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Old 26-11-2015, 10:23   #1
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Location: Live in Oregon, boat in San Mateo
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Radio Operation

I love this forum because I've even we some terrific advice - so now I'm asking for help again...

I bought my 1975 Cal 2-29 in August and I live her madly. The guy I bought her from was mostly a moron who only bay sailed her and kept her for 10 years without even naming her. He "traded up" to a bigger boat and I got lucky. The Helen P is docked in San Mateo, California.

I'm fairly handy and she runs beautifully so I have no issues with that and my only issue right now is probably a silly one: the radio. I have absolutely NO idea how to use it, what its call numbers are or anything else. Former owner shared no information...

How do I know or find out what the call numbers are? How do I go about using this to monitor other boats or the Coast Guard or whatever. When I turn it on I get weather reports and that seems to be it. So while I'm almost embarrassed to ask these questions, I'd be more embarrassed if I didn't!

Thanks!!
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:38   #2
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Re: Radio Operation

... how about letting us know what kind of radio it is ;-)?

Carsten
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:47   #3
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Re: Radio Operation

Under the assumption it's a VHF this covers the basics.
BoatUS - BoatTech - VHF Basics by Don Casey
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:52   #4
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Re: Radio Operation

as Homer Simpson would say "d'oh!"

It's the most basic of VHF radios. And old...
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Old 26-11-2015, 11:26   #5
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Re: Radio Operation

The radio will be so old it will not have the capacity for a MMSI, so you don't need that. It will not have a federal call sign, like WDH 2400 or so. So like 99.9% of the operators out there, just use your boat's name as the call sign.

IF you buy a new radio capable of DSC which also has the digital emergency broadcast, you will need a MMSI. Boat US will give you one for free, but it cannot be used outside of the continental US. If you plan to go international, you will need a MMSI issued by the FCC and a ship radio license--all about $160 for ten years. Otherwise, the free Boat US MMSI will be fine and you can easily input it to your radio. Higher end radios will also have their own built-in GPS which will add lat and long to your emergency broadcast. A good feature.
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Old 26-11-2015, 13:52   #6
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Re: Radio Operation

Is it a handheld or fixed station with an antenna at the mast head? I've found the handheld to be fairly useless except when you're within a few miles of your hailing station, but I keep one on my person to hear vessel traffic on Ch 14 and for race committee calls. The fixed VHF is the one you'll want to upgrade to DSC and to make sure that all the wiring and connections are good. You'll want to test it on a non-commercial station (VHF Marine Radio Channels and Frequencies) with another boater to see if the transmission is clear. When you get DSC, you can use it like a cell phone with another DSC boater. You'll need MMSI for this, as the others said.

Happy Sailing, Cait!! A female friend of mine does a lot of single-handed sailing on her Cal2-29 over at Berkeley. Feel free to get in touch with me and I can make introductions. We can also compare notes on the trials and tribulations about boat learnin'
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Old 26-11-2015, 13:54   #7
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Re: Radio Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Under the assumption it's a VHF this covers the basics.
BoatUS - BoatTech - VHF Basics by Don Casey
Good info. Thanks!
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Old 26-11-2015, 13:57   #8
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Re: Radio Operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Is it a handheld or fixed station with an antenna at the mast head? I've found the handheld to be fairly useless except when you're within a few miles of your hailing station, but I keep one on my person to hear vessel traffic on Ch 14 and for race committee calls. The fixed VHF is the one you'll want to upgrade to DSC and to make sure that all the wiring and connections are good. You'll want to test it on a non-commercial station (VHF Marine Radio Channels and Frequencies) with another boater to see if the transmission is clear. When you get DSC, you can use it like a cell phone with another DSC boater. You'll need MMSI for this, as the others said.

Happy Sailing, Cait!! A female friend of mine does a lot of single-handed sailing on her Cal2-29 over at Berkeley. Feel free to get in touch with me and I can make introductions. We can also compare notes on the trials and tribulations about boat learnin'
It's hard wired, not hand held. I think I'll peruse the wes marine sales for a better one!

Yes, please! I'd love the introduction - always open to ANY suggestions, hints, tips of the trade and bourbon!
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