VHF radio and class D DSC controller (Standard Horizon GX1500S as prototype)

Features :
  • display and button backlighting
  • user channel
  • channel transmit power 1 or 25W
  • dual watch
  • memory scan
  • memory with priority channel scan
  • 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, DSC test
  • receipt of all DSC calls
  • distress button
  • logs of received calls
  • editable directory
  • connection to a GPS
  • General notes on the use of controls.
    Using buttons : short press (to activate main function) and press and hold for 2 seconds (to activate secondary function).
    Button [ENT] is used to accept a selection.
    Button [CLR] is used to cancel commands or return to previous menu level.
    The big knob at the upper right corner is used to select channels, items from from lists, and enter characters.
    Knobs are rotated by dragging mouse cursor around their centres, the VOL knob is also can be pressed (click near its centre).
    Distress button is covered by a flap, which opens automatically with a click on the button.
    Function How to implement
    switch on push the VOL knob (click volume knob near its centre)
    switch off press and hold the VOL knob for 3 seconds
    channel selection rotate channel knob (the biggest one) to scroll VHF channels. Or use the upper and lower buttons of the fistmike
    priority (16) channel selection press [16/9] either on the unit or microphone. This press terminates all other operation and switches to channel 16 at high power transmission. Priority channel is used for transmitting distress messages only. Long routine communications are prohibited on this channel
    selecting user (secondary priority) channel press and hold [16/9] key for 3 seconds. The default secondary priority channel is 9
    changing channel transmission power press [H/L] button
    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
    memory scan mode channels which are planned for scan should be memorized. Select a channel rotating the big knob and press and hold [SCAN]. Memorized channels are marked by MEM sign on the display. Select other channels to form scan sequence.
    Click [SCAN] to start scanning. 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 [CLR], [SCAN] or [16/9].
    priority scan priority scan is effectively memory scan, but, when scanning, when a channel changes, priority channel is inserted into the scan sequence.
    The scan type (memory or priority) is selected in MENU mode : press and hold [CALL] button, select Radio Setup, then SCAN Type.
    dual watch press and release [DW] 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], [16/9] or [CLR]
    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]
  • rotating channel knob, select ">Individual"
  • push [ENT] to accept selection
  • rotating channel knob, select ">Manual" or a ship name from the list of directory entries below
  • push [ENT] to accept
  • in case of Manual entry selected, you will be prompted to enter a target MMSI number. This number is entered by channel knob : each character is selected by rotating channel knob and accepted and moving to next position by pushing [ENT]. Click [H/L] to return cursor to previous position (backspace). When you finish entering all digits, press and hold [ENT]. 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 rotating channel knob and press [ENT]. Channels specific for ship-to-ship communications are offered in this selection. If you wish to specify this channel manually, select "Manual" in the end of the list. Calls to coast radio stations do not require specification of a communication channel, because it is it is specified by the coast station
  • select >Yes 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 [CLR] to cancel acknowledgment, or push [ENT] 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.
    You can configure the set to send automatic acknowledgments to individual routine calls. To do this, press and hold [CALL] key to enter setup, select >DSC Setup, then >INDIV Ack and then >Able and press [ENT]. To disable automatic acknowledgments, select >Unable in this menu.
    send a group call
  • press [CALL]
  • rotating channel knob, select ">Group"
  • push [ENT] to accept selection
  • rotating channel knob, select a corresponding group name from the list of group directory entries (the list should be populated before the call) or >Manual
  • in case of Manual entry selected, you will be prompted to enter a target MMSI number. This number is entered by channel knob : each character is selected by rotating channel knob and accepted and moving to next position by pushing [ENT]. Click [H/L] to return cursor to previous position (backspace). Group MMSI numbers start from the leading zero digit, so you sould enter eight digits in this case.
    If you selected an entry from the group directory, the corresponding MMSI number is automatically selected as target MMSI
  • push [ENT] to accept
  • select number of channel on which you suggest to communicate by rotating channel knob and press [ENT]. Channels specific for ship-to-ship communications are offered in this selection. If you wish to specify this channel manually, select "Manual" in the end of the list
  • 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.
  • first press and hold [CALL] to enter setup menu
  • rotate channel knob to place cursor to >DSC Setup
  • push [ENT] to accept the selection
  • select >Group DIR
  • you will see the three items for selection : Add, Edit and Delete. 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 channel knob to select a character under cursor position; push [ENT] knob to accept and move to the next position; if you wish to move to the previous character position, press [H/L].
