Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-03-2011, 05:23   #1
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,742
Routine communications using DSC

I never hear of anyone using DSC for anything other than distress situations. Does anyone use the nifty routine comms functions?

1. Calling a ship identified by AIS to discuss safe passing.

2. Calling another boat you know and whose MMSI you have stored in your radio. (Makes the call digitally then automatically switches to your proposed working channel).

3. Dinghy to mother ship comms using a DSC handheld.

4. Position requests and reports.

5. Polling a flotilla.


DSC has so much potential -- does anyone actually use it?!
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2011, 10:53   #2
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: Routine communications using DSC

I have yet to secure my MMSI, mainly because I don't want to buy a new base unit until the AIS models get cheaper, but I received my DSC cert nearly two years ago, and the way we were instructed seem to lead to your number 2 as being the most likely sub-distress use of DSC.

Number 5 is already in use in local racing, because a class fleet ID'd by MMSI and reached via DSC is arguably more exact than just a "party line call" on 9 or 16 or a pre-selected working channel.

We saw this in the 2010 Lake Ontario 300, when comms were a mix of DSC and non-DSC calls as a large proportion of boats retired with damage and/or brown pants after a series of fairly damaging squalls.

Me, I have two DSC handhelds already, and I intend to use them to speak with the "mothership", when the mothership gets a new VHF. Being currently in a parking lot getting re-engined, that could be some time.
__________________

__________________
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2011, 11:16   #3
Registered User
 
Mark1977's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Halifax, N.S Canada
Boat: Tanzer 26, Walk22
Posts: 930
Re: Routine communications using DSC

#1 yes but only on the work boat.
__________________
Mark1977 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2011, 11:46   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Routine communications using DSC

I've tried but all my cruising buddies say didn't get my MMSI yet or haven't programmed my radio yet.

John
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 17:05   #5
Registered User
 
Mercz's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Boat: Helena 1913
Posts: 8
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Yes, I am one of the few yachtsmen using as often as possible DSC Routine calls, mostly for practice with my crew of future skippers. I am a radio course instructor (Short Range Certificate for VHF radios and Long Range Certificate for MF/HF SSB radios and Inmarsat C), so I use all opportunity to make good use of communication facilities onboard.

Actually, sailing in North Brittany, Channel Islands or Mediterranean as a flotilla of 3 or 5 sailing boats, we make individual routine calls to each other several times a day. Occasionally we call coast stations for radio check by routine call, as our VHF sets do not have the standard Test call function. We also played with group calls to the flotilla. All these functions are really great.

It is surprising and disappointing to see, how few seafarers are actually able to use DSC, in spite of the all the training for thousands of people each year. Any explanation?
__________________
Mercz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 17:33   #6
Registered User
 
Capitain Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Amorgos Greece Mediterranean Sea
Boat: Cobra 850
Posts: 249
Send a message via Yahoo to Capitain Mike Send a message via Skype™ to Capitain Mike
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercz View Post
Yes, I am one of the few yachtsmen using as often as possible DSC Routine calls, mostly for practice with my crew of future skippers. I am a radio course instructor (Short Range Certificate for VHF radios and Long Range Certificate for MF/HF SSB radios and Inmarsat C), so I use all opportunity to make good use of communication facilities onboard.

Actually, sailing in North Brittany, Channel Islands or Mediterranean as a flotilla of 3 or 5 sailing boats, we make individual routine calls to each other several times a day. Occasionally we call coast stations for radio check by routine call, as our VHF sets do not have the standard Test call function. We also played with group calls to the flotilla. All these functions are really great.

It is surprising and disappointing to see, how few seafarers are actually able to use DSC, in spite of the all the training for thousands of people each year. Any explanation?
If you are like me I have to read up every year when the season starts because I forget
__________________
Capitain Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 18:24   #7
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 1,673
Re: Routine communications using DSC

I have used DSC for routine calls, both wintering in a marina and under way. While wintering it is wonderful to not have to listen to communications in the background but still get a loud ring when someone wants to call me. I just leave the radio on but turn the volume all the way down; the ring is not affected by the volume setting. It is one of the best features of DSC.

At the other extreme, one of the most annoying things about DSC is that an amazing number of people misuse the distress feature. One winter several people kept testing their radios by pushing the distress button - apparently they didn't have the wits to enter someone else's MMSI number and make a private call. Making a Mayday call as a test is wrong, illegal, and just plain stupid. Unfortunately the local official shore station did it a few times too when they first came online (the leading two 0s in the MMSI is a giveaway). One of the most egregious examples was one European nation that sent out a distress signal prior to their regular transmission of weather/notices - I just wanted to scream, right after I peeled myself off the overhead (the distress alert is difficult to ignore - remember, it isn't affected by the volume control). When not traveling with friends I would shut the radio off rather than endure the regular annoyance - rather the opposite of the desired effect. I didn't think they would like to hear from a disgruntled Yank, else I would have burned a few ears...

