VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

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JB-NL
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VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:29 pm

Hi Guys
Just a question, is in the UK allowed to have the scan function on the VHF handheld enabled?
As in the Netherlands this is not allowed.

Best regards,

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by John K » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:31 pm

Yes it is. It's a standard feature on most sets.

Why isn't allowed in the Netherlands? Sounds odd!

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:34 pm

it is odd, from a kayakers perspective.
Reason it is, while scanning, you might want to make a call and do it just when Channel 16 is on. This would disturb the radio-traffic/communication.

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by Nasty swimmer » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:20 am

Why would you want to scan? If you're calling others in your party you should agree a channel to communicate on, otherwise channel 16 is the normal hailing channel - you put out a call to contact another vessel or the coastguard and they will then tell you which channel to transfer to. There's no problem using 16 unless there's an emergency, in which case the coastguard will tell you to clear it. In fact, vessels are required to leave their sets on 16 to listen out for emergency calls.

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by ian johnston » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:31 am

Hi JB, this makes absolutely no sense to me....

The purpose of Channel 16 is a Calling and Distress channel - vessels call on 16 and then shift to a working channel as a routine procedure. I work on vessels visiting Netherlands ports regularly - there is no restriction on use of #16 as a calling channel and scanning is routinely employed where it's desired to monitor a number of channels.

Where did you get the information concerning use of #16 from? It seems to contradict ITU protocols!

Hi Nasty Swimmer: "Scan" function could be used to monitor communication on (for instance) Vessel Traffic Services channels whilst also monitoring a group channel and #16. Most handhelds have a Scan function alongside a "Dual Watch" and in some cases "Tri Watch" function which remains on the selected channel(s) and monitors #16 every couple of seconds for a very brief period - switching to 16 if traffic is detected.

Kind Regards

Ian

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:59 am

I suspect the reason it is illegal in NL may be some "catch all" legislation on scanners as a whole.

There is actually legislation aimed at a similar purpose in the UK as well, but it goes about it a different way, regulating what you can listen to rather than how you find it. It's illegal to listen to any radio broadcast that is not meant for general reception. It's from the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1949 (but still in s.48 of the 2006 version of the Act) and was intended to stop the kind of thing mobile phone hackers now do, but written around 1949 technology.

An extract from that link:
The services that can be listened to under the definition of general reception are:

licensed broadcasting stations;
amateur and citizens' band radio transmissions; and
weather and navigation transmissions
This does not include marine VHF. I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted, although if use was then made of what was heard, to somebody's disadvantage, it could happen. But the guidance goes on to say:
…it is illegal to listen to anything other than general reception transmissions unless you are either a licensed user of the frequencies in question…
So if you hold a marine VHF licence, you can legally listen to marine VHF transmissions, whether you switch to the channel manually or use a scanner. But if you just used a scanner to listen, and you didn't have a licence, you'd be technically illegal in the UK. For the OP, if you're concerned, I think a licence issued in the Netherlands would be valid for this purpose.

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:39 pm

ian johnston wrote:Hi JB, this makes absolutely no sense to me....

The purpose of Channel 16 is a Calling and Distress channel - vessels call on 16 and then shift to a working channel as a routine procedure. I work on vessels visiting Netherlands ports regularly - there is no restriction on use of #16 as a calling channel and scanning is routinely employed where it's desired to monitor a number of channels.

Where did you get the information concerning use of #16 from? It seems to contradict ITU protocols!

Hi Nasty Swimmer: "Scan" function could be used to monitor communication on (for instance) Vessel Traffic Services channels whilst also monitoring a group channel and #16. Most handhelds have a Scan function alongside a "Dual Watch" and in some cases "Tri Watch" function which remains on the selected channel(s) and monitors #16 every couple of seconds for a very brief period - switching to 16 if traffic is detected.

Kind Regards

Ian
Well, I guess the situation is a bit different in NL. Channel 16= Coastguard= emergency only. IN case of an ongoing emergency, the CG assigns a separate CH for involved parties.
Every "traffic- area"has its own VHF channel via which all traffic is managed. This is what we as kayakers use to contact the local traffic station and inform them re our plans.
Furthermore, every hour the whether outlook is communicated via CH 23 and 83. For us it is vary attractive to scan these channels, incl of course 77 for "intra- kayak"communication.
That might help you to understand why scanning is within the Dutch waters not allowed.
And yes, I agree with you, we do have the opinion its a bit silly, over-controlled.

But I do also understand, as an answer to my question, within the surrounding waters it is allowed in the UK to have the scan function in place.

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:42 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:I suspect the reason it is illegal in NL may be some "catch all" legislation on scanners as a whole.

