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Old 11-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #21
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Got 2...one on the FB and one at the lower/foul weather helm. Both are connected to GPS. It was an easy job, much easier than connecting the PA speaker. Programming and activating the MMSI was simple, too. Don't know of any boating friends with active MMSIs to test the system with. Maybe we should share our MMSI numbers here. Can you think of any good reasons not to?

The admiral has instructions how to use it and what to expect if she ever pushes the button. Since she's not a boater, once a year we review the what-ifs in case I am incapacitated. I think I have her convinced of the fun and practicality of taking a 'pinch hitter' course. Maybe in the spring...

Delfin, I've got an Icom on the FB and have never had that problem. Sounds like something's seriously wrong with the radio. I'd have pulled mine and chucked it long ago if mine did that. Having the system connected gives me peace of mind that a simple action can get the rescue ball rolling in my direction.

I also have the BoatUS/Vessel Assist droid app to quickly send them my position and request assistance in the event of an emergency. All my boatingi s within the SF Bay and CA Delta, so cell coverage and VHF radio coverage is very good. No need for EPIRB yet.


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Old 11-03-2011, 09:37 PM   #22
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

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FlyWright wrote:
Got 2...one on the FB and one at the lower/foul weather helm. Both are connected to GPS. It was an easy job, much easier than connecting the PA speaker. Programming and activating the MMSI was simple, too. Don't know of any boating friends with active MMSIs to test the system with. Maybe we should share our MMSI numbers here. Can you think of any good reasons not to?

The admiral has instructions how to use it and what to expect if she ever pushes the button. Since she's not a boater, once a year we review the what-ifs in case I am incapacitated. I think I have her convinced of the fun and practicality of taking a 'pinch hitter' course. Maybe in the spring...

Delfin, I've got an Icom on the FB and have never had that problem. Sounds like something's seriously wrong with the radio. I'd have pulled mine and chucked it long ago if mine did that. Having the system connected gives me peace of mind that a simple action can get the rescue ball rolling in my direction.

I also have the BoatUS/Vessel Assist droid app to quickly send them my position and request assistance in the event of an emergency. All my boatingi s within the SF Bay and CA Delta, so cell coverage and VHF radio coverage is very good. No need for EPIRB yet.


.

*Thanks, Fly. *That was my conclusion as well. *Unfortunately, Icom doesn't agree. *I should get it taken care of one way or another, so thank you.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:33 PM   #23
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So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Carl--- There is an Icom service center in Bellevue if you don't know that already. When we had an intermittent problem with the previous Icom we had at the lower helm station of the GB we gave it to the dealer we'd got it from in Bellingham and while he experienced the problem once on his test bench the cause of the problem was not apparent. So he sent it to the Icom center in Bellevue. They put it in a heat chamber for a couple of days to try to duplicate the problem. As is often the case with intermittent problems, this one decided not to show up over the two days Icom tested it.

They did not charge us for the heat chamber testing but since the radio was several years out of warranty we elected not to start paying money to have them or the dealer start replacing parts in the hope that the fault might be physically removed from the radio. So we bought a new radio.

The point is that we experienced pretty good response from Icom. However, we went through our electronics dealer rather than direct. Don't know if this made a difference.

The first time our current radio, also an Icom, received a*DSC distress signal and started to yowl it did silence the alarm after not very long. At the time we weren't sure how to silence it ourselves and by the time we'd looked it up it had stopped. The few times it's happened since, we hit the clear button before the yowling even starts. The radio first emits a low-volume alarm for a few seconds, sort of a pre-echo of the full alarm, so we always know when the loud alarm is on its way.

As you're in the Puget Sound area it might be worth taking the radio to Bellevue unless you've already done this with unsatisfactory results.


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 3rd of November 2011 10:34:32 PM
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:31 PM   #24
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Thanks Marin, that is probably what I should do. *I appreciate your advice.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:59 PM   #25
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

FWIW here is the contact information for the Icom Bellevue service center from their website:

Icom America, Inc.
Service Department
2380 116th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: (800) 306-1380
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:45 PM   #26
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

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Conrad wrote:dwhatty wrote:
Yes, we have one (ICOM). Yes, its hooked up. Yes, I got MMSI number. No, I don't know if it works or not.
*Ditto.

