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Old 13 June 2010, 11:42   #1
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Hand held VHF - Range

I have read on many posts the range for a hand held transmitting @ 5watts is around 3 - 7 miles depending on variable factors.
What I would like to know is that if I travel from Falmouth to Fowey, say around 25 miles, and I'm rarely more than 3 miles offshore - but a lot more than that from the actual Falmouth coastguard building, would my transmission still be picked up. In other words are there lots of receiving devices strung along the coast, no more than 5miles apart?
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Old 13 June 2010, 12:30   #2
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If you are more than three miles from the nearest person with a VHF receiver on the same channel then you would not be heard.

There are no "repeaters" between you and the coastguard apart from anyone in range of your transmission whomight here you and pass a verbal message.

Think of it as being like you speaking with a megaphone that can be heard 3 miles away and no more.
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Old 13 June 2010, 13:03   #3
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The Coastguard do have a network of antennae along the coast - it's not just their base station that you need to reach. I'm not sure what locations they have along the south coast there ... I haven't been along that coast for a little while (although, having said that, I'm down there next week so I'll be interested in the answer). You'll also find that the range is almost certainly far more than 3-7 miles when you're talking to a tall tower rather than a receiver at your own level. For example, I've talked to Portland Coastguard from Cherbourg

Give Falmouth CG a call. They're one 01326 317575 (and very helpful)
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Old 13 June 2010, 13:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seizethemoment View Post
I have read on many posts the range for a hand held transmitting @ 5watts is around 3 - 7 miles depending on variable factors.
What I would like to know is that if I travel from Falmouth to Fowey, say around 25 miles, and I'm rarely more than 3 miles offshore - but a lot more than that from the actual Falmouth coastguard building, would my transmission still be picked up. In other words are there lots of receiving devices strung along the coast, no more than 5miles apart?
I'd splash out on a base set and with a decent GRP whip aerial. A nice bit of vhf traffic on ch16 gives one an enormous sense of wellbeing, akin to feeding pigeons and sparrows.

Where are you in the Fal area? I'm nr. Mawnan.
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Old 13 June 2010, 14:41   #5
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Thanks for your advice guys. I'll give Falmouth CG a ring as you suggest.
Mollers - I'm at Perranarworthal, keep the boat at home, and launch at Mylor.
Used to potter around in a Hardy Family Pilot called Dawfin, blue hull, white topsides, which I kept on a FHC mooring outside Packet Quays. Now sold. You may have seen me around.
I'll keep a lookout for you in future.
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Old 13 June 2010, 14:48   #6
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Thanks for your advice guys. I'll give Falmouth CG a ring as you suggest.
Mollers - I'm at Perranarworthal, keep the boat at home, and launch at Mylor.
Used to potter around in a Hardy Family Pilot called Dawfin, blue hull, white topsides, which I kept on a FHC mooring outside Packet Quays. Now sold. You may have seen me around.
I'll keep a lookout for you in future.
We launched at Mylor this afternoon with the Searider. It was busy enough despite the drizzle.
What colour scheme do you have on the Ribcraft?
A good pal of mine lives up on Church Rd, Perranarworthal.
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Old 13 June 2010, 17:48   #7
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I have used mine at around 5-7 miles with no problems, to another boat, when I had water in the mike of the base set on the rib and it wouldn't work. The Mrs has used my handheld VHF (SH HX270E) to talk to her office from the rib (they have a decent aerial on a tower) from an adjacent harbour. That was about 9nm and with terrain in the way as well which is always a bad thing for a VHF signal which is generally line of sight, but it still worked fine.

3 miles would be pretty pessimistic even HH to HH, and it's not that often you are talking to another HH user if the sh^t hits the fan.

Amateur band handhelds (similar frequency range, similar power output) certainly work a lot more than 3 miles as long as there isn't a hill in the way.
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Old 14 June 2010, 05:39   #8
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Mollers - White hull, red tubes. Here's a pic - no there isn't - can't make it work.
Will keep a look out for your SR4 with awkward trailer and olive barrel when I'm out and about. Must have held a fair few olives that!
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