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  #11  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

"trainees must take a special course to be able to say so much unintelligible stuff."
There's an old Monty Python skit about that. As I remember it, it centers on a Brit at Heathrow hearing what he thinks is his name being called on the Tannoy. (Tannoy being the trademark brand for a British PA system that is infamous.)
Something along the lines of "mmphrggg mmphrrrggg mmffrggggg Mister ---- to the rggg mmphrrrggg desk please" and when he actually goes to the desk to complain that he couldn't understand a word of it would they please repeat the message, the man behind the desk says "I said mmphrggg mmphrrrggg mmffrggggg Mister ---- to the rggg mmphrrrggg desk please"

Classic Python.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

I've certainly seen a wild variation in the intelligibility of coastguard broadcasts. Some very good, some terrible.
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
Has anyone else noticed how common this is?

Very true. You left out the part where they don't bother to release the mic button after they say "BREAK." *grin* I've had very pleasant and constructive discussions with the CO of CG Sector Baltimore about radio behavior. Things get better for a while and then deteriorate.

I'm told that the Sector radio rooms are often the first assignment for new enlisted after basic training. They are young people who mostly don't know the local waters yet and are still getting used to being in the CG.

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The same can be said for bridge operators in certain places. Anyone required to communicate over the radio should be required to take a course in clear enunciation and how to speak INTO the freaking mike.
Actually you should speak across the grill of the microphone. Doing so reduces popping and clicking from your lips and tongue.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I'm told that the Sector radio rooms are often the first assignment for new enlisted after basic training. They are young people who mostly don't know the local waters yet and are still getting used to being in the CG.
Here's a video of one of those first assignments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR0lWICH3rY
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Very true. You left out the part where they don't bother to release the mic button after they say "BREAK." *grin* I've had very pleasant and constructive discussions with the CO of CG Sector Baltimore about radio behavior. Things get better for a while and then deteriorate.

I'm told that the Sector radio rooms are often the first assignment for new enlisted after basic training. They are young people who mostly don't know the local waters yet and are still getting used to being in the CG.



Actually you should speak across the grill of the microphone. Doing so reduces popping and clicking from your lips and tongue.
Speaking directly into a directional mike is the most important factor. If
you're too close, the sound can be garbled but it's better than trying to get adequate signal into the lower, side parts of a mike's polar pattern, especially with a lot of ambient noise to overcome. The best position is directly in back of the mike, a few inches away depending on noise, directly in it's maximum pickup area. Popping is usually because the mike is too close.

Much of the problem with intelligibility of military radio-speak is that they are trying to sound "military" rather than being worried about being understood. I can remember being on the transmitting side of that equation in the Navy and am sure I would have been difficult to understand.
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Last edited by smurphny; 07-07-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by algee View Post
It is the same speech training school that Drive Thru order takers attend.
The Miss Othmar School of Whahh-whah-wuh-WHAH-whah-wah?
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

The irony of all this is that 99.9 percent of the time I have no trouble whatsoever of understanding those CG announcements. The PITA is when there's an announcement, often just a short one, in order to listen to it you must change the channel 22A.

On the way home from Florida, there was a lengthy announcement about migrating right wales and to avoid them at all costs. I got to see the tail of one about a quarter mile in front of the boat and heard one just before sundown, which scared the Hell out of the guy that was with me. He was sure that we would be hit and sunk, something I believe is about equal to getting hit by a bolt of lightning at the north pole on a cloudless day in the dead of winter. The announcement was frequent, obviously recorded, and made by young, very articulate lady. It was repeated every 30 minutes for weeks on end, thus causing me, and I'm sure others, to mentally tune it out and not switch to 22A. Consequently, there may have been other, more important announcements, but we probably missed them.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2013
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

Originally, we had AM transceivers for small craft ship to ship or shore local communications. They worked a bit too well and with the proper propagation you could communicate with LA from SF easily.
So the FCC at the behest of the CG, had us all change to VHF, a line of sight communications system. Worked great until some idiot at the CG decided to upgrade their gear to a zillion watts (about) and huge antennas. Now one can hear Palm Beach or at times even Jax in the Keys and you never know which station you are listening or talking to, but most likely it isn't the closest.
You are expecting way too much for the USCG to institute anything as intelligent as speaking clearly on the radio.
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

I think the really silly part of all this is that the fluff part of the message is repeated over and over, but the actual message is not. Also the fluff part is the easy part is the same thing over and over and the new radio guy can practice that a thousand times during training to get it sounding official but then the actual message is original and unfamiliar thus gets mumbled.
arf145 and MarkSF like this.
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  #20  
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Re: US Coast Guard Radio Usage

does it ever really matter though? do they come up to you often otherwise?
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