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Marine VHF Radio. Course to prepare for Restricted Certificate of Competency Supplied courtesy of Ger Keeling. Course Objectives. To give a brief introduction to the basic principles of radio. To relate these to Marine VHF Radio use

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marine vhf radio

Marine VHF Radio

Course to prepare for

Restricted Certificate of Competency

Supplied courtesy of

Ger Keeling

course objectives
Course Objectives
  • To give a brief introduction to the basic principles of radio.
  • To relate these to Marine VHF Radio use
  • To acquaint participants with procedural and general radio conversation
  • To give an understanding of the use of radio for safety of life at sea
  • To prepare participants for the Department of Communications examination for the award of a Restricted Certificate of Competence (VHF only)
marine radio
Marine Radio
  • Radio offered the only option for communication with at sea
  • Ensuring the safety of seafarers was to be the primary concern
  • Early signal transmissions were by Morse Code and later by modulated voice transmissions
  • The first known “CDQ” signal was sent by the SS “Titanic”
  • The CDQ was replaced by the more familiar SOS
modern marine radio
Modern Marine Radio
  • There are a number of radio bands allocated specifically for marine use. The main ones are

415 -- 535 kHz Morse Telegraphy

1606 -- 2850 kHz MF Marine Radio Telephony

4 -- 28 mHz HF Marine Radio Telephony

156 -- 162 mHz VHF Marine Radio Telephony

marine vhf radio5
Easy to use

Good clear reception

Reasonable range of coverage for small vessels

Most vessels over 10 metres are fitted with VHF sets

Low power requirements make battery operation possible

VHF facilitates reasonable antenna sizes

Portable and handheld sets are readily available

The Relatively low cost of appliances has lead to their great popularity

Marine VHF Radio
control of marine vhf radio
Control of Marine VHF Radio
  • In the Republic of Ireland the use of Marine VHF is controlled by the Minister for Communications
  • The laws are applicable within the state and on Irish registered vessels
  • The owner is responsible for ensuring that the set is licensed and that the conditions of license are observed. See Appendix 1
  • Condition 7 requires that the radio installation may only be operated by persons holding valid Certificates of Competence
formality of procedures
Formality of Procedures
  • English is the international language of marine communication
  • Marine VHF radio is used by many people who do not naturally speak English
  • Radio conversations are not as interactive as normal person to person speech
  • Conversation must be as short as possible
  • As many conversations are safety related, there is a need to have un-ambiguous and precise dialogue
station identity
Station Identity
  • It is compulsory to identify yourself on every transmission
  • When a Radio Installation is licensed, a registered Call Sign is issued
  • This will be some combination of letters and numbers, which is internationally registered.
  • Irish Call Signs are generally in the form

EI XXXX

  • It is acceptable to use the vessel’s name or a combination of both the name and call sign.
general format of message
General format of message

Name of station being called and call sign (if applicable)

Repeat up to three times

This is

Name of calling station and call sign (if applicable)

Repeat up to three times

Message to be sent

Over

pro words and other common phrases
“Pro” words and other common phrases

I copy or Copied

Seelonce

Prudonce

This is

Stand By

Stand By one

Over

Mayday

Out

My position is

Pan Pan

Station Calling -- ?

Traffic

Securite

Say again

Word before --

Word after --

TR

Mayday Relay

UTC

Unreadable

Signal Strength

All before ---

All after --

All Stations

ETA

I say again --

ETD

Received

SAR

Nothing Heard

the phonetic alphabet
The Phonetic Alphabet

A Alpha

B Bravo

C Charlie

D Delta

E Echo

F Foxtrot

G Golf

H Hotel

I India

J Juliet

K Kilo

L Lima

M Mike

N November

O Oscar

P Papa

Q Quebec

R Romeo

S Sierra

T Tango

U Uniform

V Victor

W Whiskey

X X-Ray

Y Yankee

Z Zulu

phonetic numerals
Phonetic Numerals

1 Won

2 Too

3 Tree

4 Fow-er

5 Fife

6 Six

7 Sev-en

8 Ate

9 Niner

0 Zero

The number 294.8 would be stated as follows

TOO NINER FOWER DECIMAL ATE

stating time and position
Stating Time and Position

“My Position isFIFE TREE ZERO NINER DECIMAL ATE North

ZERO SIX ZERO FIFE DECIMAL TREEWest”

or

“My Position isTOO miles

bearingTOO NINER FIFEfrom

Moulditch Buoy”

