The Boating Forum - Radio check...radio check!!

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View Full Version : Radio check...radio check!!


ScarabChris
03-19-2012, 09:48 AM
OK so I have been listening to the VHF in my office for a few weeks now. I don't listen to it much on the boat so I wasn't aware so much of this was going on.

Boater #1) Anyone out there for a radio check?

Boater #2) Loud and clear captain!

Boater #1) Thank you!


What is wrong with this radio check?


tip game
03-19-2012, 09:52 AM
No mention of boater locations ;?

TopCat
03-19-2012, 09:58 AM
1. If it is on CH16, that is wrong right there
2. Radio check calls should not be to "any vessel"
3. Both vessels should identify themselves.

SeaTow has a neat service they started up to try to thin out the excessive # of radio check calls these days. There is an automated radio check on VHF 26 and 27 - you call it for a check, and a few seconds later, it plays back your call for you, so you can actually hear how well you were recieved. Wish more people would use it.


proline16
03-19-2012, 10:05 AM
1. If it is on CH16, that is wrong right there
2. Radio check calls should not be to "any vessel"
3. Both vessels should identify themselves.

SeaTow has a neat service they started up to try to thin out the excessive # of radio check calls these days. There is an automated radio check on VHF 26 and 27 - you call it for a check, and a few seconds later, it plays back your call for you, so you can actually hear how well you were recieved. Wish more people would use it.

I didn't know that. But those non stop radio checks are annoying. And parents that let their kids talk on the radio.. there's a bait and tackle store that talks on the recreational channel all the time. They also are annoying.. I don't use mine that much but normally only to check in with my fellow captains when going offshore.

Ifishalot
03-19-2012, 10:06 AM
I was out in the Ms sound this weekend. I must have heard the CG get on the radio 10 different times with the no chatter on ch 16 message. Not to mention the 10,000 radio checks.

I really wish people would actually read the directions that come with the radio, you know the part that discusses the use of emergency channels for chatter.

Ok... i'm done complaining. :grin:

JOEKEN
03-19-2012, 10:07 AM
1. If it is on CH16, that is wrong right there
2. Radio check calls should not be to "any vessel"
3. Both vessels should identify themselves.

SeaTow has a neat service they started up to try to thin out the excessive # of radio check calls these days. There is an automated radio check on VHF 26 and 27 - you call it for a check, and a few seconds later, it plays back your call for you, so you can actually hear how well you were recieved. Wish more people would use it.Topcat I had heard of that in more populated areas. Is it now available on the Treasure Coast?

Reel Irie
03-19-2012, 10:09 AM
I use 27

76 Stamas
03-19-2012, 10:12 AM
26 in Cortez for our area. Works well.

the_gooch
03-19-2012, 10:18 AM
Ch 27 in South Florida will relay your recorded radio check courtesy of Sea Tow. They state tower location.

ScarabChris
03-19-2012, 10:23 AM
No mention of boater locations ;?

Correct. Nobody cares to disclose their location. The "loud and clear" radio check response could be coming from the boat 100 yards in front of you.

And yes you are not supposed to ask for radio checks on 16. But not everyone knows that. At the very least one should have common sense enough to make sure they are getting a good radio check from a vessel that isn't in the next slip over. :rofl:

We have an automated radio check system here. Ch 26 and 27. It works pretty good and one is in Miami and the other is in the Ft Lauderdale area. If you request a check you will get an automated response. If you can hear the response then your radio check was successful and the response will tell you the exact location of the response so you know how your radio check went.

capt.pac-man
03-19-2012, 10:29 AM
Radio check ch26 and ch27 does not exist/work in Fourchon LA. I just checked.
FYI- the proper smart ass response to "Radio check!?" is "Got Mine!"-haha

capt.pac-man
03-19-2012, 10:34 AM
Also, to all of you guys complaining of excessive radio chat, I have to monitor at least 2 vhf and 1uhf station for 12hrs a day for 28 days at a time! Just always remember it could be worse, you could have my ears!
I am the radio's Bitch.

