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Marine VHF Radio

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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
• 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
• 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
• 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 Radio
• Easy to use                  • VHF facilitates
• Good clear reception           reasonable antenna
• Reasonable range of            sizes
  coverage for small vessels   • Portable and handheld
• Most vessels over 10           sets are readily
  metres are fitted with VHF     available
  sets                         • The Relatively low
• Low power requirements         cost of appliances has
  make battery operation         lead to their great
  possible                       popularity
  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
• 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
• 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
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
                       I copy or Copied   Seelonce
This is
Over                   Stand By           Prudonce
Out                    Stand By one       Mayday
                       My position is     Pan Pan
Station Calling -- ?
                       Traffic            Securite
Say again
                       TR                 Mayday Relay
Word before --
                       UTC                Unreadable
Word after --
                       Signal Strength
All before ---
                       All Stations
All after --
                       ETA
I say again --
                       ETD
Received               SAR
Nothing Heard
    The Phonetic Alphabet
A    Alpha          O   Oscar
B    Bravo          P   Papa
C    Charlie        Q   Quebec
D    Delta          R   Romeo
E    Echo           S   Sierra
F    Foxtrot        T   Tango
G    Golf           U   Uniform
H    Hotel          V   Victor
I    India          W   Whiskey
J    Juliet         X   X-Ray
K    Kilo           Y   Yankee
L    Lima           Z   Zulu
M    Mike
N    November
          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
“My Position is FIFE TREE ZERO NINER DECIMAL ATE North
                ZERO SIX ZERO FIFE DECIMAL TREE West”
      or

“My Position is TOO miles
                bearing TOO NINER FIFE from
                Moulditch Buoy”

 Time         “TOO WON ZERO NINER UTC”

              21:30 or
              09:30 p.m. GMT

              22:30 or
              10:30 p.m. BST
 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                   • Inter Ship Channels
                                 6 8 10 72 73
   – Emergency Channel
                               • Port Operations
   – Initial Calling Channel
                                 12 14 11 09 68 71
• Once contact is made
  stations must switch to a    • Small Boat Safety
  suitable working channel       67
• Priority must be given to
  more important traffic       • Coastal Radio Station
                                 83 Dublin 87 Wicklow
                                 23 Rosslare
            Channel Allocation
• Marina / Race Control       • US Channels
  80 (37 M M2)                  Used for weather
                                CoastGuard contact etc.
• Digital Selective Calling
  70 Do not use for voice       7A 18A 19A 21A 22A
                                These use one half of an
• CH 16 Guard band              international Duplex
                                channel (explained later)
  75 76 May not be used
         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
• 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.
      Radio EMR             Other EMR
      Radio Broadcasts      Visibe Light
      TV Broadcasts         Infra Red Light
      Communications        Ultra Violet Light
      RADAR                 X-Rays
      Microwave Ovens       Lasers


      - are all forms of Electro-Magnetic Radiation
   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
• 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
   Frequency vs. Wavelength
Long Wavelength -- Low frequency     30 KHz -- 10Kilometers




Short wavelength -- High Frequency    30GHZ -- 1centimeter
                     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
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)
     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)
  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.
10 KM
                  Long Range




        30 KHz
                  Communications

                  Long Wave
                  Radio




1 KM
        300 KHz
                  Marine Morse
                  Telegraphy

                  Medium Wave
                  Radio


        1 MHz
                                   Ground Wave Uses




        2 MHz




                  Marine Medium
                  Frequency
100 M
        3 MHz
Basic RadioTransmitter




      Transmitter



      157.0 MHz
Basic Radio Receiver



                     Receiver only listens
                     to signals on it’s tuned
                     frequency.

