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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5,467

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    I've been involved in two radio checks. One about 20 years ago at the behest of a skipper who'd found the VHF didn't work the previous week only after a crew member had been hit on the head by the boom. And once a surveyor did one as part of a survey.

    And I must've annoyed the hell out of Douglas Harbour a few years ago when I tried to contact them a number of times to get the bridge swung at Peel. Turned out that there was a faulty component in my handheld that stopped me receiving. In retrospect they were surprisingly polite when I eventually phoned them.

    Oh, and the Scots are almost as bad. Belfast Coastguard must've got a shock at the number they had to do when they took over Clyde, but I've heard them respond quite a few times to ask the radio checker to give boat details. That seems to put them off eventually. Maybe Solent could try the same.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    19,649

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by ctva View Post
    Probably. Was out for three weeks on the west coast of Scotland and we both commented when we heard a single radio check in that period.
    You sometimes hear a few, invariably in plummy English accents, when the charter boats are leaving Ardfern and Craobh on a Saturday afternoon.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    where democracy needs no guns
    Posts
    15,748

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    A radio check from a close by CG aerial as will be likely in the Solent/south coast area is really rather pointless, calling from the other side of the Channel might be informative, otherwise if you can receive, tx is probably ok also but if paranoid call the marina or ch 65 folk. We just returned to UK waters and very soon got driven mad by the constant stream of checks ,heard on ch 16 . Fortunately we can power our main vhf off with it's remote flybridge RAM handset and just use the small handheld instead with less range on rx. so less garbage to hear. We also had to learn how to turn off AIS rx and set it's danger zone to very tiny radius to halt the incessant alarm from that .
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,708

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    I can testify it is an English (South coast?) obsession.
    I have just returned from a 7-week trip to Galicia and back and the only radio checks we heard were when we were in range of the U.K. Coastguard.
    Not in Spain, not in France, not in Belgium or the Netherlands.
    I am utterly surprised the coastguard keep responding politely.
    To me it is like calling the fire service to check your phone works. Wonder what the reaction would be.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA and Caribbean
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    It's also an American obsession but here the Coastguard doesn't respond so there are two ways to get a radio check.
    Either the caller makes a quick general request on Channel 16 and another yachtsman briefly responds (not the US Coastguard) stating their location (ie "radio check you are audible in Portland")
    ...........or and gaining popularity.....................
    In many areas either SeaTow or TowBoat (the marine equivalents of the AA or RAC) offer a free automated radio check response service on several US VHF channels, see this link for details on how it works https://www.seatow.com/tools-and-edu...ed-radio-check
    Perhaps the UK Coastguard could offer a similar service, it would move a lot of traffic away from channel 16.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgeir View Post
    Exactly! The sort of behaviour that led to Brexit.
    When a PM suffers from "self importance & insecurity", what do you expect?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    4,621

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    OK then, if not sailing schools, how many VHF courses either encourage it (which I doubt) or imply that it is the normal practice of seafarers?
    It was certainly NOT recommended in my excellent DSC course at Parkstone YC, Poole, a few years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by westhinder View Post
    I can testify it is an English (South coast?) obsession.
    I have just returned from a 7-week trip to Galicia and back and the only radio checks we heard were when we were in range of the U.K. Coastguard.
    Not in Spain, not in France, not in Belgium or the Netherlands.
    Nor in the northern Adriatic (Italy, Slovenia and Croatia). I have never heard a single one - even with no Slovene or Croatian I think I would recognise such a call - in the 35 years I have been sailing there.

    I use my fixed VHF to liaise regularly with friends when sailing in company, as we often do and with hand-held VHFs so cheap these days it makes sense to have a backup. And it is invaluable used for calling someone on board while away from the boat; that way both can be checked.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    London / Suffolk
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    I heard one on the east coast at the weekend... first one this year. CG were polite.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    Definitely worse in the Solent! Spent last winter in the West country, and only heard a few, came back in the Solent and was inundated.
    Like a previous post said, isn't asking the coast guard a bit pointless if you're in the Solent due to their very strong aerials? I found I had a co-ax problem when Poole bridge couldn't hear me from the quay, I bet the Coastguard would have received me ok.
    So testing with a marina or something else low powered would be better?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: An infuriating national obsession- radio checks

    I have yet to hear the coastguard reply that the signal was inaudible.
    Some people must use their radio very little. This year I've heard several calls to Oban Coastguard, and to Clyde Coastguard. Both haven't existed for long enough.

    But on another tack...
    I have several times heard the CG announcing that someone has a "open mic", and could they please check their sets. The problem of continuous carrier where someone sits on their mic PTT, or leans on it or something, effectively blocking Ch16 is real.
    But transmitting over the top of it asking them to stop it is a bit futile. The one who is sure not to hear is the one at fault, as their receiver is deactivated while they are transmitting. But how should they cure this problem? What can be done?
    Geoff. C.: Galvanizing and anchor manufacturing.

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