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Old 04-09-2015, 16:52   #1
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VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

I have cruised SW Tas in the past, always with HF, My new boat has VHF only, I have seen the VHF repeater coverage maps, but wonder what the coverage is in reality? Interested in the Port Davey,Bathurst Harbour; Macquarie Hbr/Gordon river. Anyone with practical experience of VHF in these areas, connunicating with Coast Radio Hobart(or Tascoast, or whatever they call themselves now, I am a menber of long standing,and long absence RG66)
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Old 04-09-2015, 17:15   #2
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Bruce, there is VHF coverage in Port Davey, most places, from a repeater on Matsuyker (IIRC). Dunno about Macquarie Harbour... been too long since we were there.

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Old 04-09-2015, 17:22   #3
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Can't help directly but can say there was some expansion of repeaters in Tas about a year back with the claim that all Tas coastal areas are fully covered.

Was at Macquarie hatbour and lower Gordon a few week back and there was VHF coverage there along with a shipload of working fish farm boats and tourist vessels.
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Old 04-09-2015, 17:42   #4
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

If anyone can cover for me at the office I'll go down there and find out for you.


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Old 04-09-2015, 20:00   #5
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Bruce, there is VHF coverage in Port Davey, most places, from a repeater on Matsuyker (IIRC). Dunno about Macquarie Harbour... been too long since we were there.

Jim
Hi Jim, I have met you guys in Pigsties and also at Yamba, Recently talking to Garry & Sue McAuley, they were asking after you, told them you were in NewCal. Thanks for reply re VHF, often a big difference between supposed coverage, and reality with VHF, I really dont want to install HF unless I have to, maybe just a reciever for weather.
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Old 05-09-2015, 17:37   #6
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Bruce,
This is going to be really short, 'cause I don't have any first hand info for you!

But, here is some very detailed generic info on VHF radio range and VHF Radiowave propagation....
It may of help / interest to you....(or not

VHF and AIS Radiowave Propagation and VHF and AIS Radio Range


Fair winds..

John
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Old 05-09-2015, 17:57   #7
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Back from a quite recent two week trip to Port Davey I can safely say that you cannot count on VHF reception once you are inside Breaksea Island. The repeater on Maatsyker is almost totally blanked once you enter Bathurst Channel.
My 12M vessel has VHF and an SSB receiver, but even the SSB struggled. The best solution, which we used , was to hire a satellite 'phone and use a shore based weather advisor (another sailing friend) on scheduled calls to contain the costs. Service from the Hobart-based hirer was excellent.
Like another poster, I am a member of Coast Radio Hobart (RG 1039).
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Old 05-09-2015, 18:02   #8
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aitch View Post
Back from a quite recent two week trip to Port Davey I can safely say that you cannot count on VHF reception once you are inside Breaksea Island. The repeater on Maatsyker is almost totally blanked once you enter Bathurst Channel.
My 12M vessel has VHF and an SSB receiver, but even the SSB struggled. The best solution, which we used , was to hire a satellite 'phone and use a shore based weather advisor (another sailing friend) on scheduled calls to contain the costs. Service from the Hobart-based hirer was excellent.
Like another poster, I am a member of Coast Radio Hobart (RG 1039).
Thanks for the local advice. May I ask how recent was our Port Davey trip?

And which satphone hirer did you use? PM me if you prefer.
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Old 05-09-2015, 18:20   #9
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Our trip was March this year (2015)
New VHF repeater on Mt Elliot was of no assistance. Maatsuyker upgrade was scheduled but not completed at this stage. if I were returning, I would use the satellite 'phone approach again.
Hirer details on my vessel which is in Kettering. Pm me if you are local and would like a personal meeting for advice.
Try www.wildertas.com.au
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Old 05-09-2015, 18:26   #10
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Wilderness | Safety | Tasmania | Wilderness Safety Tasmania
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:36   #11
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aitch View Post
Our trip was March this year (2015)
...
. Maatsuyker upgrade was scheduled but not completed at this stage.
Well, at least that is one thing that seems to have been completed..

M16-10 Maatsuyker Island VHF Repeater - MAST MAST
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:27   #12
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

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Well, at least that is one thing that seems to have been completed..

M16-10 Maatsuyker Island VHF Repeater - MAST MAST
Err... that link is 4 years old...
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:45   #13
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Oh crap.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:24   #14
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

MAST will be installing a VHF base station at Maatsuyker Island in the next few months. The existing repeater will remain for public use as well. Just waiting to get a decent weather window and more daylight hours to complete the work. The system will be monitored by Tas Maritime Radio in Hobart along with the other sites around the coast (Mt Mangana, Maria Island, South Sister, Flinders Island, Three Hummock Island, Mt Read & Elliott Range). More info can be found at Marine Radio Network Tasmania - MAST MAST or the TMR site TMR

Unfortunately there will always be blind spots with VHF coverage due to our mountainous terrain - sites are selected with the aim of giving the best possible coverage, but sometimes there is a compromise with location as getting VHF traffic back from remote sites back to Hobart can be problematic in terms of the technical challenge and cost. For example, the Flinders Island base to Hobart link is accomplished using 3 UHF link sites, all of which are in remote locations themselves.

If anyone wants any info on any of this please feel free to PM me.
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Old 06-09-2015, 19:23   #15
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Re: VHF coverage in SW Tasmania?

Many thanks to all, Local knowledge was what I am after, so many therotical coverage maps and propagation articles are so far from reality, nothings beats someone who has been there and tried it!!!!!! I will probably end up installing HF, it just seems so complicated in this day of simple communications. I have been down the Iridium route, and dont really like it for day to day weather, skeds etc, hard to beat the knowlegable and friendly voices at Coast Radio Hobart!!
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