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GME EPIRB Precautionary Safety Alert

Standard Communications Pty Ltd designs and manufactures a range of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) that are marketed globally under the GME brand.

As a result of market place feedback Standard Communications Pty Ltd has become aware of a small number of instances where GME EPIRBs have failed the self test procedure. A consequence of such failure may mean the EPIRB will not operate in an emergency situation.

Subsequent testing and investigation in the company’s Sydney engineering laboratory, identified a microprocessor malfunction that effectively shuts the beacon down, hence the self test failure. Detailed analysis has shown that the failures have occurred in EPIRBs manufactured in the 2005 – 2010 period; to date the overall failure rate remains low, never the less as a responsible supplier of safety at sea equipment, Standard Communications Pty Ltd has in consultation with National Maritime Authorities voluntarily elected to publish this precautionary safety alert. Continue reading GME EPIRB Precautionary Safety Alert

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VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Radio Coverage Along The NSW Coastline

CYCA SOLAS Trusts has presented the State’s official volunteer marine rescue service, Marine Rescue NSW, with a grant for $36,400 to improve its VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radio coverage along the NSW coastline in a significant boost to marine safety.

CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen presented the funding to MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.

Commissioner Tannos said the grant would fund a project to improve the VHF DSC infrastructure at the 15 MRNSW Search and Rescue Coordination Centres (SARCC) along the NSW coastline and the central Sydney communications base at Terrey Hills. Continue reading VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Radio Coverage Along The NSW Coastline

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AMSA Discussion On Next Generation Of Distress Beacons

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) hosted maritime and emergency response representatives from across the world this week for discussions on the development of the next generation of distress beacons.

Representatives from more than 10 countries attended this year’s Cospas-Sarsat Expert Working Group for Second Generation Beacon Specifications, which was held in Cairns from 25 February to 1 March.

This is the fourth annual meeting of the working group since its inception in 2010. The 12 member countries of the working group include the USA, Canada, Russia, France, Norway, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

The Cospas-Sarsat Expert Working Group (EWG) is currently working through the process of redesigning distress beacons and the satellite processing system to provide a faster and more accurate response in the future.

AMSA’s General Manager for Emergency Response, John Young, said this year’s EWG meeting was focused on discussing the technical specifications required in the next generation of distress beacons. Continue reading AMSA Discussion On Next Generation Of Distress Beacons

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VHF Marine Radio Digital Selective Calling | What is it?

What is Digital Selective Calling (DSC)?

DSC is a semi-automated means of establishing initial contact between stations. Once contact has been made, communications on a nominated HF frequency or VHF voice channel should be used to pass messages.

Continue reading VHF Marine Radio Digital Selective Calling | What is it?

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VHF Marine Radio Installation Tips

Installation of a VHF Marine radio can be a bit difficult especially for the people who are new to the equipment. However, the process can greatly be mollified by following a simple guide. The task is no harder than installing the car stereo. The main reason as to why most of the marine radios seldom work or do not last long is due to poor installation and maintenance.

It is therefore advised to take your time during this process.

The first step includes the decision making. You need to establish the position on the boat where you need you VHF marine radio installed. Most people often prefer the side of the counsel or at the bottom edge in the front panel of the counsel. However, the preferred location, other than the two suggestions, is influenced by a few factors. You should ensure that the location is suitable with no obstruction which can lead to knee bumping or other accidents or damage exposure. Inner surfaces are the most preferred since they offer better protection and keep it away from potential thieves. You should also bear in mind if children are onboard and their interest to keep occupied on long periods – the radio can become a great toy to play with in times of boredom.

The next step would be the wire connections and routing. Direct 12 VDC wiring from the boat battery is the most preferred for the VHF Marine Radio. The wire used should not be smaller than the 14 gage. A standard wire should also be used to ease the installation process as well as the affordable cost. Special attention should be paid to the connection method when splicing the power wires. The spliced wires should be sealed to prevent short circuits. It would be even better if adhesive line shrink tubes were used. They offer more protection from short circuits which can lead to fire or malfunction of the electrics.

The location of the antenna is the next step after the VHF Marine radio mounting. This can be situated on the boat. It is recommended to keep the antenna towards the middle half of the boat. This will help keep it safe especially when trolling. It is also advised to keep it as far as possible from the electrical noises such as fish finder transducer cables. Excessive cutting of the antenna cable will greatly affect the performance of the radio. Try as much as possible not to manipulate it against the guides given.

After the cabling and antenna mounting, the next step is fixing the bracket. This is the part that holds in place the VHF Marine radio. Stop nuts and regular nuts are most recommended. This is because the radio is subject to vibrations created by outboards and rough waters. The nuts will be able to hold it in place. The power supply connectors can then be plugged on the radio with the antenna connector secured behind it. Fix the radio on the brackets to ensure that it is firmly clasped. Fasten the nuts. With that, the whole installation process is over. However, the equipment requires constant checks to ensure it is always in good working condition and one way of doing that is to make a radio call when leaving port and Log On with the local marine rescue group.

Written by shailesh2222