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Sea Tow Automated Radio Check system is gone nation-wide

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Sea Tow Automated Radio Check system is gone nation-wide

Old 10-12-2020, 08:04 AM
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Default Sea Tow Automated Radio Check system is gone nation-wide

I just tried it and its gone!

It worked two weeks ago

https://www.seatow.com/arc

"The Sea Tow Automated Radio Check System is no longer available."

This was a highly valuable service

I am guessing they got rid of it to cut costs?

What a shame!!!

credit to @Mpellet for pointing out in a different thread

Last edited by mystery; 10-12-2020 at 09:41 AM.

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10-12-2020, 05:36 PM
Mpellet
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This horrible development with seatow shutting down automated radio checks has caused the “16-Symbol” to be shown in the night sky, the alarm has been activated and the Knights of the One Six are marshaling. Methodically preparing for action. Transmission buttons on microphones are lubricated. Batteries are charged and engine charging systems, antennas, cables are methodically checked and then checked again. Then comes the waiting, hoping, some actually praying, the anticipation is brutal and then it happens, that nervous voice comes up on “16”, (Kenney Chesney Tune, Anything but Mine can be heard playing in the background).

“CCan I get a radio check PPPPLEASE????”

Tooth pics fall out of mouths, dip spit is expectorated and steaming cups of coffee (yeti tumbler) are slammed down faster then Jessie James or Doc Holiday could draw a pistol, mikes are pulled off the brackets and drawn towards lips. Some faces fixed in a cruel grin, others displaying looks of excitement & delight that could be described as sexual, hand holding the microphone dripping sweat and trembling from the excitement and anticipation, the words coming out produce orgasmic pleasure BUT can’t let the excitement show, gotta sound salty, like this is not a big deal, after all it’s $hit every one should know,

“get off 16 do your radio checks elsewhere”

Radio speaker chirps, squelch breaks from others Knights of the One Six talking over each other , but you were first. Silence for a few seconds and then then it happens, CG comes up and makes a transmission that 16 is not for radio checks.

All the work, expense and time spent monitoring 16 is validated, it actually happened, you’ve defended 16 from a radio check and life will never be better then it is right fukcing now.......
Old 10-12-2020, 08:28 AM
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Oh no! My kids and I always had fun making goofy messages for the radio check. Plus this will clutter up Channel 16 even more than it is with those radio checking lunks.
Old 10-12-2020, 08:38 AM
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Instead of relying on someone else to determine if your radio is working each time you go out, why not get a cheap handheld radio so you can radio check yourself. It good to always have redundancy on such an important safety item.
Old 10-12-2020, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Koopa253 View Post
Instead of relying on someone else to determine if your radio is working each time you go out, why not get a cheap handheld radio so you can radio check yourself. It good to always have redundancy on such an important safety item.
How do you test your radio at a distance with a handheld? Do you send someone a few miles away to do a test?

Do you know that a radio without an antenna might be able to broadcast short-range but as soon as you go any distance, nothing. So lets say you test with your handheld at the dock or in your yard, then you go out in your boat, even a mile, and then need help but your radio/antenna isnt working and you need help, what do you do then?
Old 10-12-2020, 09:13 AM
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The Emergency channel (16) should not be used for “radio checks”, IMO. Find another channel if you think you really need a check.

BTW, if you test your radio NOW... will it work at sea?... or should you check it every few minutes “just to be sale”.
Old 10-12-2020, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishinado View Post
The Emergency channel (16) should not be used for “radio checks”, IMO. Find another channel if you think you really need a check.

BTW, if you test your radio NOW... will it work at sea?... or should you check it every few minutes “just to be sale”.
Im surprised they are suggesting using 16 for a radio check.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
Im surprised they are suggesting using 16 for a radio check.
Holy moly I missed that

No bueno


Old 10-12-2020, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Koopa253 View Post
Instead of relying on someone else to determine if your radio is working each time you go out, why not get a cheap handheld radio so you can radio check yourself. It good to always have redundancy on such an important safety item.
I agree that this is not a good idea. Distance is important.