          Receiver



         157.0 MHz
      Transmitting a Signal




Transmitter              Receiver



157.0 MHz                157.0 MHz
Sound
        Transmitting “Sound” Waves
             Sound Wave
                              Modulation

                                                  Transmitted
        Radio Wave                                Radio
                                                  Signal



            Radio Wave    The sound wave is
         Transmitter      “modulated” on to the
                          “Carrier” frequency


          157.0 MHz
Receiving “Sound” Waves
     Radio Wave
        Receiver
                        Receiver only listens
                        to signals on it’s tuned
                        frequency
        157.0 MHz




       De-modulation   Sound Wave           Sound
The Radio              Common
Tranceiver             Antenna



Speaker           Receiver
                                 Receiving
                 156.0 MHz
The           Normally On
“Push to
Talk” (PTT)
              Radio Wave
               Normally Off
Button
                 Transmitter

                 156.0 MHz
Microphone
The Radio              Common
Tranceiver             Antenna



Speaker           Receiver


                 156.0 MHz
The           Off when pressed
“Push to
Talk” (PTT)
              Radio Wave
              On when pressed
Button
                Transmitter      Transmitting
                 156.0 MHz
Microphone
             On/Off/ Squelch
             Volume Control




                 Receiver


                156.0 MHz
             Normally On


             Radio Wave        Channel
              Normally Off
                               Selector
                Transmitter

                156.0 MHz
High / Low
Power
On/Off Squelch
Volume




    Receiver     Noise     Message

   156.0 MHz
Normally On
                 Silence
Radio Wave
 Normally Off

   Transmitter

   156.0 MHz

                    Receiving
                                  Ch 83
                                Ch 67          Channel
                             Ch 16             Select
                           Ch 0



               Receiver               161.775 MHz
                                   156.375 MHz
                               156.8 MHz
               156.0 MHz     157.0 MHz
         off
PTT
Button
         Radio Wave
          on
                                      157.175 MHz
           Transmitter             156.375 MHz
                               156.8 MHz
               156.0 MHz     157.0 MHz
            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.
             Response to a Call
Name of station being responding to 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
                     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           • A controlling station,
  progress only related radio     which itself is not the
  traffic is allowed              vessel in distress can
• The ship in distress may        impose silence --
  impose control on the           SEELONCE DISTRESS
  distress channel              • Radio silence is lifted with
• Normally a coastal radio        the words -- SEELONCE
  station (MRCC or an             FEENEE
  MRSC) will assume             • If prudent use of the
  control                         channel is required the
• The ship in distress may        word PRUDONCE is
  impose silence --               used
  SEELONCE MAYDAY
              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 Station or 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.
              Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay, Mayday Relay
 Name of station Relaying Mayday
               This is Yacht Mise, Yacht Mise, Yacht Mise,
               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,        Repeat your name / call sign
              Mayday Relay               again at the end if the
                                         message is excessively long
Typical Example only !!
    Ch 0           Simplex       Ch 0


    Receiver                    Receiver


   156.0 MHz                    156.0 MHz
Off when pressed             Off when pressed


Radio Wave
On when pressed                   Radio Wave
                             On when pressed
  Transmitter                  Transmitter

   156.0 MHz                    156.0 MHz
     Duplex Transmission
   Ch 83             Ch 83


   Receiver
                    Transmitter

  161.775 MHz       161.775 MHz




 Transmitter         Receiver


  151.175 MHz       151.175 MHz



Ship Station       Shore Station
Typical Coast Station
          Receiver       Transmitter
           Ch 16               Ch 16




          Receiver       Transmitter
           Ch 67               Ch 67




          Receiver       Transmitter
           Ch 83               Ch 83

                Dublin Radio
                        Malin Head
                        Radio
                                                                   999 Calls
            Glen Head           Malin
            Radio
                                MRSC
                                                                   Irish Marine
Belmullet                                                          Emergency Services
Radio

                                                                   Lifeboats
                                     Dublin       Dublin Radio             Inshore
  Clifden
                                                                           All Weather
  Radio                              MRCC
                                                   Wicklow Head
                                                   Radio           IMES Coastal Rescue
   Shannon                                                              Units
   Radio
                   Valentia                       Rosslare Radio
                    MRSC                                           IMES SIKORSKI S61N
Valentia                              Mine Head                         Helicopter
Radio                                 Radio
      Bantry                 Cork
                             Radio                                 Air Corps Helicopters
      Radio
  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 ...
• 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
• 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
                  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
               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
                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
                    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
                     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
                  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

				
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