I really like the DSC capabilities, and as more operators obtain the equipment and learn to use it properly the more valuable it will become. I just wish that on occasion I could reach out through the ether and grab someone by the throat :-)
__________________
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 18:46   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
Loco Gato's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Morro Bay,Ca.
Boat: other peoples
Posts: 131
Send a message via Skype™ to Loco Gato
Re: Routine communications using DSC

It's the same problem we had when the old radios(uhf?) were phased out for the VHF system. Remember 2182, 2670? Same for Omega to Loran A then C the SatNav now here we are. It'll take time but I would think in another year or so most we be using it as they see the benefits.
__________________
Loco Gato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 19:28   #9
Registered User
 
Greg S's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 328
Re: Routine communications using DSC

1. Calling a ship identified by AIS to discuss safe passing.
Once every now and again.

2. Calling another boat you know and whose MMSI you have stored in your radio. (Makes the call digitally then automatically switches to your proposed working channel).
Quite often. I really like this feature.


3-5 - Never
__________________
Greg S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 19:57   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Routine communications using DSC

In addition to my earlier post where no-one I know has their DSC setup I also go on trips with my club. Can't even convince them to use (perhaps learn to use) scanning or dual watch so we can just start conversations on a pre-selected working channel to keep each other updated.

John
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 20:13   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Routine communications using DSC

As we discussed in another thread, the CG says that 90% of distress alerts on DSC have no GPS signal and 60% have no MMSI. The thing I find is that I turn off the radio more because the alert is so annoying when someone is trying to nap underway or you're just enjoying a nice sail. I have yet to hear a real distress call on DSC (hear them on 16 all the time though). They all seem to be false alarms. Plus, my radio deprogrammed itself so I have to dismount it, disconnect the wires to the GPS, and send it back to ICOM for reprogramming. I think this is one of the worst features of the current sets--why can't we have more than 2 shots at programming the thing before we have to send it back to the shop? I hear a few folks using it for calls because they all of a sudden pop up on some other channel thinking it's clear after making the DSC connection, but nobody I know uses it.
__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2011, 02:00   #12
Registered User
 
Mercz's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Boat: Helena 1913
Posts: 8
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitain Mike View Post
If you are like me I have to read up every year when the season starts because I forget
Pilots learn and practice using simulators before flying. When I teach radiocommunication, we also use VHF radio and SSB MF/HF radio simulators to practice DSC and voice calls on a PC. You can send and receive Distress or Urgency calls without false alerts and you can see both side of the communication. This helps to refresh your skills before going out to sail.

Admittedly, equipment user guides are sometimes confusing and not always well written, so you have to figure out, how to make calls.

In the revision of technical specs (Recommendation ITU-R M.493), we propose a common user interface and menu structure standard for VHF and SSB radios now equipped with DSC.
__________________
Mercz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2011, 05:17   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 718
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loco Gato View Post
It's the same problem we had when the old radios(uhf?) were phased out for the VHF system. Remember 2182, 2670?
Those "old radios", MF/HF actually, were not phased out. Still very much in use today, including for distress calls, by many including myself.

Quote:
As we discussed in another thread, the CG says that 90% of distress alerts on DSC have no GPS signal and 60% have no MMSI.
You can't send a DSC distress call unless you have an MMSI programmed. Maybe they meant false numbers?

Eric
__________________
fairbank56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2011, 05:40   #14
Registered User
 
Capitain Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Amorgos Greece Mediterranean Sea
Boat: Cobra 850
Posts: 249
Send a message via Yahoo to Capitain Mike Send a message via Skype™ to Capitain Mike
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I have yet to secure my MMSI, mainly because I don't want to buy a new base unit until the AIS models get cheaper, but I received my DSC cert nearly two years ago, and the way we were instructed seem to lead to your number 2 as being the most likely sub-distress use of DSC.

Number 5 is already in use in local racing, because a class fleet ID'd by MMSI and reached via DSC is arguably more exact than just a "party line call" on 9 or 16 or a pre-selected working channel.

We saw this in the 2010 Lake Ontario 300, when comms were a mix of DSC and non-DSC calls as a large proportion of boats retired with damage and/or brown pants after a series of fairly damaging squalls.

Me, I have two DSC handhelds already, and I intend to use them to speak with the "mothership", when the mothership gets a new VHF. Being currently in a parking lot getting re-engined, that could be some time.

You don't have to wait for your MMSI. The MIMSI can be applied for on line and you can print out the completed forms + MIMSI number so that they can be kept on the boat with the radio.
__________________
Capitain Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2011, 05:42   #15
Registered User
 
Capitain Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Amorgos Greece Mediterranean Sea
Boat: Cobra 850
Posts: 249
Send a message via Yahoo to Capitain Mike Send a message via Skype™ to Capitain Mike
Re: Routine communications using DSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I've tried but all my cruising buddies say didn't get my MMSI yet or haven't programmed my radio yet.

John
Just Lazy or don't know how to do it. ( Or perhaps they don't want to talk to you)
I will talk to you
__________________

__________________
Capitain Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
communications, dsc

Thread Tools
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
Abandon-Ship Routine ? Feral Cement Health, Safety & Related Gear 27 26-03-2011 13:18
Communications catamannie Navigation 1 04-01-2011 02:35
Poll: What communications license do you have? David M Marine Electronics 28 11-05-2009 13:56
Communications ESutton Marine Electronics 3 29-11-2008 16:15
satellite communications captjohn360 Marine Electronics 16 03-01-2007 13:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:23.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.