There is actually legislation aimed at a similar purpose in the UK as well, but it goes about it a different way, regulating what you can listen to rather than how you find it. It's illegal to listen to any radio broadcast that is not meant for general reception. It's from the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1949 (but still in s.48 of the 2006 version of the Act) and was intended to stop the kind of thing mobile phone hackers now do, but written around 1949 technology.

An extract from that link:
The services that can be listened to under the definition of general reception are:

licensed broadcasting stations;
amateur and citizens' band radio transmissions; and
weather and navigation transmissions
This does not include marine VHF. I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted, although if use was then made of what was heard, to somebody's disadvantage, it could happen. But the guidance goes on to say:
…it is illegal to listen to anything other than general reception transmissions unless you are either a licensed user of the frequencies in question…
So if you hold a marine VHF licence, you can legally listen to marine VHF transmissions, whether you switch to the channel manually or use a scanner. But if you just used a scanner to listen, and you didn't have a licence, you'd be technically illegal in the UK. For the OP, if you're concerned, I think a licence issued in the Netherlands would be valid for this purpose.

Hi Chris, that is in NL the same, when you participate (even as a listener) all information shared via de VHF needs to be treated as confidential and you are not allowed to share this with others.

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by John K » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:22 pm

Nasty swimmer wrote:Why would you want to scan?

I wouldn't just scan all channels, but I use a selective scan to monitor chosen ship to ship channels, the local VTS, the coastguard working channel and Ch16.

Is dual watch allowed in the Netherlands?

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:29 pm

John K wrote:
Nasty swimmer wrote:Why would you want to scan?

I wouldn't just scan all channels, but I use a selective scan to monitor chosen ship to ship channels, the local VTS, the coastguard working channel and Ch16.

Is dual watch allowed in the Netherlands?
No, just as try-watch.
And indeed, you just add the preferred channels to the memory, that's all.

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by ian johnston » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:20 pm

JB-NL wrote:
ian johnston wrote:
Well, I guess the situation is a bit different in NL. Channel 16= Coastguard= emergency only. IN case of an ongoing emergency, the CG assigns a separate CH for involved parties.
Every "traffic- area"has its own VHF channel via which all traffic is managed. This is what we as kayakers use to contact the local traffic station and inform them re our plans.
Furthermore, every hour the whether outlook is communicated via CH 23 and 83. For us it is vary attractive to scan these channels, incl of course 77 for "intra- kayak"communication.
That might help you to understand why scanning is within the Dutch waters not allowed.
And yes, I agree with you, we do have the opinion its a bit silly, over-controlled.

But I do also understand, as an answer to my question, within the surrounding waters it is allowed in the UK to have the scan function in place.

JB
Hi JB,

VHF Channel 16 is the International Distress, Safety and Calling channel. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to which the NL is a signatory describes specific channel reservations thus:

"The following VHF marine frequencies have been set aside by the ITU for the purposes stated. These frequencies are internationally accepted by most nations and will be found on all VHF Marine Radios regardless of where or by whom they are manufactured.

Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) - The international distress, safety and calling frequency.
Channel 70 (156.525 MHz) - Digital Selective Calling frequency.
Channel 13 (156.650 MHz) - Bridge to Bridge navigation frequency.
Channel 06 (156.300 MHz), Channel 10 (156.500 MHz), Channel 67 (156.375 MHz), and Channel 73 (156.675 MHz) - Have been set aside for coordinated search and rescue operations. Many countries have assigned closely related safety communications traffic to these frequencies as well as their primary SAR usage."

A very brief search on the internet also found this document from Kustwacht JRCC Den Hlder which specifically mentions the use of #16 as a calling channel:

http://www.kustwacht.nl/sites/default/f ... LW16_0.pdf

Kind Regards

Ian

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by PhilAyr » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:52 pm

Hi JB,

VHF Channel 16 is the International Distress, Safety and Calling channel. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to which the NL is a signatory describes specific channel reservations thus:

"The following VHF marine frequencies have been set aside by the ITU for the purposes stated. These frequencies are internationally accepted by most nations and will be found on all VHF Marine Radios regardless of where or by whom they are manufactured.

Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) - The international distress, safety and calling frequency.
Channel 70 (156.525 MHz) - Digital Selective Calling frequency.
Channel 13 (156.650 MHz) - Bridge to Bridge navigation frequency.
Channel 06 (156.300 MHz), Channel 10 (156.500 MHz), Channel 67 (156.375 MHz), and Channel 73 (156.675 MHz) - Have been set aside for coordinated search and rescue operations. Many countries have assigned closely related safety communications traffic to these frequencies as well as their primary SAR usage."

A very brief search on the internet also found this document from Kustwacht JRCC Den Hlder which specifically mentions the use of #16 as a calling channel:

http://www.kustwacht.nl/sites/default/f ... LW16_0.pdf

Kind Regards

Ian


Hi Ian,

Many thanks for confirming my own understanding of ITU marine VHF protocol. After reading some of the other comments I was beginning to get worried that some countries were not singing from the same hym sheet !

