Group MMSI

Queries, questions or write ups regarding Association events

Group MMSI

Postby bellalistair » Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:53 pm

On the Rally WhatsApp group Malcolm started a brief discussion around communication during the rally and the potential for use of DSC and the association obtaining a Group MMSI number. Rather than clutter that up, and for future reference I thought it perhaps better to bring it here.

My current sailing is generally very low radio traffic, so monitoring 16+local is fine, on a busy summer day I tend to drop the harbour frequency once clear of the lock but other than that the radio remains fairly quiet. I am however conscious that the VHF may be rather busier in the Solent, and this may have an impact on battery life.

Previously on rallies we've picked a quiet working channel and it has worked well. Though I do recall "chasing" the Royal Navy off "our" channel in the Clyde :-)

Is traffic in the Solent sufficiently low that the same approach will work or is it worth considering options?

If so and if sufficient people have (/can be bothered with) DSC radios it may be worth enquiring with Ofcom regarding an Association group MMSI. The form just appears to ask why you want it and who the organisation is.
We could still nominate a standard working channel so calls would get received by all monitoring, DSC or non-DSC. The potential difficulty is a call from a non-DSC may not get picked up but arguably that is no different to now.

Thoughts?
(Other than, must go and find my radio and top the battery charge up!!)
bellalistair
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby Paul Turner » Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:54 pm

Hi

Of course fine with me if anybody wants to go through the process. I'm not sure I see a strong need. There's a lot of boats in the Solent but I've never found the traffic on channel 16 particularly high. Most people transfer to another channel after initial contact and of course all the marinas and groups have their own channels. If people found a different way of doing radio checks there'd be even less traffic! I haven't done extensive research but I think mobile signals are good throughout the solent and we'll never be more than a couple of miles away from land.
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby Tony Treen » Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:23 pm

I had to look up group calling in the manual.... The only real advantage I can see is that the group radios will automatically switch to the pre-arranged group channel. The downsides are that it is somewhat complicated to set up in the radio, but more importantly for me is that it takes seven menu selections using soft keys on my hand held to transmit the initial message. Easy perhaps from the yacht club race box, not so easy for me if solo, helming with one hand and trying to select menu soft keys with the other while keeping an eye out for everything else (and not wearing my glasses for reading!). Plus after the initial heads-up DSC message, we are all back to normal radio procedures.

In the past we have had a designated CC fleet channel, (such as CH17), and since most radios are dual watch, radios can be set to this channel, and used to call the fleet as a whole, avoiding using CH16 for call-up, while still monitoring 16. My radio can tri-watch, so was going to set the fleet channel as the sub (third) channel, as this needs to be set by menu selections, but then remains set until I change it. This enables the radio to automatically monitor the fleet channel, CH16, and any other channel as needed, such as a marina.

I can see the advantages for a yacht club, and will be interesting to see other people's thoughts on our situation.
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby Andrew Scullion » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:28 am

Image Image

There has always been a good solution to this!

On a serious note, I agree with Tony, it is not worth the effort. In the past we have also simply sailed over to people and had a chat, generally, people are not sailing off on their own.
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby bellalistair » Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:07 pm

We'll end up with recommended flags at this rate instead :-)
Image

Good agreement on Group MMSI being more hassle than it is worth though which is good.
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby Malcolm Sadler » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:47 pm

Thanks for all the comments. All points taken, so I’ll abandon the idea.

May be worth mentioning on the WhatsApp that we won’t be doing DSC - I see one or two have offered their MMSI

Best

Malcolm
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Re: Group MMSI

Postby bellalistair » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:47 pm

I think it worth exchanging MMSI numbers for those who have them for the rally, might come in useful, just not progress investigating a group number.

Alistair
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