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Old 11-09-2019, 07:18   #1
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US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV)

In todays Federal Register:

Coast Guard
[Docket No. USCG–2019–0702]
Proposed Termination of U.S. Coast Guard Medium Frequency (MF) Broadcast of Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) and Shift to Satellite
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY: The U.S. Coast Guard may cease broadcasting Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) over Medium Frequency (MF) after first ensuring the information contained in NAVTEX broadcasts is available via International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized satellite services. This notice requests public comment on the possibility of terminating the MF NAVTEX broadcast.

DATES: Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http:// www.regulations.gov, on or before November 12, 2019.


See https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...2019-19675.pdf
---
USCG NAVTEX info is posted here: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=NAVTEX

NWS NAVTEX info is posted here: https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/navtex.htm

Coast Guard NAVTEX transmitters are at the end of their useful life and they don't have the funds to replace them, nor are they likely to get those funds.

USCG plans to shift broadcasts to existing Inmarsat-C and forthcoming FleetSafety SafetyNET satellite service, and to Iridium's forthcoming FleetCast service, both recognized by the International Maritime Organization's Global Maritime Distress & Safety System. Presumably the National Weather Service will do the same. Since IMO-regulated shipping should already have these equipment, they should not be affected. However FCC-regulated small passenger vessels (FCC Subpart S) that travel outside 100 nm are also required to have NAVTEX and are also affected. Other small vessels are known to use use NAVTEX as well.

The USCG has no idea how many of these others are affected and is therefore seeking comments.

Comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov, noting Docket No. USCG–2019–0702.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:24   #2
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

Available in the EU for ages I never used it once in a sailboat. I did though in fishing trawlers.


To me: zero use. I wonder how others see this.



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Old 11-09-2019, 15:03   #3
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

A PO installed Navtex but since it's not available in this part of the wrold, I've never turned it on
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Old 11-09-2019, 15:10   #4
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

I’ve never had much use for It personally. The coverage area is quite limited near me.

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I do have strong feelings regarding weatherfax though.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:41   #5
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

i used navtex on our cruising sailboat until we sold it a few years ago.


we cruised the southeast usa and bahamas. navtex provides you with very good offshore weather forecasts which are not broadcast on vhf weather. not terribly important when you are coasting but once you are out of range of vhf the navtex broadcasts are available for out to a couple of hundred miles. great in the bahamas because navtex weather reports

cover the large ocean areas that affect sailing in the bahamas and caribbean.


we relied on navtex to keep apprised of developing weather and found it exceptionally accurate. it requires a special receiver which i installed for about $500.



i thought it was a great tool and would definitely buy another for my next boat....
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:53   #6
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

I thought Navtex was part of GMDSS which is an international requirement for shipping. It was certainly included in my LRC (Long Range Certificate) exam for SSB, Imarsat C and other bits
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Old 12-09-2019, 13:25   #7
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

I found NAVTEX invaluable while cruising in Europe. In the summer months there are area closures for military exercises throughout Europe (e.g. artillery practice near Plymouth, amphibious landing on south coast of Sardinia) and NAVTEX carries the announcements in advance. Other Notices to Mariners are broadcast, as well as the weather in many places. One great advantage is that the main transmission is (supposed to be) in English, with local language broadcasts carried on a second frequency, although at that time some local messages were on the main frequency. Receiving in English is valuable as often local info is only available in local languages.

It would be nice if the US stopped making decisions as if we were the only ones alive. The world-wide network of NAVTEX transmissions covers most of the commercial maritime areas, and taking a big chunk out of it undermines the system, rather like we did with LORAN just as new chains were coming online in Europe. For the commercial world the cost of satellite receivers and subscriptions is small potatoes, but for most cruisers it would be a significant expense. The NAVTEX receiver wasn't cheap (~$500?) but it was a one-time expense.

To be fair, even with a quality Furuno receiver the messages were too often garbled, and waiting 4 hours for the next round of transmissions was a nuisance.

Greg
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Old 12-09-2019, 14:25   #8
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
I found NAVTEX invaluable while cruising in Europe. In the summer months there are area closures for military exercises throughout Europe (e.g. artillery practice near Plymouth, amphibious landing on south coast of Sardinia) and NAVTEX carries the announcements in advance. Other Notices to Mariners are broadcast, as well as the weather in many places. One great advantage is that the main transmission is (supposed to be) in English, with local language broadcasts carried on a second frequency, although at that time some local messages were on the main frequency. Receiving in English is valuable as often local info is only available in local languages.

