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Old 25 May 2010, 19:17   #1
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VHF type approval / Standard Horizon HX850

I have the chance to purchase one of these in Halifax NS tomorrow, at a good price. Its the DSC / GPS equipped handheld VHF.
I have found some forum postings from the Kayaking site dated over a year ago about the confusion between OFCOM and the MCA on the use of MMSI / DSC capable handhelds, with the MCA line seeming to be that these units should be available. OFCOM was maintaining that they are awaiting European type approval, so they would be illegal.
Does anyone have any updates on the situation?

Does anyone have any experience of the Standard Horizon HX850?
Will it accept a UK MMSI ? I know the UK numbers start in a set range.

As I read the OFCOM regulations, it seems that any "station" using any means of alerting the Coast Guard in an emergency is acceptable, (and you wouldn't press the red button unless things were serious), while at the same time they seem to maintain that possesion and use of a non approved VHF would be against the law.

Again ...anyone want to wade oin with any new developments.

Many thanks
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Old 26 May 2010, 00:51   #2
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Hi there, I have just done my SRC course a few weeks ago and yes I'm afraid that it is still illegal to use DSC handhelds over here. It is basically because that a fixed radio is tied to the boat where as a handheld can one day be held by a 1 man rib/sib then the next be passed to a 40 ft cruiser with 20 people on board. The MCA would not know what emergency rescue vessels to send.
That's my understanding of it.

The other thing to watch out for is actually buying one overseas. I believe there are a couple of problems with this:-

1) some of the channels/ffrequencies are different

2) All marine radios over here have to be CE approved, not sure if that would apply to models for the north american market.

Finnally, various agencies have the power to confiscate equipment if they don't comply with the rules!!!!!!

Best wishes

Jake
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Old 26 May 2010, 05:56   #3
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I don't know about that particular radio but the fixed sets I investigated do not support channel 16 in the same way as the UK sets. They normally only transmit at low power on 16 tho this can be overridden on some sets by pressing a button before transmission but it switches off at the release of the Tx button so would need to be pressed each time you speak. Best check it out before you buy.
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Old 26 May 2010, 17:16   #4
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It is basically because that a fixed radio is tied to the boat where as a handheld can one day be held by a 1 man rib/sib then the next be passed to a 40 ft cruiser with 20 people on board. The MCA would not know what emergency rescue vessels to send.
novel idea .They would not know what to send to a red flare either if we go down that route.

when dsc first was available there was an approved dsc handheld vhf (and a set of mmsi numbers for handhelds was issued)which took its position from the charging cradle when plugged in and if the distress button was activated sent either no position or its last position from the charger and the time it was taken. Approval was withdrawn after a year(ish) as it didnt comply with directives in that it could only send distress but no other type dsc call. I did hear on the grapevine that a new h/h had been approved but not seen anything of it yet, if indeed that is the case.
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Old 26 May 2010, 18:20   #5
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Maybe this is the Standard Horizon HX851

that your referring to Wavelength?

I have heard its the European version of the HX850.
Where is Jon Brooks when you need him ???
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Old 27 May 2010, 03:55   #6
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Originally Posted by MustRib View Post
that your referring to Wavelength?

I have heard its the European version of the HX850.
Where is Jon Brooks when you need him ???
AFAIK he is not with SH any more.
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Old 28 May 2010, 07:09   #7
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Standard Horizon models are suffixed 'E' for Euro models. HX851 will just be an update on HX850.

Jon Brooks is a couple of jobs along from Standard - last I heard he was mostly doing the RIB charter stuff in Kent.

Dave - you know what he meant! A flare won't tell you what you might find but an MMSI tied to a vessel would give some idea.

It might be easier if they simply had a separate MMSI number range for handhelds with DSC (maybe that;s what they did orignally?). After all, it's no different to distinguishing between a PLB and an EPIRB.

But no, they aren't approved in UK and I suspect SH here might not be too keen on warranty handling.
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Old 28 May 2010, 10:12   #8
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Dave - you know what he meant
yep I know what he meant but I reckon his radio course provider didn't know the facts and was simply making the answer up!
To my mind the big advantage of dsc esp in my area is the ability to switch other sets to ch16 to listen to the voice mayday and outweighs any confusion a handheld might cause on different vessels. We have a large number of angling/fishing boats here that are permanently on ch8 and never see ch16. Distress calls have been missed by them in the past -several times.
Yes there was a dedicated set of mmsi numbers for the handhelds that immediately identified them as such.
The idea of taking its position from the charger was all very well for a vessel such as we use where the emergency h/h is always sat in its charger on the boat ready to be grabbed in an emergency, but not much use when you take it off charge as you leave the house.
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Old 28 May 2010, 16:03   #9
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Withdrawn in September 2004 for most of the reasons Dave Wavelength mentions
Not sure if any new models would get type approval for the same reasons
Ta Tim
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Old 11 June 2010, 16:11   #10
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Apparently the Standard Horizon HX-851 hand-held DSC set has got type approval and should start shipping to dealers this month.
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