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DSC Radio Note

Discussion in 'Sticky Post Archive' started by Cest La Vie, Sep 13, 2010. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Cest La Vie

    Cest La Vie

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    135 posts, 27 likes
    Beneteau 393
    US Lake Texoma, Texas
    The FCC announced the following today:

    IMPORTED, SOLD, OR INSTALLED AS OF MARCH 25, 2011. (DA No. 10-1728).
    WTB . Contact: Ghassan Khalek at (202) 418-0680, email:, TTY: (202) 418-7233

  2. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,339 posts, 985 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    A quick note here.

    If you have already installed a fix-station (non-portable) DSC radio on your boat before the 5/25/11 deadline, you are fine. You can still use the radio. It does not become obsolete. So don't think that on 5/25/11 you need a new radio, you do not.

    I am not an FCC expert, but I did stay at a Holiday-Inn last night. (I read the whole document :) )

  3. woodster


    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,240 posts, 263 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al
    so what are they replacing them with??????



  4. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    4,339 posts, 985 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca KF6BL
    New radios being manufactured must meet new specs that come into service on March 5, 2011. The new specs are for safety. They old radios can still be used but if the radio fails after 5/25, you cannot replace with the same model you have. It must be a new radio that meets the new specs.

    However, like I said, if it works, it is good and does not need to be replaced.

    From the Notice:

    "Compliance with these new technical standards will ensure that DSC-equipped radios incorporate many new safety features and functions, and will eliminate the dangers associated with the automatic channel switching feature on some current models of DSC-equipped radios, as addressed in a recent United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert."

  5. woodster


    Joined Sep 15, 2009
    6,240 posts, 263 likes
    S2 9.2a
    US Fairhope Al

    thanks...i was hopeing they were going to make the range better but guess that is not the case ...would be nice if they could say reach out 150 nm or so but then again that may creat radio havoc ........



  6. chuckwayne


    Joined Mar 20, 2004
    1,511 posts, 55 likes
    Hunter 356 and 216
    US Portland, ME
    the BIG (only??) issue is that the earlier DSC radios automatically switched channels when receiving a DSC call, without any warning. You could be switched off your active channel while handling a distress call, transiting a bridge, avoiding a tanker or docking...and not realize that the silence is caused by being off the channel. The original warning bulletin simply said do not use the radio to make DSC calls, and be aware of the possible switch if someone calls you. You should still use it for maydays, etc.

  7. PaulK


    Joined Dec 1, 2009
    274 posts, 17 likes
    Tillotson Pearson J/36
    US Southport, CT
    Legal issues

    Increasing the range would involve changing several laws... of Physics. The shorter wavelengths used by VHF radios don't reflect off the atmosphere the way longer waves (such as SSB) can. That's why FM radio stations fade out as you drive away from them. Getting a mast high enough to have a 150 mile range (think Empire State Building or Sears Tower) and then the power to push the signal that far as well would be interesting developments on boats.

  8. JVB


    Joined Jan 26, 2006
    268 posts, 1 likes
    Schock Wavelength 24
    US Lake Murray, SC
    I started out going the route to getting my MMSI number for my VHF with Digital Selective Calling. It is a relatively long and complicated process compared to the boatus and seatow options. Going thru the website you need to get a Restricted Radio Telephone Operator's Permit, which I already have since I fly planes. You also have to get a station license for your boat or airplane. I stopped going thru the FCC process when I discovered the price tag would be $160. I'll do the route tomorrow.

  9. windward54


    Joined Mar 12, 2008
    555 posts, 8 likes
    Jeanneau 49 DS
    US San Pedro, CA
    Unless you are going to travel internationally, no need to get a MMSI from the FCC.

    StargazerP303 likes this.

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