*Ditto

It would be helpful if the CG had some way of allowing a test of the device.* I've tried selectively calling a buddy's boat but it didn't work.* I don't know who's unit was not set right.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:05 AM   #27
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So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Yes - I've got a Uniden Oceanus DSC

No - The DSC is not hooked up and I don't have an MMSI

Why not - I do a large part of my cruising in Canada and the DSC info isn't recognized in Canada unless you pay ~$300 to the FCC for the MMSI and a radio license. *Boat US obtained MMSI - DSC is only recognized in the US.

I carry a SPOT messenger that works, can be tested, and can be taken with me in the lifeboat. *

I have not figured out a way to silence the DSC alarm on my Uniden. *I have to shut it off as it's so loud it induces panic in everyone on board, myself included. *I can't interpret the info on the radio display anyway. *The display doesn't stay activated long enough to get the MMSI # (is that what's showing?) copied down. *

This summer I was one of hundreds (WAG) of boats cruising in Puget Sound when the USCG announced on Ch 16 that they had a report of a DSC of unknown origin. *The USCG asked that "anyone who did or did not hear the DSC Alert", to report their position. *Only one boater responded. *This does not indicate high participation. *

I'm not interested in the secret communication aspect of DSC but I would get an international MMSI and hook it up if it were less expensive, testable, and I could figure it out. *Until then I instruct my passengers on how to push the 911 button on the SPOT Messenger. *

Norm


-- Edited by mitkofisle on Monday 7th of November 2011 12:00:15 AM
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:11 AM   #28
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Quote:
mitkofisle wrote:....when the USCG announced on Ch 16 that they had a report of a DSC of unknown origin. *The USCG asked that "anyone who did or did not hear the DSC Alert", to report their position. *Only one boater responded. *This does not indicate high participation.
Actually, this doesn't indicate anything.* In our area (north Puget Sound) we have heard a fair number of these "we got a distress signal at such and such a time, did anyone hear or not hear it and what is your location?" broadcasts.* A few boat's will respond, almost always in the negative.* This is because in the islands boat-to-boat reception can be very spotty.* And if the boat that transmitted the signal has a low antenna it can be even more spotty.* This, I believe, is one reason for the mayday relay that is used by the US and Canadian coat guards to broadcast a mayday to a wider area.

Every marine radio sold today has the DSC capability.* I believe the emergency broadcast capability is alway active--- you don't need an MMSI number for this.* While it will only include the vessel's location if the radio is connected to a GPS signal source, the basic distress signal will always go out when the red button is pushed and--- I believe--- the radio will always recieve and alarm a distress signal if one is received.* The MMSI is for the discreet communications part of the equation, not the distress part.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:13 PM   #29
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

I was talking with a buddy of mine a couple of weeks back and he told me that when the weather wasn't so fine he and his son were caught out a fair ways from shore. He said he experienced engine problems on his boat and to compound things even a little more his radio was giving him issues too. Anyway, his son who was bored with the trip and spent most the time in the salon txting and playing games on his*cell phone called 911 ( a trait well learnt in school i.e. to call 911 if there was ever a problem ). They dispatched the CG and gave them his coordinates as per the cell phone GPS indicator. Within 30min help arrived and got them to safety.

He told me that he would have never thought about using a cell phone. He said he took back all his thoughts he was having concerning his son who seemed uninterested in the trip. He was thinking that he should have just stayed home and played with his phone because he wasn't of any help for him pre the phone call.*

This event was kinda funny in the end but may have turned out a little different if my buddy was there alone. So if you take some young'ins along for a trip and all they want to do is txt.. buy him/her a pop.

Elwin*
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:30 PM   #30
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

"....unless you pay ~$300 to the FCC for the MMSI and a radio license..."

It costs $160 to get your VHF station license which is good for 10 years; $60 for the application payment and $100 for regulatory payment.* There is no charge for the MMSI number.* You can do it on line although the process is a little slow.* You'll need to fill out FCC Form 605 and Schedule B.* When you fill out the forms you are asked for search and rescue information and also alternative emergency contact information ashore.* We have to have a license based on where we cruise but for $16/year I would do it*if we lived in the states.* Hopefully, in time, the system will work as it was designed.*
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:51 AM   #31
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

That reminds me, my FCC license will probably expire soon. I wonder if they send a note to renew like the documentation from the USCG?
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #32
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Quote:
Keith wrote:
That reminds me, my FCC license will probably expire soon. I wonder if they send a note to renew like the documentation from the USCG?
*Didn't think you needed on in the U.S.

