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Antony

Hand held radio

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

On our NB I had a mag-mount aerial (it was an Ex-Taxi aerial tuned to channel 74 Marine band) that plugged into either my fixed set or the hand-held radio.

 

You can see it on this picture.

It could be put away when on the canals and taken out when on the Rivers.

We use a re-tuned Amateur Radio antenna designed originally for the 2 metre band.

Using only an Icom hand held radio, London VTS is still contactable as far up as Brentford, and I have managed to just about use it as far as Teddington, but it is getting on the fringes by then, (not that it is really needed between Brentford and Teddington, anyway).

DSCF3478.JPG

Edited by alan_fincher

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1 hour ago, howardang said:

It is not good advice to carry a VHF without both a boat licence for the radio and having an operators certificate. Apart from anything else it is illegal, and it is also not sensible. Don't treat the subject lightly.

 

Howard

 

 

 

 

Is it illegal to have a hand held vhf on board and only use it to listen?  I thought it was only illegal if you used it to transmit but I might be wrong.

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19 minutes ago, Alway Swilby said:

Is it illegal to have a hand held vhf on board and only use it to listen?  I thought it was only illegal if you used it to transmit but I might be wrong.

You used to be correct.

However, under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, the offence is to establish or use a wireless station or wireless apparatus. "Use" includes reception.

I don't think OFCOM, or anybody else for that matter, would be interested in pursuing a case, though. 😙

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34 minutes ago, Alway Swilby said:

Is it illegal to have a hand held vhf on board and only use it to listen?  I thought it was only illegal if you used it to transmit but I might be wrong.

It is rather pointless and I tthink illegal as well, to carry a radio if you are not trained or licenced to use it, especially in an emergency. If you have gone to the expense of buying a radio get the training if only for a bit more peace of mind. You know it makes sense.:)

 

Howard

Edited by howardang

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33 minutes ago, Alway Swilby said:

I thought it was only illegal if you used it to transmit but I might be wrong.

Perhaps you are but I thought the same thing. 

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Why i sit still referred to as "VHF", when most of the radio world changed the name to "FM" at least 20 years ago?

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14 minutes ago, Athy said:

Why i sit still referred to as "VHF", when most of the radio world changed the name to "FM" at least 20 years ago?

Totally different things - like comparing a car to an orange.

 

VHF is the frequency used within a band on the radio spectrum.

There is UHF (Ultra High Frequency) which TV fall in

Then there is ULF (Ultra Low Frequency) that Submarines use.

And all sorts inbetween

 

A radio signal can be either Frequency Modulation (FM) or Amplitude Modulation (AM)

 

Marine Radio is on frequencies around 150Mhz and is FM

Aircraft radio is on frequencies around 130 Mhz and is on AM

Commercial radio (Radio 2, Radio 4 etc) operate on frequencies around 90-108Mhz and is on FM

 

An AM radio cannot transmit or receive an FM transmission or vice versa. If you tried to transmit on the marine frequencies with an AM radio you would just get interference, or POSSIBLY, (if close enough) a bit of 'bleed-over' and may be able to make out a little.

The bleed-over is very tightly controlled in the manufacture of the radios as with an ever increasing use of VHF radio the channel spacings are now reduced to 25Khz. If you have a cheap radio with (say) the old specification of 50Khz channel spacing you would not only transmit on your desired channel but would 'block-out' the channel on both sides of you (if they were the new 25Khz spacings)/

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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12 minutes ago, Athy said:

Why i sit still referred to as "VHF", when most of the radio world changed the name to "FM" at least 20 years ago?

VHF refers to the frequency band used.  AM and FM refer to the way the information is added to the carrier frequency, either as Amplitude Modulation or Frequency Modulation. FM only really works efficiently at higher frequency so most of the radio stations we listened to in the olden days were AM on the Long or Medium Wave (lower frequencies than VHF).  You'll remember they weren't always the clearest, but they were quite long range so it was the easiest way to have national broadcasts.

 

Alan has now replied above so I won't go on as you've probably had enough!  :D

 

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Thank you, Alan and Mr. Maritime Canine.

Yes, I realise that the majority of radio is on FM, though some are still on medium- and long-waves which are AM (Radio 5 Live is on MW, Radio 4L is on LW). But my point is, this FM used to be called VHF, short for Very High Frequency, so like comparing a car to a car. Look on an old mains radio from the 1950s and you'll often see a band marked "VHF". This would now be called "FM". (and by the way, Alan, Radio 2 and Radio 4 are NOT commercial stations: they are operated by the B.B.C.)

Edited by Athy

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13 minutes ago, Athy said:

Look on an old mains radio from the 1950s and you'll often see a band marked "VHF". This would now be called "FM".

I don't think you have understood anything that Myself & Sea Dog have explained.

