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Old 04-03-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Ch. 16

Something happen this weekend I've never encountered before. We just passed through a bridge opening and was in the no wake zone when my VHF switched from 13 to 16 with a loud alert. No one said anything on the radio but some info appeared on the screen. When no spoke after awhile I switched back to 13. A few minutes later same thing. This kept happening several times before stopping. I didn't want to call the Coast Guard so I call the Bridge Master an asked if he heard and alert on 16. He said no but his radio is pretty weak. No one else questioned it on the radio. Anyone got an idea what was going on. The military was having drills that weekend. Oh, my radio is a Garmin 200.

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Old 04-03-2017, 03:52 PM   #2
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Does your radio have a "dual channel monitoring" or scanning function or something similar? Maybe that was on and it switched when it picked up a transmission made on 16.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:02 PM   #3
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From a Garmin 200 Review:

Scanning

The Garmin VHF 200 has several scan modes available, it can scan all channels in order or only saved channels or use Dual Watch or Tri-Watch modes. Soft key functionality provides some unique features when doing an all channel scan. A simple press of a soft key lets you skip a channel when a stuck microphone or extended conversation locks you into an undesired channel. You can also choose whether you want to monitor channel 16 in order or between every other channel.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:20 PM   #4
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My VHF is setup to monitor/scan 16. But when it switched to 16 no one talked, just ID numbers, etc.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #5
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If you have a DSC radio...it was probably a DSC alert.

Might want to read an owners manual.

If you did nothing...I believe it still re-transmits the info to the USCG.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:40 PM   #6
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You're probably right, my radio does have DSC. I'll dig out the manual and see what, if any, respond I should have. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:26 PM   #7
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That was them... they are among us... you cannot see them... but they are there and screaming...

Ok too much horror movies this weekend

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Old 04-03-2017, 05:31 PM   #8
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Agree with DSC alert. Or possibly a weather alert There's no volume control either. It will knock the earwax loose in an enclosed pilot house. When I called Icom on how to turn the alert volume down they said "why would you want to do that?"
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:41 PM   #9
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Just south of Charleston tonight...we had so many tornado and severe thunderstorm alerts, I just left it on the weather channel.

One time, before I could get to it, the alert got loaded with each screech. Never had that before but new alerts were coming in every 15 seconds or so for over 2 hrs....

Will have to look in the manual to turn that baby off next time it is this bad.

But I am pretty sure the OP had a DSC one and we all should know how to forward the data to opt USCG if the radio doesnt automatically do it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
If you have a DSC radio...it was probably a DSC alert.

Might want to read an owners manual.

If you did nothing...I believe it still re-transmits the info to the USCG.
I wondered if it might be a DSC alert but doesn't that come in on channel 70?
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:59 PM   #11
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I have only heard a DSC alert from my radio a couple of times. In both cases it took me a while to figure out what it was. In one case it was followed up by a Mayday call. I was too far away to hear the sender's side of the convo but heard the USCG side.

It is a problem with having a capability but never really using it. I've read the manual, but unless I use something enough it simply doesn't "sink in".
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:02 PM   #12
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I wondered if it might be a DSC alert but doesn't that come in on channel 70?
I believe the transmissions are on that frequency (70) but a distress alert will change the radio to 16.

If using DSC for a personal call, I believe you can have your radio switch automatically to the channel the person calling you designates.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:34 PM   #13
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It was a DSC alert- someone had a guest on board that couldn't resist that little flip-up red cover.

I have two (different) Standard Horizon radios in the pilothouse, if a DSC alert comes in, BOTH start warbling like to scare the bejeezus out of the dead. And no, you can't turn it down! Usually, I start banging buttons to make them STOP! Yes, I've read the manuals a bunch of times- each time one of those alerts comes in, and no, I can't remember how to process the DSC call, either. Of course, it's a different procedure for each radio.

I seriously doubt that there are too many cruisers who know how to use the DSC features on their VHF- the manual steps are, at best, non-intuitive, and impossible to remember- to the extent that nobody bothers with DSC. Just too complicated- even for a geek like me.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:49 PM   #14
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Please excuse me. But my old iCom switches back to channel 16 every time I hang up the mic. Were you using channel 13 then hang up the mic and have it automatically switch to 16? I'll go back to my corner now!
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:01 PM   #15
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if it was a DSC call, wouldn't there have been follow up chatter from the Coast Guard asking the nature of the emergency and so on ? Could it have just been a direct call to your MMSI number from another boater ?
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:32 AM   #16
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I agree with the DSC theory. On our radios... could have been a distress call (auto switches your radio to Ch 16) or it could have been an MMSI call where the caller designated Ch 16 as the target channel). In either case, the calling radio broadcasts on Ch 70, and the receiving radio switches to the target channel for follow-on discussion.

Our weather alert is different; our radios auto-switch to the weather channel issuing the alert.

The alert sounds will almost launch crew overboard. Dunno if anyone has ever made an MMSI call to our radios, so can's say whether that's the same sound or not...

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Old 04-04-2017, 01:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Please excuse me. But my old iCom switches back to channel 16 every time I hang up the mic. Were you using channel 13 then hang up the mic and have it automatically switch to 16? I'll go back to my corner now!
You can disable that "feature " easily. Remove the 4 Phillips screws from the mic head and disconnect the blue wire. Tape the loose wire terminal
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:59 PM   #18
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Do you have an AIS transmitter? Someone could try to call you using your MMSI and channel.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:16 PM   #19
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You can disable that "feature " easily. Remove the 4 Phillips screws from the mic head and disconnect the blue wire. Tape the loose wire terminal
Thanks, Archie. I'll give it a try. I'd like a dime for every time I continue my transmission on 16 after I hang up the mic!
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