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Discussion Starter #1
Im not sure if this is in the correct section or not but here goes..
I do quite a lot of coastal fishing along the NE of Scotland and for safety i thought it a good idea to purchase a handheld VHF radio. Having setup a couple of channels im now worried about whether it is actually legal for me to use it onland without a license.
Any advice from the group on if i need a license or not and also the correct channels and frequencies i should have programmed.

Thanks......
 

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Hello olemanhaggis.

I'm newbie when it comes to vhf radios and using them myself..
Whilst launching our first boat the other day we had a very nice an helpful, harbour master explain that while on the water to use channel 12 to contact wells harbour office.
Channel 16 for the coast guard..

As for licences, I'm like yourself and not sure now if I need one of those as well.. lol.

Any help would be grateful

Many thanks ....
 

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Oh really!....
Well I can kinda understand why when it's for emergencies and communication at sea...
While they use CB on land I believe i.e. Truckers and off-roaders..

I have no intention using it on land so I'm all good

Thanks for the heads up thou as I did turn on the vhf radio only to test it worked and listen to any broadcasts.
I'm guessing only if you transmit communication it's illegal !..

Many thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe i should have said i would only be using the radio when clambering over rocky marks incase i fall in or get cut off. Its a vhf/uhf dual band radio. Ill get in touch with ofcom just to check
 

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Anyone can get a license. It's required to make sure all operators are singing off the same hymn sheet in regards to stuff like codes and phonetic alphabet etc etc.

A VHF would be a good back up mainly because the stations are manned. However being on land I'd personally use a mobile phone if your not in the drink. These days new style phones on the market generally have dual sims. So as long as you have 2 different sims from 2 different companies your chances of signal on at least one of them is very very high, even miles out at sea in some cases. You just need to be sure you have 2 sims from different companies and not 1 for example from O2 and another from a O2 MVNO (Tesco/GiffGaff) as they use the same network. See list here.

Best thing is to make sure before setting off someone knows where you're going and when you are due back. All technology can fail.

Got some flares if you want some :D
 

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Hello olemanhaggis.

I'm newbie when it comes to vhf radios and using them myself..
Whilst launching our first boat the other day we had a very nice an helpful, harbour master explain that while on the water to use channel 12 to contact wells harbour office.
Channel 16 for the coast guard..

As for licences, I'm like yourself and not sure now if I need one of those as well.. lol.

Any help would be grateful

Many thanks ....
You need a ships radio licence for the boat and you should have an operators licence ( a half day course)
You cannot use VHF on shore with some exceptions and limitations to channels you can transmit on e.g. M1 for a marina operations.
I guess the OP could try and register himself as a vessel
 

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You would be better off with a plb (personal locator beacon) they are legal for onshore use, and as they use satellites to locate you they are unlikely to suffer from the blind spots of vhf, and you do need a licence for marine vhf ,you could use cb hand held but again it’s limited range and not monitored by emergency services, better off with plb and mobile phone.
 

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Hello olemanhaggis.

I'm newbie when it comes to vhf radios and using them myself..
Whilst launching our first boat the other day we had a very nice an helpful, harbour master explain that while on the water to use channel 12 to contact wells harbour office.
Channel 16 for the coast guard..

As for licences, I'm like yourself and not sure now if I need one of those as well.. lol.

Any help would be grateful

Many thanks ....
:) I have a pair of handheld VHF radios and providing they aren't over a certain power you don't need a licence, they are made to this standard, you can buy more powerful ones but you then need a licence. Officially you need a licence to use a radio in a boat and you need to pass a course to get it but they are more powerful. :)
 

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:) I have a pair of handheld VHF radios and providing they aren't over a certain power you don't need a licence, they are made to this standard, you can buy more powerful ones but you then need a licence. Officially you need a licence to use a radio in a boat and you need to pass a course to get it but they are more powerful. :)
Hi Norm
I am not sure what radios you mean but radios on the marine frequencies do need a licence, regardless of power and are subject to all of the controls discussed
 

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Im with smooth-hound on this. I dont think radio power makes any difference. Mines hand held and licence needed to operate it.
 

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:) I have a pair of handheld VHF radios and providing they aren't over a certain power you don't need a licence, they are made to this standard, you can buy more powerful ones but you then need a licence. Officially you need a licence to use a radio in a boat and you need to pass a course to get it but they are more powerful. :)
:) Walkie talkies, set frequencies, not marine as far as I know. :)
 

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Here here we are bombarded by rules and regulations, Ive just had to upgrade my radio operator licence even though I did a ridiculous course gaining my vhf licence many years ago. Every boat has a vhf here but very few bother with gaining their licence which is obvious if you listen to the dribble spoken over them while on the water.

So even though you are meant to have one nobody is ever checked ( confirmed by maritime officers) . In an emergency it's not illegal for anyone to use a vhf radio, which was again confirmed in my latest training when I updated my licence for skippering our local rescue boat.

If you are using it for an emergency I must say a handheld is a pretty poor piece of safety equipment . They are only useful for line of sight communication, so fishing at water level on a beach or off the rocks you will most likely only have communication with radios directly out at sea and not over the cliff or hills inland, unless you fish next to a repeater station. Handhelds are bulky heavy and need regular charging for their limited use. You also need to hope the person you are speaking to understands your description of where you are in trouble at.