TopCat
03-19-2012, 11:30 AM
Topcat I had heard of that in more populated areas. Is it now available on the Treasure Coast?

Yup, they have a station at Captian Butcher's Marina in Sebastian.

mduran
03-19-2012, 11:31 AM
No mention of boater locations ;?

How would that check go then...?? Would boater 1 ask for a check, and get his location? then boater 2 say, loud and clear, then give his location ? What location is correct that every boater would understand ?

bluewaterpirate
03-19-2012, 11:44 AM
The best radio check I ever heard was between two bored as hell sailors transiting to WestPac in the 1966. Went like this on PriCI. Not standard RT procedures mind you but made for a good laugh on the mid-watch. :grin:

"Eeny, meeny, miny, moe how do you hear my radio over" ....... long pause followed by ..... "Fee-fi-fo-fum lond and readable with a background hum ... out"

bluewaterpirate
03-19-2012, 11:46 AM
Inshore reference a known geographic location offshore and known fishing spot.

ayacht_us
03-19-2012, 11:49 AM
The Sea Tow website has a look up tool @

http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks

floffshore
03-19-2012, 11:50 AM
when we do checks out here, the requesting radio-checker usually doesnt state his location, but the responding checkee usually does.

Of course, as mentioned, it's much smarter to use Ch 27 down here.

But, on a typical Saturday, 300 times a day, you'll hear...

Boat 1: "Radio Check Please"
Boat 2: "Loud and Clear Capt, 5 miles southeast of Lighthouse Point"

9 times out of 10 down here, the Radio Check is just a ploy for the ever-so-clever response from Boat 1....

Boat 1: "Thank you captain, how's the fishing?"

Then Boat 2 is expected to give a full fishing report. LOL.

ScarabChris
03-19-2012, 11:50 AM
How would that check go then...?? Would boater 1 ask for a check, and get his location? then boater 2 say, loud and clear, then give his location ? What location is correct that every boater would understand ?


Yes. If I answer a radio check I say loud and clear (if he is loud and clear) then I give my location so he knows how far his radio check reached.

I might answer like this.....

Boater) Anyone out there for a radio check?

Me) Loud and clear from 5 miles off Miami Beach.

Or if I am in the ICW somewhere I will answer with something like "loud and clear from the Sheridan Street bridge and the ICW"

Sprockets
03-19-2012, 12:16 PM
The Sea Tow website has a look up tool @

http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks

Great info - didn't know it existed. Both inlets I use are on the list using channel 26.

TurboDan
03-19-2012, 12:32 PM
when we do checks out here, the requesting radio-checker usually doesnt state his location, but the responding checkee usually does.

Of course, as mentioned, it's much smarter to use Ch 27 down here.

But, on a typical Saturday, 300 times a day, you'll hear...

Boat 1: "Radio Check Please"
Boat 2: "Loud and Clear Capt, 5 miles southeast of Lighthouse Point"

9 times out of 10 down here, the Radio Check is just a ploy for the ever-so-clever response from Boat 1....

Boat 1: "Thank you captain, how's the fishing?"

Then Boat 2 is expected to give a full fishing report. LOL.

LOL. How true (here at the Jersey Shore as well). It's even more pronounced on tournament days, though I wouldn't expect much of the advice you'd get would be accurate. :grin:

floffshore
03-19-2012, 12:38 PM
lol.. agreed.. somehow, i always seem to be on the swordfish at 60ft of water when that happens to me.

big easy
03-19-2012, 12:43 PM
I didn't know that. But those non stop radio checks are annoying. And parents that let their kids talk on the radio.. there's a bait and tackle store that talks on the recreational channel all the time. They also are annoying.. I don't use mine that much but normally only to check in with my fellow captains when going offshore.

Gotta agree with the irritating people who let their little kids babble on and on.Another is people who get on the radio and have an in depth conversation about where they are going to dinner,and what time they will be meeting and what they'll be wearing and yada yada yada.
It gets so bad that I have to just shut if off at times.

demjjm
03-19-2012, 01:13 PM
The Sea Tow website has a look up tool @

http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks


And Palm Beach still doesn't have the automated service. Every time I do a radio check, with name and location, I get some know it all telling me about the automated check. :mad: As for the kids babbling on the radio, although it can be annoying, atleast the kids will know how to use the radio in the event of a emergency, atleast that is what I tell myself.

wjm7947
03-19-2012, 01:24 PM
I use the Sea Tow auto radio check on channel 27 here in the St Petersburg Florida area. I get the call back from Pinellas Point.

Flot
03-19-2012, 01:36 PM
Loud and Clear is good - "5 by 5" is better (a 1-5 scale of loudness and clarity, respectively)

In other words if I am loud but badly distorted, that would be a "5x2" or if my message comes across clear but quiet, that's a "2x5" response. Or I guess if you are inteligable but not that loud, hey that's a 3x3.

Of course I wouldn't actually expect anyone on the water to know that. LOL. But it did make it to urban dictonary, apparently courtesy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=5%20x%205

LMychajluk
03-19-2012, 01:55 PM
FYI, you can also make test calls via DSC.

http://www.boatus.com/gov/rescue21_update0906.asp

Edit - Also via TowBoatUS - http://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=411

prowlersfish
03-19-2012, 05:39 PM
OK so I have been listening to the VHF in my office for a few weeks now. I don't listen to it much on the boat so I wasn't aware so much of this was going on.

Boater #1) Anyone out there for a radio check?

Boater #2) Loud and clear captain!

Boater #1) Thank you!


What is wrong with this radio check?

So why don't you listen to it on the Boat ? you should monitor 16 .

n3up
03-19-2012, 11:09 PM
I don't take radio checks, only cash.

mduran
03-20-2012, 02:52 AM
Yes. If I answer a radio check I say loud and clear (if he is loud and clear) then I give my location so he knows how far his radio check reached.

I might answer like this.....

Boater) Anyone out there for a radio check?

Me) Loud and clear from 5 miles off Miami Beach.

Or if I am in the ICW somewhere I will answer with something like "loud and clear from the Sheridan Street bridge and the ICW"

To be honest.. I never gave location.. I will from now on though. Thanks Chris ! :thumbsup:

CindyLou
03-20-2012, 04:56 AM
The Sea Tow website has a look up tool @

http://www.seatow.com/boating-safety/automated-radio-checks

Why doesn't the Coast Guard have something like this? Doesn't seem like it would be that expensive to set up in every CG station, and would ultimately cut down on the 16 chatter.

Carolina Pavers
03-20-2012, 05:07 AM
FYI, you can also make test calls via DSC.

http://www.boatus.com/gov/rescue21_update0906.asp

Edit - Also via TowBoatUS - http://www.boatus.com/pressroom/release.asp?id=411

And why don't more boats have a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number? They are free.

iichart
03-20-2012, 05:07 AM
The best is
"breaker 72 for a radio check"
Then followed by "where are the dolphin biting"

Got to love the weekends down here :-)

sea tonic
03-20-2012, 05:59 AM
When we took the CG auxiliary safety course, they instructed us to use channel 16 for a radio check as well as initial haling calls. But, also reminded us that channel 16 was primarily for emergency calls. That was before SeaTow initiated their channel 27 service here in SC.

Glenn111
03-20-2012, 06:07 AM
1. If it is on CH16, that is wrong right there
2. Radio check calls should not be to "any vessel"
3. Both vessels should identify themselves.

SeaTow has a neat service they started up to try to thin out the excessive # of radio check calls these days. There is an automated radio check on VHF 26 and 27 - you call it for a check, and a few seconds later, it plays back your call for you, so you can actually hear how well you were recieved. Wish more people would use it.

That is a GREAT service...you hear how you sound on the Mic. The location for Gulf Shores past Navar is in Pensacola, FL. @ ch 27. Great info. :thumbsup:

capecuddy
03-20-2012, 06:07 AM
I guess I still believe that a DSC Test to the local USCG means more to me that a voice contact from an unknown source (we don't have SeaTow ARC on the Outer Cape).

If I can get a round trip successful DSC transaction done, I like that from a risk perspective. And its with the location I need to get when trouble strikes.

I test with both handheld and fixed unit. Sometimes I'm far enough away that the fixed is the only one that can reach the USCG. I'll almost always see the handheld's Receive light blink even if it's not enough to form a full ACK of the DSC Test. (it happens ~10 seconds after DSC Test transmit.)

finman
03-20-2012, 06:11 AM
if Im inshore I dont even turn my vhf on anymore. cell phone works

TopCat
03-20-2012, 06:52 AM
Loud and Clear is good - "5 by 5" is better (a 1-5 scale of loudness and clarity, respectively)

In other words if I am loud but badly distorted, that would be a "5x2" or if my message comes across clear but quiet, that's a "2x5" response. Or I guess if you are inteligable but not that loud, hey that's a 3x3.

Of course I wouldn't actually expect anyone on the water to know that. LOL. But it did make it to urban dictonary, apparently courtesy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=5%20x%205

I heard one response to a guy calling nonstop for a radio check every 30 seconds: "I read you two by two - too loud and too often" :grin:

LMychajluk
03-20-2012, 07:06 AM
if Im inshore I dont even turn my vhf on anymore. cell phone works

If someone is having an emergency, and you're the nearest boat, how do they get your phone #?
;?



Radio Watchkeeping Regulations

In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate.

Source: FCC 47 CFR §§ 80.148, 80.310, NTIA Manual 8.2.29.6.c(2)(e), ITU RR 31.17, 33.18, AP13 §25.2



http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtWatch


As for why doesn't the CG have something like the SeaTow automated radio check system, see the links in my previous post.

bone-a-fide
03-20-2012, 07:07 AM
if Im inshore I dont even turn my vhf on anymore. cell phone works


That's a shame, you should be monitoring 16.

prowlersfish
03-20-2012, 10:19 AM
if Im inshore I dont even turn my vhf on anymore. cell phone works



So Screw anyone else that may need help, just use it when you need it . Remember when you need help and no one answers ,just Remember one word" KARMA"

;cool;

saxe point
03-20-2012, 10:36 AM
I didn't know that. But those non stop radio checks are annoying. And parents that let their kids talk on the radio.. there's a bait and tackle store that talks on the recreational channel all the time. They also are annoying.. I don't use mine that much but normally only to check in with my fellow captains when going offshore.

I find that at least in my part of Canada there is very little improper use or abuse of the VHF radio. I think it may have something to do with the fact that in Canada individuals are required to be licensed in order to lawfully operate a VHF marine radio. And while I suspect that there are some unlicensed operators, awareness of the licensing requirement nonetheless keeps people from flagrantly abusing the radio. As well, the non licensed operators hear the licensed operators and generally do a pretty good job of following proper operating procedures.

TopCat
03-20-2012, 11:20 AM
I sometimes have to force myself to maintain a listening watch on CH16, but I put up with the annoyance because it is technically required and more importantly is the right thing to do.

A couple years ago, I overheard a weak call to the CG from a boat drifting without power out west of the Marquesas in the Keys. I was able to relay his call to CG station Key West and relay back to the boat that help was on the way. Being able to save someone from (at least) an anxious night out adrift was payment enough for having to listen to all that annoying chatter.

prowlersfish
03-20-2012, 02:46 PM
A few years Back I heard a mayday I responded along with a trawler , I must have passed a few dozen boats that ignored or have the radios off , I got them out of the water long before The trawler and Va marine police and CG got there . What if I had my radio off ? What would have been the result ?



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