Digital Selective Calling
•Ability to call the "Phone number" (Maritime Mobile Services Identifier -- MMSI) for specific HF and VHF Marine Radios
Some vessels need to obtain a Ship
Radio License to obtain a MMSI. Typically, these are subject to the
Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS)
regulations, either of substantial size, passenger carrying, or both.
Vessels that routinely communicate with stations outside the US
also need to have this license, but just crossing into international
waters does not create a license requirement
File Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 159, (plus 159B if you want to pay online), Form 650 and Form 650B
Fee is $160 for a 10-year period
Recreational vessels can get an MMSI without a Ship Radio License, at no cost
Small to medium commercial fishing
vessels do not need a Ship Radio License, but there is no organization
that has been delegated MMSI assignment authority by the Federal
Beachwerks is trying to find a solution for this problem. Please contact us for the most recent status.
What does linking GPS to my VHF radio offer to me?
In areas under USCG Rescue 21, your position will automatically attach to distress calls as soon as you press the button
There are other applications. For
example, boats working together can, with a suitable chartplotter,
display the location of a boat calling on VHF. This is useful, for
example, if one boat finds a good fishing spot but doesn't want to
broadcast its location in clear voice.
DSC complements two other safety initiatives. GMDSS goes into
effect only in major emergencies, while AIS is more for collision
avoidance. Some VMS shore monitoring stations give an additional
capability if the station stops receiving an expected VMS signal.
•DSC-equipped radios come in different classes
–Vessels required to comply with SOLAS need the greatest capability
–Even on non-SOLAS, the additional capabilities can be useful
–Complete set of DSC functions.
Required on both VHF and MF for SOLAS.
Class A includes polling and vessel tracking, data, and numerous other functions in addition to voice.
||Minimum DSC capability for VHF marine radios on non-SOLAS vessels, including commercial fishing
–Recommended for recreational boats that have VHF
||Minimum DSC capability for HF marine radio on non-SOLAS vessels, such as commercial fishing vessels.
–Recommended for recreational boats that have HF