VHF radio and class D DSC controller (Raymarine® RAY54E™ as prototype)

Features :
  • display and button backlighting
  • user channel
  • channel transmit power 1 or 25W
  • dual watch and tri-watch modes
  • scan
  • scan of selected channels
  • priority scans
  • squelch, volume and channel rotary controls
  • fistmike with PTT (push-to-talk) and select channel buttons
  • all types of DSC calls : routine, group, safety, urgency, distress, position request
  • receipt of all DSC calls
  • distress button
  • log of received calls
  • editable directory
  • connection to a GPS
  • General notes on the use of controls. The rule of using buttons : short press and press and hold for 3 seconds. In the first case the function shown at the upper part of the button is activated, otherwise the function in the lower part.
    Button [CLEAR] is used to cancel commands and clear the screen.
    The [CH] knob is used to select from lists and accept selections, even when entering characters. Almost complete analog of this knob is the central button on the microphone together with the microphone HI/LO button, the first is used to browse through lists, the second - to make a selection.
    Distress button is covered by a flap, which in the simulator opens automatically with a click on the button
    Function How to implement
    switch on rotate volume knob clockwise
    switch off rotate volume knob fully counterclockwise
    channel selection rotate channel knob clockwise to scroll VHF channels up, counterclockwise to scroll down. Also use the upper and lower buttons of the fistmike
    priority (16) channel selection press [16/PLUS]. This press terminates all other operation and switches to channel 16 at high power transmission. Priority channel is used for transmitting distress messages only. Routine communications are prohibited on this channel
    selecting user (secondary priority or PLUS) channel press and hold [16/PLUS] key for 3 seconds. The default secondary priority channel is 9
    reprogramming user (secondary priority or PLUS) channel press and hold the [16/PLUS] key for longer than 3 seconds to switch to the secondary priority channel. Press and hold the [16/PLUS] button for 3 seconds again to switch to reprogramming mode. The current channel starts flashing. Change the channel number with the CH knob. Push the CH knob to accept the new selection
    changing channel transmission power press [HI/LO] button on the set or on the microphone
    transmitting stop all scans, set a channel and press the PTT (Push-To-Talk) button on the microphone. Hold down the button while you speak. To be heard from another ship equipped with another VHF radio, you must be not farther away than roughly 20NM, and the receiving VHF radio must hold the receiving (RX) frequency equal to transmitting (TX) frequency of the transmitting radio. Specifically, it means that the communication is OK when the two parties communicate on the same SIMPLEX (equal TX and RX frequencies) VHF working channel. Communications between ships are not possible on duplex channels, which have different RX and TX frequencies
    scan (all channels) press [SCAN/SAVE] button. The all scan mode is started if no channels are stored in memory. All channels are scanned one by one until a signal above the current squelch level is detected (scan is unable to start with low squelch level). Stop scan by pressing [CLEAR], [SCAN/SAVE] or [16/PLUS]. Change scan direction (set increasing or decreasing numbers of channels) by turning the CH knob clockwise or counter-clockwise.
    priority all scan press and hold [SCAN/SAVE] button while in all scan mode. The set switches into priority all scan mode : after each channel the priority channel is inserted. Return back to normal scan by press and hold [SCAN/SAVE] again
    saved scan mode if there is at least one channel stored in memory, a saved scan mode is started by pressing [SCAN/SAVE] button. All stored channels are scanned one by one until a signal above the current squelch level is detected (scan is unable to start with low squelch level). Stop scan by pressing [CLEAR], [SCAN/SAVE] or [16/PLUS]. Change scan direction (set increasing or decreasing numbers of channels) by turning the CH knob clockwise or counter-clockwise.
    Channel numbers are stored in memory in the following way : use the CH knob to select a channel and then press and hold [SCAN/SAVE] button. Do the same to exclude a channel from memory.
    When a saved channel is selected, the SAVED icon appear at the upper line of the display.
    priority saved scan press and hold [SCAN/SAVE] button while in saved scan mode. The set switches into priority saved scan mode : after each channel the priority channel is inserted. Return back to normal scan by press and hold [SCAN/SAVE] again
    dual watch press and release [DW/TRI] button. Then, the currently selected channel and the priority channel will enter the scan sequence. In case of priority channel currently selected, dual watch is not possible. Adjust squelch level to suppress noise and make the scan possible. Stop dual watch by pressing [DW/TRI], [16/PLUS] or [CLEAR]
    tri-watch press and hold [DW/TRI] button. Then, the currently selected channel, secondary priority channel and the priority channel will enter the scan sequence. Adjust squelch level to suppress noise and make the scan possible. Stop tri-watch by pressing [DW/TRI], [16/PLUS] or [CLEAR]
    setting squelch level SQL knob is used to set squelch level (receiver muting threshold) to suppress interference noise. Note that during a scan the noise may lock a channel, so usually scanning can proceed with squelch level increased to a certain value.