 

Your car has an engine

This engine can be 'small' (High Frequency)

It could be 'medium' (Very High frequency)

It can be 'big' (Ultra High Frequency)

 

Each alternative can be either :

 

Petrol (AM), or

Diesel (FM)

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I think I did.

But in the 1960s radio stations transmitted on VHF.

Boat radios transmitted on VHF.

Why has one been renamed, but not the other. Is it a survival like "M.o.T." (named after a govt. dept. which ceased to exist many years ago)?

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For goodness sake nobody mention single sideband or we will be here all day!

  • Greenie 1

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2 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

For goodness sake nobody mention single sideband or we will be here all day!

I was going to but thought that there was sufficient misunderstanding with simple AM / FM / VHF.

 

I used to QSO all over the world on 11 metre USB & LSB.

 

There  - I've done it !!!

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

Why i sit still referred to as "VHF", when most of the radio world changed the name to "FM" at least 20 years ago?

 

I think the term VHF radio in marine conversation helps distinguish between a thing you communicate with compared to a thing you listen to a  station broadcasting a  program often involving playing music.

 

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14 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Marine VHF.

You need an Operators Certificate (licence) and your boat needs a radio licence.

 

If you just have a 'hand-held' radio then the boat does not need a licence as it can be used on any boat.

 

There are new frequency allocations for marine VHF that came into effect in 2017 & more coming in this month so it would be wise to wait and get one of the new ones.

 

There are some changes to the VHF channel numbers if you want to contact the UK Coastguard from September.

As a result of changes to Appendix 18 (Marine VHF) of the Radio Regulations, VHF channels 23, 84 and 86 will no longer be used for either Maritime Safety Information (MSI) or Radio Medical Advice. The channels to use from September 2017 will be VHF 62, 63 and 64. The use of VHF Channel 10 for MSI and pollution control (back up) is unchanged. Mark Lawson from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: “Although the change is not happening until September, when it happens the changeover will be absolute and we want to make people aware of this changeover in good time given our commitment to deliver maritime safety and wider support to the maritime community. The exact date of change will be announced as soon as possible. In the meantime, we suggest anyone who uses any type of vessel makes a careful note of these replacement channels so they are ready when it does happen.” Changes to Channels 19, 20, 78, and 79 Marine VHF Usage
Due to the increased need for marine VHF channels for commercial use, a recent ITU World Radio Conference authorised and developed a new channel plan for the following VHF marine radio frequencies. Channels 19, 20, 78, and 79, which were duplex have now been split into 8 simplex channels numbered 1019, 2019, 1020, 2020, 1078, 2078, 1079, and 2079. This new channel plan took effect January 1, 2017.

 

A couple of examples :

Channel 74 as used by C&RT lock-keepers is not affected, but if you are at Sea then channel 16 is no longer monitored by the Coastguard on constant watch.

 

2019 Changes :

 

xx. From 1 January 2019, the channels 24, 84, 25 and 85 may be merged in order to form a unique duplex channel with a bandwidth of 100 kHz in order to operate the VDES terrestrial component described in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R M.2092.

y. These channels may be operated as single or duplex frequency channels, subject to coordination with affected administrations.

z. Until 1 January 2019, these channels may be used for possible testing of future AIS applications without causing harmful interference to, or claiming protection from, existing applications and stations operating in the fixed and mobile services.

From 1 January 2019, these channels are each split into two simplex channels. The channels 2027 and 2028 designated as ASM 1 and ASM 2 are used for application specific messages (ASM) as described in the most recent version of Recommendation ITU-R M.2092.

zz. From 1 January 2019, channels 1027, 1028, 87 and 88 are used as single-frequency analogue channels for port operation and ship movement.

I'm a bit puzzled, nothing in the text, mentions the non-use of channel 16 by the coastguard (except the paragraph giving a couple if examples which is, I assume, your text). Is it still (in theory at least) an emergency channel?

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55 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Well if you were using a computer... 

I take it you are not aware of Lower sideband (LSB) and UPPER SIDEBAND (USB)

 

11 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

I'm a bit puzzled, nothing in the text, mentions the non-use of channel 16 by the coastguard (except the paragraph giving a couple if examples which is, I assume, your text). Is it still (in theory at least) an emergency channel?

I have posted a number of times about the Coastguard no longer monitoring CH16.

There used to be a person sat with earphones on listening solely to CH16. This service has now been removed and CH 16 is purely monitored (the same as any other channel) by any of the 'watch' happening to hear it over the general 'wall mounted' speaker.

It now relies on someone 'hearing' the call, rather than someone 'listening' for the call.

 

A VHF radio will enable you to summon help by calling the Coastguard and alerting other vessels. Up until recently this was done with a mayday call on Ch16. However, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) has changed. There is no longer a legal requirement for any ship or coast station to maintain a manual watch on Ch16. The UK Coastguard and Irish Coast Guard have ceased a dedicated Ch16 headset watch and now monitor this via a wall-mounted loudspeaker. Please check with other countries if going abroad.

