DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast GuardSe vi capita di navigare con la vostra barchetta al largo delle coste americane, provate a dire la vostra. Il documento con tutti i riferimenti del caso, compreso si trova qui:
High Frequency (HF) Radio Broadcasts of Marine Weather Forecasts and Warnings
AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.
ACTION: Notice; request for public comments.
SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is soliciting public comment on the need to continue providing high frequency (HF) radio broadcasts of weather forecasts and warnings. Public comment is necessary in order to assess the demand for the HF radio broadcasts of weather forecasts in each of three forms: (1) Radiofacsimile; (2) voice; and, (3) Simplex Teletype Over Radio (SITOR), also known as Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP). The infrastructure necessary to provide these services has exceeded its life expectancy; the equipment is no longer manufactured, repairs are difficult to accomplish, and spare parts generally are not available. Because of the very significant costs involved to continue these specific HF radio services, the Coast Guard requires information on the extent to which these services are used by the public and what alternative services are being used or are available to obtain weather forecasts and warnings.
Background and Purpose
The Coast Guard broadcasts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) weather forecasts and warnings using 24 high frequency (HF) radio transmitters (transmitting on frequencies between 3 and 30 MHz) located at seven Coast Guard communications stations in the United States and Guam. The range of these HF radio transmissions is dependent upon operating frequency, time of day and atmospheric conditions, and can vary from only short distances to several thousand miles. There are three types of HF radio broadcasts currently provided:
(1) Voice broadcasts that transmit a synthesized voice to announce the forecasts);
(2) radiofacsimile, also known as ‘‘radiofax’’ or ‘‘HF Fax’’ broadcasts, that transmit graphic weather maps and other graphic images over HF radio (maps are received using a dedicated radiofax receiver or a single sideband shortwave receiver connected to an external facsimile recorder or a personal computer equipped with a radiofax interface and application software); and,
(3) Simplex Teletype Over Radio (SITOR) broadcasts also known as Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP).
The 24 HF transmitters employed to transmit weather forecasts and warnings are not, because of their age, providing the reliability the Coast Guard expects from its radio transmitters. These particular transmitters are no longer manufactured and replacement parts generally are not available, making it difficult, if not impossible, to repair them. If the HF weather broadcasts are to continue, the infrastructure necessary for the broadcasts must be replaced. Significant costs will be incurred to replace the requisite transmitters and associated infrastructure. Before seeking funds for this undertaking, the Coast Guard must gather evidence relating to how frequently, and under what circumstances, the maritime community uses the various types of HF radio weather broadcasts. In addition, it would be helpful to learn about current and future needs of the maritime community with regard to receiving weather forecasts and warnings over HF radio, and what alternatives are being used or might become available.
Insomma, la solita storia di un mucchio di ferraglia ormai inutile che è meglio togliere di mezzo con tanti saluti and thanks for all the fish? Incerto sul da farsi (e se poi quelli scrivono *davvero* che il weather forecast in HF non serve?) sono andato a guardarmi le reazioni di coloro che si sono già presi la briga di andare sul sito Web indicato (http://dms.dot.gov/) per depositarvi i loro pareri. La lettura di questi contributi è un balsamo per le orecchie, già piegate a mo’ di coniglio depresso e umiliato, dell’ex intrepido Dxer. E’ uno tsunami in miniatura di appelli a proseguire un servizio giudicato da molti indispensabile per la sicura navigazione dei natanti più piccoli. Ecco per esempio uno di questi pareri:
I use HF voice weather broadcasts routinely while making transits between the eastern coast of the US, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. This is a valuable service that is crucial to vessel safety, and for which there is no cost-effective alternative. I urge you to continue the service.Eccone un altro:
I am not a vessel captain or a mariner. However I am an Amateur Radio operator, and I do monitor (and participate in when possible) the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 14.300MHz. I know that many small vessels (both comercial and private) utilize HF radio as their only means of long distance communication. I feel that these vessels would be considerably endangered if the broadcasting of marine weather forcasts on HF was to be discontinued.Molte opinioni ben articolate, educate, sommesse. Tutte per dire una verità che per i burocrati dovrebbe essere evidente. Le onde corte costano poco e sono accessibili a tutti, anche ai più piccoli, anche senza investire milioni in comunicazioni satellitari magnifiche e progressive, ma non sempre così affidabili. E’ un principio di razionalità che molti farebbero bene a ricordare per evitare inutili infatuazioni nei confronti delle tecnologie digitali. Che non sono negative di per se stesse, intendiamoci, ma che non dovrebbero autorizzarci a fare a meno di certe sane valutazioni costi/benefici.
I do not see that the cost of replacing the HF voice, and HF radio fax transmission equipment would be all that expensive. While more expensive than Amateur Radio equipment, Comercial HF transmitters are available from a number of sources. Computers are relatively inexpensive these days, and could provide the requsite signal inputs for HF voice and fax weather broadcasts.
I feel that it is important that the above mentioned broadcasts be continued for the safety of small vessels at sea. The owners of many of these vessels cannot afford to buy expensive and highly complex systems to receive weather forcasts. Marine HF radio gear, or Amateur Radio equipment (modified to also cover marine HF frequencies) is relatively inexpensive, and available to most small owners.