Marine Radio Transmission

hill

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Dec 19, 2002
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668
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Middle River, MD
The marine radios kind of take a downturn this time of the year with the closing of season for most pleasure boating.

Much less Coast Guard cases with the commercial vessels, but they still do Marine Information Broadcast and Urgent Marine Broadcasts. These will be on Channel 16 (156.800) or Channel 22A (157.100).

you can enter all of these channels. 21A, 23A, or 83A. Some Sectors also use 81A. Put them all in along with channels 13, 16, and 22A to see what you can hear. Traditionally each Sector or Groups before the Sectors were stood up used a different channel than adjacent Sectors, so as not cause isssues between them. It kind of works, but with very high sites the many Sectors can receive a few different others.

Most CG internal communications take place on the USCG LMR channels linked below. They may be encrypted or unencrypted.

 

MDScanFan

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Jan 23, 2010
Messages
183
Location
USA
It was not clear to me from your earlier post as to whether or not you at least receive coast guard broadcasts on 156.8 and 157.1. If you do, then that at least means your setup is working.

Assuming you are getting ‘something’, then let’s talk about your antenna system. How high is the discone and what do you have between the antenna and radio?

In my situation I starting by using an attic mounted discone and a scanner. I could hear the CG, a shore to ship station, and occasionally a large vessel. I switched to a 5 element yagi and a 2m mobile radio and they made a lot of difference, especially the antenna. Signals are clearer and I hear more traffic. So improvements can likely be had by improving the setup.

I guess if I want to receive marine traffic I need to move closer to the water
 

shirsch101

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Jan 29, 2012
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West Chester, PA
I have a discone mounted approximately 20 feet high outdoors. I am using RG6 with no filters, couplers etc. I receive other bands great but only receive marine very occasionally
 

MDScanFan

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Jan 23, 2010
Messages
183
Location
USA
Given that you hear other signals fine on this setup then that tends to indicate the distance and/or terrain are the culprits in your marine reception. Changes to your setup will likely not allow you to hear small craft traffic but you may be able to increase the reception of the larger ships and coast guard. Depending on how much you want to try...

In terms of biggest impact there are two options to consider:
- Raise the antenna. Say, another 5-10’
- Try a yagi pointed in the direction of interest. That could get you something like 5 to 10 dBi of gain over the discone

If feasible, consider connecting your scanner right at the antenna to see how much of an impact the coax is contibuting. Try listening to a weak noaa station for this. Better coax or adding a preamp at the antenna are two secondary considerations. How long is your coax?

I have a discone mounted approximately 20 feet high outdoors. I am using RG6 with no filters, couplers etc. I receive other bands great but only receive marine very occasionally
 
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