The United States Power Squadron is a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the skills of its members. Courses and Seminars are taught by volunteer members of local Squadrons. Akron Power Squadron offers a variety of courses and seminars. This page highlights the seminar on using your VHF / DSC Radio. Class and seminar schedules can be found at its web site, www.akronpowersquadron.com.
Seminars are complete, 2-hour lessons on topics related to boating. These are popular for several reasons. One, many of our members have taken most of our courses, and the seminars help keep you up to date on the topics. Also, it may be easier to fit a seminar into your schedule, while the classes generally require a 10-week commitment (one evening a week). Finally, they are a social activity - a chance to mix learning with camaraderie of the students.
We generally have 25-30 people attend the seminars. Cost for members is $5 and for non members is $15.
The USPS VHF/DSC Seminar was developed by volunteer members of USPS. Some materials on this web site are copyrighted by USPS.
General Seminar Outline:
Everything you need to know about using VHF radio:
How VHF’s work and their controls
Using the correct channels
Correct procedures and terminology
Advanced methods of communication
How DSC’s work and their controls
Practice DSC calls• using the included CD simulator
MMSI number (Maritime Mobile Service Identity - unique to your vessel)
This seminar comes with a handout of the slides.
Some features unique to DSC Radios include:
Mayday - sends vessel information and automatic position location to Coast Guard - requires wiring to GPS for position
Individual calls - send message to specific vessel (uses MMSI number)
Group calls - send message to specific vessel groups (uses "Group" MMSI)
Position request - automatically requests position (L/Lo) of vessel - uses GPS interface
Position report - automatically sends position (L/Lo) of your vessel - uses GPS interface
.We will also discuss, in general terms, how to connect the DSC radio to your GPS.
Photos below - pictures of DSC/VHF installation and hook-up to GPS
VHF Voice Radio Channels
06 - Ship to Ship Safety
09 - Alternate Calling Channel – some areas
13 - Navigation Safety – ship to ship, locks, bridges
16 - Calling, Emergency, Distress
22A - Use only when directed by Coast Guard
68, 69, 71, 72, 78 - Working Channels for Recreational Boats