programming marine channels on Home Patrol II.

JACKNTB2012

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After downloading from R/R what mode should be listed with these VHF Channels, AUTO, AM, NFM, FM, WFM, FMB? Tried to monitor Boat Parade Chatter on ICW , Surf City, NC, less than 2 miles from house but got nothing. Is there a special set-up for Marine Broadcasts?

Surf City PD said CH 72 was being used by Boat Paraders But I got nothing.
Below is my current set up. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

156.0500 MARINE 01A/1001 On AUTO All Transportation Off 2 0 Off Auto
156.1750 MARINE 63A/1063 On AUTO All Transportation Off 2 0 Off Auto
156.2500 MARINE 05A/1005 On AUTO All Transportation Off 2 0 Off Auto
156.2750 MARINE 65A/1065 On AUTO All Transportation Off 2 0 Off Auto

Get some stuff on CH 16 once in awhile and some on ch 22 CG Liason.
BTW: I get nothing from the Shrimp Boats either when they are less tan a mile from my front door. Do they usually just use their cell phones? Thanks again.
 

Ubbe

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All transmissions are at sea level and you need to be at the coastline with no obstacles in the way of the radio waves. Radio systems use antennas on high rise buildings or mountains and are in comparison much easier to monitor. Antenna hight are the most important factor in radio communication at VHF/UHF.

I live at the coast line but there's some hills in the way and by using a vertical antenna cut to 155MHz that consists of 3 elements 5/8 wavelenght each giving a 7dB gain (Diamond F23) I usually get a 5 miles range on a good day from small vessels. Bigger ships like freighters and crusing ships have their antennas much higher up and my range increase 3 times or more.

Most ship radios have a low power mode that can be used when talking to other boats nearby and they migh have been using that if all boats where close to each other and the event staff.

/Ubbe
 

JACKNTB2012

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Thanks Ubbe,
Even though I live ocean front on Topsail Island, NC USA it puzzles me that I cannot pick up any vessel transmissions even when they are less than a mile offshore. The Intercoastal is about another mile to the west and previously as boaters were headed south for the winter I would pick up traffic as they approached the Swing Bridge requesting an opening. This was all on my old Radio Shack Pro 96 Scanner that went missing after clean-up crew "cleaned -up" after Hurricane Florence in 2018. Elevation is certainly the key and I only have a Spectrum Force Wideband Antenna on my window facing the ocean. The Home Patrol II seldom picks up any Maritime Broadcasts. Radio Shack Pro 96 with the rubber ducky antenna was much better. Of course the marine traffic has also dropped off but I may invest in a rooftop antenna to improve reception. Thanks so much for your response. Much appreciated Stay Safe ....Stay Healthy!!
 

tvengr

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The VHF marine band frequencies are exempt from the narrowbanding requirement. Make sure the mode is set to FM, not NFM.
 
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JACKNTB2012

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Thanks Tvengr,

Got it switched to FM and have locked on to see if anything comes thru this afternoon. Thanks again.

Also, with my old R/S Pro 96 scanner with a rubber duck antenna, I was able to pick up the Hdqts transmissions from the Big Rock Blue Marllin Fishing Tournament out of Morehead City, NC over 50 miles north of us up tthe coast. They gave the Leader Board standings and new catches etc throughout the W/E. Trid to get it this year on Home Patrol II but zilch! Not sure why the cheap scanner could get it and the more expensive could not. Could have been the Mode was on Auto instead of FM??
 
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JACKNTB2012

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Also, with my old R/S Pro 96 scanner with a rubber duck antenna, I was able to pick up the Hdqts transmissions from the Big Rock Blue Marllin Fishing Tournament out of Morehead City, NC over 50 miles north of us up tthe coast. They gave the Leader Board standings and new catches etc throughout the W/E. Trid to get it this year on Home Patrol II but zilch! Not sure why the cheap scanner could get it and the more expensive could not. Could have been the Mode was on Auto instead of FM??

Last edited: A moment ago
Jack G
NTB, NC
 

Ubbe

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I only have a Spectrum Force Wideband Antenna on my window facing the ocean.
It looks to be a dual band antenna 450/800MHz. VHF reception will be very weak. It is advertised as covering from 25Mhz and up but any metal can receive any frequency, from 1MHz to 1000MHz, if the transmission are strong enough.

See if you can replace the antenna element with a straight metal rod of 18". You can use copper wire or electrical mains wire as the antenna element.

