VHF - Very High Frequency - is installed in many recreational boats, commercial boats and dinghies.
On larger ships, several VHF systems have often been installed, which are partly used for the internal communication on board, and partly as part of the ship's safety system.
VHF radio is available in several different versions:
As a permanent installation in a recreational craft or a commercial boat, the range will typically be 10-20 nautical miles.
Like a handheld radio for use in dinghies, the range is somewhat smaller - typically 5-10 nautical miles.
On larger ships where the antenna can get higher in the air, the range will be 20-30 nautical miles.
In fjords, coves and along mountains and ice edges, you can experience areas with no or uncertain VHF coverage.
If you have VHF installed in the boat, you can get in touch with Aasiaat Radio and nearby vessels. That is why the VHF radio stands out in relation to, for example, a mobile phone.
Aasiaat Radio today has VHF stations standing at numerous high points along the coast. The location often coincides with a radio chain station, so you use the resources that are already available.
The location gives Aasiaat Radio a much better range than usual for VHF. You will often find that we cover large parts of a fjord area, such as Disko Bay or Nuuk Fjord.
In addition to the fact that at each VHF position there is a working channel available, which is listened to all the time.
VHF or Mobile Phone?
Even when sailing in areas covered by a mobile phone, it cannot compete with the VHF system in the boat.
The range for VHF, for example, is completely different than for a mobile phone. With a VHF radio on board you can also:
• Get in touch with the rescue authorities.
• Get in touch with the vessels that are located near oneself.
• Get weather forecasts.
• Get ice messages.
• Get navigation alerts.
• Use Coastal Control.
• Call home.
• Get medical attention if needed.
If you are in need, with a VHF on board, you will be able to call a proven system, where both the rescue authorities, other ships in the area and the coastal radio stations have completely fixed routines for how to react.
However, one does not need to be in need to benefit from the VHF radio. For example, if you want to communicate with other ships nearby, VHF is also the preferred solution over a mobile phone.
The VHF channels are shown above
VHF DSC Radio Equipment
DSC - Digital Selective Calling - is technology found in most new VHF radios.
If you have connected GPS to a VHF DSC radio, you will be able to make an emergency call at the touch of a button.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has postponed plans to end the listening watch on VHF channel 16. Therefore, VHF DSC will not be introduced by Aasiaat Radio, nor will VHF DSC equipment for smaller ships be required.
A possible emergency call on VHF DSC in Greenlandic waters will therefore so far only be received by other vessels with VHF DSC installed.
VHF DSC radios are basically available in 2 different versions:
Class A equipment allows VHF DSC emergency, emergency and safety calls as well as regular calls to / from land and other vessels. A Class A VHF DSC is more expensive as there are 2 receiver systems. One receiver system is always tuned to channel 70.
Class D equipment allows VHF DSC emergency, emergency and safety calls as well as regular calls to / from land and other vessels. A Class D VHF DSC is cheaper as it does not have a built-in receiver dedicated specifically to channel 70.
In addition, low cost VHF DSC systems are:
Class F equipment allows VHF DSC to send emergency, emergency and safety calls. However, the equipment does not allow emergency, emergency and safety calls, calls from land or other vessels broadcast on DSC channel 70.
For more information on requirements regarding DSC equipment on board Greenlandic ships, we refer to the Danish Maritime Authority's website.
Aasiaat radio operates both VHF and medium wave. The facilities are distributed along the entire coastline in West Greenland from Cape Farewell in the south to Holms Ø in the north and are also located in East Greenland around Tasiilaq.
A VHF system consists of two duplicate transceivers, one for channel 16 and one for the working channel. Each system has its own antenna and output power of 40 W. The VHF systems are made by Jotron.
A medium wave system consists of a doubled transmitter that can transmit at 2182, 2187.5 and a working channel. The antenna is an approximately 19 meter high ground plane antenna and the output power is 1 kW PEP. The transmitters are from Rhode & Schwartz.
The receiver system consists of a number of Rhode & Schwarz full-band receivers, which are partly used as shift receivers for 2182 kHz telephony, MF DSC 2187.5 kHz and partly as work receivers on the assigned frequencies.
Aasiaat Radio monitors the systems using loudspeaker systems and flashing buttons. If there is a call, the relevant button will light up and there will be sound in the loudspeaker for that position.
If a call comes on DSC, the call will enter the DSC queue. DSC DISTRESS comes in a queue separately with an alarm individually. All other calls come in the secondary queues.
Calls from ships testing their DSC system will be answered automatically within 30 seconds. This is done provided that the transmitter in question is not used elsewhere.
Before You Sail
Before you go sailing in Greenlandic waters, it is a good idea to check the weather. Both where you leave from, on the route and where you are going.
If you are going on a sailing trip over several days, we recommend that you listen to the weather forecast a few days before you leave:
Radiophony: Weather forecasts are broadcast by Kalaallit Nunaata Radio (KNR) on radiophony.
Telephone: Tusass sends out weather forecasts on telephone 153/154 (Greenlandic / Danish) for the cities in Greenland.
Internet: For weather forecasts for the waters around Greenland, we refer to dmi.dk.
Please note that the weather forecast for the cities only applies to the local area around the city. Forecasts for the waters apply from the coast (the outer skerries) and out to sea.
See the water map from DMI:
Spare parts for the engine (spark plugs)
Fishing tackle and food
FM / AM radio receiver with batteries
Mobile phone, even if it does not have the same capabilities as a VHF radio
And not least: Let the family know about your itinerary and expected arrival time and place.
Alternatively, you can use Coastal Control.
Read more under Services.
Aasiaat Radio regularly broadcasts to shipping about the orders placed at the coastal radio stations. These messages are called traffic lists.
Traffic lists are broadcast by Aasiaat Radio every three hours according to a schedule, which you can see below.
Traffic list SUMMER
Traffic list WINTER
Traffic list times also apply to MF.