HF Marine usage

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,531
Location
Bowie, Md.
#1
This list is very old, so it's suspect as to how accurate it is, but this lists all the known HF marine channels as allocated at the time by ITU regs;

http://www.ominous-valve.com/itufqs.txt

A lot of activity has moved to satellite, cell and secured HF modes such as Pactor II or III using Huffman compression techniques, rendering them unreadable to almost all hobby level decoders. Voice is pretty much gone, except for the rare reports seen on the UDXF from time to time - very rare...

However what isn't old, are the half dozen or so GMDSS channels, which are now used a lot more than when they had been just released. There are numerous software packages that can convert the calls to readable text, and you can find a list here...

https://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/GMDSS_Digital_Selective_Calling

Note that as noted elsewhere 2182 khz is no longer guarded...Mike
 

GB46

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
265
Location
British Columbia, Canada
#2
Voice is pretty much gone, except for the rare reports seen on the UDXF from time to time - very rare.
Of course, there are always the marine weather bulletins spoken by a pretty poor excuse for a voice -- a synthesized one: I've heard that on 6501, 8502, 8764, and 13089 kHz. It's really funny to hear that "announcer" read out everything, including "slash", "dash", etc, and.if the pronunciation of a location's name isn't in the database, he spells it out letter by letter. Those transmissions appear to be spoken versions of the Navtex bulletins.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Northfield, MN
#6
WLO went off the air several months ago. They were the only remaining commercial phone patch operator on the marine HF frequencies.

Most of the traffic has gone to cellular since there is coverage of some kind in remote coastal areas where HF used to be the most practical means of getting out. Iridium is now much cheaper than HF ever was so that's what people use.

On the recreational side of things the only type approved transmitter with DSC is the Icom M-802, and they're over $2000 when you include the antenna tuner. Installation components are easily another $1000 for a good quality installation on most boats. Older transmitters lack DSC and are useless for summoning help in an emergency which is one of the main reasons recreational boats carry HF.

Commercial vessels that go offshore are still required to carry them by law but don't use them much.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,531
Location
Bowie, Md.
#8
DSC is still quite popular, if the reports in the UDXF are any indication. Always numerous logs there. And there's software to read it...
 
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