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Old 11 July 2017, 04:25   #1
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VHF Channel 0

I have an old Swiftech M-198 VHF radio, I have found that it receives Chan 0 loud and clear, very interesting to listen in on rescue and training by Coastguard, RNLI etc... I suppose it would transmit on Chan 0 too, although I never would for obvious reasons.. the user manual that came with the radio has handwritten instructions in the notes section that explains which buttons to press in sequence to set Chan 0.
Is it illegal in any way to monitor this channel, or indeed to have a radio that is capable if you are not a member of emergency services on the Coast/at Sea.
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Old 11 July 2017, 05:11   #2
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I have an old Swiftech M-198 VHF radio, I have found that it receives Chan 0 loud and clear, very interesting to listen in on rescue and training by Coastguard, RNLI etc... I suppose it would transmit on Chan 0 too, although I never would for obvious reasons.. the user manual that came with the radio has handwritten instructions in the notes section that explains which buttons to press in sequence to set Chan 0.

Is it illegal in any way to monitor this channel, or indeed to have a radio that is capable if you are not a member of emergency services on the Coast/at Sea.


Years ago I had the same radio with the Ch0 programmed in. I later bought an Icom for another boat & took it to my local Icom dealer who programmed it to receive Ch0. I think the cables & software are available on the 'net if you look hard enough. Listening in is not illegal afaik, any shop bought scanner will pick up Ch0 if you know the frequency, 156.000mhZ iirc
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Old 31 October 2017, 08:34   #3
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I too have two old M 198s, alps 0 programmes. Your doing well if you can get a battery pack for them, but you can recell old ones. Listening to 0 or any other channel for that matter is ok, but you canít TX, that would be illegal, and you canít legally share any information overheard, although not too sure how they would Police that one!
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Old 31 October 2017, 08:35   #4
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That should say also 0 programmed!
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Old 31 October 2017, 15:19   #5
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, and you canít legally share any information overheard, although not too sure how they would Police that one!
The rules on confidentiality are not unique to zero. Seems straightforward enough to police to me - if you repeat what you hear on internet, twitter, to a newspaper etc then they will know who to blame.
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Old 01 November 2017, 05:00   #6
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True Poly. ď0 or any other channel for that matterĒ was what my post said. If I or anyone else were to gain information and post it in papers or on the internet, of course They would be identified leaving themselves open to prosecution. That would be inviting action against yourself, but in the real world Iím not too sure Ofcom have the resources or the inclination to be bothered. Lots of live feeds, such as Southampton VTS for instance, are available via the internet using ROIP systems.
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Old 01 November 2017, 15:54   #7
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True Poly. ď0 or any other channel for that matterĒ was what my post said.

Yeah sorry - skim reading...
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Old 01 November 2017, 19:46   #8
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That would be inviting action against yourself, but in the real world Iím not too sure Ofcom have the resources or the inclination to be bothered.
I suspect that very much depends on what you message and where you post it, plus who the message was intended for. So - if you post on here a transcript of the Maritime Safety Information *Broadcast* from today at 8am saying - come on guys the conditions look ideal lets get on the water, then it was intended for everyone to hear.

If on the other hand you were listening into an incident and went to Zero and heard details of a body recovery and then you plastered all over facebook and twitter "Sounds like they found a body in the search" that may well pi$$ off the MCA enough that they would report you to OfCom.

I could swear (but can't find it right now) that HMCG issued a reminder on social media ? 18 months ago not to repeat information... suggests they do have an issue with it, and I suspect if they get cheesed off they will report it to OfCom. OfCom don't have an army of investigators, but they do take action when asked by other agencies.

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Lots of live feeds, such as Southampton VTS for instance, are available via the internet using ROIP systems.
Pretty sure the VTS feed in the solent has gone. I don't know why - but I wondered if someone forced it to go. Not aware of any other UK Marine Live Feed?
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Old 01 November 2017, 19:53   #9
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HMCG certainly issued guidance and advice to SAR providers about posting details of incidents on social media, as well as pictures and video.
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Old 02 November 2017, 12:19   #10
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HMCG certainly issued guidance and advice to SAR providers about posting details of incidents on social media, as well as pictures and video.
We have a strict media policy in regards to any SAR related incidents that become of interest to the local fish wrapper...

"Please contact HMCG for any communications regarding the afore mentioned incident".

Saves grief by putting the responsibility elsewhere.
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Old 02 November 2017, 12:27   #11
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I think most SAR groups have a policy, whether HMCG, RNLI or independents.
The Fish Wrapper Printers, (age give away there). They still don't get it right though do they?
It's amazing how many people are rescued by Coastguard "Lifeboats" along with the other howlers they print.
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