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Marine Monitoring Forum - This is the place to discuss monitoring marine communications

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Old 08-09-2013, 9:58 AM
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Default Question on Marine Radio Usage

I know that you can't have a onland/inland marine base radio station without a FCC license, but I was wondering if a non-boater can have a marine HT radio? For example like talking to boaters at ports, near the ocean, lakes etc.?
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:30 AM
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Not unless you have a marine utility station license and prove to the FCC that you have a need for it.
FCC: Wireless Services: Ship Radio Stations: Operations - Using Hand-Held Marine VHF Radios on Land
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:31 AM
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Ah, okay. That's good to know.
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Old 08-12-2013, 7:26 AM
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Default Question on Marine Radio Usage

While you do need a license to operate a station the law says nothing about having one just to listen.
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Old 08-12-2013, 9:09 AM
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Hmmm.
Wish the hunters knew this.
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Old 08-12-2013, 1:03 PM
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You can get any business banded radio that is VHF and program these marine frequencies into them. Like a previous user stated it is not illegal to listen to the radio on-land. Transmitting any sort of signal ( keying the mic) is illegal. Of course I do not know how the FCC enforces it cause when i'm out on the boat and listening to channel 68. There are many in there shore houses and local bars transmitting and talking back and forth for fishing reports from guys out on the water. None of them ever get caught. Anywho yes Marine radios are for on water use only. You can go ahead a buy a business banded VHF radio. The downside is a FCC license is required for use with these radios legally.
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Old 08-12-2013, 4:12 PM
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Yup, I know about listening on a land radio or a scanner. I had just been wondering if it was illegal or not to get a marine radio and transmit from a dock or a table overlooking the water/ocean etc. And ND57 in the second post cleared that question right up.
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Old 08-12-2013, 4:15 PM
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Okay. As far as I know nobody should have a problem if your on a dock that is located on water.
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Old 08-13-2013, 3:18 PM
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Last edited by Darth_vader; 08-13-2013 at 3:30 PM.. Reason: post deleted
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Old 08-14-2013, 2:17 PM
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If one only wants to listen than a scanner will do. If one wants to transmit, then a tranceiver will do. I don't understand why if only want to listen a transceiver is purchased. Just seems like the real reason is to transmit. Oh, I know, in an emergency only.
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Old 08-15-2013, 1:36 AM
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Or, you know, the fact that most scanners aren't waterproof, and most marine VHF HT's these days are. If you are listening to boaters, you'll probably be near water. No use dropping a couple hundos on a Uniden just to ruin it with a fishing accident.
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Old 08-16-2013, 9:07 AM
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I am by no means as experienced as most here ......
VHF on the wa-wa has some rules that apply to commercial vessels.
Recreational vessels are not required to have a license, but that does not mean there are no formal rules.

Modern VHF radios have features that didn't exist a few years ago.
I do monitor channel 16 when on the water ... just in case I need to assist someone.

I run a SH 330 AIS/DSC radio. I also run a SH handheld VHF.
It's not mandatory, but I do have an MMSI number programmed into my main radio.
This does a few things ... my vessel can be identified exactly. It also allows direct calling between parties using DSC without hailing on another channel and requesting move to public channel.

In the most strict sense (legal) .... if you have a handheld it is supposed to be setup with a MMSI number. People who moor and take a dingy to dock/shore usually take a handheld to communicate back to the main vessel. Using MMSI and DSC is a way to do this without broadcasting on an open channel.

It is also illegal in the very strict sense, but no one bothers to police this.
So ..... is it technically illegal to transmit on a plain ole VHF from shore for casual conversation... yes.
Is it likely to get you arrested.... no. Are you likely to get your butt chewed off by some captain for gabbing needlessly on the air waves .... likely if you do it very much.
Just my 2 cents ....
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Old 08-22-2013, 2:00 PM
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I know of some guys who program their business banded radios ( VHF ones) into marine frequencies just to listen in on whats going on... so listening is never a problem. Transmitting from land is.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:01 PM
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Anybody remember the late Jimmy Dean? If you were near his place on the James River east of Richmond, VA you could hear him from time to time talking to seagoing ships on Ch-13 (156.65) as they came up the river to Richmond's Deepwater Terminal. The time I heard him, he was on horseback. I'm thinking he must've known one of the river pilots. The situation was never policed AFAIK given his celebrity, and the fact that Ch-13 contacts are supposed to be low power.

But don't try it yourself unless you're a retired celebrity who's flush with massive cash from selling your sausage business.

Of course, we also had valets using Ch-72 (156.625) to park cars for special events at one of the James River plantations in Charles City Co.

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Old 09-22-2013, 10:00 AM
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Many Marine channels are used by on land Business Radios. However the subtle difference is that Business Banded Radios using VHF frequencies almost always have tone codes. Any Marine frequency's tone code is none. That is the main difference.
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Old 09-22-2013, 3:57 PM
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In Virginia, since the statewide STARS TRS system uses some of the marine channels (with special permission from the FCC), unauthorized users might find themselves interfering with more than marine-related traffic.
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Old 09-22-2013, 4:42 PM
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The real question here is what exactly your desire to talk to vessels is all about. Why do you want / need to talk to a vessel?
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Old 09-23-2013, 7:26 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (BREW; Opera Mini/6.0.3/27.2338; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 320X240 LG VN530)

If the OP has a friend or relative with a boat, he may want to know if he could talk to them while he was on the dock or beach or some such.
Or maybe he's wondering if he could jump into a random conversation he finds interesting.
He can't do it legally, without a proper license of course, but that may be why he's asking.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:15 AM
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He may just want to talk to a guy out on his own boat fishing to find out how the fishing is going and when the fisherman plans on returning to port - so he know what time he has to get dressed and leave the fisherman's wife and house ....... or he may just want to know !

Some people are just curious !
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Old 09-26-2013, 1:22 PM
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There's a lake here with a lot of boat traffic and patrolled by the USCG. (It's an army corps of engineers lake)
Marine VHF is good monitoring.
Not wall to wall excitement but it does have its moments and is easy to keep running in the background.
Nothing wrong with using a marine radio on land to monitor.
The coast guard does intervene when the marine band is being used illegally.
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