New Highland Lakes Base Station
(Monday 26 December 2016)
Tas Maritime Radio (TMR) has now commissioned a new multi channel marine VHF base station to provide safety coverage to the highland lakes area.
It will provide a 24/7 safety listening watch on VHF Channel 16 , the distress and calling channel, and from January 1st, will be used to transmit a daily weather sked for the area at 0830 hours after an initial announcement on CH16. Forecasts will be given for the Central Plateau and Southwest Lakes. Smallcraft Wind Alerts will be broadcast as and when they come to hand. The predicted coverage of the base will be Great Lake, Arthur’s Lake, Lake Echo, Lake Sorell, Lake Crescent, Penstock Lagoon, Woods Lake, Lagoon of Islands and Little Pine Lagoon – and probably more.
Some time ago TMR had discussions with both MAST and Anglers Alliance regarding the establishment of a Central Lakes base station. Without hesitation, MAST pledged to pay for new radio equipment and associated antennae. The project was now possible and so TMR started developing the technical and control systems. TMR then approached Telstra and Tas Networks, both of whom agreed to the utilization of existing radio sites and towers to facilitate the base station itself as well as another site for a controlling radio link. Volunteer riggers from Telstra once again stepped in to do the antenna and tower work and TasNetworks assisted with link interfacing. This type of co-operation could only happen in Tasmania.
MAST, Tas Networks and Telstra are to be applauded for helping TMR to again expand their coverage area - thus furthering the safety of those on the water. TMR volunteer operators will monitor the new base as part of the eleven station state-wide VHF network and, of course, are always there to assist if required.
TMR recommends that boaters using the service have a properly installed fixed radio and antenna on their boat as this will maximise the performance. Portable radios, whilst very useful, are much less efficient. To assist with determining the actual coverage of the new base, TMR urges lakes fishermen to call in and report their position.