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Shack

Any Cat’ers Run a VHF Marine Radio On The MN?

26 posts in this topic

I was out last night on the MN river and ran by a couple boats I thought might be fellow KOTC dudes. Out of respect, I never motor over and start B.S.ing with anyone (I have had it happen and they motored right over my lines) and I hate yelling from a distance. I always wave though, day or night.

I was wondering if you guys have a channel you use together down on the river. I always keep mine on scan, but would leave on one channel on if their was a channel you guys use.

I figure it would be nice, you could motor up stream or down, with in an eyes shot and exchange any info and let guys know you are out.

If there is not a channel, I would be inclined to designate an official FM KOTC VHF channel for MN, Miss and the Croix. I would just set my radio to that channel while on river and hit scan when the barges come by.

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I think this is a great idea shackbash. I've been waiting to get on the river until it drops a bit and i think this would be great for anyone like myself who is hesitant about running the river as it does seem comforting knowing your not alone..Not to mention exchanging information, location etc. I'm not affiliated with KOTC but would love to have a VHF channel for the MN. +1 for a designated channel.

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You pick it shack, any besides 16-65-68 I can look at some of my paperwork.... we should probably stay off a few others but can't recall at the moment.

Things to keep in mind, Marine radios have a pretty limited range depending on your system.

You will also have to enable the scan feature or you will have to switch channels every time you come up on a boat not knowing who it is.

I keep mine on 16 = Emergency channel, Protocol I follow, establish contact, direct or request operating channel to transfer to with other boats and barges.

The barges really appreciate the radios on the river....(channels 65-68) It saves a lot of confusion and eliminates a lot of potential dangers.

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LFC,

Good post dude and good info!

You are a true seaman.

I figured we could go with channel 69. It has been an FM channel for Mille Lacs (I think) in the past and it is an easy number to remember.

Check your info and make sure it is a good channel for the river.

I think most systems on the river you have to be with in eye site, at least mine (to a point).

Anyone else with VHF radios?

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I've been thinking of picking up a handheld VHF for use on the St Croix. The Bridge Tender on the Stillwater Lift Bridge monitors Channel 16, upon receiving a call on Channel 16, conversations will be switched to Channel 14. When the water is high like right now I cannot get under the bridge and it would be nice to be able to talk to the Bridge Tender.

When you guys talk on the marine radio what do you use for a Callsign? Do you use your boat number or just make up a callsign?

Do you guys have any recommendations on a good handheld VHF?

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I would be interested in getting a handheld as well. Could be worth the money if it can save your butt. How do you use them with the barges? Do you talk to them?

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Yeah, LFC chats with them all the time. He goes by CatCatcher1 or “pleasurecraft”

Basically, when we see a barge, he radios them, lets them know our location and if we need to move. If is really nice to be in communication with them.

Remember, when they are under way, the river is theirs. Steer clear as much as possible.

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"Pleasure craft to upstream bound barge captain..."

"Upstream bound pleasure craft to Lock & Dam #3..."

Those are good greetings to use over the radio when addressing a L&D or a Barge.

Its important to identify yourself as a pleasure craft, what direction your heading (to an L&D), or where you are at in relation to a barge.

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I have used "S.S. Shackbash" and Shackbash1.

The best thing I have found to talk the lingo is to just listen to others talk, or go down from shore and listen to bridge operators and barges talk to each other.

If you want to just start out with a economical hand held, I have had great luck with the Midland Nautico1 Handheld Marine Radio. I have a very good Uniden VHF up in the shack at ML, with a very good antenna, but have not transferred to my boat in like 2 years now. So I just went to Wal-fart and purchased this all inclusive kit they had. It was like $60.00 and has every thing. It seems to have good range and battery life is long if you charge it per the user manual. Plus it has 10 NOAA weather channels and weather alert for bad weather. It also has a nice dash mount holder, which holds it in place during any type of wave or running action. I have been happy and this could be a starting point and then up grade to a $200 hand held. That or $250-$350 for a good dash mount and long range (good and short) antenna.

I would like to hear what LFC has to say also. I used to never bring a VHF radio down on the river or use it, untill LFC was talking about it last year at the KOTC GT.

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"Pleasure craft to upstream bound barge captain..."

"Upstream bound pleasure craft to Lock & Dam #3..."

Those are good greetings to use over the radio when addressing a L&D or a Barge.

Its important to identify yourself as a pleasure craft, what direction your heading (to an L&D), or where you are at in relation to a barge.

Good info Hanson.

I am fairly new to the official nautical radio talk of the river going vessels, but I am learning. I am used to the jibber jabber radio talk on Mille Lacs and people singing songs grin.

