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hi all

just wondering about this dsc thing,im looking to get hold of a radio should i get one with dsc or not , or will a second hand vhf do the same job?
i know what the dsc is all about just that i cant see every boat owner going out and buying a dsc for 100 pound plus,
would i still be able to raise the coastguard on a vhf without dsc????????
:confused:
 

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I am by no means an expert but I took the Rya vhf course a few months ago and they advised that in the next few years the coastguard are going to stop actually "listening" for mayday calls instead will rely on the dsc system to alert them, whether this is actually going to be the case who knows!!

I think that is why all new vhfs being sold have dsc on them.

Ryan
 

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solent dave said:
hi all

just wondering about this dsc thing,im looking to get hold of a radio should i get one with dsc or not , or will a second hand vhf do the same job?
i know what the dsc is all about just that i cant see every boat owner going out and buying a dsc for 100 pound plus,
would i still be able to raise the coastguard on a vhf without dsc????????
:confused:
Hi Solent Dave
As you are most probably aware i,m new to boating,anyway enough of that.
As to your question,well i,m as much in the dark as you,but i went to a boat jumble on Sunday,and visited the RNLI stall,got lots of leaflets and the leaflet on radios explains about DSC in one sentence,then in another states use your vhf radio as well,so looking at it a normal VHF is going to be ok.
If anyone really knows i,d like to know as well as Solent Dave.
Regards Larry......
 

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The Coastguard stopped a dedicated headphone watch on Ch 16 last year but continue to monitor it on loudspeakers in the control room I think.

I have 2 problems with DSC, if you don't have a boat's MMSI number you cannot call them direct on the DSC so you have to call on Chanel 16 as normal.

The other far more serious problem to me is the Mayday system that DSC uses. You press a dedicated button and if your DSC is interfaced with GPS it sends out an automated mayday message. OK in theory but there is no way of testing the button. You press it to test it is operating and you have a mayday call out with all that involves. With the old VHF system you can call the coastguard for a radio check, no reply, system fault. You can test DSC the same way but not the all important Mayday button. Knowing my luck the one I buy will have a dodgy button and I will have it on my headstone, ' told you'.

I know there is a dummy load you can put on a set instead of an aerial and test the system on a set nearby to see if the mayday sentence is recieved but being so close to Holyhead coastguard station I wouldn't like to chance it not being picked up there as well.
 

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ChrisP said:
The other far more serious problem to me is the Mayday system that DSC uses. You press a dedicated button and if your DSC is interfaced with GPS it sends out an automated mayday message. OK in theory but there is no way of testing the button.
That's a good point ChrisP. My old boat had a DSC (although I never used this function) I often looked at the covered red button wondering, Would that really work in an emergency ? Fortunately I never had to put it to the test, but I had my reservations. Your post has cleared up a question I have had i.e. can you test the GPS positioning information being transmitted.

Regards
Osprey
 

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You can use DSC to call up your buddys and it will tell you where he is by relaying his position to your radio, subject to his set being wired to a GPS or plotter.

This will tell you if the DSC funtion works or not.

I just wired a new DSC set to my boat last week-end and the Solent Coastguard sent a DSC Mayday, my alarm went off with a loud ring.

Regards

Dave
 

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You can test everything Dave except the button under the red cover. With such an important function there should be some way of checking it in my opinion. To me it is another bit of gear designed by committee without thought to practicality. There should be a way of testing the distress button each time the set is used much the same as the old vhf set was used for a radio check with the local coast guard. It would not be hard to include a second button which when pressed first would allow a test message to be sent with the distress button.

It may just be me, I know I am over cautious on safety, I have 2 fixed sets, 2 aerials both on separate batteries and a waterproof hand held on board. I have little faith in a life threatening situation on a button made by man and corroded by the elements actually working the first time I have to press it. I think we have all had a bit of electrical gear that was faulty from the start, fingers crossed it is not that distress button.
 

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Look on the manufacturers website for the manual. as far as I know some models only let you program the mmsi in once (stupid!!)
 

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taff2 said:
i have a second hand one no book with it there is a mmsi number on how do i get rid of it
You can get it removed, some chandlers will do it or send it back to the importer/agent but they all charge about £20!

You also have to inform the Licensing Aurthority that it has been removed or you are now the registered keeper with all your details.

Regards

Dave
 
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