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  1. #91
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northern Ireland
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    11,478

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    I have had the embarrassment of finding out my VHF was not working,.... when I very much needed it. A VHF check of some sort every now and then is good even if it just calling the marina.
    A handheld solves that problem and then you can do your own radiocheck from shore
    Anything can break but that doesn't justify cluttering airspace on an emergency chanel. If people are paranoid about the state of their equipment then;
    1) get a backup
    2) use one of a million ways to check it that doesn't inconvenience everyone else
    3) Pour a large rum on ice and relax!!!

    p.s. is the solent a mobile phone black spot or something?

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,707

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by pmagowan View Post
    A handheld solves that problem and then you can do your own radiocheck from shore
    Anything can break but that doesn't justify cluttering airspace on an emergency chanel. If people are paranoid about the state of their equipment then;
    1) get a backup
    2) use one of a million ways to check it that doesn't inconvenience everyone else
    3) Pour a large rum on ice and relax!!!

    p.s. is the solent a mobile phone black spot or something?
    With you there....

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,227

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by pmagowan View Post
    2) use one of a million ways to check it that doesn't inconvenience everyone else
    3) Pour a large rum on ice and relax!!!

    p.s. is the solent a mobile phone black spot or something?
    2) Do not bother with the million. 5 ways would do, for starters, please.
    Bear in mind that calling up your mate Bruce for a radio check, then finishing off with the time for a meet at the local pub, whilst still on 16 can be even worse. So that does not count as number 3, 4 or 5

    3) Dislike rum & don't have a fridge, Cannot relax with all that chatter

    PS: Why do we need a phone ? are we all supposed to ring up & ask if the CG if they would mind if one called in for a radio check later on. That should p..s them off quite a bit!!!!!
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,440

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream believer View Post
    2) Do not bother with the million. 5 ways would do, for starters, please.
    1) SWR meter
    2) Prearranging a call to another station not on 16 with a mobile call. (Where possible.)
    3) Walking a handheld a suitable distance away. (Where possible.)
    4) Calling a non-CG station that monitors a channel other than 16 and will definitely be listening. (Where possible.)
    5) Calling the CG on 67. (Where possible.)

    I got to five after an edit. There's a lot of "where possibles", but then calling the CG on 16 is also a 'where possible'.
    Last edited by Mark-1; 27-07-18 at 13:27.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    4,246

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    I've not read all of this thread but agree with most of what I have read. It is not a "national" obsession, I sailed from Cardiff for many years and never heard a call for radio check on channel 16. We've just sailed from the Solent to Stockholm and back, the only radio checks were in and around the Solent.
    Allan
    Sailblogs.com search Brilliant with Hilary and Allan as crew. Password Bristol.

  6. #96
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,227

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark-1 View Post
    1) SWR meter
    2) Prearranging a call to another station not on 16 with a mobile call. (Where possible.)
    3) Walking a handheld a suitable distance away. (Where possible.)
    4) Calling a non-CG station that monitors a channel other than 16 and will definitely be listening. (Where possible.)
    5) Calling the CG on 67. (Where possible.)

    I got to five after an edit. There's a lot of "where possibles", but then calling the CG on 16 is also a 'where possible'.
    1) Short wave radio meter- what you mean short wave radio as in " the BBC " come on now we are on VHF -very High frequency
    2) walking the hand held a short way is NOT a good check. If one has a poor quality or defective antennae the radio will work but not to much range as proven with a friend of mine recently whose radio worked a couple of hundred metres, picked up Dover & ramsgate port but was useless at boat to boat over 1 mile . Still if you want to put the wife in in the car & drive down the road one might question your VHF cert. ie who is operating what & are they both qualified & is there a licence for use of both - call signs etc?
    Calling another boat on 16 is just as much annoyance see my comment about calling Bruce so that one is out !!!
    So we are down to calling the CG on 67. Still only 999,999 to go & you might get there
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    20,449

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    If you are in the Straits of Gibraltar, you will be able to confirm your radio is working OK on 16 by listening to the constant stream of DSC alerts for weather, navigation warnings, securite messages about illegal immigrant boats adrift, ship captains calling each other for collision avoidance, pilot boats, service launches and agents arranging anchoring and bunkering, fishermen nationalities various chatting like its a mobile phone and of course transmitting yourself by hailing Marinas on Ch 9 to arrange berthing.

    Some on here however should avoid the area completely as the outrage generated may cause their heads to explode.

    Oh, avoid large tracts of the West Indies as people will be booking restaurants and getting laundry pick up times sorted.



    I should add the repetative calls from Gibraltar Ops to the illegal incursions by Spanish Authorities into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, but Gammonistas, do be careful reading that doesnt make your blood boil.
    Last edited by capnsensible; 27-07-18 at 15:14.

  8. #98
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,441

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream believer View Post
    1) Short wave radio meter- what you mean short wave radio as in " the BBC " come on now we are on VHF -very High frequency....

    So we are down to calling the CG on 67. Still only 999,999 to go & you might get there
    Love the SWR quip

    But seriously, the National Coastwatch (NCI) has kindly offered to perform radio checks on Ch65 (their dedicated channel), so why not just use them?

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Like the OP, I also noticed a sudden influx of radio checks on Ch16 as soon as I was 1/3rd(ish) way back from the other side of the English Channel, the radio having been pretty quiet for most of the time in France/CI.

    I will, however, admit that I will usually make a Ch16 radio check call to Solent Coastguard - but usually only once a year at the start of the season. Why don't I call someone else like my local marina or NCI? Well I do, probably at other times of the season in addition. But, the one person I want to be sure can hear my transmissions is the Coastguard and on Ch16 at full power. Why? Because if it all goes wrong, they are the first ones I will be calling for help.

    Mind you, there are annoying things that happen on VHF on the other side of the Channel. One is the French Vessel Traffic Service calling up all the ships entering the NE lane of the Casquets TSS for their "compulsory report".

    The other is the DSC alarm going off whenever CROSS Corsen or CROSS Jobourg want to be sure that you are listening to whatever they are about to say. (To cancel the DSC alarm I have to pop below to the chart table, and the alarm always seems to go off just as I enter a harbour and can't communicate with the crew because of the earpiercing screech going off). On my last trip I kept hearing announcements beginning "Maid Erolay" followed by a description (in French) of her latest dangerous exploits - MOB, aground, engine failure etc. Took a while before the penny dropped and I realised it was Mayday Relay.

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    11,478

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    YOU should check your radio daily by tapping it with a hammer and listening to the ring it makes. You are looking for a dull thud, any rattling means there isn’t something wrong. Normally you just need to tighten channel 16 back on with some mole grips

    You should also check the coastguard are still listening by shouting ‘Marco’ into the receiver every 2 minutes and waiting for the response ‘Polo’.


    5000 people doing an annual radio check during the sailing season is a lot of checks every day
    Last edited by pmagowan; 28-07-18 at 08:09.

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