It doesn't matter if you use FM or NFM and auto will pick either of them depending what is set in the bandplan. It anything it usually sounds better if you use NFM as it is wide enough for analog signals with less noise compared to FM, if that can be heard. Using FM will usually be too wide and adjacent channels interfere and often stops scanning if they are strong enough.

Where I live they transmit general information to ships at regular intervals and at different channels from different positions that continous for 10-20 minutes. That's a god steady signal to test with different antenna configurations to check with a weak coastal station.

/Ubbe
 

hill

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Looking at some online reviews of that antenna a few some say the coax and connector fails within six months. This is why I only use Laird or Larsen commercial antennas with them being made of higher quality.

Going forward I agree a VHF antenna would work way better than this antenna. One that is tuned around 156-157 Mhz would be the best. Small boats are hard to receive with their low antennas. Also many boaters seam to use a very low profile antenna, rather than a much better 8' model.

I sure you can receive the USCG, since their Remote Fixed Sites on the Rescue 21 System are very high. In my local CG Sector the sites range from a low of 200' to the highest one at 600'.
 

sfb88

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There may be another factor to consider. I have noticed an apparent decrease in marine band activity by recreational boaters in my area. I suspect that the increased coverage and availability of cell phones may be a factor. Even the Coast Guard seems to ask for and gives out cell numbers.
 

mass-man

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#1...Take the HP down by the marina or waterway and sit a spell! If you hear traffic then you’ve eliminated the radio and that leaves the antenna!
#2...Try the NWS VHF weather frequencies! If you can’t hear those then the antenna really is terrible!
 

IAmSixNine

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Dont forget to enable the service type for the marine channels. It looks like they are set to Transportation.
 

JACKNTB2012

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It looks to be a dual band antenna 450/800MHz. VHF reception will be very weak. It is advertised as covering from 25Mhz and up but any metal can receive any frequency, from 1MHz to 1000MHz, if the transmission are strong enough.

See if you can replace the antenna element with a straight metal rod of 18". You can use copper wire or electrical mains wire as the antenna element.

It doesn't matter if you use FM or NFM and auto will pick either of them depending what is set in the bandplan. It anything it usually sounds better if you use NFM as it is wide enough for analog signals with less noise compared to FM, if that can be heard. Using FM will usually be too wide and adjacent channels interfere and often stops scanning if they are strong enough.

Where I live they transmit general information to ships at regular intervals and at different channels from different positions that continous for 10-20 minutes. That's a god steady signal to test with different antenna configurations to check with a weak coastal station.

/Ubbe
Thanks Ubbe. I will play around with antenna and see if that pulls in any transmission. Thanks.
 

JACKNTB2012

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#1...Take the HP down by the marina or waterway and sit a spell! If you hear traffic then you’ve eliminated the radio and that leaves the antenna!
#2...Try the NWS VHF weather frequencies! If you can’t hear those then the antenna really is terrible!
Thanks, Will give that a try.
 

JACKNTB2012

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Looking at some online reviews of that antenna a few some say the coax and connector fails within six months. This is why I only use Laird or Larsen commercial antennas with them being made of higher quality.

Going forward I agree a VHF antenna would work way better than this antenna. One that is tuned around 156-157 Mhz would be the best. Small boats are hard to receive with their low antennas. Also many boaters seam to use a very low profile antenna, rather than a much better 8' model.

I sure you can receive the USCG, since their Remote Fixed Sites on the Rescue 21 System are very high. In my local CG Sector the sites range from a low of 200' to the highest one at 600'.
OK Thanks. Will take a look at replacing the antenna.
 

JACKNTB2012

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There may be another factor to consider. I have noticed an apparent decrease in marine band activity by recreational boaters in my area. I suspect that the increased coverage and availability of cell phones may be a factor. Even the Coast Guard seems to ask for and gives out cell numbers.
Noticed that same decrease.....especially along the ICW with Boaters headed to FL. Since Surf City, NC built a High Rise Bridge across the ICW the boaters no longer have to call for the old Swing Bridge to open so they can pass through.
 

JACKNTB2012

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Just picked up some Marine transmissions on Ch16, Ch17, Ch, 72.

Moved the antenna around, adjusted the squelch and it seems to improve reception. Thanks to all for your advice, suggestions, research and recommendations.

What a great group to be a part of!! Thanks again. Much appreciated!!
 
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