    send a routine individual DSC call
  • press [CALL/MENU]
  • rotating CH knob, select ">INDIVIDUAL"
  • push CH knob to accept selection
  • rotating CH knob, select ">MANUAL" or a ship name from the list of directory entries below
  • push CH knob to accept
  • in case of MANUAL entry selected, you will be prompted to enter a target MMSI number. This number is entered by CH knob : each character is selected by rotating CH knob and accepted and moving to next position by pushing this button. Backspace operation is implemented by selecting and accepting "<" character by CH knob. MMSI numbers started from the leading non-zero digit belong to ship stations, with one leading zero - to groups of ships (group calls) and with two leading zeroes - to coast radio stations.
    If you selected an entry from the directory, the corresponding MMSI number is automatically selected as target MMSI
  • select number of channel on which you suggest to communicate by pressing rotating and pressing CH knob. For ship-to-ship communications, these are 06, 08, 72, and 77 VHF channels. Calls to coast radio stations do not require specification of a communication channel, because it is it is specified by the coast station
  • select >SEND to send the call. The set starts waiting for an acknowledgment of the call
  • receiving a call on receipt of a non-distress call, the display shows the call type, sender MMSI (or its corresponding name from the directory), and a channel suggested for communication.
    Press [CLEAR] to cancel acknowledgment, or push CH knob to acknowledge the call. If the call is acknowledged, the set automatically switches to the channel suggested for voice coommunication. Once you aknowledged the call, the sender receives your acknowledgment and automatically switches to the specified communication channel as well. So, the only thing to do for you and the caller is to push PTT button and start radio communication.
    send a group call
  • press [CALL/MENU]
  • rotating CH knob, select ">GROUP"
  • push CH knob to accept selection
  • rotating CH knob, select a corresponding group name from the list of group directory entries (the list should be populated before the call)
  • push CH knob to accept
  • select number of channel on which you suggest to communicate by rotating and pressing CH knob. For ship-to-ship communications, these are 06, 08, 72, and 77 VHF channels
  • select and accept SEND to send the call. The set starts waiting for the acknowledgment of the call
  • edit group directory directory is a list of destinations each made up of an MMSI number and a name. Group MMSI numbers start with zero. In real set, this menu item is hidden under MENU->DSC SETUP->GROUP SETUP. In the simulator, this setup is located in MENU->GROUP SETUP.
    That is,
  • first press and hold [CALL/MENU] to enter menu
  • rotate CH knob to place cursor to >GROUP SETUP
  • push CH knob to accept the selection
  • you will see the first menu line marked >NEW to enter a new item followed by a list of existing items
  • if you wish to create a new item, select the first line. You will be asked to enter a new group name and a corresponding group MMSI number. Rotate CH knob to select a character under cursor position; push the knob to accept and move to the next position; if you wish to move to the previous character position, rotate the knob to select '<' sign and then push the knob to backspace
  • the new entry will be ready once the cursor is at the last MMSI position
  • If you wish to terminate the entry, press [CLEAR]
    send an "All ships safety" call
  • press [CALL/MENU]
  • select and accept >ALL SHIPS with the CH knob
  • select and accept >SAFETY with the CH knob
  • select and accept >SEND or >CANCEL the call
  • the set will switch to channel 16 to start voice communication
  • receive an "All ships safety" call On receipt of the call, the display shows information related to the sender and waits for acceptance of the call. Press CH knob to accept, [CLEAR] to cancel. If you accept the call, the radio switches to priority channel 16 and is ready for voice communication
    send an "All ships urgency" call
  • press [CALL/MENU]
  • select and accept >ALL SHIPS with the CH knob
  • select and accept >URGENCY with the CH knob
  • select and accept >SEND or >CANCEL the call
  • the set will switch to channel 16 to start voice communication
  • receive an "All ships urgency" call On receipt of the call, the display shows information related to sender and waits for acceptance of the call. Press CH knob to accept, [CLEAR] to cancel. If you accept the call, the radio switches to priority channel 16 and is ready for voice communication
    send a position request call you query a position of a ship whose MMSI you know. To implement this,
  • press [CALL/MENU]
  • select and accept >POS REQUEST with the CH knob
  • select and accept >SEND with the CH knob
  • enter target ship MMSI manually (first menu item) or select a target ship from a directory
  • select and accept >CALL with the CH knob
  • The target ship may accept and may not accept the request. In case it does, you get a reply containing this ship coordinates
    send an undesignated distress alert
  • open the flap marked by "DISTRESS" (in the simulator, the flap is opened automatically when you click on [DISTRESS] button)
  • press and hold [DISTRESS] button. Countdown of 3 seconds starts. If you wish to cancel the call, simply release the button
  • when countdown goes to zero, an undesignated distress alert is sent. The contents of an undesignated call include MMSI number of the sender, current coordinates, time and a nature of distress (in this case, UNDESIGNATED). The coordinates and time values are taken from a GPS receiver if one is connected or they are most recent values entered manually. You can change these values using MENU.
