Marine VHF Radio

A marine VHF radio is used on most ships so there is a clear contact line between the people on board and the harbor and/or rescue services. VHF (very high frequency) radios are designed to be fully operational even under extreme circumstances, and something of this caliber is absolutely essential when out in the open.

A marine VHF radio uses frequencies ranging from 156 to 174 Mhz. The main usage of these radios is usually to prevent any ships from colliding with each other. Although there are many other benefits to having one of these radios on ship. Even with the positive sides to using one of these radios though, the United Kingdom and a few other countries have showed disagreement to the device, but it is still used in many countries.

What is a Marine VHF Radio?

A marine VHF radio is simply a communication device that works at a higher frequency than normal. There are many available frequencies that can be used with a marine VHF radio but a few are more common than others. For instance, channel 9 is used for secondary calls while channel 16 is used for international calls. However, both of these channels are also used for calls of distress as well.

A marine VHF radio works with a relatively high transmission power in some cases. It can be as low as 1 watt but it operates at up to 25 watts sometimes as well. A higher transmission power is absolutely key when going on long adventures at sea. The higher the transmission power, the further out the radio can operate.

With a transmission power of 25 watts, you could go as far as 60 knots and still be able to use the device. A knot (nautical mile) is equivalent to 1.852km/h, therefore the maximum distance you can travel (with the device still working) is roughly 111km.

Additional Features Available with Marine VHF Radios
There have been many advancements to the design of marine VHF radios. In particular, you can find many additional features that were not there on older models of the device. One specific feature that is worth noting is the digital selective calling (DSC) feature.

You will also get a variety of other additional features if you buy a more expensive model. With some models of marine VHF radios, you can attach them to a hailer horn and operate the device as a hailer. You can even set up the VHF radio as a voice scrambler, and some of the more advanced designed even allow Bluetooth technology such as the use of a headset.

Simplex and Duplex Transmission Channels
To fully understand how marine VHF radios operate, you will need to know about the transmission of channels as it is a vital part of how the device works. The first type of transmission would be simplex transmission. Simplex transmission simply refers to the fact that you can only use the device to communicate in a single direction at one time. Basically, this means that you cannot use the device to both receive and transmit information at the same time. Based on the transmission button on the headset or microphone, it will automatically determine which you are doing.

The alternative to simplex transmissions would be duplex transmissions. There would be some obvious advantages to this option as it allows you to use the device in both directions at the same time. You can both transmit and receive information all at once with duplex transmission channels. Also, most channels on the VHF radio are designed for duplex transmission. While it may not always be an available option, it usually is and it is a convenient choice when using a VHF radio.

There is still a lot to learn about marine VHF radios but what has been mentioned here should be enough for you to understand the basics. If you would like to learn more about the technical information on how marine VHF radios work then you should do further research, but this should be enough information to get a general understanding on these devices.

This Marine VHF Radio Review is Written/Updated on Mar 27th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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