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27 Meg Radios

Big Bob

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I am upgrading my Radio.

I have a 27 meg at the moment and the aerial is broken and I am not sure if the GME radio is ok as well.

I wanted to know if VHF is a better system.

I have a 14ft trailor boat and dont venture out to sea that far but want coverage that would suit.

I had heard that the 27 meg was being phased out.

Is this true?

Any info is welcome I would prefer to stay at 27 meg for cost sake but would like to be safe when I do go outside fishing.



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Mate, when I go fishing with fishraider "blobby" on one of his marlin runs,part of the required equipment is a passport just in case we end up in New Zealand!

Now, its rather scary when you don't see land at all, but I must admit I can always hear his 27 meg chirping away and i've never felt as though we were losing range.

I have a 27meg on board my boat and although I don't do the miles he does (in his 17 footer), I certainly wouldn't swap it for anything else.

If they phase out 27 meg, it won't happen that fast.

There are way too many of us with them.

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I only carry a VHF though the preferred radio for fishos and fishing clubs is the 27 meg. There is a fair bit of chitter chatter over the 27 meg as it is really only a hobby sort of radio where (in my opinion only) a VHF is a more serious piece of safety equipment.

VHF are said to have a slightly better range and better clarity though you need to obtain a certificate of proficiency to use one (which takes about six weeks through a volunteer organisation).

I also believe that AMSA does not monitor the distress channel on 27 meg (another raider amy confirm), so in times of emergency with the 27 meg you would be relying solely on the Limited Coast statons for rescue, and they are not always 24 hrs.

I suppose though for real safety, carry a 406 EPIRB though fairly expensive.

Best wishes


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As I understand it, 27Meg will do fine for coastal situations (we lose contact at 20km sometimes less) but you do get more distance than your land based CB because of the bounce off the water and less interferance, which is kinda the same, but it does depend on whether or not it has been broadcast power "limited" or not.

UHF sideband with a decent aerial will give to anywhere from 40km up (good for flying doctor etc if your remote)

and finally it's bigger sis, HF or VHF. either one will let you talk to ontario canada if you have a di-pole well tuned, HF is usually found on your larger vessels. with VHF sets now more cheaply made for run-abouts and if you going off-shore.

personally i'd buy another aerial for 27 meg and leave it in the boat, also pick up the VHF. Used to require a license, so glad they got rid of that idea much more clarity and even your short-wave enthusiast on shore can pick up distress signals if tuned in (maybe canada lol)


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27 meg relies on line of sight as it is a very narrow band wave.

The higher you can get your aerial above sea level the further the signal will travel.

When we moved the aerial to above the flybridge we could talk to boats at Port Stephens from off Sydney.

Prior to that with the aerial on the side of the cabin you could just make out boats in Pittwater from say Brown's.

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The 27 meg radio is an AUstralia only situation. VHF is an internationally recognised frequency. Both are line of sight ( ground wave ) radios so have the same range. THe 27 meg lies in the HF range so you MAY get sky waves or atmospheric bounce but it doesn't happen often. That is why this frequency was chosen by Dick Smith...no one else in the world uses it!!!

For a VHF, you'll need to do an exam and obtain a licence to operate one.....but the shops will sell you one regardless.

It is good to do the course as it really shows you how to operate a radio properly. I hear a lot of ignorant people over the waves everytime I am on the water and it makes you laugh! The coast guard , coastal patrol and other organisations have courses and exams regularly.

The 27 meg's main fault is the high static you get. Still works but not needing a licence there are lots of people using them not knowing the protocol. COuld be a problem if you are in an emergency.

VHF is much clearer and less susceptible to static from motors etc. Also have lots of channels and capable of DSC... and multi channel monitoring. It is the frequency that is monitored by the marine safety authorities.

If you want ultra long range than you'll need to get MF and HF sets. They also need a licence and cost thousands.

I always carry 2 VHF radios. Just in case and log onto the coast guard or coastal patrol whenever I go outside. Good insurance. I am also a member of Sea Tow one of the sponsors of this site.CHeers Kelvin

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A quick search for MROCP (Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency) will get you what you are after.

You can try here for starters.



That looks very interesting Robbie, i'll be looking into participating in one of those courses.



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That looks very interesting Robbie, i'll be looking into participating in one of those courses.



If you haven't done this course and go off shore, you should get onto one real quick. There are regular courses around from the volunteer organisations. You can also sit for the MROVCP or the mrocp exam. The exam is pretty easy as they cover all the questions in the course.I finished the exam in under 10 minutes. Enables you to operate the VHF or the longer range MF radios.

You must have a MROVCP to operate a VHF radio or be under the supervision of a person with one to operate a VHF radio. Well worth the cost and effort. CHeers Kelvin

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