  • the set switches to channel 16 and starts waiting for an acknowledgment. The alerts are sent periodically until an acknowledgment from a coast radio station is received. Press [CLEAR] to cancel sending distress alerts
  • send a distress alert with a distress type specified
  • open the flap marked by "DISTRESS" (in the simulator, the flap is opened automatically when you click on [DISTRESS] button)
  • press [DISTRESS] button. The menu shows a list of distress types to select. Rotate the CH knob to select a type and push the knob to accept
  • press and hold [DISTRESS] button again. Countdown of 3 seconds starts. If you wish to cancel the call, simply release the button
  • when countdown goes to zero, a distress alert is sent. The contents of a such a call include MMSI number of the sender, current coordinates, time and a nature of distress. The coordinates and time values are taken from a GPS receiver if one is connected or they are most recent values entered manually. You can change these values using MENU.
  • the set switches to channel 16 and starts waiting for an acknowledgment. The alerts are sent periodically until an acknowledgment from a coast radio station is received. Press [CLEAR] to cancel sending distress alerts
  • receiving a distress acknowledgement when a distress acknowledgement arrives from a coast station, the display shows "ACK RECEIVED" and the set is ready for communication on channel 16
    receiving a distress alert from another ship when a distress alert arrives, the display shows "DISTRESS", caller's MMSI, nature of distress, caller's coordinates and time. Ships cannot send distress acknowledgments; this is a function of a coast radio station
    edit directory (phonebook) phonebook (directory) is a list of destinations each made up of MMSI number and a name. This list is used to facilitate identification of destinations when sending and receiving calls. All information displayed on screen will contain a name (normally ship name) instead of an MMSI if this entry is found in the directory.
  • press and hold [CALL/MENU] to enter menu
  • rotate CH knob to place cursor to >PHONEBOOK
  • push CH knob to accept the selection
  • you will see the first menu line marked >NEW to enter a new item followed by a list of existing items
  • if you wish to create a new item, select the first line. You will be asked to enter a new name and a corresponding MMSI number. Rotate CH knob to select a character under cursor position; push the knob to accept and move to the next position; if you wish to move to the previous character position, rotate the knob to select '<' sign and then push the knob to backspace
  • the new entry will be ready once the cursor is at the last MMSI position
  • If you wish to terminate the entry, press [CLEAR]
    adjust backlighting display screen and buttons are backlighted.
  • press and hold [CALL/MENU] to enter menu
  • rotate CH knob to place cursor to >BACKLIGHT
  • push CH knob to accept selection
  • rotate the knob to change backlight level
  • push the knob to accept selection
  • adjust display constrast
  • press and hold [CALL/MENU] to enter menu
  • rotate CH knob to place cursor to >CONTRAST
  • push CH knob to accept selection
  • rotate the knob to change contrast
  • push the knob to accept selection
  • specify ship position and time current ship position and time are normally updated automatically by a connected GPS receiver. However, it also can be entered manually. They will be shown on the display and contained in distress messages.
  • press and hold [CALL/MENU] to enter menu
  • rotate CH knob to place cursor to >GPS/TIME
  • push CH knob to accept selection
  • edit current latitude, longitude and time values in the following way. Rotate CH knob to select a character under cursor position; push the knob to accept and move to the next position; if you wish to move to the previous character position, rotate the knob to select '<' sign and then push the knob. After the last character is entered, a push of CH knob saves these values
  • view log of calls received this log contains a list of all most recent non-distress calls. To view the log,
  • click [CALL]
  • rotate CH to select >CALL LOG and press CH to accept
  • rotate CH to view through calls
  • press [CLEAR] to quit
  • If you wish to send a routine call to a ship from the log, just push CH knob when viewing this log entry
    view log of distress calls received this log contains a list of all most recent distress calls. To view the log,
  • click [CALL]
  • rotate CH to select >DISTRES LOG and press CH to accept
  • rotate CH to view through calls
  • press [CLEAR] to quit