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Alaskan cruise in August, looking for frequencies of interest

wb4sqi

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Not a lot of activity in this state forum but hoping for the best. I will be taking a Princess cruise beginning August 3, up to Juneau, then Skagway, Ketchikan and finally Victoria BC. There are a few good ones listed below, especially for the White Pass railroad trip.

Will probably be bringing a Whistler TRX1, no amateur equipment.

Thanks in Advance,

Nick
WB4SQI
 

MtnBiker2005

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Ruby Princess
Looks like you will see lots of other cruise ships doing your cruise.
Link: CruiseCal.com > Itinerary Print

Some of the ships DMR info posted in this Cruise Ship Frequencies thread.
Link: https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/cruise-ship-frequencies.68307/page-7

Cruise Ship & Maritime Frequencies
Link: Cruise Ship & Maritime Frequencies

Last post you can print out the PDF about the sites thats in range doing the Alaska Cruise. (Handy if you also do Pro96com from the cabin room)
Link: https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/almr-p25-pro96com-reports-site-neighbors.113709/
 
Last edited:

wb4sqi

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Yes sir, Ruby Princess. I have the four shipboard UHF DMR frequencies, hard to believe they have four separate repeaters but I guess with all the service personnel they need a lot of radios on different frequencies.

Still on the fence about taking a laptop, especially if I can get the TRX1 programmed close to what I need/want.

thanks,
 

ecps92

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And those are the "Reported Four" Repeaters
I would say search 457/467 Mhz as you may find more than reported

Many are adding the 12.5 khz channels and others going 6.25 khz

Yes sir, Ruby Princess. I have the four shipboard UHF DMR frequencies, hard to believe they have four separate repeaters but I guess with all the service personnel they need a lot of radios on different frequencies.

Still on the fence about taking a laptop, especially if I can get the TRX1 programmed close to what I need/want.

thanks,
 

TailGator911

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I am taking a few radios along on our trip, and I have my stops planned throughout Canada and Alaska with systems and frequencies pre-loaded and planned out, all which I have found here on the RRDB, and Citywide. I will have a couple scanners dedicated to planned out systems and at least one scanner in CC/SS mode to hopefully catch any strays. Coming down to the wire! :)

JD
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TailGator911

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Tried to talk my wife into hiking and camping it, but she would have none of it haha Yep, driving the AlCan highway, it's a Bucket List Thing.
 

KE5MC

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Nick,
Check closely with the cruise line to make sure the radio type you are taking is OK. I've heard some of the lines are "up-tight" about what you can have. I took a iCom 51 handheld on NCL on a Northwest Passage cruise. Nothing but crickets. :-(
Mike
 

DanRollman

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And those are the "Reported Four" Repeaters
I would say search 457/467 Mhz as you may find more than reported. Many are adding the 12.5 khz channels and others going 6.25 khz
I was on the Celebrity Eclipse in Alaska last week. I very occasionally heard some traffic on the Bridge channel (mostly regarding opening/closing doors for pilots to board, bridge asking security to check on a fire alarm, and initial port arrivals and departures). The radio channels can go hours without a word, evening during the day, whether at port or at sea. I also used discovery mode for 7 days. Finally, I did a behind-the-scenes tour, and never saw anyone with a radio other than security people, the pool attendants on the top deck, and a gang charger full of radios in both the bridge and the engine control room. Conversely, literally every staffer on the ship (including security) had NEC Wave phones and were on them all the time. Even our tour guide on the behind-the-scenes tour would use her NEC phone to call the bridge before we entered, call the chef to come talk to us, call security when it was time to screen us before entering the engine control room, etc. The NEC phones on the Eclipse were the same as the one pictured here: SATURDAY SIX: Six Surprises of the Disney Cruise Line where a cruiser reports Disney making such phones available even to guests.

Incidentally, my family used DLR1020 900 MHz FHSS radios to communicate among ourselves throughout the ship with excellent results, even from Deck 4 aft to Deck 15 forward. (We saw other families with FRS radios and Baofeng radios, and when I asked, each said their radios only kinda-sorta worked some of the time, generally only if people were only a few decks apart).
 

