Marine Communications Technology VHF Radio & Radar Andrew Philpott
General VHF Facts • The international channel for distress signals, and default channel, is channel 16. • You can have a wired VHF radio or a wireless. • You can do a course on how to properly use a VHF radio. For example; you will learn terminology, different parts of the radio, how to respond to and start communication properly. • It is used most commonly by the Navy. • VHF stands for Very High Frequency.
VHF and Public Use • In many areas across the globe VHF radios are used personally and recreationally. For example, if you are going on a hiking trip you might want to take a VHF in case you get lost. The most common use for the VHF radio, especially in Newfoundland is in the fishing industry. Before the cod moratorium, 100’s of 100’s of men and women across Newfoundland were fishermen. Although you don’t see so many anymore, there are still a fair amount of people that live half their lives on the sea. VHF radio systems play a vital role in their safety and can sometimes make a life or death situation.
Fishing • Most fishing vessels in these days are equipped with a VHF radio. They can be used for ship to ship or ship to land communication, distress calls, etc. • Generally in small fishing vessels the VHF radio is located in the wheelhouse. In some bigger vessels there could be a separate room dedicated to marine technology, this is where it could be kept. • As you can see there is a VHF Radio located above the wheel so it is easily accessible.
Royal Canadian Navy • Canada has one of the largest Navy’s in the world. In order to be able to keep the peace, communication is key. Every Naval ship has their own communication technician, someone who is trained in numerous ways to communicate between different ships and to land bases. This is important because it is how the CO (Commanding Officer) knows what orders to give to his crew and where to position the ship, whether it’s in the Israelic Sea or Halifax Harbour. • HMCS St. John’s
General Radar Facts • It is used as a navigation system on ships. • Can be responsible for life or death situations through collision avoidance. • The bridge, where all the navigation and communication equipment is kept (including radars), is the darkest room on the ship. It has to be pitch black and 0 visibility so the operator can clearly see what they are doing. • It uses radio signals to determine things such as range, altitude, direction or speed of objects.
Fishing • Like VHF radios, radars are also used by the public in the fishing industry. It is used for figuring out your position while on the water, the depth of the water around you and the speed of objects. Because of this, most large fishing vessels are equipped with a radar for the purpose of finding out how many fathom of is around the vessel.
Royal Canadian Navy • Again much like the VHF radio, there are certain positions in the Navy for people trained in using radar and other equipment. There is a special area on the ship where these people work constantly for the safety of the ship and her crew. The radar is a very crucial piece of equipment in the Navy as it tells them how far into a harbour they can go without striking land in the huge ships.
Video Links • How to use a VHF Radio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6st0cGy_fWM • How to use a Radar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyORAncqtLY