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Thread: Testing your Nautilus Lifeline radio

 

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    ScubaSteve1962's Avatar
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    Testing your Nautilus Lifeline radio

    Has anyone tested their radio?? If so, how did you go about doing it?
    "Even though I know the inevitability of my faith, I'm in no hurry to embrace it"

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    Last edited by mala; June 28th, 2012 at 06:05 PM. Reason: wrong radio
    living near the sea

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    I use my handheld VHF or my fixed mount radio in the boat to "chat". Otherwise the latest update has a built in test feature. If you haven't run an update on your Nautilus lately I would strongly suggest you do so.

    My fixed mount radio has a feature to send hailing requests with the MMSI number utilizing DSC, but I haven't tried to see if the Nautilus will communicate that way yet.
    AQUA IS LIFE!


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    Bhtmec2's Avatar
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    I check mine with my HH radio when we go out on the Zodiac and when on a dive boat we do a radio check with the Captain upon boarding and brief him who has a NLL and have him note our names. We brief our dive plan and what to do if we do not pop up at the ship on schedule.

    Over the last couple of weeks we have been diving a lot and have practiced as a team our commo plan and intentionally surfaced in a dispersed area and away from the boat. We establish commo with each other and they group together so they can recover us as a team. We communicate with the boat and either swim back or wait for the boat to pickup us at the coordinates we send him. We have discovered that many of the boats did not have their radios set up properly or did not know how to use them in the DSC mode. I can say now that at least 3 more dive boat's here are working properly.

    Every one of us has a NLL as we do deep OW dives and that leads to a higher rate of problems down here. I make sure we all have the updates and since the bugs have been worked out with updates none of us have had a problem with them. A NLL is attached to my main tank no mater what configuration I am diving. It is on my right tank and all I have to do is reach around and open the Hollis Pouch. I have a dummy cord attached so if I drop it is stays attached to the pouch. My dive buddy's from the USCG are happy that this new safety gear is out. We have practiced with their 33" SAR boats and it really speeds of finding the lost diver when they get on station during our SAR drills here.

    Now that we all carry a NLL it makes doing drift dives a lot easier and recovery is quicker so we can get ready for our next dive or back to the cold ones on dry land.

    Thanks to NLL for responding to their clients concerns and fixing those little things that happen during the fielding of new electronic gear.

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    I still can't get anyone to respond to a DSC test. I asked the local SeaTow guy, and his response was "Uhhhhh. I'm still using a hand held. I asked the Towboat US guy and they have an ancient VHF base station that has massive power and no DSC capability. Rescue 21 does not appear to be in service in Key West, because no one answers DSC hails. What good is a system that no one monitors?
    Capt Frank Wasson
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    Bhtmec2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie View Post
    I still can't get anyone to respond to a DSC test. I asked the local SeaTow guy, and his response was "Uhhhhh. I'm still using a hand held. I asked the Towboat US guy and they have an ancient VHF base station that has massive power and no DSC capability. Rescue 21 does not appear to be in service in Key West, because no one answers DSC hails. What good is a system that no one monitors?

    Yeah...... I hear people complaining about COZ and other places here on SB about this and we can not even get our act together. The boats here did not even know about DSC capabilitys until I talked to them and played with their radios. My LDS Owner dives with me and he knows all the boat Captians so they let us play and try to help with our toys, shoot some can hardley use their GPS.
    ENPDiver likes this.

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    Hello folks, thank you for sharing your experiences with testing the Lifeline.

    In reading a few of your comments, we thought we should add a little bit of information for those who are curious about DSC, the standards associated with it, and testing the Lifeline itself. A little background:

    In the early 2000s, most vessels built for commercial use were equipped with a DSC-capable marine VHF radio. In 2009, regulations passed within the GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) which required non-DSC-equipped commercial vessels to be fitted with DSC-capable radios in order to ensure that monitoring channel 70 became standard across the board. It was also recommended at this time that non-commercial vessels be equipped with DSC-capable radios for the sake of implementation within this network. This is one of the many reasons why Nautilus chose the three-tiered "Chat-Hail-Distress" (Green, Orange, Red) system for the Lifeline. With a commercial network in place and a recommendation for non-commercial operators, VHF and DSC are ideal mediums for the Lifeline's utility.

    As for testing the DSC capability of your Lifeline, keep in mind that it is illegal in most countries to send false or test DSC distress messages due to the range of the technology. Please ensure that you check with your local authority before doing so. We have, however, implemented a 'Distress Test Mode' which was added a few months ago in a firmware update. This mode is accessible by pressing and holding the Green and Orange buttons together to enter the menu mode, and then scrolling to the 'Distress Test Mode' function. Here, you can see exactly what the Lifeline does while in distress mode without actually sending out the data packet.

    Testing the normal VHF portion of the radio can be done at any point while at sea (operation of VHF radios on marine frequencies while on land is also prohibited in most countries). As long as there is another radio tuned to the same channel, the Lifeline will be able to communicate with that radio while line of sight is maintained with the antenna.

    We hope that the above has answered some questions about how to test the Lifeline, and that it has also offered some insight as to why we chose VHF and DSC as the device's method of communication. It is our pleasure to answer any questions you may have and offer any information we can.

    Sincerely,
    The Nautilus Lifeline Team

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