KE5MC

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I wonder what allows the DLR1020 to work so well?
1 watt power
Digital
Passive 900MHz antenna repeater system built into ship
$200 price ea. :)
 

DanRollman

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I wonder what allows the DLR1020 to work so well? 1 watt power
Digital
Passive 900MHz antenna repeater system built into ship
$200 price ea. :)
My understanding is that the DLR radios (like the DTR line of 900 MHz FHSS radios) work so well on cruise ships for the same reason they work so well in office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals and similar dense urban environments: The combination of 900 MHz band and FHSS technology is ideal for penetrating many walls and the like.

Conversely, presumably a 4 watt UHF radio would be better at covering distance over open terrain or water than a DLR, although other forum posts on RR about the DLR/DTR radios cast doubt on even that. I used a DLR from a vacation house in Pacific Beach to talk to one of my kids at Sea World, and that's a couple miles (though largely straight across Sail Bay)...

My family has historically used UHF analog radios (and sometimes UHF DMR radios). I "upgraded" to 6 DLR radios in a gang charger earlier this year in part as preparation for our first cruise, after reading how much better they work on a cruise ship than UHF analog or DMR radios, and what a challenge communicating as a group can be on a cruise ship unless everyone has shelled out big money for individual wifi packages.

Note that I didn't spend the ~ $1,500 it would have taken to buy this set up new. Rather, they can often be found on eBay in very good condition for much, much less, often in a package and often with a gang charger. I think I am in for around $400-$450 total for my set of 6 DLR1020's with a 6-gang charger. Their cosmetics ranged from "like new" to "gently used" (a few minor scratches or dings) but all work perfectly.

One other great thing about the DLR radios is that most of their (relatively few) advanced features, like Private Reply or private channel settings, can be programmed with a series of button presses - no software is needed unless you want to program more advanced features like true encryption, ability to make direct radio-to-radio calls without first calling on the main channel and setting up a "private reply", radio name announcements, etc.

One feature we loved was "private reply". With all 6 of us on one channel, we'd call someone, and then when they respond tap the "private reply" button on top. This enters those two radios into a private conversation (like an I-call on a trunked system) without continuing to disturb the other 4 users of the main channel. When neither radio has transmitted for 5 seconds (or after pressing and holding the private reply button again) the private reply conversation ends and those radios are back on the main channel. So there are some trunked-system-like features in these simplex radios.

Dan
 

KE5MC

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My price point was just a single check for new and figured you paid much less. I'm not sure I would put the construction of a ship in the same category as modern commercial builds. In any case they worked and worked well. Hopefully I've not take thread to far off-line.
 

DanRollman

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My price point was just a single check for new and figured you paid much less. I'm not sure I would put the construction of a ship in the same category as modern commercial builds. In any case they worked and worked well. Hopefully I've not take thread to far off-line.
Yeah, it's actually the reverse. Motorola's marketing for the DLR/DTR technology focuses on its superior capabilities in commercial environments - which is why their marketing refers to square feet and number of floors it can penetrate rather than the usual (BS) miles range. But we've found it works better in a cruise ship environment too. Good stuff.
 

wb4sqi

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Interesting deviation to my thread but enjoyable to read. My first cruise this past January we used the shipboard iMessage feature which did not work until 2 days into the cruise and not as helpful as one would believe. Texts were not sent on a timely basis. The DLR1020's would have worked great with our grandkids.

Our Alaskan cruise coming up in August we will be traveling with another couple who will likely be closely attached to us so not much need for shipboard comms. The behind the scenes tour sounds interesting though, hope Ruby Princess offers that. I have not seen any mention through my package arrangements.
 

jim202

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Let me add to the deviation of the original topic to add the comment about why the radios worked so good on the ship. My gut feeling is that the ship has a bi direction amplifier system to make their internal phones work any place in the ship. Being out on the water, they probably were not concerned about anyone else being able to use the system. As a result, they probably did not add any band limiting filters to their system. The result is your 900 MHz. radios worked.

My guess is that the system also might even pass the 700 and 800 frequencies from public safety radio systems. This would allow for communications at dock side if there ever was a fire or other emergency on the ship.

Jim
 

DanRollman

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Maybe, but if that were the case, the families using 5 or 8 watt UHF analog radios (actually the same band and mode as the cruise ship radios) shouldn't have reported poor results. It also doesn't explain why Motorola markets the DLR radios as a solution for hospitals, office buildings and the like in lieu of a BDA investment.
 
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