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Old 04-04-2010, 9:40 AM
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Question Maryland (Chesapeake Bay)

Thought id share with everyone that today I had to call the Coast Guard to report something and I had tried to raise them to get a land line number so I wouldn’t tie up the radio and when I called the Hampton Roads Sector in Virginia answered, mind you im in the Calvert County side of the bay near North Beach. Just thought it was weird I got them verses Baltimore or Annapolis. Then I heard Ocean City lol. Guess they operate off of cell towers? Anyone know how that works?
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:29 PM
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Don't know how it is set up but I can hear Hampton Roads all the way up here in South Jersey. They were very active yesterday [4-3-2010] morning informing mariners to switch to channel 22 alpha for information broadcast. Can also of course receive sector Baltimore and Delaware Bay.
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Old 04-04-2010, 1:15 PM
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I heard Cape May NJ just a bit ago today 4-4-2010 and Norfolk VA and boats across the bay near St. Michaels (Talbot County) I love this! A course I have 2 tall antennas. I just spoke with the Coast Guard and each sector has towers and according to them they can tell by there towers where you are transmitting from and seeing that today is a nice day and that’s its so clear I hit other towers then normal and that they were the first to answer. I also called Hampton Roads VA and they advised me they heard me loud and clear and are having issues getting boaters as far south a Florida!
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Old 04-04-2010, 3:33 PM
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.508 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

Each Sector has remote radio sites. The radio towers at these sites are between 200 and 600 feet on average, so they can have the required coverage.

Just because the Sector is called Baltimore or Hampton Roads their area's cover much farther
from the Sector Office. Most CG Sector have over 100 miles to cover.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-04-2010, 3:52 PM
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Thank you sir
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Old 04-04-2010, 3:59 PM
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One of the Hampton Roads antennas is on the WROX-FM tower in Cape Charles.

That gives them quite a bit of reach.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:11 AM
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I’m just very surprised I got them. They are very far away. I would have thought Annapolis Maryland or Baltimore would have picked up. Guess its who ever answers first lol. When I called down there the dispatcher sounded stressed out. She said they have been having problems like this a lot already. She said she talked to a boat in FL the other day lol I would hope in an case of emergency SOMEONE would be there quick
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Old 04-05-2010, 2:18 PM
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.508 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

VHF propagation was very good over the weekend. Watchstanders receive radio traffic outside of their sectors all the time. Sector Hampton Roads has sites in the Northern Neck of Virginia and that is not too far from you location. Chris, just look at my first post on this tread to see that Coast Guard Sectors cover many miles. They have to be able to have communications in all areas of the Sector.
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Old 04-11-2010, 3:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris52 View Post
Thought id share with everyone that today I had to call the Coast Guard to report something and I had tried to raise them to get a land line number so I wouldn’t tie up the radio and when I called the Hampton Roads Sector in Virginia answered, mind you im in the Calvert County side of the bay near North Beach. Just thought it was weird I got them verses Baltimore or Annapolis. Then I heard Ocean City lol. Guess they operate off of cell towers? Anyone know how that works?

Chris what you heard was the Rescue 21 system. If you and other don't know what it is it is the new Radio System of the Coast Guard. The National Distress and Response System (NDRS) the Coast Guard has used for Search and Rescue, Communications and Information was outdated and obsolete. Meaning there was little resource to repair equipment within the system due to outdated parts. The NDRS was installed and deployed during the 1970s and has done it's time until it was reconized that the Coast Guard needed an new and upgraded system which formally came to be Rescue 21 which has many capabilities such as new command, control and communications technology consisting of Direction- find capabilities, further range of nautical miles such as the new system will go out to 20 nautical miles per 1 watt with a 2 meter per height. Multiple/Simitanselously channel use. Meaning they can use a channel while transmitting and even recieve incoming call at same time. Also helps with Interoperability to Federal, State and Local agencies. Rescue 21 also consist of Project 21 Digital Communications with all U.S. and Federal, State, Local law enforcement via VHF and UHF and 800mhz. It is a huge system and has saved countless lives since been online. Eastern Shores, Md was the first site of the new system and the system will be replacing the legacy distress radio system and all consoles within the U.S. Coast Guard stations, sectors and groups.


It also requires many many Radio towers. Some of them do consist of Cell towers but most of private owned by the U.S. Coast Guard. What these Towers do is increase the range of communications and also helps with the direction finder capabilities and lets them pinpoint a close proximity of where the mayday was hailed from. It will make closer and small search areas instead of the Coast Guard using landmarks as a way to find the distressed boater.

Example your out 30 miles of Fire Island in NY your taking on water, you call for a mayday you don't know where you are and don't have exact long. and latitude of your location and so what happens is Sector Long Island Sound with lets say Rescue 21 at Deleware Bay or even Hampton Roads recieves your mayday what it does is that the towers they received your maydays will make a crosshair/cross eachother to pin point an area of the transmission. That's the new Rescue 21


here's a few links i'll give you to show what it is and the towers are used for.

http://www.mvtimes.com/pdfs/chilmark...-rescue-21.pdf

USCG: Rescue 21
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Old 04-24-2010, 8:20 PM
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Today (Saturday, April 24th) there was a lot more traffic I thought on the marine radio then usual. I guess today was another good skip day and I was hearing yet again Hampton Roads and Delaware Bay Sectors from North Beach (Calvert County Maryland). There seemed to be a lot of distress calls today. Did anyone notice the same?
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Old 04-28-2010, 8:40 PM
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Yeah was busy in Sector New York also, should be interesting when it starts to be really nice out. Does anyone have any live scanner feeds dedicated to USCG or could set one up?


I seen there how there radio system works and it's really amazing, there comms. console is pretty much setup as how a 911 Comm. center they got one console computer setup for communication and the othe with maps of there AOR with the placement of there Tower sites and DF system. It's a nice concept they have. There system for comms. is like the 911 center by me has a screen with the dispatch menu that has the different towers and the channels that are on the towers and they just click on what tower they want to go off of. There main channels they have in the menu are the guard channel 16, 21A and 23A and UHF LE calling. On the bottom of the menu it has the different LANT/Net channels that are assigned to them. If they make broadcasts they can go off all towers or if they can click on each different tower. Though I think they use VoIP or phone line I really don't think that's the best way. I think microwave link is much better. I always wonder why there was echoing in the transmissions when they transmitted and found it was because they were going off all the towers at once.

But it's an awesome system especially the DIrection Finder system to pin point where the transmission came from.
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Old 04-29-2010, 8:57 PM
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The legacy radio system did have considerable amount of distortion due to being to receive multiple sites at the same time and being a different distance from each one. The legacy radio systems was designed to be use in coastal areas with each transmit site spaced along the coast, but didn't work all that well in areas where the end users could receive more than one site at once. The new Rescue 21 does much better when the Coast Guard Sectors conduct general broadcast notice to mariners on all sites at once. Your are right that the Rescue 21 is a very nice radio system to assist the Coast Guard in managing maritime communications, plus command and control functions. I think the best feature for the Sector Search and Rescue Controllers is the ability to pinpoint the position of a radio transmission almost instantly. Below is link to the USCG's Rescue 21 website for all to read more information on this subject.

USCG: Rescue 21
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Old 05-16-2010, 2:12 PM
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Default This might be of assistance

This is on the Coast Guard Website so I assume it to be public information.

National Distress System - USCG Navigation Center
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