View Full Version : 27 meg phase out myth.

10-10-2005, 06:02 AM
Was listening to nuggets show on suday and had a guy from bias was saying that the 27 meg radio will not be getting phased out.


10-10-2005, 03:18 PM
The question should have been "why do boaties continue to buy this sort of radio for safety?". If you want to chat with your mates on the cheap, a 27MHz is OK. If you want to have the best possible chance of being heard when you call for help, VHF is the way to go.

10-10-2005, 05:53 PM
I have both , just incase one craps itself.

And i spose another reason why people use them is because they only fish inside.

10-10-2005, 06:57 PM
They will be around for as long as they are still being manufactured, and as long as they are still being used by Boaties. As sales decrease, then they are likely to become unprofitable to manufacture.

As Whiteman says, VHF is the way to go, particualy as the price of the VHF becomes more affordable as people realise this to be the case, and sales in the VHF continue to increase as a result.

People tend to confuse 121.5/243 EPIRBS being phased out in 2009 with the 27Mhz radios I suspect.

Cheers Lloyd

10-10-2005, 07:21 PM
People tend to confuse 121.5/243 EPIRBS being phased out in 2009 with the 27Mhz radios I suspect.

Cheers Lloyd
And a good thing, the change to 406mHz EPIRBS. Much quicker response times/chance of being rescued. It may be an inconvenience to some I suppose but safety is priceless.

10-10-2005, 07:32 PM
And an improvement in accuracy from approximately 11 miles to 3 miles, a big difference in search area in rough seas or night.
I am with you Chanquetas, what price yours and your familys safety?

Cheers Lloyd

10-10-2005, 09:56 PM
I think it's a bit like colour television versus black and white.
If you are in the market for a new one why not pay just a little more and get something that is so much better.

10-10-2005, 10:00 PM
27 meg is no longer recognised by the government as an emergency frequency.

I suppose that may have created some confusion about it being "phased out" also

11-10-2005, 06:12 AM
27 meg is no longer recognised by the government as an emergency frequency.

Hey bay_firey - I'd be interested to follow that up.
Where did you hear that info?
Thanks mate
Dave ><>

11-10-2005, 09:06 AM

There was a review done a couple of years ago.
At the same time the governement "rationalised" the vhf land station operations.

I will chase up some info and post up here for all

11-10-2005, 02:06 PM
This is one of several responses I recieved. I also checked the International Spectrum Plans.

Dear Gary,

ACMA has no plans to phase out 27 MHz.


Andrew Stewart
Senior Engineer
Spectrum Planning & Engineering
Australian Communications and Media Authority

Ph. 02 62195238

12-10-2005, 11:44 AM
This is by no means a myth as the suggestion and recommendation for the future of 27MHz marine was discussed as recently as June 2005 as part of the National Marine Distress System. The reference groups response to the issue of 27MHz marine was as follows.

The reference group discussed how 27MHz can be
phased out noting that legislation in most states only
refers to “marine radio” in general. Attempts are
underway to move users away from27 MHz however
the issue of users not wanting to get an operator
certificate for VHF was identified. The group noted that
currently the only state not monitoring 27 MHz at all is
NT (also advice received information of none in
southern Tasmania – see previous comment.
The reference group recognized that the draft specifies
that 27 MHz will not be a part of the state/NT national
radio system and will only remain as a monitoring
service within the IBRS. The reference group
determined not to specify a phase out period and
determined that the status of 27MHz be considered for
inclusion in the awareness campaign.

Other points/comments discussed at this meeting might also be of interest to some especially in regard to 27MHz not being part of or suitable within the national distress service.

A View was expressed that education on the use of Safety and
Distress Communications should include emphasis on the advantages of
VHF over the 27MHz band.
The reference group agreed with the status of 27MHz
expressed in the draft – i.e. it is not part of the national
service and acknowledging that it is still used within the
IBRS, however that recreational boats using 27MHz will
be disadvantaged when trying to interact with other
vessels during an emergency (especially when > 2nm
off shore).

