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Old 04 July 2006, 10:58   #11
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Yes I was listening and I fully agree with Biggles....
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Old 04 July 2006, 18:03   #12
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The boat we brought back from Ireland last year for its new owner had the mmsi 123456789- hmmm I dont think so, we reset that after talking to the uk agents who said take it to a local stockist, when we said there wasnt one the answer was get a pen and paper and note down these codes. The radio cleared itself with no probs with these codes entered.
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Well the impression I had from my VHF course is that DSC is a load of bollocks
you do surprise me. I wonder if that was down to the instructor or the pupil. Dsc is handy for calling the other boat who is steaming and who wouldnt hear that the radio call is for him just by voice. The group call lets our boat club members "page" all the other club boats afloat for a bit of help. The mayday button would grab all those radios belonging to our local inshore fishermen and anglers who never ever listen to ch16 but use certain other channels to natter on constantly all day.
As far as a day demo-ing the calls it should have been done on the dsc course but we do it between the boats on all boat courses whenever practical just to show how it actually works at sea. We have even had the Coastguard MRSC call us up to ask if he could test his dsc with us, with the added comment that I know your mmsi cos its on the system.
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Old 04 July 2006, 19:02   #13
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The reason I didn't like my VHF course is because too much time was spent teaching people how to enter MMSI numbers etc - anyone who has used a mobile phone can grasp that p[art in a few minutes. What we DID need was more actual practice of radio speak and actually talking to people. It was NOT the fault of the coastguard bloke running the course.
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Old 05 July 2006, 02:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
It was NOT the fault of the coastguard bloke running the course.
Then who's fault is it? The syllabus does not spend loads of time "teaching" people how to load MMSI numbers. It should have been that almost the entire afternoon was given over to role play - using real radios. Making Mayday calls, both via DSC and normal and also interaction between students in interactive calls. I spend about 10 mins (if that!) talking about loading MMSI numbers. Each radio requires a different protocol to enter MMSI numbers into the directory. I also say to students - RTFM!

The object of the course is to demonstrate a level of competency in how to use a VHF marine DSC radio, and how to determine what call to make in the appropriate situation.



Mind you, if the class size is large, then it is very difficult to get enough time for each student on the radio. One of the reasons we keep class sizes down. We also have 5 radios so in many cases, that is a radio per student. At worst its 2 per set. We also do not use the old computer simualtor anymore.

The strict regulations say that the course should be 8 hours and that 15 mins per additional student over 8 should be added (to a maximum of 12). Large classes are, IMHO, not a great way of doing things. I have run class sizes of 12 in the past - I don't do it now. 8 is the maximum I will do, with 6 being preferred. OK, so we charge more, but what value do you get if you come away feeling you've not had sufficient time on making calls? By the sound of it, you feel you were robbed!!
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Old 05 July 2006, 04:10   #15
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Biggles

I understand what you are saying. I hate paperwork too.

What I am trying to say (badly) is that the MMSI should not be thought of as yours, but the boats, like its call sign. After all the MMSI is in effect just an electronic call sign.
The reason I think for retaining the MMSI with the boat is as follows.
You flog your 4M Searider and buy codder's monster and take your MMSI with you.
You then, unfortunatly, have to make a Mayday call. You only have time to hit the red button before the batteries die. You are close under high cliffs, and your handheld can "see" a CG antenna.
The coastguard recieve a DSC distress call that a 4m with a maximum of 4 persons needs assistance and the task the local ILB.
The ILB arrives to find a swamped 7.5M boat with 12 people swimming around it. By the time the nearest Arun class life boat has been tasked and arrived, 8 of those 12 have perrished.

Extreem, I know. But that is the down side of what you are proposing.
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Old 05 July 2006, 05:44   #16
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MMSIs like Callsigns have always been registered to the boat not the individual.
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Old 05 July 2006, 06:40   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solent Ranger
Then who's fault is it? The syllabus does not spend loads of time "teaching" people how to load MMSI numbers. It should have been that almost the entire afternoon was given over to role play - using real radios. Making Mayday calls, both via DSC and normal and also interaction between students in interactive calls. I spend about 10 mins (if that!) talking about loading MMSI numbers. Each radio requires a different protocol to enter MMSI numbers into the directory. I also say to students - RTFM!

