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PastorsDayOff

Vhf, Useful Or Not?

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I feel my brain has been totally assaulted, but I finally, this last week, got round to getting my short range VHF certificate in anticipation of trying some coastal hopping hopefully next year. 

The course itself consisted of one day in Lowestoft College, learning (trying to learn), followed by a morning for the test and assessment. The night between was one of reading and disturbed sleep, my brain being filled with mayday calls and procedures.

For now however, my new licence will only be used on the Broads; somewhat limited one might think, other than getting the bridges at Somerleyton and Reedham to open. But it must be more useful than this, surely?

So here’s the obvious question; how many of us have got VHF marine radios (and no! I don’t work part time for Ofcom), what do we use them for, and how useful do we find them on the Broads?

Ok; that’s three questions; but it would be useful to know, so I can get the best use out of mine.

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We have vhf onboard  don’t transmit much at all. In fact rarely switch them on. However River rangers- you can talk to them, the bridge operators and are a must if doing the GYA to Lowestoft sea route. We use PMR’s quite often on CH4.

In an emergency vhf would be a bonus licence holder or not.

You are better off looking at them than for them

Griff

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I have often wondered why CB radio isn't used more on the broads. PMR is ok but it's small range is a major disadvantage. A CB's range (when on legal power) is much more appropriate.

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If I only sailed on the Broads then I wouldn't bother. As it is I carry both PMR & VHF, just has Griff does & I share his outlook on this one.

As for CB, have tried that too, got a feeling that Old Wussie & me are on the same wave length on that one! 

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17 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

 

As for CB, have tried that too, got a feeling that Old Wussie & me are on the same wave length on that one! 

That old trucker Vaughan might like to join the convoy!

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Roger dodger, I think that may be the problem, the reputation CB had of old. Everyone talking with an American accent, using a language foreign to most carbon based life forms and generally behaving like a bunch of 10 year olds. But, cast that aside for one moment. With an effective range of about 5+ miles, 80 channels, lack of any licence requirements, reasonable cost, the availability of hand sets (for regular hirers) and ease of use, what's not to like.

The CinC from Ranworth to Salhouse at the meet was one occasion where keeping in touch could have had uses. If I go to the boat off the cuff, I can give a shout to any other forumites who might be about.

It also occurs to me that the Rangers might find some value in having rigs on their patrol craft. If the CB usage grew, how many extra pairs of eyes could they call upon to look out for lost dogs?

Back in the day, the CB community could, and did, come to the unofficial assistance of many a stranded/lost motorist...  

"Break 14, anybody at Sutton Staithe tell me if there's any space left c'mon?"

Whether we would choose to call each other "Good Buddy" or not is largely immaterial as is the use of the "10 code" (though I can see some advantages there) but as an inter boat communication I only really see advantages. 

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This is all 10-100... I’m afraid :default_norty:.....

As now you don’t need a CB license it could be fun for fellow boaters to have them.... but the big problem would be the distance.... earthing out and getting good ground plane for the aerial would be the biggest problem...SWR would be fun.... all so with most boats being fibreglass there’s no where to place a mag mount base abit like an old plastic pig ERF.... so the old solution would be is an old big biscuit tin drill in a DV27 mount in the top a couple of of house bricks in side...drill hole in the side for the coax to feed in and long strip of copper wire wrapped around the tin then forming a 4 foot tail running off for the ground plane.... sorted ... 10-4 Good buddy....  Then get your QSL cards printed off so when you eyeball your fellow CB boaters you can exchange cards with them.... I still have my 3 retroCBs I use to have and my super dooper aerial.... 

Or easier solution just get a handheld vhf marine handset  like I have and I take mine most places... just took mine on a cruise recently listened in most of the time to the ship to shore ....  

:594c04f0e761f_default_AnimatedGifVehiclessaily:

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I have a VHF  radio okay a must at sea not so much on the broads but it does have it's use.

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As already stated, VHF is essential at sea.I know of a few people who  use it to listen to the gin palaces in order to find out which moorings they are going to and if there is space.  