12-10-2005, 10:02 PM
VHF is not the be all and end all of marine radios I'm afraid. For those of you who ONLY fish in wide open uncluttered areas then VHF is probably the radio for you.
For those who fish in creeks with plenty of trees and mangroves VHF is almost useless as it is line of sight and the signal will not bounce off clouds etc to get over the trees.
On a recent trip to Karumba I had the misfortune to take only my Icom VHF and left the 27meg behind. I worked on the theory that as I would be travelling up to 70km from port that 25 watts is better than 5. My mates (3 other boats) also did what I did and left the 27meg home too.
Up the creeks and in the mangrove areas the VHF was useless...but if we were in the river mouth or someone was fishing wide in the open and we could see each other then we could talk on the VHF. On one occasion I was in a creek directly opposite a mate in his boat with 50m of mangrove separating us and using the VHF I could not talk to him BUT when I yelled friendly abuse @ him thru the trees I could clearly hear his son laughing. We all had 8ft antennas as well.
So when I got home I refitted the 27 meg into the boat and now am much wiser.... cheers baldy

13-10-2005, 09:21 AM
Thanks Bugs - interesting comments there.
Who was this 'reference group' that gave this responce?

It's interesting that despite asking several in authority, including the Chief Engeneer of Spectrum Management, the Government body reponsible for managing radio in Australia, nobody admitted to - in fact they denied - a phase out of 27mhz.

Dave ><>

13-10-2005, 04:39 PM
Gidday Nugget, In my opinion it is more a case of turn your back on 27meg a little, not actively promote them as they do VHF and hope they go away through natural attrition.

I would have to agree with bay_firey when he says 27meg are no longer officialy recognised by either Federal or the State Gov.

The reason I say this is that neither the Australian Maritime Stations, nor the State/Territory run Coast Radio Stations monotor 27meg. (By the same token nor do they generaly monotor VHF for that matter, some major ports do, some dont). 27 meg is uniguely Australian, VHF is internationaly recognised and as such I guess the Governmeant has to promote something to meet our international commitments to conventions such as S.O.L.A.S. (Safety of Life at Sea). Most large vessels travelling internationaly will use VHF for their shortrange Ship to Ship, and Ship to Shore while berthing, and sometimes attracting Custom's and Quarintine etc on arrival. They do not use these sets as their main comm's, they use MF/HF for international waters plus other devices such as satcom and even the internet.
With the DSC capabilities of VHF, ships over 300 gross registered tonnes no longer have to monotor the standard radiotelephony distress frequencie CH 16 which is international or the supplementary CH 67 once again unique to Australian waters only. (Ch67 is not recognised outside of Australia).
Hence VHF is actively supported and promoted as the minimum standard. The Federal and State/Territory communications centres do not want to monotor the VHF frequencies as it is widely used by the rec boater. That is why they promote Vollunteer Groups such as VMR's, Coastguards and Royal Coastal Patrols to look after these frequencies for them. (Limited Coast Stations).

Gidday Baldyhead, both 27meg and VHF use line of sight (Ground waves) for radio propogation.
The problem MAY have been that you were to close together particualy if you were using the 25 watt setting. We have difficulty from time to time with boats logging on at the ramp who we just cant hear at all untill they move further out into the Bay or drop their wattage to 1 watt. Somtimes VMR Raby Bay will answer for us, as we do them when this occurs. It does not happen every day with every boat, I think it is a combination of factors.
If you are happy with 27meg, stick with it. You will never hear me criticising anyone who has a radio for communication as long as it does the job that they require it to and they are not afraid to use it.
27 meg are great little radio's, but they DO NOT have the range of features such as increased range through repeaters, clearer modulation, less atmospheric and electrical noise, increased wattage or the DSC capabilitys such as Auto Distress functions and possition reporting.
When I had my boat, I had both, I was very happy with the performance of both the sets.

Cheers Lloyd

13-10-2005, 10:13 PM
Reference group would be the members of the National Marine Safety Committee who attempt to try and coodinate legislation on a national common basis.

The status-quo exists with 27MHz radio, no change, but it was discussed in the process in determining the National Standard for Recreational Boat Safety Equipment. True, there is no current phase out of 27MHz but there has been some talk about limiting use to inshore waters, that is within 2nm of land.

In essence 27MHz has no official capacity in the marine distress system and VHF should be encouraged.

14-10-2005, 05:14 AM
Some realy good info here Bugs.
Makes huge sense to legitimise its existence by restricting it's use for the purpose it was really designed for.
Is their anywhere I can read the discussion etc on the web? I am very interested.
Cheers Lloyd

17-10-2005, 04:51 PM
The public submissions, discussion and outcomes can be found at


and in particular probably this file is pertinent to the radio/distress issues