Re: Beware of E Bay
I have not diligently read every word on this thread, there are quite a lot of them. I can state a couple of things though, sorry if I duplicate:
As far as I am aware, the EU is the only significant legislative grouping in the western world (and that probably means everywhere else too) that does not accept "USA" (SC-101) VHF's for pleasure and small commercial vessel use. I stand corrected on that, but if any exceptions they will be few. I think that means the Icom international sets (they are not "USA" sets specially made for the USA, although that is obviously a big market and driver - in fact insofar as I am aware all Icom sets are made in Japan) can be legally used by the pleasure vessels of most countries. In the Western Commonwealth countries that includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Pleasure vessels from other countries that are flagged outside of the EU can legally use non EU sets in EU waters (there may be some treaty issues which I am unaware of, but this is correct in general).
Because an international set is stated as complying with USA's SC-101, that does not mean it is a Class F set. It means that it complies or is better than SC-101, and most are. Taking Icom sets, the IC-M502 and IC-M602 exceed SC-101, and in my opinion are are perfectly adequate for pleasure and small commercial vessel use. For those sets that do not maintain DSC watch while voice transmissions are taking place (eg the IC-M402), I personally do not think this is a disadvantage in the pleasure market. The Icom documentation for the 502 is unclear as to whether it maintains watch during voice transmissions, but the documentation for the 602 (the non EU 601) claims to. I will have the opportunity to test that for sure next year as we are putting 2 vessels with 602's into a country where we also have a close relationship with the radio regulatory people.
A DSC distress call is only to be answered by a shore station, with vessels only responding if after a period there is no response from a shore station. If there is a shore station within range, then the shore station will respond. If there is no shore station in range then the VHF should not be the primary alerting device on the vessel for distress, it should be a 406Mhz EPIRB or SSB (leaving aside INMARSAT for small vessels). If no shore station acknowledges the alert and there are other vessels in the vicinity, the chance of those other vessels (if they are limited to sets not able to maintain a watch during transmission) transmitting at the same time, and so precluded from hearing the alert will be remote. Most VHF's are used for transmission for only a very short period of their operable life. In my opinion the ability to maintain a DSC watch during voice transmission is not important for most pleasure use.
I have used Icom as examples here as people seem to be more generally familiar with them from the discussion point of view. I also have no connection with Icom whatsoever, except as an occasional customer and as an occasional specifier of their equipment going into vessels.
<hr width=100% size=1><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by MainlySteam on 11/09/2003 02:18 (server time).</FONT></P>