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Old 04-05-2017, 07:40   #1
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Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

Hello,

I sold my previous boat with two out of three VHF radios included but I kept one of the handhelds for myself, a Lowrance Link-2. I now have a new MMSI number from the FCC for my current boat, but the Link-2 is still programmed with the old MMSI and according to Lowrance cannot be reset in any way, even by the factory. They will replace it for $129, a moderate discount on a new unit. I'm not crazy about the radio and I'd rather not pay this just to have a fresh one.

Is there anything wrong with simply disabling DSC and using it like that? I presume that MMSI and GPS info will not be transmitted if DSC was disabled, but will I still be in violation of some regulation by having more than one MMSI on board?

And of course if you are privy to any top-secret Lowrance reset procedure, please feel free to share!

Thanks,

Jac
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:04   #2
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post

(...)

simply disabling DSC and using it like that

(...)
On our units, once you enter the mmsi, the dsc is ENABLED (permanently). One cannot disable dsc. No menu entry like that.

Are you sure you can disable dsc on a unit after the mmsi is set?

BTW I would keep both the mmsi and the dsc as this is much better should you ever be making a mayday / panpan or securite broadcast.

b.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:45   #3
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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On our units, once you enter the mmsi, the dsc is ENABLED (permanently). One cannot disable dsc. No menu entry like that.

Are you sure you can disable dsc on a unit after the mmsi is set?

BTW I would keep both the mmsi and the dsc as this is much better should you ever be making a mayday / panpan or securite broadcast.

b.
Yes, I am able to disable it in settings. The manual says this is in case you are sailing "to inland waters or no DSC region."

I agree that it is much better to have DSC and that was the reason I bought the unit in the first place. Right now, though, I would rather put my money toward a new fixed-mount VHF with DSC and use the otherwise functional Lowrance as a simple handheld in the dinghy and cockpit, since the handheld that came with the boat won't hold a charge.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:10   #4
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

I'm super surprised that it can't be reset.

Generally every radio has programming software and cables available.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:41   #5
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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I'm super surprised that it can't be reset.
Me too, as it seems there is a key combination that resets their non-handheld units. One of the things that gives me pause about paying for another Link-2 is that even the techs at Lowrance seem very unfamiliar with the unit.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:18   #6
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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...One of the things that gives me pause about paying for another Link-2 is that even the techs at Lowrance seem very unfamiliar with the unit.
Based on the experience you described in your narrative, why would you ever buy another radio made by Lowrance?

Buy a VHF Marine Band radio from a manufacturer that can support the radio and allow its MMSI to be changed.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:27   #7
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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Based on the experience you described in your narrative, why would you ever buy another radio made by Lowrance?

Buy a VHF Marine Band radio from a manufacturer that can support the radio and allow its MMSI to be changed.
Exactly my intention, but for now I'm hoping to use the Link-2 as a basic handheld VHF. The battery life is exceptional and clarity and power are just fine.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:47   #8
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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Exactly my intention, but for now I'm hoping to use the Link-2 as a basic handheld VHF. The battery life is exceptional and clarity and power are just fine.
No doubt it is a nice radio, but it seems that Lowrance can support it. There is a disconnect between the people that design and produce the products and the knowledge about those products held by customer service representatives. But, then, first-tier customer support for any modern electronic device is generally awful.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:47   #9
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

Should be the same procedure AS with the navman 7100. Lawrence bought navman...
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:52   #10
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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No doubt it is a nice radio, but it seems that Lowrance can support it. There is a disconnect between the people that design and produce the products and the knowledge about those products held by customer service representatives. But, then, first-tier customer support for any modern electronic device is generally awful.
You don't have to convince me, but a functional non-DSC handheld is still better than a paperweight, at least for this season.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:52   #11
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

Slightly OT, and it doesn't help you but I sold my boat having just invested in a new B&G VHF and a new DSC Handheld (the old one ended up overboard). The B&G has the boats MMSI, but the handheld has a separate MMSI linked to ME, not the boat, so I have just kept it. Is that different where you are?
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:02   #12
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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Is that different where you are?
A bit different I think. The boat I sold had two new DSC units, one handheld and one fixed-mount, plus a simpler Standard Horizon handheld. Both DSC radios had the same MMSI as per regulations. I kept the Lowrance handheld in the hopes that I could reset the MMSI when I got a new boat, but now that does not seem to be the case. I got a new MMSI for my new boat because my old boat's MMSI is still in use via the fixed-mount DSC radio. The other choice would be to send the Lowrance to the buyer of my old boat but it's been a couple of years and I still have a need for a handheld...
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Old 05-05-2017, 13:00   #13
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

My understanding is it is illegal to use the MMSI of another vessel. (This is likely more important for AIS, but . . .)

Being a handheld it may not be as much as an issue, but a distress call from that radio will reference data about a boat not your own, therefore any S&R units will NOT be looking for your current boat but the registered one.

At least in the US, the gov't doesn't want people to be able to change MMSI numbers at will. (That would be sorta like James Bond's rotating licence plates...) I am surprised that the factory can't change it though. It may be as stated that they would rather you buy a newer one instead of trying to maintain all the older units out there.
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Old 05-05-2017, 13:13   #14
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

Just use it as is.
What likelihood is there that boat boats are in the same area?

DEC isn't really used much on handhelds anyway except in distress and if you are dying their aint no problem paying a $15 fine if you survive 😊
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Old 05-05-2017, 13:32   #15
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Re: Unable to reset Lowrance MMSI, still usable without DSC?

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Just use it as is.
What likelihood is there that boat boats are in the same area?

DEC isn't really used much on handhelds anyway except in distress and if you are dying their aint no problem paying a $15 fine if you survive 😊
Even if the boat with that MMSI number is not in the area, it IS the boat rescuers would be looking for. All the more confusion results if it IS in the same area especially if it is at sea at the same time, or worse yet it also has a DSC event. (I.E. Storm Damage)

Sure, it is a few hundred bucks but is that ALL you value your life and the life of any who sail with you at? Find a good new/used one that CAN be reprogrammed. I read somewhere that handhelds can now have their own MMSI number not associated with a particular vessel, but not sure if that applied to the states or not.
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