If you have got a DSC capable VHF Radio or you are thinking of getting one you will want to know more about the latest WatchMate firmware release. WatchMate Firmware V5.04 is now available and it includes DSC calling capability allowing you to connect to a DSC compatible VHF radio.
Using the DSC function from your WatchMate allows you to initiate an “individual station call” to vessels that are displayed on your WatchMate screen. This feature makes it easy to message nearby boats, requesting them to switch to a specific channel for a VHF call.
As with all Vesper Marine firmware upgrades this release is free; you can request this new firmware as an upgrade here. It’s available for the WatchMate 850, 750 or the 670. Sorry it won’t be made available for the older WatchMate 650.
As can be seen in the screen shot to the right using the DSC feature is very easy. Use the arrow buttons to scroll up/down to the desired channel. The last used working channel is remembered and becomes the default for subsequent calls. Use the “Call” button to place the call or “Cancel” to return to the target display without calling.
To date we have verified this feature works with several Icom radios and we expect this feature will also work well with other brands of DSC enabled VHF radios that accepts the NMEA-0183 DSC sentence. We are interested in learning which other VHF radios support this capability. If you have tried this feature and found it to work, please tell us by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the support section of our website www.vespermarine.com.
If you want to learn more about the other benefits you get with DSC enabled radios your might like to review;