OK, so I picked up a VHF radio ...

… ICOM M72. Read through the manual, searched the net, and have a few questions. Looking for some help please.

First, when I select channel 16, the display says “CALLING”. Is that normal? Should it change to “busy”? I don’t want to call (unless for an emergency), just monitor. I’m not near the ocean, so could that be why it isn’t changing to “busy”?

As for other channels to monitor, a few things I’ve read said channel 22a. And of course the weather. Does that sound like a good place to start? Any other channels I should “TAG”?

I set WX ALERT “on”, BEEP off, PRIO SCAN on. Any other suggestions?

Another good channel
would be Channel 13. Commercial traffic monitor this channel. It’s used for passing arrangements for all vessels, securite broadcasts and to contact bridges, if there are any in your area. You might want to program some of your local channels as well, such as 68, 69, 72 etc. They are good places to ask for a radio check. Radio checks are not to be done on Channel 16.

This should help…

– Last Updated: Jul-20-07 7:48 PM EST –


Calling is the type of channel,you will get a (tx)when you depress the transmit button on the left side of the radio,then you are ready to transmit or (call),otherwise you are just listening...

Did you meen bridge to bridge(boat to boat)?

bridge to bridge, as in pilot house to pilot house (for passing arrangements etc) and structural bridges, particulary lift and swing bridges to request they open.

Sorry im gett’in a little “copy and paste” crazy.


They seriously need to update
some of the stuff on that site. I’m sure most folks know this since the horse has been beaten to death, but one does not need a license to operate a VHF radio any longer…although, if ya listen to some of the people on the radio nowadays, you have to ask yourself what the hell were the FCC and CG thinkin’. “Breaker, breaker good buddy.” Holy crap! >:{

So …
…“Calling” means you’re listening?

The U.S.C.G. is the last on the list when it comes to updating stuff it seems.

…Except,there heli’s, I love those heli’s…

not exactly
Channel 16 is named the “calling” channel. If it bothers you, I believe with the M72, you can rename the channel. As you page through the channels, you see other names, like “pleasure”, etc…

Where do you keep your radio?
Sounds like most of you keep the radio out vs. packed away. Mine has a belt clip, but I don’t know how secure that would be if I used that to clip on my PDF. I have one tab on my PDF, but my knife is on it. No pocket. Skirt has a strap on it. I think attaching somehow to my PDF makes the most sense.

Yep. :slight_smile:
No,your icom radio is telling you that 16 is a calling channel,17 is SAR search and rescue,14 VTS vessel traffic services, and so on…

Please correct me if im wrong, Pirate.

I have 2 pockets. A radio and strobe in one,and my p-epirb in the other…

I don’t need the beacon most times, But,i try to make it a habit to keep it…Im a begineer too.

Calling channel

– Last Updated: Jul-21-07 7:04 AM EST –

It's the channel you use to make contact, because 16 is the one that everyone should be monitoring. If you want to continue a non-emergency conversation it's polite to move to an unused non-commercial channel like 68,69,71, 72, or 78A.


It's the equivalent of the "hailing frequncies" on the old Star Trek.;-)

Different areas of the

– Last Updated: Jul-20-07 8:38 PM EST –

US and world for that matter, use channels differently. The channel chart link you provided is for the US Mode (commonly referred to as Alpha) on your radio. There is still the Canuck and international modes out there as well. Some of those channels are different frequencies. It may say Channel 22, but the frequency for Channel 22 and 22A are different and you will not able to talk to each other.

Channel 16 is used -internationaly- as a hailing and distress frequency only. As far as VTS channels (vessel traffic service) it varies in places. Seattle uses 5A, not the same for Oregon or San Fran.

One thing that will never change wherever you go in the US is the use of Channels 13, 16, 22A and 70 (DSC calling). Not sure where you got Channel 17.

nebeginner, try tie strapping the clip
to the shoulder harness on you pfd, then maybe stick a carabiner on it too that you can attach the wrist strap of the radio into.

check to see
if channel 9 is your calling channel. Channel 16, at least in NY/CT, is supposedly reserved for emergency use only, and channel 9 is the “hailing channel”. Pretty sure RI is the same.

Sometimes i forget there are more places than the Gulf of Mexico! Shows ya how much i get around…

M 72
Your radio is loaded with "names commonly associated with what are used on the marine VHF frequencies. Channel 16 is often called “Distress and Calling”. Thus the “calling” ref. The radio does not signal any “in use” displays on this model. You may change the “name” of each channel by following the instructions in the supplied manual. Really very simple task. If you notice 21A 22A are USCG and 81A 83A are Canadian CG. Normal ops for coast guard SAR missions in Canada will take place on 83 Alpha. In the US ops take place on 21 A and liaison operations with civilian vessels on 22 A. All in all the M72 appears to be a good radio and I have only used it for about 6 months now. I have always favored ICOM radio gear as it seems to hold up better than most stuff. Battery life is good as well.

Radio Pouch
If your PFD doesn’t have a pocket suitable for your radio, you can also buy an aftermarket pouch to affix to your PFD:



My Cobra radio came with a nice belt clip that only allowed the radio to be removed by inverting it 180 degrees. Pretty nice, assuming you remain firmly upright on the deck of a boat or ship, but not very practical for us kayakers. A capsize or even a quick roll could easily dislodge the radio from its clip, or the clip from the PFD, and send ‘er to Davey Jones’ locker. Arrh …

I bought a pouch like those above, AND attached a short tether from the radio to my PFD. Like flares and other emergency gear, they do you no good buried in a hatch somewhere; if it ain’t on ya, ya ain’t got it.