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Old 25-04-2013, 20:26   #1
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What are the DSC related features in OpenCPN?

Having read the online manual, and some threads on DSC, it's not clear what functionality is supported. Obviously, it would depend in part on the VHF radio.

So a VHF radio can request a position report from an MMSI numbered radio. I'm wondering what features does OpenCPN support when your radio has a NMEA in.


Can we initiate contact to a known MMSI number, from OpenCPN?

When we hear any talk on a marine VHF with DSC, do we automatically see an icon for their boat (assuming their radio has DSC)?

What must happen in order to have a boat identified by DSC appear on our OpenCPN screen?

Is there a command that would "zoom to display" the location of a boater?
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Old 25-04-2013, 20:47   #2
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Re: What are the DSC related features in OpenCPN?

Dave...
OpenCPN supports what's described in DSC and Buddy via AIS. | Official OpenCPN Homepage - receiving a position report and receiving a distress. What you can do with such a target is the same as with AIS targets.
You currently can't initiate contact from within OpenCPN - We kind of lack documentation to implement such a feature and as far as I know none of the devs has a device to use a trial and error method to find out how it has to work.

Pavel
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Old 26-04-2013, 03:20   #3
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Re: What are the DSC related features in OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave777 View Post
Can we initiate contact to a known MMSI number, from OpenCPN?
The Transponder Initialize function is indeed part of NMEA183, but all the implementations I know (at least, I knew at the time of programming DSC feature into OCPN) have been proprietary, i.e. they worked only between a chartplotter and VHF of the same manufacturer (and there were not many). By radio regulations a call can only be initiated manually, so the software can offer only some help (presetting MMSI), but a few buttons still have to be pressed on the radio. I do not know the situation today, but I think it is pretty much the same.
Quote:
When we hear any talk on a marine VHF with DSC, do we automatically see an icon for their boat (assuming their radio has DSC)?
Hearing a voice transmission does not say anything whether the call was initiated by DSC or not... I may be wrong now, but I think initiating a standard individual call does not carry any position information, so even monitoring ch 70 by special equipment will not reveal caller's position and the working channel is still open to all...
Quote:
What must happen in order to have a boat identified by DSC appear on our OpenCPN screen?
Receiving a DSC/DSE message over NMEA, which the radio outputs when decoding a Distress or Position Report in response to a Poll from the air.
Quote:
Is there a command that would "zoom to display" the location of a boater?
The DSC and Buddy targets appear on the AIS Target List and are subject to all the functions available there, e.g. JumpTo.

I hope this helps...
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Old 26-04-2013, 08:43   #4
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Re: What are the DSC related features in OpenCPN?

Isn't it absurd that Distress call features would be wrapped up in proprietary protocols. Particularly when implemented on top of NMEA. Oh well....

Being able to see where a distress call is coming from makes me think that it will be worth building a custom cable for my radio.

Would a DSC initiated call cause an icon to appear on OpenCPN? That would be a fantastic feature. We do some sailing with a group and this could be the spark to get everyone to register their MMSI numbers.

Quote:
Receiving a DSC/DSE message over NMEA, which the radio outputs when decoding a Distress or Position Report in response to a Poll from the air.
If a position report request is sent to a buddy, would his DSC equiped VHF automatically respond with his position without his intervention? Would this also work for each member of an MMSI group?

As always, thanks for the info. OpenCPN and its community continually impresses.
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Old 29-04-2013, 12:13   #5
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Re: What are the DSC related features in OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave777 View Post
Would a DSC initiated call cause an icon to appear on OpenCPN? That would be a fantastic feature. We do some sailing with a group and this could be the spark to get everyone to register their MMSI numbers.

If a position report request is sent to a buddy, would his DSC equiped VHF automatically respond with his position without his intervention? Would this also work for each member of an MMSI group?
No, an individual DSC call will not show on OCPN screen.

The DSC radio can be configured either to respond automatically to incoming position polls or it can ask noisily every time such a poll is received, whether to respond to it or no. I think it is a single global decision, group or no group.
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