It would be nice if the US stopped making decisions as if we were the only ones alive. The world-wide network of NAVTEX transmissions covers most of the commercial maritime areas, and taking a big chunk out of it undermines the system, rather like we did with LORAN just as new chains were coming online in Europe. For the commercial world the cost of satellite receivers and subscriptions is small potatoes, but for most cruisers it would be a significant expense. The NAVTEX receiver wasn't cheap (~$500?) but it was a one-time expense.

To be fair, even with a quality Furuno receiver the messages were too often garbled, and waiting 4 hours for the next round of transmissions was a nuisance.

Greg
To be fair, there was pretty much no overlap between LORAN in Europe and the U.S. chains, so while the U.S. shutdown perhaps impacted the global market for LORAN receivers it didn't make the European chains any less useful. It was never a worldwide system anyway, and millions of people around the world seem to have no problem using the GPS system developed and maintained at great expense by the U.S. which is provided free of charge to the rest of the world, as was done with SatNav and in many areas LORAN. In the arena of electronic navigation systems, it's a bit unfair to accuse the U.S. of anything but generosity.
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Old 12-09-2019, 14:40   #9
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

By killing LORAN in the US the USCG killed the market for receivers in the US, the largest market. As a result of much lower sales the support for the new European chains didn't make it into most LORAN receivers - instead they dropped the product lines. Which in turn was a massive hit on the European chain. I was in Europe at that time, and my LORAN never had a firmware update to handle the new chains. Our choices do have a major impact on other nations, we just don't like to admit it.

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Old 12-09-2019, 18:49   #10
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triumphant View Post
I thought Navtex was part of GMDSS which is an international requirement for shipping. It was certainly included in my LRC (Long Range Certificate) exam for SSB, Imarsat C and other bits
The exam is all about making you aware of equipment to be carried and what information is received on them....

Vessels required to comply with GMDSS equipment carriage requirements are currently still required to carry NAVTEX receivers, but there is no requirement for a country to transmit NAVTEX information....

Australia has no NAVTEX system but vessels compliant with GMDSS carriage requirements will still receive the same information but over the Sat-C system....all the vessels i work on are fitted with NAVTEX receivers but these are turned off in Australian Waters.....my own boat has a Furuno NX-300 fitted but again is of no use in my home waters....
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Old 14-09-2019, 06:01   #11
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
it requires a special receiver which i installed for about $500.

All you need is a shortwave radio, the laptop you likely already have (or a tablet), and a cable between. Maybe $100US.
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Old 14-09-2019, 06:28   #12
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
I found NAVTEX invaluable while cruising in Europe. In the summer months there are area closures for military exercises throughout Europe
Agree, can be very useful for nav warnings, like live firing schedules or survey vessels etc. Opencpn let's you cut and paste lat/long into waypoints quickly


Though all available on the web now -
[R] - NAVTEX Internacional (518 kHz) - Continental Portugal
WWMIWS-WMO-JCOMM
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Old 14-09-2019, 14:33   #13
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
All you need is a shortwave radio, the laptop you likely already have (or a tablet), and a cable between. Maybe $100US.
Actually, all you need is a laptop, or raspberry pi for that matter, and a software-defined radio ($30) to receive not just NAVTEX, but AIS, FM, TV, and most other radio signals. See https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/ This is supported by quite a few software packages, including OpenPlotter.

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Old 14-09-2019, 15:16   #14
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Actually, all you need is a laptop, or raspberry pi for that matter, and a software-defined radio ($30) to receive not just NAVTEX, but AIS, FM, TV, and most other radio signals. See https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/ This is supported by quite a few software packages, including OpenPlotter.

In theory. Sensitivity and selectivity at HF among the SDRs I have tried has been poor. I desperately want this to work so I can leave my Tecsun PL-880 home and use an SDR dongle.
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Old 14-09-2019, 15:48   #15
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Re: US Coast Guard seeks comments on closing NAVTEX broadcasts (comments close 12 NOV

The v3 SDR is supposed to be better, but still not great under 24MHz. The best solution would be to add an upconverter, shown under accessories on the same page. Also a filter might help. The SpyVerter is $49. It is still a compact solution, but approaching that $100.

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