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Josh, do you know what kind it was? Was trying to find one on their site and only saw in the hundy range.

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Sure beats getting called out over the loudspeaker and/or having a conversation with them as they pass with you yelling and they using the speaker.

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Shane,

Exactly how I worded it. Midland Nautico1 Handheld Marine Radio

0004601430002_215X215.jpg

It does not show it, but it does come with a cig. lighter charger also. I keep that in the boat. If the battery goes dead, just plug it in.

Good luck...

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Got it, thanks Josh. I added it to my wish list for Father's Day.

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It’s an added safety feature, if used in an emergency, could be worth it's weight in gold.

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Here is the one I've been using for a couple years. Its a hand held, For the river it works great. Its range is limited just like any hand held, I would be lucky to get more than 3-4 miles out of it, even on open water. Actually I should clarify I can receive farther than I can transmit.

AS far as what Hanson stated earlier, that is a good way to do it, as he has heard it done that way. Its not mandatory,

You can list yourself as pleasure craft, you can list the name of your boat, you can list your boat numbers...

BUT.... If you are communicating/Sending a distress call you should include the name of your boat and its numbers and as specific location as possible. If you are transmitting a distress call for another boat, you will need to transmit their information as they have given it to you. Otherwise stating any of the above is not a mandate.

I will tell you what is a No No.

Operating on the emergency channel=16, other than calling for assistance or requesting channel to transfer to.

Chatting on a designated working/operating channel that Barges, L&D, or commercial fishing, Coast Guard use

Pretending your Joe trucker and saying 10-4 good buddy on authorized working channels.

Your communications should always be brief and professional on designated working channels.

Now if your talking amongst friends on a undesignated channel its a completely different story, you might want to keep in mind that its not a secure means of communication, and others could be listening. whistle

Shacker, Channel 69 is a designated recreational channel so I would concur that would be the one to use for any of the fishers on the MN. Let me state that even though 68 is listed as a recreational channel the MN barges have been known to operate on it. Its interesting to listen to them while they are working.

Here are some general channel listings as well as more detailed info on channel 16.

VHF Marine Radio

Consider purchasing a Very High Frequency (VHF) marine radio. VHF marine radios have channels that are reserved for distress calls and are monitored continuously by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

VHF marine radios are increasingly popular with boaters for good reasons.

* They save lives and are easy to use.

* They are more effective for marine communications than CB radios or mobile phones. VHF radios have more consistent reception than mobile phones.

* No license is needed when used in recreational boats.

* They withstand rough weather.

* Boat-mounted radios are wired to the boat's battery.

* The source of a VHF signal can be located so that you can be found even in fog.

Operating a VHF radio takes some basic knowledge.

* When operating your boat, you must monitor Channel 16 (the distress channel). If you hear a MAYDAY call, remain silent, listen, and write down information about the boat in distress. If the USCG or other rescue authority does not respond, try to reach the USCG while traveling toward the boat. If you cannot reach the USCG, assist the other boat to the best of your ability while not placing yourself or your passengers in danger.

* If you have a life-threatening emergency, have everyone put on life jackets and issue a MAYDAY call on Channel 16.

* Be aware that the distance for sending and receiving messages is limited by the height of the antenna and the power of the radio.

* Always use the one-watt setting except in an emergency or if your signal is too weak to be received clearly.

* Channel 16 is a calling and distress channel only and should not be used for conversation or radio checks. It can be used to make contact with another station (boat), but the communication then should move to a non-emergency channel such as 68 or 69. Penalties exist for misuse of a radio, such as improper use of VHF Channel 16.

VHF Marine Radio

VHF Marine Radio Channels

Here are the most commonly used channels on the waters of the United States.

* Channel 6 Intership safety communications.

* Channel 9 Communications between vessels (commercial and recreational), and ship to coast (calling channel in designated USCG Districts).

* Channel 13 Strictly for navigational purposes by commercial, military, and recreational vessels at bridges, locks, and harbors.

* Channel 16 Distress and safety calls to Coast Guard and others, and to initiate calls to other vessels; often called the "hailing" channel. (Some regions use other channels as the hailing channel. For example, the northeast uses Channel 9.) When hailing, contact the other vessel, quickly agree to another channel, and then switch to that channel to continue conversation.

* Channel 22 Communications between the Coast Guard and the maritime public, both recreational and commercial. Severe weather warnings, hazards to navigation, and other safety warnings are broadcast on this channel.

* Channels 24-28 Public telephone calls (to marine operator).

* Channels 68, 69, and 71 Recreational vessel radio channels and ship to coast.

