Originally Posted by chris.moody
If using DSC to call the coastguard they will switch you to their working channel. At that point I would call them again on the new channel, not wait for them calling me. Should I wait for them to call me?
Never actually called the coastguard (CG) via DSC as I always use a marina (or Portsmouth QHM, or another boat) for a radio check. It seems wrong to tie up the CG on a routine call if you are calling someone else anyway, and can just ask them at the end of the call if your "transmissions are good and readable".
Just a quick heads up on the test procedure for radio check.
It is recommended that you carry it out to the CG, firstly on Low power and if unsuccessful, High power.
There are a number of reasons that we to test to CG,
1. Its the CG that your will want to reach when you are in trouble, not an adjacent craft - Mayday relays get messy when unnecessary.
2. CG record correspondance, so in adherence to your ships licence, you are recorded as carrying out your radio test (you still record on your ships radio log)
3. The CG can be busy, and be sympathetic if you hear they are busy, but Radio Checks are part of their remit, and don't feel like your routine calls are a hindrance, Routine calls including filing a TR are the bread and butter of CGs
Now, I appreciate you are probably in much busier waters than I, and that radio chatter can get quite busy, and also in the event of an incident that you may be surrounded by other craft to offer assistance. But under the european CEPT radio licence, the CG are who we carry out radio tests to.
DSC wise, I know over here there is very little use of it by mariners, but we still instruct people to use it, integral part of the VHF SRC 2 course, and I gotta say, big fan of the instructions "If donegaldan falls out, press and hold the red distress button" !
I know the CG will move you to a working channel after calling them using DSC, but you at least have verified the digital component of your radio, thus testing it fully.
But if you get tied up in all the rules and regs you could kill a whole day testing