Go to a non-hailing channel with regular chatter and ask for a radio check. At a minimum, it will confirm that both of your radios are working.
Old 10-12-2020, 09:25 AM
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That's a shame, this was a valuable service that I used frequently.
Old 10-12-2020, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishinado View Post
The Emergency channel (16) should not be used for “radio checks”, IMO. Find another channel if you think you really need a check.

BTW, if you test your radio NOW... will it work at sea?... or should you check it every few minutes “just to be sale”.
You should test it each trip

For big trips, I usually test from the dock before pushing off and then underway once out in open waters.

But I also have backup VHF and several other means of communication.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:29 AM
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I left a note on their facebook page that I was disappointed to see it go, I think everyone should let them know.
Old 10-12-2020, 09:34 AM
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That sucks. We don't spend much time on the coast, but try to make it down 1-2 times a year with the boat. Was very nice to be able to check it after a 4 hour tow, especially given it hardly gets used at all inland on the lake.
Old 10-12-2020, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
Im surprised they are suggesting using 16 for a radio check.

Yes,.... that’s a good one! I wonder if they ran that past the C.G. before posting it.
Old 10-12-2020, 03:45 PM
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Used it this past Saturday and worked well, sorry they got rid of it. In our area, you can hail them on channel 78, which is what I used to do before they had the automated channel.
Old 10-12-2020, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Koopa253 View Post
Instead of relying on someone else to determine if your radio is working each time you go out, why not get a cheap handheld radio so you can radio check yourself. It good to always have redundancy on such an important safety item.

no sir.

cheap and safety do not go together and a handheld is worthless offshore for the most part.
Old 10-12-2020, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Koopa253 View Post
Instead of relying on someone else to determine if your radio is working each time you go out, why not get a cheap handheld radio so you can radio check yourself. It good to always have redundancy on such an important safety item.
Bad advise, know this from experience. On the first fixed VHF I installed years ago this is how I checked. Worked but a poorly made connection on my part left the boat with about a 2 mile range. I always have the handheld as well on the boat for redundancy.
Old 10-12-2020, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gamefish25 View Post
no sir.

cheap and safety do not go together and a handheld is worthless offshore for the most part.
While I do not agree with the other guy's comment about self-checking, I think you misunderstood him. He seemed to be saying use the cheap handheld to see if you are transmitting and receiving. The main radio could be top of the line. Of course, this idea is flawed in that you cannot test signal strength that way and the radio may seem to be working but really be seriously broken.
Old 10-12-2020, 04:13 PM
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I tried it last Friday in Ponce Inlet, Fl and it wasn't working. Guess it was already shutdown.
Old 10-12-2020, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gamefish25 View Post
no sir.

cheap and safety do not go together and a handheld is worthless offshore for the most part.
that’s not true, if you have to ditch you can talk to someone and I can screw my hand held into my boat antenna
Old 10-12-2020, 04:51 PM
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Lol, you guys are funny. Does a radio check tell you how strong your signal is? If your really concerned about signal strength every time out why not install an antenna tester? You understand that your radio check call is transmitted through the local tower right? Yes, cheap handheld vhf (few hundo) that’s submersible should be on all boats without two independent/redundant radios, IMO. I use this method as my antenna is both vhf and AIS. If I can see I’m getting AIS targets 20 miles out and can transmit and receive to local handheld; I assume I’m good for the fishing I do which is in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan De Fuca (not offshore). You can call it bad advice but I would rather do that then bog channels down with radio checks all day. I installed my radio and antenna and know when they are working properly and have the tools and parts with me shall I need to address issues (with exception to solder). I would never go offshore without two radios. If your really concerned about the signal strength each time out, Shakespeare has the ART-3 Tester which is billed to eliminate radio checks.

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