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Old 22-10-2020, 09:22   #1
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SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Not sure if this would go here or in a general forum. I have not seen this posted anywhere else, and saw no mention of it on SeaTow's website, but as of October 2nd, the service is no longer available. That is a shame. Even though many people still used 16 for radio checks, this can only add to the improper use of 16.

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Old 22-10-2020, 10:11   #2
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

That’s too bad, I was a big fan of the automated check, it actually played your transmission back to you so you heard how good or bad your radio sounded
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Old 22-10-2020, 10:25   #3
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

That sucks...I used it often to check equipment
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Old 22-10-2020, 10:28   #4
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Seatow has it posted on their website:

https://www.seatow.com/boating-safet...d-radio-checks

For radio checks, the biggest issue is NOT to use 16. The USCG suggests using 09. I still don't like using 9 and prefer to jump to a non-commercial channel (e.g. 68; 69; 71; 72; 78A) and just do a simple radio check there.

I prefer to only use 09 to hail someone and then move to a non-commercial channel.
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Old 22-10-2020, 10:46   #5
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

I was out just the other day.

Someone requested a radio check.........

The CG came on and said channel 16 is for hailing and distress only.......

The guy requesting the radio check politely said, thank you very much........
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Old 22-10-2020, 12:05   #6
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Around here, if one guy requests a radio check on 16 while it's quiet for a while, the CG usually ignores it. But if a second person asks, they'll send them all off to another channel. 9 makes sense for radio checks to me, as it's got a better shot of having someone listening than most of the working channels.
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Old 22-10-2020, 12:10   #7
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNemoO2 View Post
Please let me know if anyone has difficulty with the DSC test call portion of this MSIB. The USCG also provides a similar service for those having a DSC-equipped HF radio, on the DSC calling frequency 4207.5 kHz.

Thanks
Joe Hersey
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Old 22-10-2020, 13:23   #8
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

The procedure to implement the Test DSC is not very intuitive as compared to the old pick up the mike, talk and listen to the recorded replay..unless one has done it ( Test DSC procedure)several times
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Old 22-10-2020, 13:52   #9
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

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The procedure to implement the Test DSC is not very intuitive as compared to the old pick up the mike, talk and listen to the recorded replay..unless one has done it ( Test DSC procedure)several times
Quite true, and each model does it a little differently. But I did want to confirm that it at least works OK...
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Old 22-10-2020, 14:43   #10
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

I think they may have stopped the radio check service a few weeks prior to Oct 2 as I tried several times in early Sept and didnt get a response, now I know why. I did a radio check on VHF 9 but got a response from a nearby boater less than 100 yards away, automatic radio check were nice as I used to get a response from ~ 20 miles away.

For DSC calling, do I have to find out our local coast guard number or that number on the form is universal? How do I find my local CGs number?
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Old 22-10-2020, 15:31   #11
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

The radio check function was a way for Maritel (or their holding company, or whoever) to hold on to the licenses as they must be in use in order to be renewed.


By keeping the licenses, they were able to sell interference waivers to LMR (land mobile radio) users who wanted to use the same frequencies outside, but nearby, coastal areas. For a time, this was lucrative.


I wonder what changed, and what will become of the frequencies. I suppose they will end up being used for non-maritime purposes, though most VHF public safety users have migrated to 800 MHz and most business users have migrated to cellular, so the spectrum is perhaps not as valuable as it once was.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:05   #12
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

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...

For DSC calling, do I have to find out our local coast guard number or that number on the form is universal? How do I find my local CGs number?
003669999 is the USCG Coast Station Group identity. If you use that identity, you are supposed to get an automatic response back from each Rescue21 station in range of your call.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:20   #13
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

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The radio check function was a way for Maritel (or their holding company, or whoever) to hold on to the licenses as they must be in use in order to be renewed.


By keeping the licenses, they were able to sell interference waivers to LMR (land mobile radio) users who wanted to use the same frequencies outside, but nearby, coastal areas. For a time, this was lucrative.


I wonder what changed, and what will become of the frequencies. I suppose they will end up being used for non-maritime purposes, though most VHF public safety users have migrated to 800 MHz and most business users have migrated to cellular, so the spectrum is perhaps not as valuable as it once was.

I believe you are quite right. What happened was that MariTEL and Seatow could not come to an agreement on the cost for continued use of the frequencies, once the original agreement expired. So MariTEL notified FCC, and FCC ordered them to cease. FCC renewed MariTEL's 10-year license a couple of years ago, so the pressure on them is reduced.

The International Assoc of Lighthouse Authorities and Aids to Nav (IALA) is working on a broadband ship-shore-satellite enhancement to AIS called VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) that would use these frequencies MariTEL is holding. I believe they hope to leverage them somehow.
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:25   #14
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joehersey View Post
003669999 is the USCG Coast Station Group identity. If you use that identity, you are supposed to get an automatic response back from each Rescue21 station in range of your call.
Thank you, I will try it tomorrow.
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Old 22-10-2020, 18:21   #15
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Re: SeaTow Automated Radio Check Service Discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joehersey View Post
Please let me know if anyone has difficulty with the DSC test call portion of this MSIB. The USCG also provides a similar service for those having a DSC-equipped HF radio, on the DSC calling frequency 4207.5 kHz.

Thanks
Joe Hersey
joe@joecel.com
USCG retired
I've successfully used the DSC radio check several times. On the other hand, I've never gotten a response from SeaTow.
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