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Marine radios

The club use 27MHz AM marine transceivers on its boats, and has a handheld for the shore.

Controls and functions

Radio controls
Volume on/off control
Turns the radio on and controls the volume of received signals
Squelch control
Used to eliminate background noise when there are no signals present. Rotate the control counter-clockwise until background noise is heard. Then advance the squelch control clockwise until the noise just dissapears.
Channel switch
Controls the channel the radio receives and transmits on. The current channel is shown on the LED display. This should be normally be left set to the club communications channel 91.
Channel 88 switch
Overrides the channel switch to select the distress and calling frequency channel 88. This switch is normally off and is only turned on to communicate on channel 88 (see "Channels" below).
ISC switch
Activates the Interference Suppression Circuit which supposedly eliminates electrical interference from the engine, sounder etc. This switch should normally be left on.
Dual watch switch
Activates a dual watch that lets the radio monitor both the currently selected channel and channel 88. Any signal on 88 will override the currently selected signal.
TX and RX indicators
Indicate when the radio is transmitting and receiving respectively.

Transmitting

To transmit press the button on the microphone. Hold the microphone 2-6 cm from your mouth and slightly to one side! Speak at a normal voice level.

Release the button once you have finished speaking.

Channels

The club uses channel 91 for club communications. The Club does not use the official club events channel 94 as that channel can get very busy when fishing competitions are on.

Channel 88 is for primary distress and calling only. This channel is used for contacting the coast guard or in emergencies.

A pdf of VMR stations, phone numbers, call signs and coverage the NSW coast can be downloaded, printed and laminated for use on the boats (correct as of 2012).

How to contact the coastal patrol

Select the communications channel 88 and then listen to make sure the channel is clear. Call the other station, repeating both call signs three times.

Eg: to contact the coastal patrol, switch to channel 88 and call:
Kiola Coastal Patrol, Kiola Coastal Patrol, Kiola Coastal Patrol
This is -
Tigger, Tigger, Tigger
Over

Once contact with the coastal patrol has been established, the coastal patrol will ask you to switch to another channel and continue

When launching the boat within range of the coastal patrol it is a good idea to call in to let them know which boats are going (give the call numbers), how many people, and how long the boats are going for. Make sure you call back in when you return.

How to contact another club station (the other boat or shore)

Similar to contacting the coastal patrol. Make sure the channel is set to club communications channel 91. The radio can remain on 91 for the conversation.

Emergency procedures

All emergency calls should be made on channel 88. There are three main types of emergency call.

MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY

This call should only be used where you are in grave and imminent danger and require immediate assistance. Running out of jelly snakes on the boat is not sufficient grounds to use the mayday signal.

You should call MAYDAY three times followed by your vessel's name three times. Then state you position, a brief description of your vessel, the nature of the emergency, the number of people on board and their condition. If you hear no reply, repeat the call at short intervals because someone may be able to hear you but you might not be able to receive their reply.

PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN

Use this call when an emergency situation exists but there is no immediate danger. The call should be made in the same way as the MAYDAY call.

SECURITE, SECURITE, SECURITE

(Pronounced say-cure-e-tay.)

This call is used to warn other shipping of dangers or hazards. eg. bad weather, container adrift etc. The call may be made to a local monitoring station or to all ships in the area.

» More detail on making emergency calls

Info from Jason Haines

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