 

The system now is that you have a DSC radio and you press the 'red-button' (normally hidden behind a lift-up flap to avoid false alarms) which transmits your location (via GPS connection) to the Coast guard.

 

Image result for dsc radio

 

 

Edit to add missi g l tters

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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7 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

I'm a bit puzzled, nothing in the text, mentions the non-use of channel 16 by the coastguard (except the paragraph giving a couple if examples which is, I assume, your text). Is it still (in theory at least) an emergency channel?

http://completeguide.rnli.org/vhf-radios.html

 

A VHF radio will enable you to summon help by calling the Coastguard and alerting other vessels. Up until recently this was done with a mayday call on Ch16. However, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) has changed. There is no longer a legal requirement for any ship or coast station to maintain a manual watch on Ch16.

 

The UK Coastguard and Irish Coast Guard have ceased a dedicated Ch16 headset watch and now monitor this via a wall-mounted loudspeaker. Please check with other countries if going abroad.

 

Instead, commercial ships and the Coastguard now monitor a special digital channel with DSC radios. To transmit a distress message on this channel you will need a DSC radio.

 

Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

I take it you are not aware of Lower sideband (LSB) and UPPER SIDEBAND (USB)

You set 'em up and I'll knock 'em down.  I was just trying to confuse Athy further. :giggles:

 

I was going to add a bit about satellite receivers but even I though mixing LNB with LSB was a bit tenuous. 

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

The system now is that you have a DSC radio and you press the 'red-button' which transmits you location (via GPS connection) to the Coast guard.

I am in the process of  fitting  a DSC radio as the fixed radio and handheld I have had up to now on my present boat are non DSC.

Must admit not quite sure which channel I should use to call the coastguard if say I want to alert them about something 

 

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2 minutes ago, MartynG said:

I am in the process of  fitting  a DSC radio as the fixed radio and handheld I have had up to now on my present boat are non DSC.

Must admit not quite sure which channel I should use to call the coastguard if say I want to alert them about something 

 

If you have a 'restricted licence' you should now take the DSC licence course and test - all will then be revealed.

 

You will also need to re-register the boat and will be given call signs etc :

 

Along with your licence you will be given your own unique call sign made up of a mixture of numbers and letters. Use this call sign when making a distress call and the Coastguard will be able to match it up with the details about your boat that you gave when you registered. If you have a DSC radio you will also get an MMSI number - a boat telephone number. If you don't have a licence you could face a large fine or prison sentence.

 

Use of a DSC radio without a DSC operators licence is the 'same' offence as operating a radio without a licence.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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44 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

If you have a 'restricted licence' you should now take the DSC licence course and test - all will then be revealed.

 

You will also need to re-register the boat and will be given call signs etc :

 

Along with your licence you will be given your own unique call sign made up of a mixture of numbers and letters. Use this call sign when making a distress call and the Coastguard will be able to match it up with the details about your boat that you gave when you registered. If you have a DSC radio you will also get an MMSI number - a boat telephone number. If you don't have a licence you could face a large fine or prison sentence.

 

Use of a DSC radio without a DSC operators licence is the 'same' offence as operating a radio without a licence.

I have the full dsc operators certificate and already have a mmsi and call sign for the boat. I have the mmsi in the AIS.  

Its simply a matter if me taking my time with upgrades on this boat.

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3 minutes ago, MartynG said:

I have the full dsc operators certificate and already have a mmsi and call sign for the boat. I have the mmsi in the AIS.  

Its simply a matter if me taking my time with upgrades on this boat.

Great then you are all set up and fully compliant.

Did they not explain on the course the 'new' system of calling the coastguard ?

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12 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Great then you are all set up and fully compliant.

Did they not explain on the course the 'new' system of calling the coastguard ?

I did the course  almost 11 years ago. And yes I know how to operate the radio. 

What channel should you use to call the coastguard if you have something to ask that is not a mayday or pan pan.?

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13 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

We use a re-tuned Amateur Radio antenna designed originally for the 2 metre band.

Using only an Icom hand held radio, London VTS is still contactable as far up as Brentford, and I have managed to just about use it as far as Teddington, but it is getting on the fringes by then, (not that it is really needed between Brentford and Teddington, anyway).

 

 

I am impressed by that performance. My Icom handheld (6W) doesn't work very well above Vauxhall Bridge, and I have heard (and rescued!) other boats who used a handheld there,  but London VTS could not hear them. On the other hand my fixed set (25W, with a Shakespeare magnetic mount, visible in this photo) works well up to Teddington (I have heard London VTS from Reading, though they could not hear me!). 

 

On some rivers - the tidal Thames is perhaps the best example - the main use for the radio is to listen to other traffic. For example you can hear a tug and barge approaching from behind, and gets lots of warning of when they are likely to overtake you.  dsc_3312.jpg

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