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Old 05 September 2003, 08:29   #11
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I see you have an epirb as well, very impresive, if I ever sink I want to be with you.

HM Coastguard also use that database to get the id if dsc callers to us.
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Old 05 September 2003, 08:37   #12
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Alex
I have DSC. I am in the directory (under Cyanide) in Scubakids pointer above.
However, I have never used it and no one elses MMSI is in my directory.
When cruising I just agree a Ch. number with the other boats and use voice. To be honest, without looking it up, I dont even think I could make a DSC (non-emergency) call to another vessel.

Question 1.
Just to clarify............is the 2005 date one where only the mandatory requirement for ships to monitor Ch. 16 goes? Presumably the CG (and anyone else who wants to) can and will still monitor 16?

Question 2.
How many pleasure boats have only VHF versus VHF/DSC (ie what is the takeup so far)?

Question 3.
If I were to make an emergency call using DSC to the CG, does the CG equipment link automatically to the ships details either logged by the Radio Agency or by CG66? i.e. can you, sitting there, say, "Aha, that's Brians boat, it is a blue RIB, 9.5m long and his next of kin details are............"?
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Old 05 September 2003, 08:54   #13
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Brian

1: 2005 is when the coastguard stop listening on a headset. it will still be on but on a speaker. As you know the amount of radio traffic on the southcoast means that a call may be missed if 2 or more units transmit at the same time. Obvoiusly we will try to avoid that as much as possible, but no guarantee. Ships had to comply back in 1999.

2. Sorry don't know, but as far as regular uses in the Falmouth District there is me plus one dive boat out of St Ives.

3. There is not yet a direct link between DSC and our various databases to id the vessel. But we do not need the I.D. to initiate search and rescue. Obviously we will endevour to ID the vessel asap, for example using the ITU database that Scubakid mentioned, or the CG66 scheme.

Groups such as BIBOA can request a group MMSI so that for example on cruises all BIBOA boats can be called at once.

Finally DSC has a slightly increased range due to the signal been digital and not suffering the same degredation as an analoge voice signal.
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Old 05 September 2003, 09:23   #14
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can you, sitting there, say, "Aha, that's Brians boat, it is a blue RIB, 9.5m long and his next of kin details are............"?
Your boats not blue #
Got a new one we don't know about Monsieur Elliott??
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Old 05 September 2003, 09:28   #15
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Quote:
"Aha, that's Brians boat, it is a blue RIB, 9.5m long and his next of kin details are............"?
Hopefully we get to you before "next of kin details" are needed, we prefer to call it "shore contact".
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Old 05 September 2003, 11:26   #16
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Am I slightly worried now?
What will be the diference between CG listening on headset and on a speaker?
Will the "speaker" option offer a lower "service"?
Why do you want to go speaker i/o headset anyway?
If the "service" level is lower, and as I strongly suspect the number of pleasure vessels with VHF only is 99%-ish of the total VHF/DSC population, and is likely to be so for some time, then we are going to have problems aren't we?

PS Charles. Everybody else says my boat is blue (light blue, Prussian blue, turquoise etc) only you and I know it is really Cyan (hence Cyanide-geddit?).

Would it not be A VERY GOOD IDEA to link the databases for ID purposes? How do you know what you are looking for otherwise? And if the GPS is not linked to the DSC, then you dont even know where to look.

BIBOA group MMSI. Useful, but only if the group id is temporary ie for this cruise only AND if everyone taking part has a DSC set.

Good thread this innit?
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Old 05 September 2003, 11:39   #17
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Brian

At the moment one person has to listen via a headset, so no distractions, to channel 16 and cannot do anything else, such as answer the phone for example.

When this stops channel 16 will be on a loudspeaker for everyone in the opsroom to hear.

The UK is the only country to still maintain a headset watch on channel 16, and merchant vessel (or any vessel complying to IMO?GMDSS regs) are not actively listening either.

Your chances of having your mayday call heard and responded to are probably fairly close to what they are now, especially in the quiter parts of the coast with less pleasure use.

