The MMSI of the caller is shown as 338108105 on your VHF display.* The leading three numbers of the MMSI are country identifiers.* The US uses 338, 366, 367, 368 and 369.* Canada uses 316.* You can find a complete list of country codes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritim...ication_digits
This particular MMSI is not registered to anyone by the Federal Communications Commission.* You can search for MMSIs and other data by using this FCC site: http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsS...191!1840754471
Since this MMSI does not*show up on the FCC search it implies that this is an erroneous MMSI or an expired MMSI.* It could be that a previous owner of the VHF radio sending the signal entered his MMSI then sold the boat or the radio and deactivated his MMSI.* The new owner of the boat /radio never reset the MMSI to a new assigned number thus the radio is sending out the last know MMSI, which obviously is inaccurate.
On you display is says ALL SHIPS.* That means the vessel using 338108105 has sent out either a PAN-PAN or SECURITY to all ships within radio range.* There are multiple different types of DSC calls:* DISTRESS (MAYDAY), URGENT (PAN-PAN), SAFETY (SECRUITY), GROUP (a group of boats) and INDIVIDUAL (a call to a specific vessels MMSI number for either a personal conversation or a position request).* If you are getting the same MMSI being sent repeatedly it means someone is playing with the other radio.* The good news is that they are not sending out DISTRESS signals and causing all sorts of worry by your local law enforcement agencies.
I suggest you read the owners manual for your VHF radio.* All manufacturers have information in their manuals about using Digital Selective Calling and how to set up your radio.* The manual will also discuss NMEA in and out connections to allow your radio to have a GPS signal in order to respond to position requests from friends and to enable the radio to send received position indications to you personal computer hosted navigation system or to a chart plotter.* I use Rose Point Navigation Coastal Explorer on board the boat and have my VHF sending NMEA data from the radio to the computer through a Brookhouse NMEA multiplexer and a serial port on the computer.* I am able to digitally hail a friends boat (with his MMSI already entered in my DSC phone directory) by simply selecting DSC call/Individual/Position Request/Send.* The radio automatically sends out a position request to my friends boat and, since he has his VHF set to auto respond to position requests, I immediately get a dot on my computer screen with his MMSI identifying his location.* Having the GPS connected to the VHF also means that if a DISTRESS call is made the position of the vessel is automatically included with the call so it takes the search out of Search and Rescue (the Coast Guard already knows who you are from the MMSI and where you are at from your GPS).*
DSC is a wonderful and powerful tool for marine communications.* The problem has been that few of us are using it to its full potential.* Read you manual and get an MMSI number.* If you only boat in US waters you can get a free MMSI from either BoatUS or the U.S. Power Squadron at http://www.boatus.com/mmsi/
. **If you travel outside of the US and contact foreign stations (meaning marinas, coast guards or other non-US boaters) then you are required by U.S. law to have both a stations license and a restricted radio-telephone operators license.* The last time I checked the station license was $205 (good for ten years) and the operators license was $55 (good for life).* You can get FCC licenses online through this website http://transition.fcc.gov/fees/welcome.html
If you have recently purchased a used boat or a used VHF radio you should check the setup of the radio and make sure you don't still have the previous owners MMSI entered into the radio.* If you do, it is not going to do you any good.* Most radios allow you to reprogram and change a*MMSI two or three times before you need to send the radio back to the manufacturer for clearing and programming.* Better to do that then send out erroneous information like the guy is doing with the calls you are receiving.
Hope this helps.*
-- Edited by Steppen on Friday 8th of July 2011 08:37:49 AM