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Old 28 March 2008, 04:55   #1
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VHF and licencing for clubs

Hi all,

Can anyone clarify for me what the situation is with regard to marine band VHF licences for clubs:

Can you buy radios which are restricted to certain channels, M1 and M2 for instance?

Can you have club boats fitted with VHF (restricted as above or not) where the operators of the radios do not have to have a licence (or are perhaps covered by an umbrella licence)?

Thanks,

JC
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Old 28 March 2008, 05:11   #2
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Private Channels

At my local club, we have whats called a private channel. A unique frequency for use by members. I'm not sure how you go about getting one but I'm sure OFCOM will soon tell you. All sets will then need to have this freq. programmed in by a friendly VHF/electronics engineer. It's not too difficulr or time consuming as far as I can tell.

As far as I know, there is a 'blanket' licence to cover all sets, but would be worth checking into 'authority to operate' normally gained by holding an SRC (short range cert). Whether this applies to private channels, I don't know.

Doug or Seaskills et al will probably have the answers.
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Old 28 March 2008, 07:18   #3
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In answer to your original question, when you buy the sets they will have a full aray of channels. There is no reason why you cant have the sets restricted but this will cost and make the sets useless for other purposes.

It would probabally be eaiser to leave the other cahnnels on and just not use them.

As BB says some clubs have a private channel, allocated by offcom, the big disadvatage here is not only the cost in having the channel added to each set but also that visitors to the club wil not be able to communicate with you as their sets will not be fitted with the private channel.

AS far as I aware users without an authotity to operate (license) can use M and M2 no problem. The boats would still be licensed individaully with ships licenses as normal.
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Old 28 March 2008, 07:48   #4
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J.C.

As said restricting channels would not be a good idea, the licences are free now the MMSSIs could be designated for the club and you could then programme in the sets to DSC call eachother only.

Have a talk to Offcom and see what they say. Keep as much functionality as is possible.

Offcom contact
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Old 28 March 2008, 08:53   #5
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AS far as I aware users without an authotity to operate (license) can use M and M2 no problem. The boats would still be licensed individaully with ships licenses as normal.
There is no requirement for an Authority to Operate on M and M2, provided the radios are covered by an appropriate license.

When I was doing this for Gravesend Sailing Club we paid (iirc) for a special base station license, restricted to M and M2 (And I think 80) which covered VHF's at base, and any fitted/handheld radios on board safety boats. There was no requirement to license the safety boats individually.
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Old 28 March 2008, 09:10   #6
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Most of the right points have been covered.

The big issue is if you the club is shore based, would be ideal to have the safety boats then fitted with all marine channels. If you do this then someone "in" the boat must have a SRC ticket and the boat needs a Ships Radio Licence.
If you are on a lake then using just M1 and M2 would be ideal.

If the radio, fixed or hand held has all the marine channels in then by law each person using them must have a SRC.
It does say you can use a radio under direct control of someone holding a SRC, this means that oerson must be right next to the non licenced person not on the shore or in the club house.

The Licence Jimbo mentioned is known as a Coast Station licence and is about 180 if memory serves.

If I can be of any further help please drop me a mail or a PM

Cheers
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Old 28 March 2008, 19:19   #7
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Thanks to everyone for their replies. I should point out that this isn't a personal enquiry, it is just a question that I was asked and I thought this was a good resource to get the answer and to confirm what I thought.

From the replies so far I conclude that:

i) It is probably possible to restrict a radio transceiver to particular channels, although this would incur cost and limit usefulness.

ii) There is no requirement for an licence/authority to operate when using just channels M and M2. There is also no need for an SRL.

iii) If a radio is capable of operating on other channels the operator must have an SRC licence or be under the direct supervision of a licence holder, irrespective of whether those channels are actually being used for broadcasting. The boat would also need a ship's radio licence.

As the club concerned is lake-based and most potential operators are unlicensed, I think the final point is the most relevant, and the radios should be restricted to M and M2 to avoid licencing difficulties.

Thanks all.
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Old 29 March 2008, 02:35   #8
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J.C.

One other point if they were Standard Horizon radio's I would arrange for the them to be programmed and or restricted FOC if that helps any.


All the best
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Old 29 March 2008, 03:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
As the club concerned is lake-based and most potential operators are unlicensed, I think the final point is the most relevant, and the radios should be restricted to M and M2 to avoid licencing difficulties.
Alternatively, you could consider PMR radios. No licensing problems, cheap, and if you only need a couple of channels and don't need to communicate with others (eg rescue services) they might give you a simple solution
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Old 29 March 2008, 06:04   #10
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Jon: Thanks for the offer, I'll ask and see what they are going for... I am afraid I think they are going for ICOMs though, sorry.

SeaSkills: Yes, PMR would have been my recommendation and indeed that's what they had before I think. I am not sure exactly why they are moving to VHF in their circumstances.

Once again, thanks to all for the input.
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