Re: Unlicensed VHF Use

Date: Sat Apr 11 1998 - 13:45:31 PDT

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Subject: Re: Unlicensed VHF Use
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 13:45:31 -0700
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I have debated for a few years on what to carry for communicating while on
the water. What I am doing is to use an old analog cell phone which I have
laying around unused since upgrading to digital.

A little known secret is all operating cell phones can make 911 calls
without having to have any kind of cell phone contract. The FCC mandated
all cell carriers to pick up and pass on any 911 call from any cell phone.
What this means is anyone who has an old, out of service contract, cell
phone can drop this in a watertight bag (West has them for about 20 bucks)
and use it in emergencies.

Saves to cost of a marine radio. Only downside might be that the call would
connect only in waters where there is cell coverage. I am sure all sites
from Crissy, out the gate, and everywhere in the Bay are under cell
coverage. Along the coast, like at Waddell, not sure.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Scott <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Date: Friday, April 10, 1998 2:07 PM
Subject: Unlicensed VHF Use

>My experience and Carlos' recent one prompted me to buy a marine
>transceiver today. I got the new Apelco 520 which is supposedly
>submersion rated and has a 5 watt transmit power mode. Also has big
>backlighted display, and is fairly compact and light.
>The question is - can I use this thing without a license? Bob Galvan
>posted some info. on this subject about a year ago or so, but I've
>misplaced it. Also, what is the emergency frequency, Kenneth? I think
>it's channel 16, but do the Coasties prefer that you talk to them on
>channel 22?

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