DSC and MMSI

Refueler

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Ok - so I have an old non DSC VHF radio and it works fine. But I'm moving toward changing it for a DSC job - so that Baltic sea crossings etc. - I have the Red button for emergencies (heaven forbid I ever need it !!).

So I know I need GPS feed to provide NMEA data - no problem ... all that side is well appreciated and easily sorted.

The question comes to MMSI ... I have logged onto OFCOM site and looked to see where I can apply for MMSI number. Nothing.
I have gone through amend licence details and it has add radio ... with lovely little box to type in the MMSI number. But still no way to get a number issued.

So my questions are :

a) has anyone upgraded from non DSC to DSC radio and applied / managed to obtain MMSI number via new OFCOM web-site ? ... How did you do it ?
b) Does the Red Button use the MMSI number in any way ? or does it work independently and therefore MMSI is unnecessary allowing you to send Distress alarm with position data etc. without MMSI details programmed in ?
 

vyv_cox

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I haven't used the new site but I did complain about the old one, along with many others.

I did what you ask in part a) about two seasons ago. Along with most others, I got as far as I could with the site and then telephoned them. The girls that many of us spoke to were extremely helpful, knowledgeable and knew full well that the site was poor. So don't be embarrassed to ring them, although it is perhaps a more costly call for you than for me.
 

PeterGibbs

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Q - a) has anyone upgraded from non DSC to DSC radio and applied / managed to obtain MMSI number via new OFCOM web-site ? ... How did you do it ?
b) Does the Red Button use the MMSI number in any way ? or does it work independently and therefore MMSI is unnecessary allowing you to send Distress alarm with position data etc. without MMSI details programmed in ?
___________________________

a. MMSI number comes with radio license - make application.
b. Installation of DSC radio requires insertion of MMSI number for identification purposes.

Note: some radios take GPS input, not all. DSC works with or without GPS input.

PWG
 

Refueler

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[ QUOTE ]
Q - a) has anyone upgraded from non DSC to DSC radio and applied / managed to obtain MMSI number via new OFCOM web-site ? ... How did you do it ?
b) Does the Red Button use the MMSI number in any way ? or does it work independently and therefore MMSI is unnecessary allowing you to send Distress alarm with position data etc. without MMSI details programmed in ?
___________________________

a. MMSI number comes with radio license - make application.
b. Installation of DSC radio requires insertion of MMSI number for identification purposes.

Note: some radios take GPS input, not all. DSC works with or without GPS input.

PWG

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi PWG ... when I received the new licence from OFCOM - it did not come with MMSI number, as I declined it's issue as I only applied for Fixed VHF without DSC.
Problem now is to obtain a MMSI number without new licence. I can amend my licence to have DSC VHF instead of non DSC and it asks for MMSI number !

DSC I know works with or without GPS. What I'm asking in b) is if the Distress button uses the MMSI at all ...
 

Cloven

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When I upgraded, I completed the online application form and it automatically issued me with my MMSI number. I then programmed this into the radio. This was about 18 months ago so I don't know if things have changed since then.

As to your other questions:

If you press the red button it will send out a distress complete with you MMSI identity, (as long as it is entered into your radio). However, if the radio is not connected to GPS, then the recipients have no way of knowing where you are unless you are also able to send out a voice Mayday with your position. In an extreme emergency, I work on the basis that at worst I can send out a distress message complete with position & identity.

As all our sailing is in French waters, I assume that in an emergency I may (will) not be able to communicate clearly in French so I have the back-up of the DSC/GPS/MMSI message.
 

Elessar

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The DSC will not work without the MMSI number. You simply won't be able to get past the screen that asks for the input.
DSC without GPS functionality is pointless and possibly dangerous - you could send a signal with wrong positional information on it.
I did upgrade from non dsc to DSC but can't remember how, and my usual tactic when confronted by crap websites is to ring them.
 

Refueler

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[ QUOTE ]
The DSC will not work without the MMSI number. You simply won't be able to get past the screen that asks for the input.
DSC without GPS functionality is pointless and possibly dangerous - you could send a signal with wrong positional information on it.
I did upgrade from non dsc to DSC but can't remember how, and my usual tactic when confronted by crap websites is to ring them.

[/ QUOTE ]

DSC is as I know not actually the Red Button ... DSC is Digital Selective Calling - which gives you the abaility to be polled direct or poll another MMSI station.
MMSI is not important for me out here for calling as Baltic States are still pretty well called manually direct by voice. So if it's not needed for the Distress Function then I can pretty well ignore it.
I'm well aware of the GPS side and need to input for Distress Button.

