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Use Your VHF-DSC Radio with Confidence-gctid401592

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    Guest replied
    Ifallsguy wrote:
    What about if you move? For instance from Minnesota to Arizona? Do I need to reregister for a new number, notify USGC or just go with the existing number?
    I am pretty sure you can edit your information on their site or send a request. I cant remember for sure its been a while since I registered mine.

    I use my uniden radio with lowrance hds7. I can also test my radios dsc features.

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    What about if you move? For instance from Minnesota to Arizona? Do I need to reregister for a new number, notify USGC or just go with the existing number?

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    Standard Horizon GX1150, GX1600, GX1700 (don't buy, lousy GPS) and GX2000, Raymarine Ray49 and Garmin VHF100. As the VHF200 is the same plus additional features I assume it has it too.

    All but the GX1150 also have a way to display GPS speed which is the reason I will trash the speedo and install one of them in my tiny helm area. Due to the limited space I most likely will be forced to buy a GX1600 with an external SiRF or u-blox GPS even though I don't like the up-down buttons instead of a rotary encoder. Funny thing is: the GX1600 with the much better external GPS is cheaper than the GX1700. Mount the GPS under the helm as the signal will go through the fiberglass. That's how I run the test setup in my boat (until Monday a VHF100 which is great but won't fit my dash) with the VHF dangling around and the antenna is a rod of my bimini top I matched for the marine band. Don't touch when I transmit, LOL.

    To the question above: Connect the GPS to the radio by connecting RXD of the radio to TXD of the GPS and ground to ground. Done. A good and low cost GPS receiver for small boats is https://www.argentdata.com/catalog/p...j8taa25q9t6be3 $45 only (pin 2 = TXD) and better than the Garmin puck and a lot better than the majority of the marine GPS receivers with 12 channel GPS (prehistoric chips). The u-blox is the best but costs a lot more and is not available with an integrated antenna.

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    kjs wrote:
    with newer radios: yes. They have a test call setting
    I haven't seen a radio with the test feature yet. What make has it (that you know of)?

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    So once you get your radio registered how do you hook it up to your gps?

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    with newer radios: yes. They have a test call setting somewhere in the DSC menu. Some of the older ones had too but not that many.

    Another way to check whether it works: get the MMSI from a fellow boater who is within radio range and send him a DSC call (like call on Chxx). The radio will respond and if you entered a channel both radios will switch to it. You can also poll the position if you know the MMSI. If it works there it will also work for emergency.

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    AKBASSKING wrote:
    From Boating World magazine:

    Use Your VHF-DSC Radio with Confidence

    Posted: July 1, 2012 |

    It could save your life one day.

    By: Tony Gardiner, director, United Safe Boating Institute

    Marine VHF radios with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) are part of a worldwide upgrade of maritime communications. They allow boaters to make ship-to-ship private calls to other vessels equipped with a VHF-DSC radio, and in emergency situations they allow boaters to send an automatic mayday at the touch of a button over marine Channel 70, which is monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard and large commercial vessels.

    To work properly, however, VHF-DSC radios must be registered and encoded with a unique nine-digit Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identification number ÔÇö called a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) ÔÇö that functions much like a telephone number. Once the radio is properly registered through the FCC or its designees ÔÇö BoatU.S., Sea Tow or the United States Power Squadrons ÔÇö the MMSI number and identifying information about your boat are entered into the U.S. Coast Guard's national distress database.

    The first three digits of the nine-digit MMSI number denote the geographical area and are followed by six digits. In the United States and its territories, the geographical area begins with the number 3 (i.e., 3XX, with the Xs assigned any digit from 1 to 9). Group MMSIs start with the number 0, immediately followed by the three-digit geographical code, plus five more digits.

    There's one more step. To take full advantage of the VHF-DSC radio's ability to send an automatic mayday, you need to connect your radio to a GPS that can transmit your vessel's location and its identifying information. Properly connected and registered, your DSC radio will transmit your position and, if entered, the nature of your distress to rescue authorities. (If you have a GPS that is not connected to your radio, you can still enter your position manually.) Once activated, your DSC radio will continue to transmit your emergency signal until it is acknowledged.