I am not really wanting to spend my time on the Broads eavesdropping, rather too much like a tabloid reporter. 

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Completely agree Socrates, Sitting on the boat "reading the mail" on the CB channels isn't for everyone, but some people used to enjoy it.

I think it would be self perpetuating. The more who use it, the more it would get used. You might not "listen in"  very often, but if you thought that a number of Broads people were using it, do you not think you might want one just to find out if there was space somewhere or what Potter clearance was?

I've got a rig and will eventually install it properly. What I can't decide on is where! Cockpit or cabin.! or do I need two rigs???

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I have thought about getting a hand held VHF, not sure about how useful one would be. Like Maurice Mynah says it may be of use for bridge heights and moorings, but we have managed so far without one. Another gadget to plug in, and something else to remember to bring to the boat. 

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It should be remembered that Marine VHF channels should be used for purpose and not for a "good ol jaw" or contemplating which pub to end up at.

It is a shame that PMR is not allowed to be a bit more powerful, however for a c in c on a river it should be adequate. It depends on the terrain. At home channel 6 is used by Mundesley Golf Course. I can hear them well over a mile away as I can hear some of the Crabbers on channel 5 chatting to their shore base.

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3 hours ago, Wussername said:

That old trucker Vaughan might like to join the convoy!

When I was driving, in the 80s, the CB was the thing to have but they were not of any real practical use, unless you were running in convoy with 3 or 4 trucks from the same firm.

My "handle" was given to me by the other drivers at Foulgers of Attleborough. It was "vino collapso"  for some reason - or "vino" for short.

The drivers on continental routes used to leave Attleborough about 1800 on a Sunday evening and run to Felixtowe together to catch the night ferry to Zeebrugge, when great parties would be held in the drivers' lounge bar on the ship.

By the time we had reached the Ipswich bypass we were getting a bit bored and so I would come up on the CB with the first line of the song "I love to go swimming". Toby would reply "with bow-legged women" and George would follow - "and dive between their knees!"

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I use to run two cbs in the truck.... one was a straight 40 channel fm Audioline 341 what I still got and my other was York 863 what had been adapted... this was brilliant because I had 40 straight fm channels... also it had mids and split channels to so basically it had 120 fm channels.... also it was LSB USB....  Vaughan will no what I’m on about ha ha ...lol ... also it had 80 channel AM channels... what was illegal in the uk to use....I then use to run it through a 1000 watt pre amp burner on a Wilson 1000 mag mount.... at 65 miles away others could here me at 30+ And that was being on the move.....

what was good if you was running on the split channels no one could listen in unless they had an adapted CB.... Those were the days 

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By the looks of it I might be tempted to go and buy shares in CB radios, though I feel for me that it is a case of been there done that. Happy to stick with VHF and mobile phone; though I fear the latter of these is useless on most parts of the Broads.

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Why not have a vote, on whether or not you would be prepared to fit one / use one for boat to boat communication.  Chatter your not allowed really to do on vhf marine band. No license cheap to buy ..

simple yes or no ?

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3 minutes ago, Bound2Please said:

Why not have a vote, on whether or not you would be prepared to fit one / use one for boat to boat communication.  Chatter your not allowed really to do on vhf marine band. No license cheap to buy 

I invite feedback!

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As I already have a CB rig awaiting installation as well as a PMR, I'm for the CB. Marine VHF doesn't seem suitable for the Broads given that "chatter" is the main reason for it.

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4 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

As I already have a CB rig awaiting installation as well as a PMR, I'm for the CB. Marine VHF doesn't seem suitable for the Broads given that "chatter" is the main reason for it.

I agree with that, but unless other boaters also have them then they are less useful than a VHF. You need a CB revival! 

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I think CB died with the coming of the mobile phone, that took over that niche in communications.

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I wonder if anyone has ever boosted a PMR? 

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I'm afraid it would be a big NO from me!

Andrew

A waste of time and money.

 

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Mobile phone coverage has improved on the Broads, ans will probably continue to do so.

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