    If you select >Edit, you will be offered to select and edit a directory entry the same way. If you select >Delete, you will be offered to select and delete a directory entry.
  • once all the digits have been input, press and hold [ENT]
  • If you wish to terminate the entry, press [CLR]
    send an "All ships" call
  • press [CALL]
  • select >All Ships with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • select type of all ships call from the four types : Distress, Urgency, Safety, Routine
  • select communication channel
  • select >Send and press [ENT] to send the call
  • send an "All ships safety" call
  • press [CALL]
  • select >All Ships with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • select >Safety from the four types : Distress, Safety, Safety, Routine
  • select communication channel
  • select >Send and press [ENT] to send the call
  • 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 [ENT] to accept, [CLR] 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]
  • select >All Ships with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • select >Urgency from the four types : Distress, Urgency, Safety, Routine
  • select communication channel
  • select >Send and press [ENT] to send the call
  • 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 [ENT] to accept, [CLR] 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]
  • select >POS Request with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • enter target ship MMSI manually (first menu item) or select a target ship from a directory
  • select >Yes with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • The target ship may accept and may not accept the request. In case it does, you get a reply containing this ship coordinates
    send own position to another ship send own position of a ship whose MMSI you know. To do this,
  • press [CALL]
  • select >POS Send with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • enter target ship MMSI manually (first menu item) or select a target ship from a directory
  • select >Yes with the channel knob and press [ENT]
  • send a distress alert
  • open the flap marked by "DISTRESS" (in the simulator, the flap is opened automatically when you click on [DISTRESS] button)
  • select distress type with channel knob
  • 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, a distress alert is sent. The contents of the 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 [CALL], >DSC Setup and >POS Input.
  • 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 [CLR] to cancel sending distress alerts
  • receiving a distress acknowledgement when a distress acknowledgement arrives from a coast station, the display shows "Received Acknowledge" 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 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.
  • first press and hold [CALL] to enter setup menu
  • rotate channel knob to place cursor to >DSC Setup
  • push [ENT] to accept the selection
  • select >INDIV DIR
  • you will see the three items for selection : Add, Edit and Delete. If you wish to create a new item, select the first line. You will be asked to enter a new name and a corresponding group MMSI number. Rotate channel knob to select a character under cursor position; push [ENT] knob to accept and move to the next position; if you wish to move to the previous character position, press [H/L].
    If you select >Edit, you will be offered to select and edit a directory entry the same way. If you select >Delete, you will be offered to select and delete a directory entry.
  • once all the digits have been input, press and hold [ENT]
  • If you wish to terminate the entry, press [CLR]
    adjust backlighting display screen and buttons are backlighted.
  • press and hold [CALL] to enter setup menu
  • select >Radio Setup with channel knob and press [ENT]
  • select >Dimmer and press [ENT]
  • rotate the channel knob to change backlight level
  • push [ENT] to accept selection
  • adjust display constrast
  • press and hold [CALL] to enter setup menu
  • select >Radio Setup with channel knob and press [ENT]
  • select >Contrast and press [ENT]
  • rotate the channel knob to change display contrast
  • push [ENT] 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] to enter setup menu
  • rotate channel knob to place cursor to >DSC Setup
  • push [ENT] to accept selection
  • select >POS Input
  • edit current time, latitude and longitude values in the following way. Rotate channel knob to select a character under cursor position; push [ENT] to accept and move to the next position; push [H/L] for backspace; press and hold [ENT] to accept a value entered.
  • view log of calls received this log contains a list of all most recent non-distress calls. To view the log,
  • click [CALL]
  • rotate channel knob to select >DSC Log and press [ENT] to accept
  • select >DSC Call and press [ENT] to accept
  • rotate channel knob to view through logged calls
  • press [ENT] to select a call
  • rotate channel knob to view all information related to a call
  • press [CLR] to quit
  • view log of distress calls received this log contains a list of all most recent distress calls. To view the log,
  • click [CALL]
  • rotate channel knob to select >DSC Log and press [ENT] to accept
  • select >Distress and press [ENT] to accept
  • rotate channel knob to view through logged calls
  • press [ENT] to select a call
  • rotate channel knob to view all information related to a call
  • press [CLR] to quit