    If you obtain your marine VHF-DSC radio through a dealer or during a new-vessel purchase, make sure you apply for your MMSI number immediately. As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide your name, address, telephone numbers (yours plus an emergency contact) and the vessel description, including registration number, vessel type, length and passenger capacity.

    Should you need to activate a distress call later, this information, embedded in your MMSI, will be provided to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, local authorities will have an excellent chance of finding you and rendering assistance or rescue.

    If you purchased a secondhand boat with a VHF-DSC radio already installed, take the radio to a recognized marine electronics store and have the old MMSI replaced with your new MMSI. Before heading out on the water, take time to input the MMSI numbers of vessels with which you're likely to have contact in your radio directory. If you belong to a yacht club, Power Squadron or other boating group, chances are that they will have what is known as a Group MMSI, which will let you alert all other members of the group at once. This is useful for cruises and other on-the-water activities, but emergency situations are where it really comes in handy.
    Thanks, Tony. Is there any way that I can test my unit's DSC information? That is, without causing a false DSC transmission? Thanks, Griff

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    Guest started a topic Use Your VHF-DSC Radio with Confidence-gctid401592

    Use Your VHF-DSC Radio with Confidence-gctid401592

    From Boating World magazine:

    Use Your VHF-DSC Radio with Confidence

    Posted: July 1, 2012 |

    It could save your life one day.

    By: Tony Gardiner, director, United Safe Boating Institute

    Marine VHF radios with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) are part of a worldwide upgrade of maritime communications. They allow boaters to make ship-to-ship private calls to other vessels equipped with a VHF-DSC radio, and in emergency situations they allow boaters to send an automatic mayday at the touch of a button over marine Channel 70, which is monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard and large commercial vessels.

    To work properly, however, VHF-DSC radios must be registered and encoded with a unique nine-digit Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identification number ÔÇö called a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) ÔÇö that functions much like a telephone number. Once the radio is properly registered through the FCC or its designees ÔÇö BoatU.S., Sea Tow or the United States Power Squadrons ÔÇö the MMSI number and identifying information about your boat are entered into the U.S. Coast Guard's national distress database.

    The first three digits of the nine-digit MMSI number denote the geographical area and are followed by six digits. In the United States and its territories, the geographical area begins with the number 3 (i.e., 3XX, with the Xs assigned any digit from 1 to 9). Group MMSIs start with the number 0, immediately followed by the three-digit geographical code, plus five more digits.

    There's one more step. To take full advantage of the VHF-DSC radio's ability to send an automatic mayday, you need to connect your radio to a GPS that can transmit your vessel's location and its identifying information. Properly connected and registered, your DSC radio will transmit your position and, if entered, the nature of your distress to rescue authorities. (If you have a GPS that is not connected to your radio, you can still enter your position manually.) Once activated, your DSC radio will continue to transmit your emergency signal until it is acknowledged.

    If you obtain your marine VHF-DSC radio through a dealer or during a new-vessel purchase, make sure you apply for your MMSI number immediately. As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide your name, address, telephone numbers (yours plus an emergency contact) and the vessel description, including registration number, vessel type, length and passenger capacity.

    Should you need to activate a distress call later, this information, embedded in your MMSI, will be provided to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center (RCC), ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, local authorities will have an excellent chance of finding you and rendering assistance or rescue.

    If you purchased a secondhand boat with a VHF-DSC radio already installed, take the radio to a recognized marine electronics store and have the old MMSI replaced with your new MMSI. Before heading out on the water, take time to input the MMSI numbers of vessels with which you're likely to have contact in your radio directory. If you belong to a yacht club, Power Squadron or other boating group, chances are that they will have what is known as a Group MMSI, which will let you alert all other members of the group at once. This is useful for cruises and other on-the-water activities, but emergency situations are where it really comes in handy.
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