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HF radio is probably the most maligned and mis-understood radio systems that grace the modern work boat or yacht. They form a necessary, and in the case of commercial work boats and passenger yachts used for charter, obligatory piece of radio Equipment.

This is where Fleet Electronics comes in; We not only are capable of supplying and installing HF radios but are also empowered by the Sa dept of Transport Energy and Infrastructure (marine survey) to carry out surveys to ascertain that radios are in proper and operational condition and issue a certificate to that effect.

To book us to carry out a survey of your (HF) radio equipment please call us but ensure the following.

(a) You are aware that the equipment works, and you can carry out a test with “Coast Radio Adelaide” on 8291/6215/4125 KHz (b) that you are an accredited operator in possession of an ROCP (Radio Operator Certificate of Proficiency) (c) The station license pertaining to your vessel is current.

             HF radio equipment needs both a good long antenna and a substantial earth. Antennas vary considerably with length from 12 foot to 30 foot whips with, obviously, The longer antennas or long wire outperforming the shorter (especially at lower frequencies. It is also very necessary to have a good earth and this consists either of a copper 2’ wide feeder and “E-plate”  bronze or aluminium plate bolted to the hull on non metallic vessels or, in the case of metal vessels a copper or aluminium strap to the closest hull area.

Why the strap instead of a round piece of copper wire you might ask, well it is because at radio frequencies current travels on the outside “skin” of a conductor, the higher the frequency, the more pronounced this effect. Therefore a 50 mm wide copper strap has a greater surface area and hence a lower resistance than a round copper wire even though in cross section they are the same (area) .Round wires have other problems to complex to mention here.

 If your radio is operational, it must also have been originally designed for and tested for use in Australia and you must consult with us or any other suppliers that this is so.

The importation of radio equipment that does not comply with Australian rules is illegal and carries heavy fines, as does the operation of same. If this sounds Draconian please remember that HF radios are capable of long distances, indeed Global communication, so correct frequency use is important. For this reason Australian type approved radios are not capable of non-specified frequencies and have approved channels pre-programmed and clearly marked to allow emergency frequency selection with a minimum of fuss and ambiguity.

When operating in Waters not covered by VHF operation, Mandatory equipped vessels must also carry a HF radio as a minimum with more equipment necessary for distances over 300 nautical miles and higher class than 2B surveys.

We recommend JRC JSB-196 or Icom ICM-801E ( both up-gradable to future possible DSC requirements.)

For more information visit www.amsa.gov.au/search_and_rescue/Distress_and_Safety_Communications.



HF RADIO products: the law and other information


Land based HF radio

One of the most technically advanced HF radio products is manufactured right in our home state of South Australia, Namely the Codan range of NGT (new generation transceiver) HF radio which makes connecting to another radio or PSTN connected phone as easy as using your mobile.

All the complex operations of finding a suitable Beacon tower and frequency is done by the transceiver using ALE (Automatic Link Establishment) with the transceiver storing such information to make subsequent calls to the same sub-scriber or other HF radio even faster.

The NGT microphone is configured like a mobile with LCD screen showing parameters and transceiver status and an Alpha numeric key set making entry easy.

With installed prices ranging from $ 3,600 to 4,500 the Codan NGT is also price competitive and, once the unit has been acquired, running costs are merely a low yearly radio license cost plus connection to the KKS-737 Radio net work (find out more about this service at www.vks737.on.net.