ELECTRONIC FLAGGY THINGY???
The CASCADIA SAILING ASSOCIATION is an Informal group.
ANY subscriber to our email list is, Automatically, a member.
How To Join (free)
The Burgee was designed to be an Identification symbol so other PacNW Email Partners could identify each other when cruising or racing.
- It is a way of meeting and greeting folks we "talk" to by email.
- It is a way of recognizing others while sailing or at a moorage.
- It is a way to tell others that we are part of a fun group.
Hey kids! We have a new toy ...
Cascadia now has its very own Electronic Flaggy Thing!
A hollow voice says "Huh?"
The Electronic Flaggy Thing (EFT) is a group MMSI number, procured for the
sole enjoyment and entertainment of the members of this here mailing list!
Okay, poke your head into the cabin and look at your VHF radio. (If you
just said "huh" again you can exit now.) If your radio doesn't have a
large RED BUTTON labelled Distress you can also exit now.
For the rest of you with DSC capable radios, the EFT is a group paging
number for use with DSC radios. Just like a regular MMSI number, when you
call it, radios belonging to the group will switch to the requested
channel; but unlike individual MMSIs, you cannot poll a group MMSI, nor
can you issue a position request to one.
Just like the Analog Flaggy Thing (AFT?), the EFT is a useful tool to
ferret out other Cascadians. But first, all DSC-enlightened Cascadians
must identify themselves. Do this by finding the manual ("Huh?") for your
radio. Most VHFs allow at least one group MMSI number to be programmed
in. Your mission is to find that section of the manual. When you do,
enter the following group MMSI number:
031 600 030
Congratulations! You're now ready to receive VHF DSC spam!
"So how do I use this?"
It's very much like placing a ship-to-ship DSC call. Just enter the EFT
as the MMSI to call (how you do this will require another trip to radio's
manual -- group MMSIs are usually treated differently from individual
ones), then hit the call button. Unlike a direct DSC call, you won't get
an answer page if someone hears the call; instead, issue a DSC call to the
EFT twice (i.e. push the call button twice, with a suitable wait in
between - say 15 seconds), then issue a VOICE call on the target channel
to "Cascadia" (just as if you were doing a simple voice call to the
group). If anyone received the EFT page, and assuming they are on
speaking terms with you :-), they'll answer the call.
A couple of notes:
1) Don't try this every five minutes if you don't get an answer. If
someone is in receiving range who has the EFT programmed into their radio,
it (their radio) is going to go off like an alarm clock and switch
channels to the one you specified in the call. If you wake someone up, or
interrupt their current VHF conversation, expect to be holed at the first
opportunity. I.e. use with discretion. I'm sure we'll figure out some
good guidelines as we get some experience.
2) Don't do something silly, like program the group MMSI in as your
boat's MMSI. And especially don't do that and then decide to hit the
Distress button as you sink! The group call has me listed as the contact
person, and while a 4AM wakeup call will certainly make feel very
concerned for your well being, even if you sink right off my dock, I can't
swim worth a damn.
And if anyone asks, the group MMSI is for the Cascadia Sailing Group. I
had to make something up ;_) (I couldn't say "association" since we
aren't a registered non-profit.) Also, the Industry Canada computer
system *insisted* on me providing a FAX number before it would accept the
registration. I sure hope the 604-area code directory assistance
operators have a FAX machine handy in the event anyone decides they really
need to send a document along ...) (The IC staffer punched in the
555-1212 number, so don't yell at me!)
P.S. Someone Please come up with a better name for this ;-)