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What is a VHF DSC Radio?

VHF DSC radios are handheld radios that operate on the digital selective calling (DSC) protocol. To communicate across a wide range of frequencies, these devices employ frequency hopping spread spectrum technology. A typical VHF DSC radio operates on frequencies of 902-928 MHz and 930-949 MHz.

How does a VHF DSC radio work?

A VHF DSC radio transmits a signal that identifies itself using a unique code known as a Digital Selective Call (DSC). When a receiver hears its own unique DSC code, it recognises that it is being called and responds appropriately.

The DSC codes are transmitted via a series of short radio wave bursts. Each burst contains a set number of pulses, each representing a single bit of data. The number of bits per second determines how quickly a radio can transmit data

What types of VHF DSC radios are there?

There are two types of VHF DSC radios:

  • Handheld radios
  • Fixed station radios

Handheld radios are small portable radios that people can carry with them. They are frequently used by SAR professionals, emergency responders, and others who must respond to calls quickly.

Fixed station radios are fixed units that are linked to a centralised computer system. They are commonly used by those operating out at sea and other organisations that need to remotely monitor their equipment.

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