Better safety options are plb's which can work off many satellites giving your exact location. They will keep on working even if you are unconscious or performing cpr etc on someone. The plb in the centre of this picture has a 20 year battery ( 10 years guaranteed) and also has a flashing strobe. Plb's don't meet legal requirements for us offshore in boats but they do make an additional safety precaution to go with our epirb's and other legal requirements.

Another option is something like the little Garmin inreach, which there are several different models of. This one on the right has a full emergency button like plb's and epirb's but it also has the benefit of two way communication anywhere in the world as long as you have it in clear view of the sky ( satellites ). I use my little Garmin quite often as I'm regularly in areas without phone reception, used it yesterday why fishing around 50 miles offshore. A subscription is required for the Garmin but I only use the free pre set messages Ive put into mine, I can also use my phone in combination with the Garmin for messaging.

We also have a very handy marine rescue app which I use every time I go boating. The app allows me to state how many people I'm taking boating and my planned return time, it can also track my phone all the time I'm within phone reception. As soon as I log onto the app a message appears in the marine rescue operation station, from there a breadcrumb trail of signals appears on the headquarters computers. Setting up the app I first log my boat details and next of kin etc.

IMG_4293.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the comments folks.... Im going to re-think the handheld radio idea and maybe get a PLB instead. Phone signal in the NE of Scotland aint good along the coasts so ill research the beacons...
Looks like ill have to buy a wee boat to go with the handheld...... Oh the Mrs will be pleased.. !!
 

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If you are concerned about being in a bad situation & needing to contact somebody for help, register your mobile phone to accept the 112 rescue call frequency. Its a much better system and gets you into the same frequencies as used by the emergency services. You dont even need to ensure you have a signal for it to work.

Do a search on the forum to turn up the information to register. It is really easy & only takes a few minutes.

Frankly, it should be compulsory for everybody that goes sea fishing to be registered.
Sorry, but I think this is incorrect. 112 is the EU wide equivalent to 999 and will put you through to the same place.
Either number will work if your phone is showing ‘emergency calls only’ but there has to be access to a network. If you’ve got zero signal and no connection with any network, then neither number will do you any good.

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/112-united-kingdom

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/999-myths-social-media-2098591.amp
 

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Anyone can get a license. It's required to make sure all operators are singing off the same hymn sheet in regards to stuff like codes and phonetic alphabet etc etc.

A VHF would be a good back up mainly because the stations are manned. However being on land I'd personally use a mobile phone if your not in the drink. These days new style phones on the market generally have dual sims. So as long as you have 2 different sims from 2 different companies your chances of signal on at least one of them is very very high, even miles out at sea in some cases. You just need to be sure you have 2 sims from different companies and not 1 for example from O2 and another from a O2 MVNO (Tesco/GiffGaff) as they use the same network. See list here.

Best thing is to make sure before setting off someone knows where you're going and when you are due back. All technology can fail.

Got some flares if you want some :D
If you dial 999, the phone will use any available signal to make the call, you don't need a sim card at all.
 

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We have the 112 or 000 which like the UK work off any available network even without a sim, however you still need to be in range of a signal which much of the time we don't have in range, hence plb beacons or satalite iridium communicators. Flat phone battery's, flooded or broken phones or an injury which deteriorates rapidly may prevent you getting help. Popping the aerial and turning the switch sends out an emergency distress signal with your position that hopefully even your children could manage. Fall in the water from the rocks, become short breathed from the oncoming of a heart attack, slip on the rocks and break a hip the list goes on.

We seem to have a regular amount of people who wonder into wilderness areas over here and get lost, one in the last week which cost thousands in search party's and helicopters etc. Often these are holidaymakers who simply get lost, take your epirb on holiday too.

There's also the advantage of carrying a plb when you head offshore in your boat or mates boat and all end up in the water somehow. Not sure of the cost of them in the UK but here they work out around £100 which divided into 10 years of battery life works out at just £10 per year for piece of mind safety. Yes try all means using a phone if you can first.
 

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We have the 112 or 000 which like the UK work off any available network even without a sim, however you still need to be in range of a signal which much of the time we don't have in range, hence plb beacons or satalite iridium communicators. Flat phone battery's, flooded or broken phones or an injury which deteriorates rapidly may prevent you getting help. Popping the aerial and turning the switch sends out an emergency distress signal with your position that hopefully even your children could manage. Fall in the water from the rocks, become short breathed from the oncoming of a heart attack, slip on the rocks and break a hip the list goes on.

We seem to have a regular amount of people who wonder into wilderness areas over here and get lost, one in the last week which cost thousands in search party's and helicopters etc. Often these are holidaymakers who simply get lost, take your epirb on holiday too.

There's also the advantage of carrying a plb when you head offshore in your boat or mates boat and all end up in the water somehow. Not sure of the cost of them in the UK but here they work out around £100 which divided into 10 years of battery life works out at just £10 per year for piece of mind safety. Yes try all means using a phone if you can first.
Jon, you are lucky in Aus if you can get a new PLB for £100 and 10yr battery life. The cheapest PLBs in the UK tend to be around £220 upwards and have a 5/6year battery life stated on the products. I have 2 and have just had 1 serviced / battery replaced which had to be at a designated ACR service centre. So a 10 year cost of £35 per year but its very cheap at the price for being found should it be necessary!
Here they have to registered at Falmouth Coastguard who would co-ordinate any response to a UK beacon regardless of location.
Steve
 
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