The Marine Communication Systems course covers local VHF/FM and offshore HF/SSB radios, as well as new services.


Topics include:
  • Radio waves, transmitters, receivers, antennas, and transmission lines
  • FCC Rules and Regulations, Frequency Plan, and proper operating procedures
  • Other communication services, including:
    • EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons)
    • Digital Selective Calling (DSC)
    • Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)
    • Cellular phone service
    • Satellite Communications


Emphasis is on basic physical description. Demonstration materials are used to illustrate the textbook. After completing this course, you should be able to determine your marine communications needs, and to understand radio specifications and the capabilities and limitations of marine radio equipment. You will also know FCC rules and regulations (Part 80) and how to operate your radio legally in all situations.


Although there is no prerequisite for this course, you should have a grasp of fundamental concepts covered in MCS, such as properties of conductors and insulators, formation of a magnetic field around a current-carrying conductor, principle of electromagnetic induction, and the four basic electrical units: volts, amperes, watts, and ohms. The course provides all the radio background needed for following on with ME-103.


Suggested readings:
Don Hagen
P/R/C Don Hagen, SN
P/R/C Don Hagen, SN, is a past chairman of the national Marine Electronics Committee, past squadron commander, and past district commander. He is a registered professional engineer with an FCC General Class Radiotelephone License and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. His career in the defense electronics industry spanned 40 years. Now retired, he holds a USCG 100-ton Master's License, and has sailed for over 30 years in New England coastal waters. He has taught this course 16 times, and has a Chapman award for excellence in teaching.
Contact Instructor at 508-655-1143 or Email SailorDon


For course dates, check the "Calendar". If not scheduled, call Call SEO P/C Jim Mahoney, AP at 508-655-5244. Courses will be offered based on Member interest and requests.