Who knows how the RFDS emergency button works on your HF radio?

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 13:03
ThreadID: 15256 Views:2555 Replies:5 FollowUps:10
This Thread has been Archived
I'm putting together some info for publication in the RFDS Outback Traveller Club magazine on Comms and have just got myself a bit confused about how the Emergency button on the HF radio works. Does it automatically put you through to the correct frequency for the nearest base to your physical location? ie. using GPS or something? I've never had to use it so not 100% sure and need to do some research - without David here for my technical backup on these issues, I've checked both the RFDS and VKS websites and couldn't find the answer there. So, does anyone know EXACTLY how it works? eg. there are 3 frequencies for each base, so even if the transceiver knew how to locate which base was nearest your you, how would the emergency button select the best frequency automatically?

Any help appreciated - as document has to go today... Thanks, Michelle
Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 13:52

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 13:52
Hi Michelle

Press the button and it automatically connects to the clsest base station. I think!
Ring VKS 737 they should be able to give you the full detail
AnswerID: 71060

Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:17

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:17
I'm sure they wont mind you testing it either!!!
Just give them a call or page first.

Eq.
AnswerID: 71063

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:27

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:27
Ok - so I've got the real answer now. If you aren't a Member of the Royal Flying Doctor Outback Travellers Club you wont be getting their magazine that I write for, so here's the answer for our forum as its an important one and most people (me included) get confused!

Before hitting the emergency button you need to know which RFDS base is nearest to you and then select one of the 3 frequencies available for that station that would be the most appropriate (given time of day, weather etc) - THEN hit the emergency button for instant connection.

Otherwise, if you just hit the button without first selecting the correct frequency for your nearest RFDS base, you will set of an alarm (possibly) on the base station which will then send an alarm (based on time of day) to a random emergency operator (could be ambulance, 000 etc) and an operator will come on and ask "Who's calling?" They have no way of knowing if this alarm was a false alarm (noise apparently can set off the base station alarms) or who you are or where you are. They are more likely to give you the correct frequency to make a proper call to your nearest RFDS.

So - its not really as simple as pressing the button! A good reason for all passengers etc to know how to use the radio and not rely on it doing the work for you.
Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 71065

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 15:57

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 15:57
G'day everybody,
This raises another question for me to ask, if I may, please......
My Barrett is fitted with all sorts of channels including numerous RFDS ones.
However, I have not paid anybody to be a member of the RFDS and don't know whether I am therefore able to get them on the air if I ever need to. EG: I also have SOTA (WT?) and Radphone etc etc frequencies, but aren't paid up to able to make radio-telephone calls. AFAIK I am only "entitled" or able to use the VKS 737 network, despite having all these (seems to hundreds) of other frequencies on the radio. I've sometimes scrolled through these other channels and have never heard anybody on any of them, except for some of the AM sideband channels and the ABC (recieve only of course)/VOA/BBC etc
AnswerID: 71081

Follow Up By: Member - Gerk Yorke Pen (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 16:58

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 16:58
G'day Russell, Just got my licence renewal yesterday to beable to use the RFDS FREQUENCIES the renewal is $35 This doesn't allow you to use the SOTA channels as this is for school lessons.(school of the air) but if the Pootrol broke down and you couldn't use the VKS ones I would be useing the RFDS ones to get me out of trouble or into it. (Licences from ACA)
0
FollowupID: 331310

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:04

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:04
Thanks Paul.............
0
FollowupID: 331311

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:29

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:29
Hi Roachie,

My understanding of the HF radio is that you are only allowed to use the frequencies of which you are licensed. By being a VKS 737 member, you can use the 5 VKS 737 frequencies as authorised by their rules ie. not in scheds time, announce handle first etc... If a RFDS member, you can use their frequencies under their rules. Same for Radtel etc...

While you technically cannot use RFDS frequencies, you are authorised to do so in an emergency. In fact, you are allowed to use any frequencies in an emergency I believe.

Thus while you can "chat" on VKS 737 at appropriate times (if a member), you cannot use RFDS unless an emergency. As for Radtel etc.., you cannot "chat" on these frequencies either.

I hope thats right because that is my understanding when I am allowed to use my HF set. I have only ever transmitted on VKS 737 frequencies and certainly hope I never need RFDS frequencies.

As for the emergency buttons, I notice you have the Barrett 550 as well. I think the red "2182" button simply is a priority button for the 2182 frequency (basic emergency frequency) while the red "alarm" button is a beacon call on 2182 frequency. Don't have the manual to confirm that, but thats my recollection of it. Makes me think how well I could actually use the HF in an emergency?

While the HF is IMHO far more versatile than a satphone, definetly takes more knowledge to use it. I carry a laminated chart of all the VKS 737/ RFDS bases and frequencies in my glovebox. One cannot remember all the different selcall and beacon call id's and frequencies without it. But is good to be able to talk to VKS base when in the bush and give a position. Never feel totally alone.

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
LC 200 + AOR Quantum

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 331314

Follow Up By: theratt - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:32

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 17:32
in a EMERGENCY you may use whatever channel you like
you dont have to be a member of any organization

cheers VKS-737- Wiskey 6172
0
FollowupID: 331317

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:02

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:02
Roachie, you are able to talk direct to the RFDS Broken hill base or the WA base (forget the name of it) through any VKS737 base. Every VKS737 base has a special selcall number which when you transmit will telephone connect you to the RFDS automatically. Have a look at the vks737 website and look for the network map where all the selcall numbers are listed, print it out and carry it in your vehicle.
0
FollowupID: 331329

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:14

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:14
The network map can be a bit tricky to find so here's the link.
You'll find on the right hand side of it the selcall numbers for linking to the RFDS.

http://www.vks737.on.net/pdfs/basescontact.pdf
0
FollowupID: 331333

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:14

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 18:14
Thanks everybody for that useful info.
I wasn't sure whether my HF would even be "wired" to use those channels, but it seems I could in an emergency.
Cya later
0
FollowupID: 331334

Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 20:19

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 20:19
You might be able to use those other channels, but I wonder if the emergency button works on those channels. In a real emergency I would prefer if all the flashing lights and bells and whistles were going off somewhere.

From memory you have to hold the button down for a few seconds too!

cheers

Eq.
0
FollowupID: 331363

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 20:41

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 20:41
Eq, may not be any bells or lights but I've seen it in action and it's pretty damn quick straight through to the RFDS base operator.

Sounds a bit mickey mouse to me when the emergency button calls someone who tells you to go to another frequency to call someone else.
0
FollowupID: 331365

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004 at 01:30

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004 at 01:30
Equinox - yes, you're right you need to hold it down for 15-20 seconds - forgot to add that bit.
Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 331398

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004 at 01:34

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004 at 01:34
As a followup to this - about 30mins after putting this post on the Forum I had a call from the RFDS base at Jandakot here in Perth from a very helpful guy (a radio tech) and we discussed how the various procedures for using the Emergency button and how it calls the RFDS bases is varied between the states! Qld works differently to SA, works differently to WA. So, I've decided that I need to research all these differences and put together an article at some point. Would be really interesting to know. As someone else has put it - sure hope I never have to use it, I'd be hunting for the manual in a flash!
Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 71190

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)