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Old 02-24-2015, 11:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
Making DSC calls can be painful, but you don't have to use that capability. You can always just make calls on the radio like any other radio. The emergency feature which broadcasts location and boat information is a big advantage over a non DSC radio.
That's the point, isn't it.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:27 AM   #22
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Never used it (other than turning off false alarms). As Peter said, far too clunky and I just don't see the point.

I think it's as much marketing as anything else. Why else upgrade your VHF? So you can have these nifty features that sound great in a brochure, but are actually more cumbersome than jumping off your boat and swimming to the other boat you want to contact.

Now, what's even funnier is how ICOM markets their VHF with AIS. Sounds great until
realize that the AIS info will be on a 2"x3" screen.

But they get a lot of people to upgrade that way.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:35 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
Never used it (other than turning off false alarms). As Peter said, far too clunky and I just don't see the point.

I think it's as much marketing as anything else. Why else upgrade your VHF? So you can have these nifty features that sound great in a brochure, but are actually more cumbersome than jumping off your boat and swimming to the other boat you want to contact.

Now, what's even funnier is how ICOM markets their VHF with AIS. Sounds great until
realize that the AIS info will be on a 2"x3" screen.

But they get a lot of people to upgrade that way.
With a NMEA 0183 or 2000 network, you can display that info on your chartplotter. I think one needs to fully understand the capabilities before downgrading it. It's a great feature when understood and used as designed. It is just like other electronics features people don't use because they don't want to take the time to learn it.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:24 AM   #24
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Well now we've drifted to AIS, but I personally find the receiver (and the tiny display) of my SH 2150 to be very useful in my boating situation. On the Mississippi River there are a lot of locks up here, and barge traffic can delay you for hours. Literally half your day can be spent waiting if you're not lucky. Rather than depending on luck, I depend on that display to tell me where the barge traffic is so that I can adjust my plans and speed to avoid those delays. I don't need anything more detailed than that little display provides.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:53 AM   #25
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Well now we've drifted to AIS, but I personally find the receiver (and the tiny display) of my SH 2150 to be very useful in my boating situation. On the Mississippi River there are a lot of locks up here, and barge traffic can delay you for hours. Literally half your day can be spent waiting if you're not lucky. Rather than depending on luck, I depend on that display to tell me where the barge traffic is so that I can adjust my plans and speed to avoid those delays. I don't need anything more detailed than that little display provides.

I'am also on the mississippi and agree completely, I upgraded to the 2150 and knowing where the tows are was a primary reason.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueYonder View Post
Making DSC calls can be painful, but you don't have to use that capability. You can always just make calls on the radio like any other radio. The emergency feature which broadcasts location and boat information is a big advantage over a non DSC radio.
I have a DSC VHF that is programmed and connected to the chartplotter to enable the emergency function. I think it is a "must have".

I have also used the DSC calling function between boats we are cruising with.

We may be ahead of the curve a bit as I think the main reason that DSC calling between boats is being encouraged is really to minimize ship to ship calling on Channel 16 and free it up for CG emergencies. In some heavy radio traffic areas it may become mandatory at some point. At least that's what we were told in the updated VHF radio license course last year.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:37 PM   #27
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I don't want to drift into AIS beyond how it relates to DSC calling.

With that in mind, does anyone make DSC calls by way of their AIS display? Are there examples of it actually working, and how much of the pain does it relieve?
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:39 PM   #28
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When we want privacy cruising with our club we use cell phones or group text messages. Howard
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:01 PM   #29
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We never use DSC to make calls. Open hail for passing, etc. Friends all call on cell or sat phones.

Only have it for the emergency button.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:21 PM   #30
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I don't want to drift into AIS beyond how it relates to DSC calling.
The AIS drift made me chuckle, but reminded me about the years I spent searching for and locating wrecks in the Pacific Northwest. Whenever we located a new wreck, we would turn the AIS off (so the wreck position could not be "poached" by other dive boats), but would keep track of buddy boats using DSC position requests.

Not really the intended use at all, but it worked very well.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:26 AM   #31
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Thumbs up for the emergency button as long as its properly interfaced. I also get frustrated to have the distress alarm go off only to find the distress boat is over a hundred miles away.
The ability to call a vessel shown on the AIS display sounds good but Ive never had the need yet.
The non-emergency DSC calling is of little value to me. Because I rarely use it, I need the manual to initate a call and so does the reciever. You can only pre-program a handful of boat MMSI numbers ahead of time. My friends know that if you want to call me, I'm listening on CH 16 or 78. To me its like using a SAT phone to call someone 2 miles away in the back bay. Way overkill. Now if you could call and talk to DSC boats out of your normal VHF range in a non-emergency mode without alerting the whole region, that would have value.
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