Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number^

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Jack Sound
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Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number^

Post by Jack Sound » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:59 pm

Hi everyone.

Firstly appologies if this has already been covered.
I have read alot either in this forum or elsewhere, about getting an MMSI number for handheld VHFs with DSC, with alot of uncertainty as to whether it was possible.
I have just got a standard horizon HX851E - the CE marked version and therefore legal in the uk. I'd just like to let everybody know how easy I have found it getting an MMSI number, which is required to use the DSC functions of this radio.

All you have to do is to go on ofcoms website, register with them and fill in the form for a "ship portable radio licence" This means it is registered to a person and not a vessel. You then have to fill in your name and address and emergency contact details. Finally select that you want a portable VHF with DSC as part of your licence, and you get assigned an MMSI number instantly. It should start with 2359 because this lets the coastguard know that you have no particular vessel assigned to you. Its free and very simple. As I have just got the VHF it is too early to review it, but as my brother has a fishing boat, I may try DSC functions out on him.

Regards

Ben Rudder

Billy The Fisherman
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Billy The Fisherman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:31 pm

Getting the MMSI is rasy, finding a handheld with DSC was the hard bit.

Summit to Sea
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Summit to Sea » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:22 pm

Jack/Ben,

Covered here, via a link to my blog.

But you're correct, it's a painless process.

Regards,
Pete

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Wenley
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Wenley » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:34 pm

Pete:
it's a painless process.
It is true. I just did it. Amazing.

Thanks a lot, Pete.
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The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:02 pm

I suspect that the interest in DSC VHF handhelds stems from those people who have attended VHF courses, which are usually based on fixed DSC VHF sets. Here on the west coast of Scotland, there are many places with very poor or zero VHF reception with handheld VHF at sea level. While DSC handheld VHF sets might be very suitable as a means of summoning emergency help in an environment such as the Solent, they will not be much use up here. You can now get EPIRBS for just over £200, which are much more likely to be able to get an emergency signal through, regardless of where you paddle.

Douglas

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Wenley
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Wenley » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:20 pm

Hi Douglas,

How is your knee surgery recovery going?

I still keep in mind your advice on VHF coverage in the West Coast of Scotland; and if I had to choose one way to summon help, I would go for one that would get my message whatever the circumstances. Regretfully, an MMSI number for an EPIRB is now as hard to get in Spain -probably in more countries in the continent, as well- as for a handheld VHF radio. Still the best answer to this problem seems to buy and register the EPIRB in the United Kingdom.

If coverage was not an issue as it is, carrying both an DSC VHF handheld unit and a EPIRB (I found that they called them PLBs now) in a group would be ideal, as the DSC VHF allows amongst other functions, to modulate calls all the way to a Mayday call without the need to launch a SAR operation.

Best wishes,
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The weather is like the government, always in the wrong.

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Niall
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Niall » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:07 pm

EPIRBs are
a/ not going to be picked up by anything local to you which could save you
b/ not going to instantly be picked up the coastguard (needs an orbiting satellite to be overhead)
c/ not two-way, so you can't effectively communicate the nature of your distress.
Having DSC also gives you automated resending of alerts, and (i believe) slightly improved range over understandable voice communications.

I don't know about others, but i'd rather have a good handheld than a cheap EPIRB.

Owen
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Owen » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:58 pm

Niall wrote:EPIRBs are
a/ not going to be picked up by anything local to you which could save you
b/ not going to instantly be picked up the coastguard (needs an orbiting satellite to be overhead)
c/ not two-way, so you can't effectively communicate the nature of your distress.
Having DSC also gives you automated resending of alerts, and (I believe) slightly improved range over understandable voice communications.

I don't know about others, but I'd rather have a good handheld than a cheap EPIRB.
I think the point is that an EPIRB will always get through to someone, whereas once a VHF is out of range no one will hear it. Maybe I should say that I don't have an EPIRB only a VHF.

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Niall
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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by Niall » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:21 pm

Owen wrote:I think the point is that an EPIRB will always get through to someone, whereas once a VHF is out of range no one will hear it. Maybe I should say that I don't have an EPIRB only a VHF.
Yeah, reading back i see I somewhat missed the point. Ignore me :-).
Best option i suppose it to carry both. And flares/smoke. And a phone. Etc...

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Re: Handheld VHF with DSC and MMSI number

Post by mick m » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:35 pm

Hear in Australia if you paddel a cupal of miles off shore it mandotery to cary an eperb , Iv always caried both but the botom line is sumone has got to be in the right place to hear you , dosent mater how good the VHF is if nowons lisening to you.

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