Time “TOO WON ZERO NINERUTC”

21:30 or

09:30 p.m. GMT

22:30 or

10:30 p.m. BST

precautions before transmitting
Precautions before transmitting
  • Who is the call intended for
  • Is the selected channel correct for the message to be sent and what working channel is appropriate
  • Be sure that the channel is not being used and that there is no higher priority incident in progress
  • Are you authorised to make the call
  • Have you composed the message in your mind
channel allocation
Channel 16

Emergency Channel

Initial Calling Channel

Once contact is made stations must switch to a suitable working channel

Priority must be given to more important traffic

Inter Ship Channels

6 8 10 72 73

Port Operations

12 14 11 09 68 71

Small Boat Safety

67

Coastal Radio Station

83 Dublin 87 Wicklow

23 Rosslare

Channel Allocation
channel allocation16
Marina / Race Control

80 (37 M M2)

Digital Selective Calling

70 Do not use for voice

CH 16 Guard band

75 76 May not be used

US Channels

Used for weather CoastGuard contact etc.

7A 18A 19A 21A 22A

These use one half of an international Duplex channel (explained later)

Channel Allocation
good radio manners
Good Radio Manners
  • Always listen before transmitting
  • Keep conversations short as possible
  • Make sure that your message is clear
  • Use “Pro” words and sound professional and competent
  • Obey instructions from coast stations (or more competent operators)
  • Speak calmly and clearly
  • Do not use bad language, CB talk, TV cop habits or people’s personal names
what is radio
What is Radio
  • Radio is a type of natural radiated energy, known as Electro-magnetic Radiation (EMR)
  • Since it’s discovery, we have learned to transmit and receive it and harness it for many uses.

Other EMR

Radio EMR

Radio Broadcasts

TV Broadcasts

Communications

RADAR

Microwave Ovens

Visibe Light

Infra Red Light

Ultra Violet Light

X-Rays

Lasers

- are all forms of Electro-Magnetic Radiation

emr s wave like behaviour
EMR’s Wave-like Behaviour

Wave Length

The distance between two adjacent peaks [ Metres ]

Frequency

The number of peaks which pass a point in a second [ Hertz ]

wavelength
Wavelength
  • Nowadays we tend to describe radio waves in terms of frequency rather than wavelength
  • Wavelength is more commonly used to describe the higher frequency waves.. e.g. microwaves or lasers and visible light
  • The wavelength of radio is however relevant to the size of the antenna or aerial
  • Longer wave lengths require huge antennae whereas higher frequencies (shorter wave lengths) require more sophisticated electronics
slide21

Long Wavelength -- Low frequency 30 KHz -- 10Kilometers

Short wavelength -- High Frequency 30GHZ -- 1centimeter

Frequency vs. Wavelength

frequency
Frequency

1 Hertz Hz 1 Cycle per second

1 Kilo Hertz KHz 1,000 Cycles per second

1 Mega Hertz MHz 1,000,000 Cycles per second

1 Giga Hertz GHz 1,000,000,000 Cycles per second

1 Tera Hertz THz 1,000,000,000,000 Cycles per second

signal propagation
Signal Propagation

Frequencies below approx 3Mhz follow along the

earth’s curved surface and are therefore described

as “Ground Waves” ( e.g. Long and Medium Wave

radio broadcasts)

slide24

Short Wave Propogation

The earth’s atmosphere is surrounded by layers of

charged gas particles, referred to as the “Ionosphere”

Frequencies between approx 3Mhz and 30Mhz tend to

reflect off the Ionosphere. These are described as

“Sky Waves” (also Short Wave or HF)

slide25

VHF/UHF/SHF Propogation

Frequencies above approx 50 MHz are limited to

“Line of Sight” and are therefore useful for local,

aviation and celestial uses.

ground wave uses
Ground Wave Uses

Long Range

Communications

Marine Medium

Frequency

Marine Morse

Telegraphy

Medium Wave

Radio

Long Wave

Radio

30 KHz

300 KHz

1 MHz

2 MHz

3 MHz

10 KM

1 KM

100 M

basic radiotransmitter
Basic RadioTransmitter

Transmitter

157.0 MHz

slide28

Basic Radio Receiver

Receiver only listens

to signals on it’s tuned

frequency.

