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Old 04-30-2017, 07:22 PM   #1
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VHF Radio

The other day, a gentleman who identified himself as being from the USCG came on channel 16 and notified anyone listening that channel 16 was for hailing and emergencies only and not for "open mics". He went on to ask everyone to check and make sure their microphones were not stuck in the transmit mode.

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Old 04-30-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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The other day, a gentleman who identified himself as being from the USCG came on channel 16 and notified anyone listening that channel 16 was for hailing and emergencies only and not for "open mics". He went on to ask everyone to check and make sure their microphones were not stuck in the transmit mode.

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Most of radios I've operated don't RX when they TX. pointless.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:51 PM   #3
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At least with older radios, there was a "time out" after which the unit would stop transmitting even if the mic key was pressed. As I understood it, this kept the finals from overheating.

Assuming that's still the case, it could be the CG waited for the timeout (the open mic to stop) and then transmitted the request to check mics.

Most radios I've worked with would beep when the timeout happened, so if you hear a beep followed by the request to check your mic, you probably should.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:52 PM   #4
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Most of radios I've operated don't RX when they TX. pointless.

Pointless? Maybe yes, maybe no. Many vessels have and use two vhfs. I'm one. It then is possible for the CG notification to be usefull.

I am carefull not to throw my mic. down , rather it is hung on its holder.

Even so I had one radio, two vhf's ago, that the rubber cover for the Tx was stiffening and it took me a while before I realized it would hang the button if I was not carefull to ensure it released. Once I knew I would double check the
cover and the Red Tx light.

I never got a warning that I know of but I could have been a problem at some point.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:56 PM   #5
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Not unusual to have two or more radios on a boat. If there are two helms (flybridge and lower), the assumption by the USCG is that one of your radio mikes may be causing the issue and maybe you will check your other radio if you can hear their request.

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Old 04-30-2017, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
The other day, a gentleman who identified himself as being from the USCG came on channel 16 and notified anyone listening that channel 16 was for hailing and emergencies only and not for "open mics". He went on to ask everyone to check and make sure their microphones were not stuck in the transmit mode.

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I here that not infrequently.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:51 PM   #7
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Most of radios I've operated don't RX when they TX. pointless.
Same experience here. Sector Puget Sound did this many times last Sunday, and it is a frequent occurrence.

I find it unlikely that a second radio aboard would hear the USCG broadcast, as you would likely be overpowering their broadcast with your "open mike" transmission. I think you would have a bunch of feedback through the receiving radio and figure it out quickly.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:57 PM   #8
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Just the other day someone kept having an open mic on the VTS channel. It's a real problem when it happens because, as other have pointed out, many/most VHFs can't receive when they are transmitting. So you just have to wait and hope the person figures it out, or is listening to another channel and hears the alert.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WesK View Post
The other day, a gentleman who identified himself as being from the USCG came on channel 16 and notified anyone listening that channel 16 was for hailing and emergencies only and not for "open mics". He went on to ask everyone to check and make sure their microphones were not stuck in the transmit mode.

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Well, other than a bit of an arrogant comment, stuff happens.
The notification could be handy.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:33 PM   #10
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The message might not have reached the offender, but I'm sure a lot of other boaters heard the reminder that Ch. 16 is restricted to official business and the USCG is monitoring it. That isn't such a bad thing.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:33 AM   #11
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The "offender" ( the boater with the open mic) is the only one who would not hear the message. Anyone familiar with two way radios should know that. Since common marine radios use the same channel to transmit and receive, any attempt to do both at the same time would result in a loud feedback. Two radios in close proximity to each other will do the same thing if one is set to receive and the other to transmit.


One would expect a "marine professional" to know that.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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About 30 years ago I was "that guy" who had an open mic.
It was on a center console boat I had recently purchased. The VHF and the mic clip were already mounted and when I hit a small wave the mic angled back and keyed itself on the stainless rail that help up the little windshield.
I had been on channel 9 (the contact channel in LI Sound) talking to a friend we were looking for. Luckily after a few minutes another wave swiveled the mic again and it unkeyed.
My wife and I had been talking and our friend heard and recognized our voices and told us what happened after we met up.
It didn't take long for me to move that mic holder. LOL
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:47 PM   #13
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Throughout my career as an air traffic controller and a lifetime pilot, this has been an issue. Same discussion...different frequency band and users. I don't think I've gone a year in my aviation career without hearing a stuck mic.

The chance of having a second radio is the only explanation for the transmission that makes sense to me. Fortunately, airplanes typically move fast enough that the problem eventually fades away.

In FAA Flight Check, we'd get called in to find illegal broadcasts or interference. In some cases of frequency interference, such as pirate radio stations or illegal transmitters, we'd fly around the area reported as problematic with receivers and homing devices that allowed us to get a fix on the transmitter. Eventually, we'd get enough hits to pinpoint a neighborhood. Then the white van was dispatched to find the perps. It was a fun game of cat and mouse. Nowadays, the USCG should be able to triangulate the position from the VHF broadcast on Ch 16.
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