Kind regards,

Phil

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:19 pm


Hi JB,

VHF Channel 16 is the International Distress, Safety and Calling channel. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to which the NL is a signatory describes specific channel reservations thus:

"The following VHF marine frequencies have been set aside by the ITU for the purposes stated. These frequencies are internationally accepted by most nations and will be found on all VHF Marine Radios regardless of where or by whom they are manufactured.

Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) - The international distress, safety and calling frequency.
Channel 70 (156.525 MHz) - Digital Selective Calling frequency.
Channel 13 (156.650 MHz) - Bridge to Bridge navigation frequency.
Channel 06 (156.300 MHz), Channel 10 (156.500 MHz), Channel 67 (156.375 MHz), and Channel 73 (156.675 MHz) - Have been set aside for coordinated search and rescue operations. Many countries have assigned closely related safety communications traffic to these frequencies as well as their primary SAR usage."

A very brief search on the internet also found this document from Kustwacht JRCC Den Hlder which specifically mentions the use of #16 as a calling channel:

http://www.kustwacht.nl/sites/default/f ... LW16_0.pdf

Kind Regards

Ian

Hi Ian,
Thanks for elaboration. This is indeed applicable for all coastal waters.
The area ware scanning is not allowed, is ruled under the BPR/ Binnenvaart Politie Regelment. This includes for instance the Waddenzee, a favourite area for us to make our crossings to the Wadden islands.
So for instance if a vessel approaches Den Helder via the Schulpengat, all communication is handled via CH 62, mandatory to keep listening on this channel.

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by Mac50L » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:18 am

JB-NL wrote: So for instance if a vessel approaches Den Helder via the Schulpengat, all communication is handled via CH 62, mandatory to keep listening on this channel.

JB
So you have to listen to Ch 62 but you should also be monitoring Ch16 for Mayday calls, international proceedure. How do they expect this to happen? What happens if you buy an off the shelf VHF radio with the standard scan facility? Or if you are a foreign going vessel with scan facility. They don't know if you are using it or not. If that is true then it is a stupid law which can't be monitored and shouldn't be "on the books".

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:56 am

I fully agree with you

And I did not make this law..

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by PhilAyr » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:44 pm

Unbelievable !

Hi JB, Where did you get all this information and could you post it on here ? I would like to read it myself. I can understand the reason for additional vhf communication channels in areas where there are busy shipping channels and naval bases, but overruling normal VHF procedures and also banning a search scan on a vhf marine radio does not make any sense, and in any case how could you possibly enforce it ?

Regards,

Phil

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by JB-NL » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:25 am

PhilAyr wrote:Unbelievable !

Hi JB, Where did you get all this information and could you post it on here ? I would like to read it myself. I can understand the reason for additional vhf communication channels in areas where there are busy shipping channels and naval bases, but overruling normal VHF procedures and also banning a search scan on a vhf marine radio does not make any sense, and in any case how could you possibly enforce it ?

Regards,

Phil
This has been agreed in a kind of convention in Boekarest, April 18th, 2012. The UK is not involved.
For more, if you can reed Dutch:
http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0036375/2015-12-03
Especially look at:
"Opmerkingen bij tabel 2:
/...
2) Binnen het werkingsgebied van de Regionale Regeling is het gebruik van de dual watch functie niet toegestaan."

Does this help?

JB
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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by PhilAyr » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:01 am

Many thanks JB for the info.

Yes indeed dual watch is not allowed.. Warning Google Translate !.. "does not allow the use of the dual watch function within the scope of the regional arrangement"

And if you thought that was bad, it gets even worse ! : Conventional VHF handhelds are not allowed. Apparently all sets have to be ATIS compatible ( Automatic telecoms identification system) and until recently DSC sets were not allowed. They have now relented on that providing you prefix your MMSI number with a 9.

Some other points: CH 16 is not used for opening a transmission or for emergencies. It is now .. for general chit chat !

Maximum power for a transmission can not exceed 1watt.

All the above only apply to European countries that have signed up to RAINWAT ( Radiotelephone service on INLAND WATERWAYS. Countries include France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany but not the UK. However if we go there we must comply with the regulations.

More reading : http://www.mby.com/motor-boat-news-boat ... acts-28264

and

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index. ... opic=35430

Kind regards

Phil

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Re: VHF handheld ans scan-function, allowed in the UK?

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:42 am

The key bit for me is
does not allow the use of the dual watch function within the scope of the regional arrangement
Table 2 above the quote appears to me to say that "regional arrangement" is for inland waters only. So there's no contradiction with international marine usage, unless the Dutch authorities have designed some marine waters (JB mentions the Waddenzee, which looks to me to be sea) as inland.

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