My post is based on MMSI and how to obtain as my Licence does not have one ... and whether Distress function needs the MMSI ...
 

boatmike

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In a nutshell you need to take an exam to get your operators licence updated to the new "short range certificate" (sorry but you do)
Then you need an MMSI number which you get when you register the new equipment with OFCOM. Many people (me included cos I did it last year) find the OFCOM site pants. I phoned them and they sent me the new licence and MMSI no.
DSC without an MMSI won't work. DSC without a GPS input will work but the position won't be given automatically in your distress call although your MMSI no will. IMHO the biggest advantage of having it is the big red panic button so not interfacing with GPS is nuts. Hope this clears up your questions. You can't have the big red button stuff without an MMSI
 

davel

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Nigel,
I assume you can log onto the site and see your existing licence details?
If so keep hitting the "Next" button until you reach the page that lists your existing licensed equipment.
Click on the link to "Add Radio Equipment" then select your new equipment.

Follow the rest of the prompts to exit and then print out your new licence. Lo - you'll see your MMSI on the licence !

At least, that's what I did a few weeks ago !
 

Refueler

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[ QUOTE ]
Nigel,
I assume you can log onto the site and see your existing licence details?
If so keep hitting the "Next" button until you reach the page that lists your existing licensed equipment.
Click on the link to "Add Radio Equipment" then select your new equipment.

Follow the rest of the prompts to exit and then print out your new licence. Lo - you'll see your MMSI on the licence !

At least, that's what I did a few weeks ago !

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep went through that ... but noted that against Add Radio ... DSC VHF Fixed ... it asked MMSI number ...

So I assume that ignore the box and just go through ... once licence printed all is sorted.

At last someone answered the getting MMSI bit ... thanks.
 

Elessar

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Yes the distress button needs your MMSI input to the radio to work. It sends that and your positional information so that they authorities know who you are (MMSI) and where you are (GPS). The voice call you're supposed to follow it up with needs also to include the MMSI number.
 

wooslehunter

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Not sure if Ofcom have fixed their web site so it would be an idea to check by phone once you've completed online.

I upgraded & got an MMSI number. Some time after, Ofcom sent me a letter saying that it appeared, I'd sold the boat & would I mind going online & deleteing the info. This was complete rubbish & it seemed that Ofcom had a "data migration issue". This let them to allocate 2 licences & callsigns to me. I could only see one online & that wasn't the one I had a paer copy of. It took quite a while to fix & they finally admitted the "sold the boat" letter was worded to get people's attention so they'd sort out Ofcom's mess.

So do it online & then call to check everything's OK.
 

matelot

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To use a DSC radio you need the appropriate operators licence (the old non DSC one wont do) and the ships licence. The MMSI comes with the ships licence but until you input it into the radio, the red button system wont work. Even if it did you would lose part of the advantage in that the MMSI gives search and resue access to a database which in turn gives details of you and your boat.

On the other hand you can use a DSC equipped radio without an MMSI in just the same way you used your old radio. Seems a bit pointless but it can be done.

IMHO you would be daft to use a DSC without a GPS wired in. The bit that is most difficult to get over correctly with the water lapping round your knees is your location
 

Refueler

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Ok - tried to update on-line .... rejected due to lack of MMSI number in box when adding DSC Radio Fixed.

So telephoned OFCOM and as previously - found them very good and helpful. Guy at OFCOM tried updating the Licence but his was also rejected. So he did it by issuing new licence with old data and addition of DSC radio. MMSI number now issued. Great !. I surrender old Licence so that I don't have conflict of 2 licences on one boat. Thank OFCOM guy and calls over.
So after telphone call - I go back to print of the new Licence .... hang on !! Call Sign has now dissappeared from the Licence Doc.

I call OFCOM again and they say - call Sign is still there but even they cannot understand why it's not showing on document ! So they ask me to e-mail back-office to correct documents. Please wait a bit and it will be done asap.

OFCOM are extremely patient and helpful - but even with the new system - they are let down by shoddy on-line system !!

So now I have MMSI ... but have to wait for issue of corrected document !!
 

Refueler

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[ QUOTE ]
Have you passed the DSC VHF Exam yet? Thought the old VHF Exam pass is not sufficient?

[/ QUOTE ]

And why should you ask ? In fact I don't have VHF ticket - I have Restricted RT ticket with endorsements. Quite a few rungs up the ol'ladder from a 1 day tick the box affair.
 

Refueler

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Admittedly - but am I to fly back from Latvia to UK for it ? Latvia AFAIK does not have simple UK style 1 day job yet. It is one of the areas that myself and group of others are trying to solve out here. Not only that but the general Licencing that fails to satisfy Int. resolutions.

So far my R. RT ticket keeps em happy and will be further endorsed when I can.
 
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