Receiver

157.0 MHz

slide29

Transmitting a Signal

Transmitter

Receiver

157.0 MHz

157.0 MHz

transmitting sound waves
Transmitting “Sound” Waves

Sound

Sound Wave

Modulation

Transmitted

Radio

Signal

Radio Wave

The sound wave is

“modulated” on to the

“Carrier” frequency

Radio Wave

Transmitter

157.0 MHz

slide31

De-modulation

Receiving “Sound” Waves

Radio Wave

Receiver

Receiver only listens

to signals on it’s tuned

frequency

157.0 MHz

Sound Wave

Sound

slide32

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

The Radio

Tranceiver

Common

Antenna

Receiver

Speaker

Receiving

The

“Push to

Talk” (PTT)

Button

Normally On

Radio Wave

Normally Off

Transmitter

Microphone

slide33

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

The Radio

Tranceiver

Common

Antenna

Receiver

Speaker

Off when pressed

The

“Push to

Talk” (PTT)

Button

Radio Wave

On when pressed

Transmitting

Transmitter

Microphone

slide34

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

Squelch

Control

On/Off/

Volume

Receiver

Normally On

Channel

Selector

Radio Wave

Normally Off

Transmitter

High / Low

Power

slide35

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

Squelch

On/Off

Volume

Receiver

Noise

Message

Normally On

Silence

Radio Wave

Normally Off

Transmitter

Receiving

slide36

156.375 MHz

156.0 MHz

157.0 MHz

156.375 MHz

156.0 MHz

157.0 MHz

Ch 83

Channel

Select

Ch 67

Ch 16

Ch 0

161.775 MHz

Receiver

156.8 MHz

off

PTT

Button

Radio Wave

on

157.175 MHz

Transmitter

156.8 MHz

calling another station
Calling another Station

Name of station being called and call sign (if applicable)

Repeat up to three times

Ross Turk,

This is

Name of calling station and call sign (if applicable)

Repeat up to three times

Misha, Misha

Message to be sent

Channel Six

Over

Typical Example only !!

If no response, wait for approx three minutes and try again.

slide38

Response to a Call

Name of station being respondingto call sign (if applicable)

Mise,

This is

Name of responding station and call sign (if applicable)

Ross Turk,

Message to be sent

Going to Channel Six

Over

Typical Example only !!

On working channel, the calling station generally speaks first

slide39

The Distress Call

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

Name of station in Distress

This is

Yacht Mise,

Yacht Mise,

Yacht Mise,

Mayday,

Position of Vessel in Distress

My position is

Fife Tree Zero Ate North,

Zero, Six, Zero Won West

Nature of Distress

Vessel holed and sinking

Two persons on board.

Other Information

Will fire flares, no further radio contact possible

Mayday

Typical Example only !!

Send message on Ch 16 or any channel where a response is likely

control of a distress
When a Mayday is in progress only related radio traffic is allowed

The ship in distress may impose control on the distress channel

Normally a coastal radio station (MRCC or an MRSC) will assume control

The ship in distress may impose silence -- SEELONCE MAYDAY

A controlling station, which itself is not the vessel in distress can impose silence -- SEELONCE DISTRESS

Radio silence is lifted with the words -- SEELONCE FEENEE

If prudent use of the channel is required the word PRUDONCE is used

Control of a Distress
slide41

Acknowledging a Distress Call

Mayday, once only !! Yacht Mise

Name of responding station

This is

Dublin Radio,

Received,

Mayday

Typical Example only !!

Any station hearing a MAYDAY must acknowledge,

Wait for a brief moment to ensure that you are not over-transmitting

a Coastal Radio Stationor a vessel nearer the scene

If you are in a position to render assistance you must do so

If the MAYDAY has been acknowledged, call the controlling station

and advise them of your ETA and what assistance you can give

If you can not respond, stay quiet, and listen

Send a MAYDAY RELAY, See 13 a,b,c.

slide42

This is

Yacht Mise,

Yacht Mise,

Yacht Mise,

Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay

Name of station Relaying Mayday

Mayday Relay,

Relay the original message making it clear that you yourself

are not in distress

Mayday Yacht Pogtone, Yacht Pogtone, Yacht Pogtone,

position is (Position of Distressed vessel, not yours !!)

Fife Tree Zero Ate North,

Zero, Six, Zero Won West

DistressMessage (do not add to it, just relay as it was received)

Vessel holed and sinking

Two persons on board.