* Channel 70 Digital selective calling "alert channel."

Cell Phone

If you own a cell phone, include it as part of your standard boating gear. Keep a list of appropriate phone numbers on board.

* Use it to call 911 or another water rescue authority in your area.

* Cell phones may be useful for contacting local law enforcement agencies. However, they have serious limitations and should not be used as a substitute for a VHF radio.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

If you operate offshore, you should seriously consider carrying appropriate communications gear. A satellite EPIRB is designed to quickly and reliably alert rescue forces, indicate an accurate distress position, and guide rescue units to the distress scene, even when all other communications fail.

Here are the specs on my hand-held. Those that have fished with me have seen the value of one of these in the barge channels.

Its a great tool to have but it has its limitations.

Standard Horizon HX270S VHF Radio

Submersible 5 Watt Marine Portable VHF

No ordinary portable Marine VHF, the HX270S with battery life, features and included accessories makes the HX270S the best value in it's class.

* 1400mAh Nickel Metal Hydride - 18 hour battery

* Oversized LCD

* Includes 12VDC & 110VAC overnight charges with drop in base, Submersible Alkaline battery tray and belt clip

The HX270S has the capability to be programmed to scan any number of channels with other without priority to channel 16 also includes Ch16 Dual Watch and NOAA Weather alert. The PRESET key allows you to easy recall 8 of your most used channels. Additionally, an easy to see battery life indicator on the LCD warns you when the battery needs recharging.

The accessories supplied with the Standard Horizon HX270S are unmatched; a 1400mAh Nickel Metal Hydride battery that will last over 18 hours (5/5/90 duty cycle) when transmitting at 5W. Also included is a waterproof alkaline battery tray, 12VDC Charger, 110VAC changer and a desk top drop-in cradle to charge the radio on shore or on your boat.

Because the HX270S is built better, it’s back better. If your Standard Horizon HX270S ever fails for any reason including water damage during normal use in the first three years, STANDARD HORIZON will repair or replace it free, without hassle or charges…period! If it fails thereafter in normal use it for the life time of the product it is covered by Standard Horizon’s Lifetime Flat Rate Service Program.

Geez, this post got long. tired

A tip of the hat to those that actually read the whole thing.

Not my usual.....sorry blush

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Great info LFC! I was waiting for it.

I will ask again, what channel do you think is best for the KOTC grin?

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Shacker, Channel 69 is a designated recreational channel so I would concur that would be the one to use for any of the fishers on the MN.

I think he's saying 69

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Originally Posted By: LFC
Shacker, Channel 69 is a designated recreational channel so I would concur that would be the one to use for any of the fishers on the MN.

I think he's saying 69

You guys actually read all that...........

I'm not sure that everyone here in the cat forum is doing Kotc.... but they may want to try to comm with fellow catters/fishers so one channel should be for all who have radios and catfish/fish including the KOTCers.

just my .02

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Sorry, I blew by the meaning of "concur" last night grin. Thanks Lowblazah.

If no one has any objections to channel 69, then I would fly with that channel. I encourage anyone, KOTC or not to use this channel. The official KOTC VHF channel just had a nice ring and flare to it grin.

LFC,

I read every word wink

See you guys on the river.

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Nice. 69 it is. I am heading out of town this evening but I wish everyone a good/safe time on the water this weekend....patience is a virtue. wink

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At least that number is easy to remember. Great info Larry, thanks! If I get a marine radio ever it's good to know.

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Quote:
I will tell you what is a No No.

Operating on the emergency channel=16, other than calling for assistance or requesting channel to transfer to.

To put this short and sweet, one should monitor channel 16 (have radio on 16) all the time (good idea anyways)? You go by a fellow fisherman, hail them on 16 to switch to 69 and switch your radio to 69. Then you can talk shortly and brief.

One could do this on channel 9 as well.

Larry, if and when you hail a barge, should you hail them on channel 16 and then you or them requests to go to channel 65-68? Or, hail them on the channel that barge is using (65-68)? What would be the proper protocol in this situation?

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Shacker, How can I get a hold of you. I think we have some items that we might like to discuss. 797si,FSL wink

As far as protocol. I always monitor channel 16. All other crafts should be on that channel as well. You are correct in Hailing another boat or barge, and requesting channel to transfer to.

Now that being said. There have been times I have tried to hail barges on 16 and they had their emergency radio turned down. When I hailed them on 65 I was able to make communications with them.

Last note once you transfer to 69 you can pretty much chat as you wish. You want to be courtious to others if there are alot of people using the channel... But on the MN River at night.... I think that very few will be using it.

Now on the Croix during busy times it might be a different story

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