MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF - SailNet Community
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MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF

I just purchased an AIS to be installed shortly and MMSI registration for it was rather straightforward.

I also purchased a handheld VHF with DSC and am uncertain as to whether I should input the same or a new MMSI#. If I get a fixed mount radio, I'll definitely enter the boat's MMSI (same as the AIS) to identify the vessel, but a major reason for getting the handheld w/ DSC/GPS is for Man (Me) Overboard purposes - either if I'm single-handing or if I am doing coastal races on a different boat.

In an emergency, I'd want rescuers to know they are looking for an individual as opposed to our vessel (this is doubly true if I'm on a friend's boat, and our vessel is safe at harbor), so seems logical that a separate MMSI be registered for the handheld.

If that's the proper route, is there a way to make this clear during set-up w/ Boat US, since I recall having to enter a bunch of vessel information for the AIS MMSI#.

Thoughts?

Neal
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Re: MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF

From the Boat US registration process:

6. 'The MMSI number is assigned to the vessel, not the radio. All radios, whether fixed installations or handheld, associated with the same vessel should all use the same MMSI number.'
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-12-2013
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Re: MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF

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Originally Posted by djangodog View Post
...
I also purchased a handheld VHF with DSC and am uncertain as to whether I should input the same or a new MMSI#. If I get a fixed mount radio, I'll definitely enter the boat's MMSI (same as the AIS) to identify the vessel, but a major reason for getting the handheld w/ DSC/GPS is for Man (Me) Overboard purposes - either if I'm single-handing or if I am doing coastal races on a different boat.
Thoughts?

Neal
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SF Bay
Interesting question.... I don't have a DSC equipped radio, but THE reason I would get one would be for the exact reasons you outlined above. MOB on my own boat, and MOB on someone else's boat or emergency on someone else's boat.

I appreciate that you've posted one of the rules, but I don't always follow rules myself. I'd be curious if there was a way to register a different MMSI that would make sense for the purposes you outlined.

Listening with interest on channel 16 (and 70 )

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Re: MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF

All my devices aboard: EPIRB, SSB and two VHF all have the same MMSI number programmed. I don't move them around, however. You must be able to get a discreet number for a handheld, since one may not have a boat at all. I have this vague recollection that this answer could be different depending on country too.

For a couple of other points:

The free BoatUS numbers can not be used internationally. If you ever planned to cruise out of the country, you would need to get them from the FCC. However, almost all radios can't be reprogrammed without returning the to the manufacturer.

I also have a handheld VHF with DSC. We must understand, however, that the range on these is very very limited. Handhelds don't have much power to begin with, let alone transmitting so close to the water. I bought one with an integrated GPS receiver. While the DSC is nice, even if the CG were to receive the signal, they need it integrated with GPS to know where you are. Unless you are within a couple of miles of an antenna, I think the odds are low they will receive anything. In populated cruising grounds, I think it is more likely that you would hail a passing boater and read them your GPS coordinate off the radio and they either come to assist or relay the info to the CG.


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Re: MMSI# for DSC/GPS Handheld VHF

"We must understand, however, that the range on these is very very limited."

Understood, unit is to be used mostly in SF Bay while singlehanding or during coastal races (HMB, Monterrey) where other boats would be in the vicinity in most cases.

So I just signed up for a separate MMSI#. During registration, it asks you what type of device the # is for - with Handheld, there is an area where you can describe the intended use which will hopefully be read by USCG - namely that they may not be looking for our vessel and is a different MMSI than our vessel's primary. Is easy to leave out specifics of our vessel as well. This should be the way to go....

Thanks!
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