Will fire flares, no further radio contact possible

This is Yacht Mise,

Mayday Relay

Repeat your name / call sign

again at the end if the

message is excessively long

Typical Example only !!

simplex

Receiver

Receiver

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

Off when pressed

Off when pressed

Radio Wave

Radio Wave

On when pressed

On when pressed

Transmitter

Transmitter

156.0 MHz

156.0 MHz

Simplex

Ch 0

Ch 0

duplex transmission

Receiver

161.775 MHz

Receiver

151.175 MHz

151.175 MHz

Duplex Transmission

Ch 83

Ch 83

Transmitter

161.775 MHz

Transmitter

Ship Station

Shore Station

typical coast station
Typical Coast Station

Receiver

Transmitter

Ch 16

Ch 16

Receiver

Transmitter

Ch 67

Ch 67

Receiver

Transmitter

Ch 83

Ch 83

Dublin Radio

slide46

999 Calls

Malin Head

Radio

Malin

MRSC

Glen Head

Radio

Irish Marine

Emergency Services

Lifeboats

Inshore

All Weather

IMES Coastal Rescue

Units

IMES SIKORSKI S61N

Helicopter

Air Corps Helicopters

Belmullet

Radio

Dublin

MRCC

Dublin Radio

Clifden

Radio

Wicklow Head

Radio

Shannon

Radio

Valentia

MRSC

Rosslare Radio

Valentia

Radio

Mine Head

Radio

Cork

Radio

Bantry

Radio

other relevant developments
Other Relevant Developments
  • VHF channels can also be used to transmit coded signals which can “activate” the called station.
  • This is used to call emergency services on CH 67
  • Channel 70 is reserved for Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and may not be used for voice transmission
  • DSC will required on all sets after 1999 to facilitate the new GMDSS service
developments
Developments ...
  • GMDSS will include sattelite based distress communications via INMARSAT for ships in oceanic regions.
  • VHF DSC is required under GMDSS after 1999
  • Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS) are capable of automatically transmitting a combined distress and position signal.
  • Additional VHF direction finding equipment is currently being installed.
revision
Revision
  • Licence Conditions
    • 1) Relevance of International Radio Regulations
    • 2) Relevance of Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act 1952
    • 3) Use limited to Maritime Mobile Service
      • Ships
      • Port Stations
      • Coastal Radio Stations
    • 4) Hygenic conditions
    • 5) Screening Lights and Safety of Operators
    • 6) Messages on behalf of Government
revision50
Revision ...
  • License Conditions Continued
    • 7) Operators Certificate of Competence
    • 8) Confidentiality of Traffic
    • 9) Obligation to Log all messages

See General Regulations

    • 10) Payment for Coastal Radio Services
    • 11) Notification of Alterations to Equipment
    • 12) Right of Inspection
    • 13) Documents to be carried
      • Licence
      • ITC Radio (and Telegraphy) Regulations
revision51
Revision ….
  • License Conditions Continued ...
    • 14) Payment of Licence Fees
    • 15) Power to revoke licence
    • 16) Ongoing relevance of ITC, ammandments etc.
    • 17) Cover of Emergency Radios
          • No Certificate of Competence necessary
revision52
Revision ….
  • General Regulations …
    • a) Set must be licensed and Operators must have Certificate of Competency
    • b) Obey instructions from Coast Stations
    • c) Stations must identify themselves
      • Call Sign (Formally)
      • Ships Name (Optionally)
    • d) Listen before transmitting
revision53
Revision ….
  • General Regulations …
    • e) Channel 16 -- International Distress Frequency.
    • May only be used for -
      • Distress Signal
      • Distress Call
      • Distress Traffic
      • Urgency Signal
      • Urgency Call
      • Urgency Traffic
      • Safety Call Only (Not Safety Traffic)
      • Establishing a communication with another station
revision54
Revision ...
  • General Regulations ..
    • f) All transmission on Ch 16 to be kept to minimum
    • g) Listening watch on Ch 16
      • Ships fitted with VHF Only (Non Compulsory) should maintain maximum watch on Ch 16
      • Irish Ships fitted with VHF (Compulsory) must maintain watch on Ch 16, except in certain conditions, which must be logged.
      • Obligation to log all communications relating to Safety, Urgency and Distress Traffic
revision55
Revision...
  • General Regulations ..
    • h) Ship’s VHF must be fitted with
      • Channel 16 (Distress Channel)
      • Channel 6 (Primary Intership Channel)
      • All other channels necessary for Service
      • Stations must use channels for the allocated purpose as far as possible
      • Radio Telephony is forbidden on Ch 70