I had much trouble finding an official listing of Marine VHF Channel allocations in Singapore. I finally stumbled across a seemingly partial listing and then stumbled across a more comprehensive unofficial listing, and then another, and then another. So for both your convenience and mine, I’ve compiled the data here.
Like almost everything else in Singapore, operating a non-“household” device requires a license, and using a Marine VHF set is no exception. You are required to pay an annual License Fee of S$50 in addition to an unspecified Fee for Frequency (“Depending on the bandwith of the frequencies”) and for Application & Processing (also “Depending on the bandwith of the frequencies”).
I would also caution that it is an offence to listen or repeat transmissions or the contents of a transmission not intended for your license class (if you don’t have a license, it is thus not for you unless: read next point) or for general information. As to what exactly general information is… This is something we apparently inherited from the UK during WWII (iirc) to prevent rogue transmissions or signal interception from the enemy. If you think, that “general information” applies to you, you should probably read the section in the Telecommunications (Radio-communication) Regulations on Licensing. 🙁
If you’re looking for the Channels/Frequencies of most Consumer-grade walkie talkies in Singapore, you’ll be wanting to look at PMR446, which is what we use, which is in the UHF band.
They have CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System), DTMF and DCS (not DSC; Digital Coded Squelch NOT Digital Selective Calling) tones that help to stop one hearing unwated transmissions from other people on the same channel. It is sometimes called Privacy Tones, Privacy Codes, Digital Channel Guard, or Groups. It should be noted that it will NOT prevent interference when 2 people on the same channel transmit at the same time, even if if they are in different privacy groups. It only helps to prevent hearing transmission from those in other groups. Also, those who don’t use Groups (often setting Group to 0 [Zero] or Off) will be able to hear everything that everyone in that channel is saying, even from those who are in Groups.
The Uniden brand of walkie talkies use Groups differently (though they still have standard CTCSS and DCS tones, albeit under a different name). I haven’t been able to pinpoint how they do it. They do have DTMF tones though so perhaps that is it. It is unlikely that they prevent all the problems noted above though.
There is also a Digital PMR (dPMR) band of frequencies that uses digital signals instead of analog signals though I don’t think this is legal in Singapore.
In Marine VHF (156.0 to 162.025 MHz) there are a number of things to take note of:
- Simplex vs Duplex Transmissions
In Simplex transmissions, all communications takes place on only 1 frequency. This means that communication can only take place in one direction at a time. In Duplex, 2 frequencies are allocated, (from your perspective) one for you to transmit, and another for you to receive.
- No CTCSS or DCS (not DSC) tones
Digital Selective Calling. This sends a predefined message (among many others) containing information about your self such as MMSI number (license required), message (SOS? Require Assistance), etc.
The Marine VHF Channels are often very busy. To prevent interferene on adjacent channels, and if your device supports it, make sure the bandwidth is less than 25KHz, meaning 12.5KHz. If in doubt, always choose narrow bandwidth instead of wide bandwidth.
As far as I know and/or could find out, these are the channels currently in use in Singapore, subject to possible errors. Keep in mind, Malaysia and even Indonesia may be using the unlisted channels so don’t take it to mean an unlisted channel is unused. Standard disclaimers apply.
[table id=1 /]
This page is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 SG license. You may use or reproduce this article in whole or in part provided you share the information under the same license and include attribution to this post. For the legalese, click here.