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Old 04-07-2015, 08:23 PM   #21
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Our Marine Rescue organization, as well as being a rescue provider/organizer/co-ordinator, it principally acts as a log on monitoring service for coastal offshore boating, normally takes no issue with radio checks. It is a safety issue. Makes sense to first check if it is a good time to call, mid rescue is definitely not the time.
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:37 PM   #22
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Our Marine Rescue organization, as well as being a rescue provider/organizer/co-ordinator, it principally acts as a log on monitoring service for coastal offshore boating, normally takes no issue with radio checks. It is a safety issue. Makes sense to first check if it is a good time to call, mid rescue is definitely not the time.
With the Channel 16 traffic in many places in the US states.....the radio checks drown out real maydays.

So keeping people off channel 16 and trying to get them to think first IS a safety issue in reverse.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:13 PM   #23
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Marin,

I wonder how I am supposed to hail the CG on DSC for a radio check. I have never seen a list of CG shore station MMSI numbers. I would certainly enter them if such a list existed.

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Old 04-07-2015, 09:37 PM   #24
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Marin,

I wonder how I am supposed to hail the CG on DSC for a radio check.
Beats the hell out of me.

We've never done a radio check with the USCG. We figure that if we can hear on the radios they will transmit. On occasion we'll check this with the handheld VHF but so far we've never not had any of our radios transmit except the Standard Horizon that we installed in our Arima fishing boat when we bought it in 1987.

A few years ago it quit transmitting on high power, and after performing all the checks our marine electronics guy suggested we replaced it with a new Icom. Which was a good idea anyway as the old radio did not have DSC or the capability to accept a position from a plotter.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:51 PM   #25
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There is also a MF/HF DSC system! I can remember seeing a procedure for VHF DSC testing somewhere but it will come to me in a couple days.

From the USCG NAVCEN website----> About Digital Selective Calling

Recommendations On Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Test Calls To Coast Stations
The International Telecommunications Union Sector for Radiocommunications has indicated that excessive test calls on MF/HF DSC distress and safety frequencies are overloading the system to the point where interference to distress and safety calls has become a cause for concern. To minimize possible interference, live testing on DSC distress and safety frequencies with coast stations should be limited to once a week as recommended by the International Maritime Organization.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:09 PM   #26
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How about Sea Tow starting up an automated or manual DSC radio check system?
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:05 PM   #27
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In Alaska we get radio checks all the time on 16 and I've never heard the CG complain. Of course, it's a little different up here...pump out stations are a rare breed.

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Old 04-07-2015, 11:11 PM   #28
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In Alaska we get radio checks all the time on 16 and I've never heard the CG complain. Of course, it's a little different up here...pump out stations are a rare breed.
With the miniscule human population in Alaska, personal "dumpings" would seem to be of little concern.


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Old 04-08-2015, 07:35 AM   #29
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In our area, if CG responds to a request for radio check on Ch 16, and after announcing that radio checks are not to be conducted on Ch 16...


They direct folks to use Ch 09, which is the alternate hailing frequency here.


Sea Tow's automated service is on Ch 27.


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Old 04-08-2015, 07:36 AM   #30
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If your radio has a DSC Test Call feature, the CG has an autoresponse service at 003669999. Whatever you do, don't send a distress signal as a test!
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:10 AM   #31
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"Sea Tow's automated service is on Ch 27."

Channels are 24 - 28 depending on region.
You donít have to be a member of Sea Tow to use the automated radio check, and it costs nothing. To find the right channel in a particular boating area, all a boater has to do is visit the Sea Tow automated radio check page and enter the city, state or zip code. An interactive map will open, showing the automated radio check stations in your region
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:08 AM   #32
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The automated radio checks are really useful since you hear back exactly what you sound like.

If you are having trouble, see if you can find someone with an SWR meter. It hooks up inline between your VHF and the antenna cable and measures how much of your transmit power is making it out through the antenna vs how much is bouncing back because of bad cables, connectors, etc. They are very handy in a situation like this. So much so that I invested in one to keep onboard. I don't think it was more than about $50 and has already paid for itself in identifying one bad connection, and providing reassurance that my antennas are now in good shape.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:48 AM   #33
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Quote:
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Sea Tow's automated service is on Ch 27.
Quote:
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"Sea Tow's automated service is on Ch 27."

Channels are 24 - 28 depending on region.

Yep, I meant in this area.

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Old 04-08-2015, 11:53 AM   #34
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first clue is what you can hear. If only short range then you have an antenna or cable problem.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:31 AM   #35
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Maybe this has already been mentioned, but:

When our boat was new, our new and excellent Icom 127 radio, with a high-quality 9-foot antenna, would receive well, but transmit very poorly.

It turned out that it had been installed with a poorly-done antenna connection (which is all too easy to do). I re-soldered the connector properly, and voila! Has worked perfectly for 16 years since.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:11 PM   #36
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I'am no expert but that won't stop me from offering my opinion, if there is a problem with the radio I would think it would fail to transmit or receive or both. Degraded performance is most likely a problem in the antenna and/or cabling, a swr meter would be helpful in diagnosing.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:25 PM   #37
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We figure that if we can hear on the radios they will transmit.
A long time ago when I sat for my operator's ticket, a basic "fail" question was
"You can receive clearly but can't transmit - what's the problem?"

Answer: Power supply may be faulty - You may have enough power to receive, but insufficient for transmission.

This may apply particularly to HF radios, but IMHO assumption is still the mother of all (most) f...kups.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:31 PM   #38
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"Sea Tow's automated service is on Ch 27."

Channels are 24 - 28 depending on region. ...
No coverage in the SF Bay Area.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:58 PM   #39
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No coverage in the SF Bay Area.
Sorry Mark, apparently "Nationwide" does not include the west coast....
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:08 PM   #40
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Sorry Mark, apparently "Nationwide" does not include the west coast....
It serves the San Diego area and perhaps other parts of the coast, but not SF.
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