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Old 20 September 2012, 16:08   #31
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Still, a mobie is only pushing out, what? 1 watt? That and AIS being a short digital data message would make one assume that the range would be greater than 3Nm. You weren't switching your's off to dodge Erin again, were you Martini?

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Old 20 September 2012, 16:31   #32
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Handheld VHF is 5 or 6W max in high power.
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Old 20 September 2012, 16:43   #33
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Originally Posted by willk
You weren't switching your's off to dodge Erin again, were you Martini?

He can't hide. You can hear his Opti's well before AIS kicks in

He made a good point about the 2W output though. I hadn't considered that.
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Old 20 September 2012, 17:28   #34
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He made a good point about the 2W output though. I hadn't considered that.
Just as surprising that class A is only 12.5W too, coming back from Cherbourg we saw the Bretagne way before it came up on AIS
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Old 20 September 2012, 18:01   #35
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Just as surprising that class A is only 12.5W too, coming back from Cherbourg we saw the Bretagne way before it came up on AIS
And what height is the antenna on that??

That's what it's all about

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Old 20 September 2012, 19:33   #36
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Handheld VHF is 5 or 6W max in high power.
Yes, but a mobile (phone) is around 1w - or so I'm told. It's not a particularly relevant observation on my part, just that a small handheld 1w phone with no meaningful antenna can send a text message quite a few miles...
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Old 21 September 2012, 03:02   #37
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Yes, but a mobile (phone) is around 1w - or so I'm told. It's not a particularly relevant observation on my part, just that a small handheld 1w phone with no meaningful antenna can send a text message quite a few miles...
Yes, but that's not mobile to mobile, it's mobile to f###-off big aerial with high sensitivity tuned receiver.
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Old 21 September 2012, 16:57   #38
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As has already been said the number of DSC. calls against the number of voice calls received at any of the Coastguard stations is hugely disproportionate. I also agree that the user interface on some DSC radios are less than friendly and the biggest problem is no 2 are the same not even 2 from the same manufacturer. The biggest trouble is the number of false alarms with DSC. about 96% of all received are false alarms largely down to operator error.

So is DSC worth it? My answer is yes but only once you are trained and have read the manual and worked out how to use it. For getting the coastguards attention there is nothing better as often on a busy summers day when multiple vessels all call together on channel 16 it is impossible to hear them all by voice. But each DSC is seen as a separate message. As for radio checks there is no need to call the coastguard. A radio check with your local port or marina is just as good and takes some of the pressure off the poor coastguard who is trying to hear the vessels calling through the din ( high pressure often gives us over 500 miles VHF range from some of our aerials).

Finally traffic reports. If you know all this then I apologise but many simply do not. When the Coastguard in the UK take your traffic many are under the misconception that we monitor your progress and if we don't hear from you we will start looking. The reality is it goes into a radio log and nothing more happens. If you keep in mind on a busy weekend hundreds of reports are received by Solent alone you can understand why. The idea is you register on the CH66 scheme and part of that is nominating a shore contact. This is someone who stays shoreside ( so a friend or relative who had no sea legs) and tell them when and where your going and agree to contact them on arrival. If you don't contact then they call the coastguard and we then start looking for you. That way should the worst happen we know all about you, we know from your shore contact where you were going and we know something is up.

Sorry for this being so long winded but I hope it clears it up a little.
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Old 21 September 2012, 17:39   #39
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thanks for that - 7 days before we lose Forth Coastguard - last transmission is 1330 hrs UTC/GMT from Fifeness 109 years of service.

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Old 21 September 2012, 18:30   #40
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about 96% of all received are false alarms largely down to operator error.
Is that 96% are not in any form of trouble or 96% send a Distress Alert when they should have sent an urgency?

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So is DSC worth it?
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For getting the coastguards attention there is nothing better as often on a busy summers day when multiple vessels all call together on channel 16 it is impossible to hear them all by voice. But each DSC is seen as a separate message.
So are you advocating it for routine type traffic or just distress?

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When the Coastguard in the UK take your traffic many are under the misconception that we monitor your progress and if we don't hear from you we will start looking.
I think thats one of the issues... people think you will because you seem happy to take them. You ask lots of questions about number of people type of vessel etc. So lets say I file a plan with you. My shore contact calls in to say I haven't called home to say I'm safe - what links that to my passage plan I called you with? My shore contact could be my parents 300 miles away, with zero boating knowledge. They'd know I had a "speedboat" that its grey and has an outboard engine. They'd know its name coz I've told them and you'd find a CG66 for it. I've told them I'm going from Sea Houses to the Farnes with a couple of friends, but if its too windy we'll go to Holy Island... If you could link to my call you'd know I only have 2 POB (1 of my friends cancelled last minute) and I definately was headed to the Farnes (you might even know which island!), and you'd know I was 45 minutes late leaving but I haven't told my parents that. Would I have been better calling my parents than calling the CG at all?
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