Connecting radios all over the world

Mimer SoftRadio - Marine systems

Mimer SoftRadio can be built in many sizes and for many purposes

Please also see the other pages with examples.

Below are a number of examples of systems for use in marine environment both onshore and offshore.
All of them can be expanded at any time to any size needed.

Mimer SoftRadio

Coastal Radio

SoftRadio example of coast radio

Coastal radio centre with three radio sites.

A coastal radio dispatcher often needs to use several radio sites in order to get coverage along a coastal line or other water way. In the example to the left there are three radios each at three different sites. This can of course be many more.

The dispatchers can listen to all radios at the same time and transmit on either one of them.

If the option GroupSend is added to the system, the operator can also transmit on several radios at the same time.

Some Marine VHF channels are meant for duplex use, and SoftRadio can work in full duplex. So if you also choose a base radio that works in duplex the operator will be able to talk to the ship while listening on the same radio channel.

Inland Water ways

Radio system used at an Inland Water Way

Inland Water Way system with seven radio sites

Same thing applies to an Inland Water Way. You will need several radio sites to cover the stretch of the river.

Connecting the radios through a receiver voting system helps the dispatcher to get the best reception from the ships.

On European Inland Water Ways you also need the function ATIS messaging. Further described below.

Jotron Marine Radio

Virtual Control Head for
Jotron 7750C Marine radio

Virtual Control Head, Icom IC-M423

Virtual Control Head for
Icom IC-M506 Marine radio

Using Receiver Voting / Diversity

In the example above three radios are connected to the system using the same radio channel, Channel 16. This can be a problem for the operator since he is likely to hear the ships on more than one receiver simoultaneusly. If one signal then is a bit noicy or distorted he will have a hard time to hear the good signal.

With the use of a diversity voting system the operator gets audio from only one of the three receivers, that use the same channel, to his speaker at the same time. The system will choose the first receiver with an acceptable signal and ignore the others.

The system can connect many receivers at different sites in this way.

Read more on Diversity here.

Two dispatchers monitoring three receivers using diversity

Two dispatchers monitoring three receivers using diversity

Sending and receiving DSC and ATIS

A vital part of marine systems are the abilities to receive and transmit DSC calls. This can be achieved through the optional module “MarineCalls” in your SoftRadio dispatcher software.

The dispatcher can easily make a DSC call to a single ship or group of ships and with the use of SoftRadios Marine CallLog the operator software will display the incoming messages with time stamps.

Calls to the operators MMSI number will be presented in green and an alarm call will be highlighted in red for higher visibility. The alarm can also be set to sound an alarm tone.

The calls are both displayed in a user window that shows the latest calls and also saved into a log file on the computer. A new log file is created for each new day.

On Central European inland waterways ATIS is used. This is a message transmitted at each PTT from the ships containing the identity of the ship. The ATIS messages are in the same format as the DCS calls and will therefor be displayed in the same log list as DSC calls.

ATIS calls can also be exported to other systems, outside SoftRadio, for example GIS systems, so that ships can be highlighted on a map when they transmit.

Read more on DSC and ATIS here.

Small touch screen running a marine radio and more

Small touch screen with SoftRadio and a marine radio

Menu for making a DSC call

DSC Call menu

Radios onboard ships

Large ships have many radios onboard. To combine them into a common operator interface is often a very good idea. A touch screen PC with virtual control panels is a very intuitive way of working with different types of radios.

From one touch screen and one headset, the operator can handle all types of radio as well as phones, intercom and more.

The example to the right is from the Swedish Coast Guard. More information on this system, is found on the Command and Control page.

Unmanned vessels

At the moment a lot of research is directed at building and launching unmanned vessels (UAV’s) at sea. The object is to have them sail without personnel over both sea, on inland water ways and in lakes and harbours.

For safety reasons the vessel needs to have a Marine radio onboard that a dispatcher at a marine control centre on shore can remote control and thereby talk over radio with other ships that are close by, just as if he would be onboard.

To make this work the vessel needs to have some type of IP link. Either through 4G when close to shore or through satellite, when further out to sea.

The onboard radio is connected to a network interface and via the IP link to the dispatchers PC. Through SoftRadio the controller can handle several radios on different ships at the same time.

Two operators working with many different types of radios onboard a Coast Guard ship

SoftRadio onboard the Swedish Coast Guard ships.

Unmanned vessel connected over 4G-modem.
Unmanned vessel connected over satellite.

SoftRadio onboard unmanned vessels, connected over 4G or satellite.

Oil/gas rigs and Wind farms

On an oil or gas rig in the North Sea there are many types of radio systems. These systems can all be connected together through the use of Mimer SoftRadio. Also when building and running wind farms you have a need for many types of radio systems.

In the example to the right there are local operators both on the rig and on land connected via the Internet. The operators can connect to both the local radio net on the rig and to marine VHF and Airband VHF. They also have access to the PA and alarm system on the rig.

Combining this with the option CrossPatch means that an operator for example can cross connect a Tetra user on the rig with a helicopter pilot, that is approaching the rig, using an airband radio.

Read more on the Offshore Systems page.

Onshore and offshore dispatchers using many types of radios.

Example from an oil rig with many types of radio systems.

Connections to SoftRadio

Different radio types

Mimer SoftRadio connects to any radio type via audio and PTT. In this way we can remote control Sailor, Garmin or other standard types of marine VHF radios.

If you have a need for channel change, scanning on/off etc, menu driven functions, we recommend that you use one of the radios that we have virtual control heads for. For example Icom IC-M506, the Jotron 7750C or the land mobile radios from Motorola, Hytera, Icom, TP or Kenwood. They can all be programmed to work as any other Marine VHF radio. Please ask.

Go here for a list of radios.

HF Radio stations

Mimer SoftRadio can also connect to HF radios using audio and PTT ports. This will not give any virtual control head. At the moment we have no HF radios with virtual control heads.

Phone connect

Mimer SoftRadio connects to SIP phones and GSM-modems, and also to POTS phone connections. You can for example use this to connect to a sattelite phone using its POTS connection. Read more on phone connections here.

PA/PAGA connection

With the PA system connected to the SoftRadio system, the radio dispatcher can also make anouncement calls on the PA system, using the same dispatch equipment.

With the option GroupSend the anouncement can be sent both on the pA and on radio at the same time.

With the option CrossPatch a portable radio can be linked to the PA.

Sailor RT5022

Sailor marine radio

Number pad for phone calls

Number pad for SIP phone

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