Info ; Marine VHF Radio equipped with DSC
Marine VHF (Very High Frequency) Radio equipped with DSC (Digital Selective Calling) & the United States Coast Guard Rescue 21 System.
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/dsc/player.html, Here is a link to a player that explains how this works, If your VHF Radio has DSC built in it can be used to transmit your info & Latitude / Longitude in case of an emergency. I just installed and connected my Standard Horizon GX1000S to my Garmin 498, and received my MMSI number free.
Some Frequently Question & Answers
1. Does the U.S. Coast Guard monitor DSC maydays?
Not nationwide yet, and it may not until 2009 for the continental U.S. and 2011 for Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam. However, commercial ships are required to monitor the DSC-reserved Channel 70 for distress calls and have relayed maydays to the Coast Guard. In an emergency, Channel 16 should be used first.
2. Is my radio capable of sending a DSC message?
Maybe. Radios with DSC capability have been on the U.S. market for several years. Since 1999, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) began requiring new fixed mount models introduced in the U.S. to be equipped with the DSC feature. Minimally, DSC radios are equipped with single-button emergency transmission capability.
3. What does MMSI do?
It primarily registers the boat information in the U.S. Coast Guard's national distress database for use in emergency situations.
4. What are some advantages of a DSC equipped radio?
DSC radios have a one-button emergency transmit button that sends the vessel's unique MMSI number. In addition, if the DSC equipped radio is linked to a GPS or Loran unit, the distress call will include the vessel's position. Should the skipper become incapacitated, the radio will continue sending the mayday. In addition, a DSC equipped vessel with an MMSI number can make a "private" hailing call to another DSC-equipped vessel. Only the vessel being called will receive the hail.
5. What is "private calling" as related to DSC?
It is in effect "private hailing" of another vessel whose MMSI number is known to you. Once contact is established between the vessels, they are automatically switched to the preselected "working channel", and the "privacy" ends at that point, meaning that the transmission (conversation) can be heard by any other vessel monitoring that channel
http://www.boatus.com/MMSI/default.asp , is a good link to learn lots more about this. You will need a GPS unit with NMEA output capabilities to connect to your Radio. The One Button Distress Calling will Transmit till someone acknowledges receiving the signal.
Just one more thing you could do to add a layer of Safety to Boating. Sure the USCG is not going to monitor DSC in Alaska but if Commercial ships and other boaters who don't keep a VHF on 16 have this your chances of being received increase. Could give you the time needed to get everyone in life jackets or dingy as needed. Along with Question 5 giving you private hailing ability with your buddys for those secret fishing holes.
It is an easy installation, just read the installation instructions for the radio and the GPS chart plotter. I've been using DSC for about 8 years now and although the Coast Guard isn't currently monitoring it, the peace of mind knowing that others are is reassuring. Also, knowing that you have a means of locating another vessel in distress gives you a warm fuzzy as well.
Was easy enough, the colors of the wires didn't match, but using the words they had was the way to go. I got ahold of standard Horizon to confirm.
If it will attach to here I will add the PDF file. I didn't buy the CANet cable from Garmin for $42, mostly because I didn't need 40' of 3 conductor #22 awg cable.
Last edited by alaskapiranha; 09-23-2009 at 16:09.