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Old 06 May 2019, 09:50   #1
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MMSI can of worms....

Anyone tell me can you apply for a portable MMSI and be issued one without an SRC or equivalent?

Background before I get crucified....

Semi hypothetical Q... DSC handhelds are being sold and marketed with the distress function, this function will not work without a programmed MMSI? So people are buying them thinking that they can just press the button when they get into trouble and then what happens? Will distress be sent? Can it be responded to?

If not and an MMSI needs to be input in the set before any dsc functions are possible then every set sold should include that info, on the box and in he box? A bit like a PLB, it’s useless unless registered?

I know all about the SRC I have one but I am seeing more and more people with a radio great, more of them are DSC (under £200 for a fully waterproof dsc portable! https://www.force4.co.uk/standard-ho...ld-vhf-wi.html ) but are they being fooled into thinking it has a load of functions which will not work without an MMSI (I think many are)

While I encourage people to do the course, read the book etc, not all will.

So can you get a portable MMSI issued without proof of an SRC? Easy on a vessel as it’s issued to the vessel
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Old 06 May 2019, 10:21   #2
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1. No requirement for SRC for the MMSI.

You could legally own a DSC handheld set, with no SRCand operate it under the supervision of someone (or several someone's) who has an SRC.

2. PLBis not completely useless if unregistered
You will get a response. But they don't know what they are likely responding to. Are you a single kayaker or a Yacht with 8 PoB for instance. But a PLB unregistered will still generate a response.

3. The information you require is in the manual
DSC functions on any DSC set will NEVER work without the MMSI programmed. RTFM.

4. It would be legal to use a DSC with MMSI in an emergency without SRC
The law specifically states this. That's not just a 'you won't get prosecuted' it is a specifically stated exemption.

Not completely clear on the law for owning EPIRB etc. It would only ever be used in an emergency...
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Old 06 May 2019, 10:44   #3
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Thanks I couldn’t remember if I needed my SRC details to get my MMSI, I checked the manual for my DSC unit and another make and the standard manual was far clearer that no DSC functions will work without an MMSI.

Re 1 good point.

2 good to know, thinking about it they work differently so that would have to be the case.

3 who does that??? (Wasn’t very clear in some)

4 that was my thought but I’m no expert.
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Old 07 May 2019, 16:48   #4
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2. PLBis not completely useless if unregistered
You will get a response. But they don't know what they are likely responding to. Are you a single kayaker or a Yacht with 8 PoB for instance. But a PLB unregistered will still generate a response.

At the very minimum the correct country will be notified as the first three digits of the Hex code are the country code, not good if you are on holiday , but if for instance the activation came from the English channel, then the UK CG would be notified and it would be for them to mobilize France is needs be ...........
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Old 07 May 2019, 17:56   #5
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At the very minimum the correct country will be notified as the first three digits of the Hex code are the country code, not good if you are on holiday , but if for instance the activation came from the English channel, then the UK CG would be notified and it would be for them to mobilize France is needs be ...........
Is that pre programmed by allocated market then straight from the factory? Or added by dealer prior to shipment to end customer?
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Old 25 May 2019, 19:23   #6
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Is that pre programmed by allocated market then straight from the factory? Or added by dealer prior to shipment to end customer?

Yes, it is programmed from the factory and is the first 3 digits of the Hex ID code.
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Old 26 May 2019, 07:03   #7
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At the very minimum the correct country will be notified as the first three digits of the Hex code are the country code, not good if you are on holiday , but if for instance the activation came from the English channel, then the UK CG would be notified and it would be for them to mobilize France is needs be ...........
How does that differ if I'm on holiday and had registered it?
Yes my shore contact could be able to say "Ah yes he's on holiday in X, and they can say thats where the alert is from so perhaps it seems legitimate"

But there is no assurance my shore contact will answer the phone.
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Old 27 May 2019, 06:45   #8
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How does that differ if I'm on holiday and had registered it?
Yes my shore contact could be able to say "Ah yes he's on holiday in X, and they can say thats where the alert is from so perhaps it seems legitimate"

But there is no assurance my shore contact will answer the phone.

FFS .............. is Pedantic your middle name ? ..........
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Old 27 May 2019, 08:22   #9
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Have I missed a crucial detail somewhere in this thread?

It takes 10 minutes to apply for an MMSI number, ten minutes to load it and this whole debate becomes acedemic.
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Old 27 May 2019, 08:31   #10
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Have I missed a crucial detail somewhere in this thread?

It takes 10 minutes to apply for an MMSI number, ten minutes to load it and this whole debate becomes acedemic.
Precisely!
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Old 27 May 2019, 08:33   #11
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FFS .............. is Pedantic your middle name ? ..........
No. You seem obsessed with trying to show you know how the system works at a technical level. Telling us that the home country is notified from the hex code. But the point is pretty simple... Unless someone can confirm it is not a distress it will be investigated in the UK and a UK unit overseas will result in the foreign coastguard being asked to investigate. The registration is accademic.
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Old 27 May 2019, 14:24   #12
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How does that differ if I'm on holiday and had registered it?
Yes my shore contact could be able to say "Ah yes he's on holiday in X, and they can say thats where the alert is from so perhaps it seems legitimate"

