of the nets around the world but can't seem to find them.

Does anyone have SSB net listings? showing channel and time when they are sending.

If so, please post here.


Ham radio is an entirely different animal. Here you need a call sign and the Hams will not answer your call if you don't have one. Lots of intersting people to talk to, but they won't have a DSC functionality and therefore you can't simply dial up their MMSI (they also don't have one of these) and call them.

On your SSB you can also pull down grib files for weather and you can get Sailmail (cost a couple of hundred $ per year)

Lots of people are saying the SSB is dying and being replaced by satphones. Perhaps they are correct - but the big ships are still listening on SSB as is the coast guard in almost all countries (they are required to just as the big ships are).

I suspect that the reason for the above is that a satphone can be operated without any training whilst an SSB does require some training and at least a license (many are too lazy to get one)

Then there is cost. A satphone is cheaper to buy than an SSB, but once acquired, use of an SSB is free whilst the Satphone costs by the minute.

We'll be going RTW starting next year. Were we only going to cross the atlantic and spend the rest of the time coastal sailing, I'd only have purchased a satphone. But once you are in the pacific or the south atlantic - the SSB makes a lot of sense.

carsten
Have you ever been able to raise someone on dialling a dsc call?

I've tried several times on a vhf equipped dsc, but so far havnt reached anyone.
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:09   #39
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Have you ever been able to raise someone on dialling a dsc call?

I've tried several times on a vhf equipped dsc, but so far havnt reached anyone.
yes, ships have always replied when dialed their DSC
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:13   #40
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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yes, ships have always replied when dialed their DSC
Do you call them on a VHF equipped DSC or SSB DSC? I presume it matters?
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:23   #41
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Do you call them on a VHF equipped DSC or SSB DSC? I presume it matters?
The effective range of a VHF radio is around 25nm (depending on conditions) - so if you're trying to call a ship within 20-25nm you need to use the VHF. HF radio wave propagation is much further. HF radio waves bounce off the atmosphere so the first up/down bounce is usually something like 1000-1500nm
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:32   #42
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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The effective range of a VHF radio is around 25nm (depending on conditions) - so if you're trying to call a ship within 20-25nm you need to use the VHF. HF radio wave propagation is much further. HF radio waves bounce off the atmosphere so the first up/down bounce is usually something like 1000-1500nm
so, do you call them on VHF DSC or SSB DSC?

I've only got VHF and So far not been able to get a response.
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:36   #43
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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so, do you call them on VHF DSC or SSB DSC?

I've only got VHF and So far not been able to get a response.
That is surprising - I've always gotten a response. Silly question perhaps - but are you sure your equipment is working correctly? Perhaps you should get a neighboring boat (sailboat) with VHF DSC to help you test. Try calling them and have them try calling you.
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:40   #44
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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That is surprising - I've always gotten a response. Silly question perhaps - but are you sure your equipment is working correctly? Perhaps you should get a neighboring boat (sailboat) with VHF DSC to help you test. Try calling them and have them try calling you.
That's a good suggestion I'll do that. The radio part of it works fine, but I'll call someone who I've arranged it with.

Can I ask, third time, are you using VHF or SSB? Or both?

And does the DSC operate across both radios?
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Old 25-08-2015, 00:46   #45
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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That's a good suggestion I'll do that. The radio part of it works fine, but I'll call someone who I've arranged it with.

Can I ask, third time, are you using VHF or SSB? Or both?

And does the DSC operate across both radios?
Each radio has its own DSC - so when I call a ship to agree a starboard to starboard passing, agree intentions or similar - I can usually see them or at least see them on my AIS, here I use my VHF radio.

I've had no reason to try to call a ship 1000nm away, but I have called other sailors who have an SSB and spoken with them (in the MED). Again I simply dial (push buttons) their MMSI number and assuming they are in the mood to talk - they'll answer.

AS I noted earlier - trying to call someone on your SSB who is only 20-25nm away is a non-starter. you'd need to to be sending with enormous power, maybe 500-600 watts or the receiver would need a huge antenna.

I tested my SSB with a local Ham operator, 20nm away. He could hear me when I sent with 150 watts (he has an enormous antenna array) and I could hear him when he powered up to 700 watts.
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