But lately whilst I have been manning channel 16 myself, with the high pressure we have had, I was listening to everybody with a vhf set from Holyhead to the Solent, including the Irish and the French. Even on a quite day I would be listening to 7 aerials covering falmouth bay round to Bude, and Brixham have a similair problem covering from the Dodman to the river Exe.

The best way of getting your call be it routine or distress, heard and responded to is to announce by DSC first.

The coastguard have been very flexible agreeing to continue to monitor channel 16 until 2005, but that isn't going to carry on forever.

The pleasure boat user in the Uk was given a 6 year extension for him to save up and buy a DSC radio. Any fixed set sold at the moment for us newbies will be dsc complient, so at the worst needing the purchase of a seperate DSC controller. But if you bought your set from a responsible dealer he should have advised you to but a DSC set anyway.

With regards to linking the database's it would be a lovely idea, but as wi deal with vessels from all over the world, it would be a very complicated thing to set up, I think (not a computer expert).

But knowing the colour of your vessel is not realy required when responding to your distress. We will find that out soon enough by putting youe mmsi into the appropriate d/base within seconds anyway. If you are making a routine call, after your set has switched itself to the working channel that has been chosen, you will initiate the voice part of your call with the mmsi and vessel name, and then I shout "thats brian with his 9.5m blue hulled rib"

Not all these points are aimed at you Brian, I am just pre-empting some questions that may come.
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Old 05 September 2003, 15:24   #18
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I can see another major advantage to this when receiving distress signals through the dsc system.....

Last weekend, I was talking to one of the local chaps who does vhf courses, and was wondering how I could test the thing... he suggested calling myself to see what happened. It did work.... within a fraction of a second of pressing send, the thing made a stupidly loud noise that could not be missed, and notified me of a call - great stuff.

About three minutes later, it bleeped loudly again... we all looked at it, and it had MAYDAY RLY on the screen - first thoughts were, "oh sh*t" have I pressed the wrong button, but within about 20 seconds or so, the coastguard put out a mayday relay on an epirb that had gone off by Fishguard many many miles away from us. On the vhf, they gave out the lat and lon of the beacon alert with time etc... which is fine under normal circumstances, but you try and write that down when bombing along at 30knots, when it's chucking down with rain - not fun
Anyway, what I didn't realise was that the dsc unit stored all this info on it digitally, and you can call it up at an instant, and fire it into the gps for locating.

On another note though, I know 2 people only on the river with dsc units at the moment, which isn't many really

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Old 06 September 2003, 12:26   #19
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Am I slightly worried now?
Well I think you probably ought to be. When the Emergency services in this country tell you they're doing something to improve the service, it usually means they're going to save money at the expense of quality. Try dialling 999 these days and you're likely to be in a queue listening to a message saying 'all our operators are busy, your call will be answered as soon as possible'. Fat lot of help that is when your leg is hanging off or your house is being burgled.

What happens on a speaker watch when everyone in the room is on the phone or other duties and a weak mayday call comes in? A dedicated skilled radio operator is what I would like on the other end, not a room full of people with other things on their mind.

How do you test your distress function, as opposed to a mmsi number call, is working without actually sending a mayday?

It's very good of the Coastguard being flexible by continuing to monitor Ch16 until 2005. I dont think so! Perhaps, like one of the regular radio operators we have in Holyhead, who thinks that every call that comes in is an affront to his dignity and how dare he be disturbed, the people who run these organisations should remember that they are a public service funded by the taxpayer(us!!) and have a duty to provide a quality service.

David(anti bullshit)Manning
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Old 06 September 2003, 12:46   #20
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Have to say the one time I had to phone 999, I wasn't terribly impressed. They phoned back twice to check the spelling of the street name. Took 'em 5 minutes to phone back the first time, then 5 minutes after that they called again. Good job the bloke assualting my dad buggered off back to his own house after a couple of minutes...

Still, DSC seems like a damn good idea.
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