But there is no assurance my shore contact will answer the phone.
All this stuff was originally designed with the commercial vessel in mind (and ratified by the IMO under GMDSS - one of the cornerstones of maritime law); leisure use is somewhat of a by product. As such the authorities are very well equipped, and very well versed in working together to make sure a distress gets followed up when one authority gets a distress alert which might be on the other side of the globe.
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Old 27 May 2019, 17:11   #13
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The registration is accademic.
In the UK it is a legal and mandatory requirement to register ANY 406Mhz beacon (EPIRB or PLB). IIRC, this is explicitly covered in the 'Merchant Shipping Regulations 2000' and also covered in the 'Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006' which updated and repealed the 'Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949'.
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Old 27 May 2019, 17:21   #14
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Mine is registered but show me someone who has been prosecuted for non-registration
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Old 27 May 2019, 17:41   #15
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Mine is registered but show me someone who has been prosecuted for non-registration

That is not the point ....... there are plenty of legal legislative requirements in in the UK that are rarely, if ever, acted upon in a court of law ............ however, go out there and make yourself a nuisance with an unregistered 406Mhz beacon and then quote me the same sentence .........


Some legislative laws are in place due to an international requirement and some are there as almost a precautionary measure .......... this falls into both categories.
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Old 28 May 2019, 02:44   #16
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That is not the point ....... there are plenty of legal legislative requirements in in the UK that are rarely, if ever, acted upon in a court of law ............ however, go out there and make yourself a nuisance with an unregistered 406Mhz beacon and then quote me the same sentence .........


Some legislative laws are in place due to an international requirement and some are there as almost a precautionary measure .......... this falls into both categories.
But is that not exactly what HDAV wants his DSC set to do? "Unregistered" still set off a DSC alert if he presses the red button. Because he thinks people are out there buying DSC radios, not doing any training, not reading the manual, YouTube or the internet and then drowning when the red button fails.

There doesn't seem to be queue of people taking the p1$$ with either DSC sets (you could put any valid MMSI in) or PLBs... I will hazard a guess the £200 starting price influences that.

I'm fully supportive of the law. It should be mandatory to register them. I'm even supportive of the SRC although I think I could teach (the relevant bit) in 2 hrs!

But we seem to be promoting myths. So here are some facts:
- an unregistered plb will get you rescued. A registered one may speed up the rescue slightly and in the event of a false alarm may avoid unnecessary deployment of resources
- a DSC set with no MMSI will not send an alert. If you realise that on the water - press the button on the side and talk... Which you should be doing after pressing red button anyway.
- a DSC set with MMSI will legally send a distress alert in an emergency even if no-one on board has a SRC.
- MMSI (fixed sets) belong to the boat, are free to register and do not require a SRC to register them
- MMSI (portable sets) belong to the radio, are free to register and do not require a SRC to register them

The end.
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Old 28 May 2019, 08:20   #17
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But we seem to be promoting myths. So here are some facts:
- an unregistered plb will get you rescued. A registered one may speed up the rescue slightly and in the event of a false alarm may avoid unnecessary deployment of resources
- a DSC set with no MMSI will not send an alert. If you realise that on the water - press the button on the side and talk... Which you should be doing after pressing red button anyway.
- a DSC set with MMSI will legally send a distress alert in an emergency even if no-one on board has a SRC.
- MMSI (fixed sets) belong to the boat, are free to register and do not require a SRC to register them
- MMSI (portable sets) belong to the radio, are free to register and do not require a SRC to register them

The end.

There are no myths, however, with the facts, the devil is in the detail...........

Digital Selective Calling is NOT a registration exercise ................ it is a Licensing requirement, under the Wireless Telegarphy Act 2006 (IIRC Section 5)

A 'Ship Radio Licence' and a 'Ship Portable Radio Licence' is a mandatory requirement that allows the INSTALLATION of specified marine radio transmitting equipment. The nature of the equipment will be listed on the licence. The licence provides the installation a Callsign and a DSC MMSI.

To operate the installed equipment a specified qualification must be held by the operator ...... the minimum being a Short Range Certificate (SRC), but other more demanding qualifications are a Restricted Operator’s Certificate (ROC), a General Operator’s Certificate (GOC), a First-class Radioelectronic certificate, and a Second-class Radioelectronic Certificate.......the ROC, GOC, FCRC, and SCRC will all have endorsements by the MCA.


Now ...... that is a better ending
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Old 28 May 2019, 12:05   #18
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To operate the installed equipment other than in an emergency a specified qualification must be held by the operator or a person supervising the operator ...... the minimum being a Short Range Certificate (SRC), but other more demanding qualifications are a Restricted Operatorís Certificate (ROC), a General Operatorís Certificate (GOC), a First-class Radioelectronic certificate, and a Second-class Radioelectronic Certificate.......the ROC, GOC, FCRC, and SCRC will all have endorsements by the MCA.
FTFY - If you are going to have a pedantic argument about feck all, at least get it right ;-)
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Old 28 May 2019, 16:10   #19
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FTFY - If you are going to have a pedantic argument about feck all, at least get it right ;-)

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Old 29 May 2019, 18:21   #20
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Like I said a can of worms I have so far met at least 2 people with DSC sets and no programmed MMSI who are under the impression that in and emergency all they have to do is press the red button.....and the Calvary come running...
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