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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How pervasive is the use of DSC (or even VHF for that matter) on inland lakes? Is it worth the trouble of getting an MMSI? Is there likely to be anyone else on the lake using DSC to talk to?

If it makes a difference, my boat lives in the Dallas area.
 

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I have DSC and so far I am yet to see a single DSC message on my plotter (it should display if there are any). I am on Chesapeake.

Perhaps it is because no one is specifically hailing me, I am not too familiar with DSC operation and can't say for sure if MMSI will be visible to everyone. In any case, it really does not look like DSC is doing much around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dallas? Can't you just walk to shore if it goes down on an inland lake there?
Almost. I'm not super worried about the distress features, although I can see calling for a tow boat to get one ungrounded. I'm more thinking about the other DSC features; for example I could see a group code being useful for regattas or club fleets.
 

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Getting an MMSI number takes 5 minutes on the boatus website, so there's not much trouble to go through. That said, I only got one when I hooked my VHF into a GPS signal so the mayday button sends my info to the CG. I've never used DSC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My understanding is that the MMSI is "for the boat", not for a particular radio. So if your handheld was for backup use on the boat, it might make sense, but not if it's a roving handheld--particularly if it ever got used on some other boat.
 

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If you've got both a fixed VHF mounted in the boat, and a handheld, would you get the same MMSI for both of them ?
Yes, you would. You just get 1 MMSI of course and use it in each radio.

I got the MMSI just for distress and as others have said, I just got it when I hooked the GPS up to the VHF. It would be fun to play with, maybe I will some day if I ever find anyone else who wants to try it.
 

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Really depends on the lake. Many man-made lakes are so large that DSC is a good idea. This is also true of the Great Lakes. Lake Texoma, for instance, covers 360 km². It looks like this:



By my estimates it is over 20 miles wide and 20 miles high....If you're having a heart attack, cutting down the search area for the rescuers to an 100' diameter circle might be a good idea....

How pervasive is the use of DSC (or even VHF for that matter) on inland lakes? Is it worth the trouble of getting an MMSI? Is there likely to be anyone else on the lake using DSC to talk to?

If it makes a difference, my boat lives in the Dallas area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Really depends on the lake. Many man-made lakes are so large that DSC is a good idea. This is also true of the Great Lakes. Lake Texoma, for instance, covers 360 km².
Sure, I can see it being valuable, and I was a bit flippant in commenting that the distress button was not important. Lots of things could go wrong other than sinking. The question is, does anyone monitoring VHF on Texoma (or Lewisville, in my case) actually have DSC configured? If I hit the red button will anyone hear it?
 
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