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Best Budget Plotter for smaller yachts!


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Fair enough, each to their own KM! It's just with a good AP, most people do their navigating and planning below...

 

In about a week, when the Navico marketing guys come back from the sanctuary cove boat show, There will be a unit available for demos at the Navico Office in Albany if anyone is interested. 1st stock available in about 2 weeks...

 

Matt 

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while we're griping about VHF

 

after getting my DSC VHF hooked up to the GPS

 

i thought coastguard would immediately know where i was if i pushed the distress button within range of a station

 

but when i asked about this at the recent coastguard open day at mechanics bay they said

 

"no actually, your VHF may very well fire off the lat/long from your GPS but our NZ system isn't configured to receive it, so don't believe the radio manual that says you can press the distress button + abandon ship secure in the knowledge that your GPS linked DSC VHF will continually broadcast your position while you await rescue" 

 

stay on chan 16 until someone answers and get them to write down your position" 

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True. No shore stations. My boat, virtually all the commercial international ships, and many offshore yachts will see a distress icon appear on our plotters, as well as alarms... IMO it is worth it!! 

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Just a case of you talking Apples and I'm talking Feijoas IT.

 

Your Apples have space, power and time, my Feijoa has none of those.

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if a DSC VHF distress call with lat/long 

 

will show up on your plotter

 

will it show up on a coast guard or police launch plotter?

 

ie

 

is this DSC receive blindspot

 

nz coastguard stations only

 

or is it land stations and coastguard boats?

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Erice, the shore stations have to have the reception gear. A DSC radio that can receive the signal over the radio, and transmit it via the NMEA stream to the plotters. ALL the shore stations must have this gear before they can publicly state it is supported. NZ rescue services don't currently  have it, and monitoring it is a 24/7 expense. It is not the tech thats the issue, it's the $.

 

By the way, many "DSC" radios only receive, and won't transmit the data over NMEA, so are no good for the "on plotter" setup. Read the specs carefully if buying, read your manual if you already have the set you wish to use.

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My under standing was that as NZ has VHF coverage for most of the coast the DSC capability was not required - the decision also meant that NZ vessels did not have to spend big coin back then to replace non DSC capable VHF radios. NZ does have HF DSC.

 

Having worked in waters much busier than NZ the only time I received a valid VHF DSC distress call was in the Gulf of Aden, after I had already responded to a VHF Mayday call made by another yacht in the same fleet. the Mayday calls were for the same reason.

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Maybe Rigger, but I don't agree with that logic. DSC is a simple, one button press distress call. Can be made in under a second, and allow you to keep dealing with the issue, rather than being tied to the radio.... IMO it should be used. But it is not. Here, in NZ.

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It seems surprising to me that DSC is not supported by NZ coastguard shore stations. I have a Std Horizon HX851 that I carry on my body when sailing my Formula 16, e.g. singlehanded on Lake Michigan, and DSC was a significant selling point for me. If I'm on my own, in the water, on Lake Michigan and I have to make a distress call, I don't know for sure that I'm going to be in a position to carry on a voice conversation.

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Maybe Rigger, but I don't agree with that logic. DSC is a simple, one button press distress call. Can be made in under a second, and allow you to keep dealing with the issue, rather than being tied to the radio.... IMO it should be used. But it is not. Here, in NZ.

 

Agree in part IT.

Yes it is simple to send a distress message, but how many people have the DSC VHF connected to a GPS (I know some units may have  GPS built in the uniden mystic and Std Horizon HX851 do), and if the radio is not connected to a GPS do the users know how to enter a position?

 

BTW - Looking at this http://baymarineelectronics.co.nz/communications/vhf-radios.html and see the comments on the Icom M304

DSC (Digital Selective Calling) one touch distress and location alert

but if you look at the manual...

When a GPS receiver (NMEA0183 ver. 2.0 or 3.01) is connected,

the transceiver indicates the current position data in seconds of accuracy.

 

 

and check the specs, there is no built in GPS so you need to follow the instructions in the manual

Icom DSC VHF.jpg

 

and you have to wait for a response then transmit on 16 the info required - so tied to a radio....

 

So how many people here have a VHF with DSC connected to a GPS for positioning data, or do not know?

 

IT, would it be worth shifting the VHF DSC stuff to a new thread?

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as previously stated

 

mine is connected to GPS

 

when vhf on but gps off

 

a satellite icon with strength waves? flashes on the display

 

when the gps signal is received the sat. icon stops flashing and the strength waves ripple

 

also pressing setup 

 

causes the date, lat/long + MMSI to scroll across the bottom of the display

 

gps icon.jpg

 

and for distress

 

distress.jpg

 

we should ask coast guard if we can have a test day from marinas - moorings and see what who gets what   :thumbup:  

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I went thru this a couple of years ago when I replaced my VHF.

DSC is mandatory in the EU and States, and to my knowledge must now be classD

http://www.vhf-dsc.info/tech.html

The data channel is CH70, which seems to be allocated in the NZ frequency spectrum to DSC.

Anyways, I was incredulous that since every VHF radio sold has DSC, that coastguard didn't monitor it; why wouldn't SAR utilise such a fool proof system of emergency location. Must surely be a simple matter of running a data log on CH70.

Enquiries with Coast guard advised me it is unsupported and when question as to the why directed me to Maritime NZ.

Enquiries to Maritime NZ advised me it was unsupported and directed me back to coastguard !

I have my VHS connected via NMEA2000 connected to the chart plotter and GPS and like IT says, I will also be relying on someone picking up my DSC distress location on there VHF and advising SAR if required.

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