Jump to content

Is it worth to the VHF radio have DSC function. Anyone use it?

Recommended Posts

Well done for doing that but you should have done it before yesterday.

You do realise VHF and PLB have limited, at times very limited range? Often less than a parachute would.


And if you sink by me I'd go for a flare first. It's rare to have the VHF on and I have no ability to pick up a PLB but I do have good eyes and know what a flare looks like.


Hmmmm.... You are a fast runner. I am impressed at how fast you disappeared when the cop car arrived ;)


Are you serious? You have never seen any of the many news articles, comments etc about 'a flare being sited', surly you're just taking the piss.


When you popped that one at Arkles within seconds the VHF was alive with calls about it as were the land lines to CG. So much so it took me close to 4 minutes to break in and tell them all you'd been drinking and were doing a safety check. But I was only on a handheld in Arkles so reception wasn't legend which wouldn't helped


So just for the record, KM was advocating the use of flares through this thread. I was advocating the use of electronic devices such as PLB's or EPIRB's.

Current story here of a father and daughter who's launch broke down, on Friday, spent two nights drifting at sea, including Saturday which was awful weather.

The father "shot off some flares, but no one saw them".


The Coastguard air wing, an Airforce P3 Orion and a number of boats were searching for this boat. They were found visually in daylight.


Wonder if they would have been found and rescued last Friday had they used an EPIRB or PLB?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I may have mentioned this elsewhere...but anyway..

A while a go we did a serious test of flares versus electronic flares..

We used two vessels at different distances off shore and a heap of shore based "posts" spread for many miles to record what they saw.

Fist thing...the electronic ones have a ways to go ..

Second the old school flares could be seen by the posts..

Third thing...

Melbourne is a very big city with a lot of people...and a lot of those people live and work around Port Phillip Bay..

Not a single report was received by the emergency services of a flare ....

But yet it was obviously seen by our shore based posts......


Get an EPIRB and a PLB as well if you can !!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

DSC radios are a pain in the arse and are infact DANGEROUS. Let me explain. DSC still has not been officially accepted in NZ so while CG might have it , its not to be relied upon. The worst is, if your radio does not have a GPS buit in or you don't supply it with position data, the bloody thing will sound a series of annoying beeps and will continue to do so at regular intervals until its gets a gps fix..RIGHT OVER ANY INCOMING TRANSMISSION! Thats right, whoever's talking to you gets wiped out, and they call that a safety feature! Forget watch keeping at night with that going. It can not be turned off..unless you are a radio tech and know what you are doing! hehehe..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes of DSC equipped VHF sets cause this issue? My DSC equipped Uniden (the second one I've had), has never had this problem.


I was a marine electronics officer back in the late 1970's when DSC was starting to be fitted to ships, and used by coast stations. Thought it was great then, it's infinitely more versatile and useful these days. As Kiwifish says, you need to know how to use the gear you have.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not a problem, its incorrect setup/install. As almost all the VHF sets now have DSC, as its a requirement in the USA, they;


  1. MUST have a programmed MMSI number
  2. MUST have a valid GPS fix - either internal or external depending on model.

Read the manual, and some radios,(often only if the location is set to outside of USA), can turn off the DSC/MMS/GPS requirement, or, better still, provide the radio with what its asking for, and the alarms will cease.


The units alarm as they cannot be relied upon for DSC safety without that data, and in the market they are primarily designed for, its compulsory.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Im no radio tech, but it’s pretty basic simple to to turn off that beeping, just go into menu and select the gps simulate function.


They are not dangerous, only the un-educated operator makes it dangerous.

True, you are no radio tech? Its a requirement that all VHF marine transceivers have a failed gps position alarm:


""Subject: UNIDEN Question Update : W400167-030915:: W400167-030915

To Thomas 

Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:49 AM


Our Solution:


Thank you for using our system.


Dear valued Uniden customer, Unfortunately, there is no way to disable the No GPS alarm. It is on there so that in case of distress, it would be able to broadcast your coordinates. Since it is considered a safety feature, it is unable to be disabled.

Thank you for contacting Uniden!""


Rang Lusty Blundel in the shock that I have got this wrong and they are about to confirm it with an email I will post here.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...