The strict regulations say that the course should be 8 hours and that 15 mins per additional student over 8 should be added (to a maximum of 12). Large classes are, IMHO, not a great way of doing things. I have run class sizes of 12 in the past - I don't do it now. 8 is the maximum I will do, with 6 being preferred. OK, so we charge more, but what value do you get if you come away feeling you've not had sufficient time on making calls? By the sound of it, you feel you were robbed!!
Maybe I was just unlucky in having some slow witted people on the course who have never been on a boat and have no intention of getting one either - why the hell do such people come along? They can't have been paying for themselves.....

The coastguard bloke said he would far rather have had 2 days. The class size was about 12 but we all had Silva radios linked together etc.

There was a commercial fisherman on the course who had been forced to pass an exam after being caught using his radio with no paperwork. He pointed out that the prob with DSC radios is that people just switch them off to stop all the beeping noises - tends to defeat the object somewhat.

Also even in the classroom people were struggling to read out the MMSI number over the air in the mayday calls - not exactly easy in a real situation.

The fisherman had actually used his radio in an emergency - basically he only just had time to scream help before his boat went down - he didn't exactly bother scrolling through the list of distress type calls to find the right one.

I know a few people who have taken to using their hand helds in preference to their main sets because they don't have DSC.....
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Old 05 July 2006, 07:22   #18
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Slow witted people

Why do we have to so intolerant of one another all the time? Some people are very quick at picking up subjects and some are not as good and some are incapable of grasping anything at all, but all deserve to be given the best chance possible and in particular the GMDSS system, Should we only train and protect the people who are our academic successes like codprawn after all persons of lower intellect can drive a rib at the same speed and make the same death defying turns. If he who has a lower IQ has a misfortune at sea should he only be allowed to use the voice procedure, I donít think so.

It is the fault of the instructor or the training school for not selecting the group a little better, During the time I ran the SRC courses I had no problems and indeed found that new kids on the block fared better than the experienced up graders. On one occasion I ran a coarse for one man who had problems reading and writing, at the end of 8 hours we had a max score pass (the exam was verbal) and had devised a bridge card he could understand and use. Time well spent and I went of home having enjoyed the time spent. Another course was for crew of a lifeboat, not interested really, may be I should just write out the certs and go home, NO we donít do that so the course over ran but all passed in the end. So if anybody gets on to a course that is slow going be patient it could be the slow witted man that pulls you out of the water after answering the DSC alert on his sparkly new radio.

A good thing though to take the SRC course codprawn, after all some people say that anything can fall off a Prosport
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Old 05 July 2006, 09:06   #19
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What we DID need was more actual practice of radio speak and actually talking to people
so why wasnt it done - as said earlier on this thread all radios have their own way of entering msi numbers etc and it is not something I would have anyone do on a course-whats the point. After all it is a radio course to use voice on a radio with the added advantage of dsc when appropriate. Radio courses can be (and should be) great fun and if people are have a laugh they learn as well- heaven help anyone sitting thru an hour or so of entering mmsi numbers. Mind you occasionally everyone gets a candidate they wish they hadnt booked onto a course But not in this instance I'm sure
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Old 05 July 2006, 14:09   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
Maybe I was just unlucky in having some slow witted people on the course who have never been on a boat and have no intention of getting one either - why the hell do such people come along? They can't have been paying for themselves.....
It again begs the question, where did you go and do it?

Quote:
The fisherman had actually used his radio in an emergency - basically he only just had time to scream help before his boat went down - he didn't exactly bother scrolling through the list of distress type calls to find the right one.
The course makes (or should) that only "if there is time" do you select the nature of the distress! While on courses, I do say use the distress menu, I make it clear that in a real situation then common sense should prevail!!!

As Wavelength has already said, the SRC course should be fun as much as a practical learning experience. Loading MMSI numbers every time is going to send the students mad (not to mention the assessor!! ) - so as I said earlier I don't get em putting them in.

The Silvas are great training radios,IMHO better than any others. But if you get trained on ICOMS the protocol is different. We cannot be expected to be able to have every single set converted, so why bugger around teaching somebody the finer points of inputting stuff when they have a Cobra, or a some other such set where the method is different.


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I know a few people who have taken to using their hand helds in preference to their main sets because they don't have DSC.....
Not sure I understand what you are saying here! Do you mean they don't have a fixed VHF or do you mean they don't have a fixed DSC radio? I'd still rather use a standard fixed VHF in place of a H/H any day. Very few DSC H/H were in distribution and in any case, they would only transmit the "Distress" alert - nothing more. And they would also only do so if attached, via it's cradle, to the GPS for regular positioning updates.

Sounds too me as if you should go and resit the course, clearly you are concerned that you are feeling inadequately prepared.
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