SD
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #33
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

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Keith wrote:
That reminds me, my FCC license will probably expire soon. I wonder if they send a note to renew like the documentation from the USCG?
The US has gotten very bad at notifications like this.* We used to get an annual renewal notification for our customs sticker.* That stopped a few year ago when they were "changing computer systems."* It has never started up again.* Instead, there is a website where you can go to renew the sticker but it's up to you to remember to do it.

We were notified that our radio station license was coming up for renewal not by the USG but by a private firm that will handle the renewal for you (for a very hefty fee).* This alerted us to check the license and seeing that it was nearing expiration we did the then-very convoluted and unintuitive on-line process of renewal.* Hopefully they've improved the system since then.

We do still get a mailed notification to renew our documentation but the other things now seem to be up to you to remember.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:43 AM   #34
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:Keith wrote:
That reminds me, my FCC license will probably expire soon. I wonder if they send a note to renew like the documentation from the USCG?
*Didn't think you needed on in the U.S.

SD

That depends.* I cut the information*below from the FCC**web site.* It also says you need a license to operate a VHF radio in Canada.

http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/ind...=ship_stations
<h3 class="sectionHeadText">Who Needs a Ship Station License</h3>You do not need a license to operate a marine VHF radio, radar, or EPIRBs aboard voluntary ships operating domestically. The term "voluntary ships" refers to ships that are not required by law to carry a radio. Generally, this term applies to recreation or pleasure craft...
*
....Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit.
*
Radio Equipment You May Use
*
You do not need a license to use marine VHF radios, any type of EPIRB, any type of radar, GPS or LORAN receivers, depth finders, CB radio, or amateur radio (an amateur license is required). Ships that use MF/HF single side-band radio, satellite communications, or telegraphy must continue to be licensed by the FCC.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #35
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

In Canada, there no requirement for a Canadian to have a radio station license. Used to be required, but they eventually figured out that it cost more to administer than was coming in, so dropped the requirement 5 or 10 yrs ago.
I don't know if foreigners require one.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:34 PM   #36
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Marin said

We used to get an annual renewal notification for our customs sticker.

*

Don't know if this is the same for US citizens but as Canadians we need a "customs sticker' or decal to clear US customs and they notify me automatically every year when it is time to renew it for the next year at

Decal and Transponder Online Procurement System) at https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov*
*Bob

*
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #37
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

Canadians visting the US* or other countries are required to have a Canadian radio station licence to cover your VHF etc.

If you never leave Canadian waters then you do not need a station licence

Bob
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #38
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So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

"I don't know if foreigners require one. "

Yes, they do, at least at this point. If we boated only in US waters, as a recreational boat we would not need a station license. But the fact we take our boat into Canada means we need a station license.* This is a US requirement for us-- -I don't know if it's a Canadian requirement for us, too.

I've had a radiotelephone operator's license for decades as part of my requirement for flying planes. So I've not paid any attention to the operator's license part of the equation for boaters.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 8th of November 2011 02:39:29 PM
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:17 AM   #39
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

I have not installed one because in the Puget Sound there is cell phone works great.**I would first call US Boat for a tow, then my diesel mechanic, and then maybe the coast guard.* The coast guard usually passes to a third party anyway.*** I have US Boat, diesel Mechanic and Coast in my cell phone quick dial.* I dont think I would even use the VHF in the Puget Sound or Islands?* Maybe when they make a Portable VHF, with a DSC and GPS built in?*
*
When we start to cruise to more isolated/desolated places then we will have a personal ACR/EPIRBS.* I first bought a portable GPS for hiking and cross country skiing not for the boat. *A personal ACR can be use on land and the water where as EPIRBS*is for marina.****
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:34 AM   #40
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RE: So why isn't your DSC hooked up?

The most recent PMM has a good article on this subject. Of course they are flogging getting an Iridium for $1500*you can use when you are out of cell phone or VHF range. As P/F noted, an ACR/EPIRB works fine too when you're out of the city and 'burbs.
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