Your browser isn't running scripts. To see and use these pages, you should enable JavaScript in your browser.

Educational Department
- Electro-Mechanical Systems -

Lamp of Learning

Marine Electronics 101-102 Cover

 

Marine Electronics

This site is provided as a means of communications with the USPS National Electro-Mechanical Systems Committee (EMSCom).  We welcome your questions and comments on our modules, Learning Guides, and associated materials.

R/C Richard (Rick) Edel, SN
Stf/C George R. Hallenbeck, AP
Stf/C Barry Michael Williams, AP

 

 

Topics

 

 


News

 

Electronic Navigation Instructor Guidance

Additional Instructor guidance is now available in the form of a Read-Me First file folder and available chapter-specific review questions and answers. Get them in the Downloadable Material section. (24 Mar 16)

Electronic Navigation

Added instructor help is now available in the form of optional additional chapter specific review questions and answers. Get it in the Downloadable Material section. (08 Oct 15)

VHF & VHF/DSC Marine Radio

A problem with using the VHF Radio Simulator CD with Windows 8.0/8.1 has been identified and options are being investigated. Using Windows XP, no problem was found. (03 Mar 15)

Electronic Navigation Course Description

A full description of the new CPS-ECP Electronic Navigation course is now available under Course Description. (06 Sep 14)

Marine Electrical Systems Erratum

Table 3-1 of the student guide for MES contains an error due to a frame shift during publication layout. The row labeled “Charging (see Table 3-5)” should contain a blank entry in the first column “Flooded Starting,” with the other entries moved over to the right. This link (PDF, 13KB) will take you to a table with the correct table entries. Note that the table is correctly shown on slide 17 of the Power Point presentation for chapter 3. (05 Sep 11)

USPS Local Telephone Number in Course Manuals

Some Marine Electrical Systems and Marine Communications Systems course student and instructor manuals have an incorrect local telephone number for USPS Headquarters on the Acknowledgments Page; the ME103 instructor manual has no local telephone number.  The correct local telephone number is 919-821-0281.  The toll-free number is still 1-888-367-8777 (1-888-FOR-USPS). (21 Dec 10)

Updated Slides Available for Marine Electrical Systems

Updated PPT files are available in the Downloadable Material section for the Marine Electrical Systems course. (30 Apr 09)

New Updates for Manuals

New updates are available for both the Student and Instructor Manuals of the Marine Electrical Systems course in the Downloadable Material section. (30 Apr 09)

Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) Registrations

Modern marine radios now feature Digital Selective Calling (DSC) for routine operations and for automated distress hailing. These features can only be used if your radio is programmed with a unique code called a Maritime Mobile Service Identity, or MMSI.

The United States Power Squadrons is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission and the US Coast Guard to issue MMSIs to US flagged vessels not subject to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention requirements. This includes almost all recreational boats.

This USPS MMSI web site will be your portal to obtaining a MMSI for your vessel at no charge. The issued MMSI will be unique to your boat and must be programmed into all equipment capable of transmitting and receiving digital signals.

Vessels required to have FCC ship station licenses, including US flagged pleasure craft making international voyages, must obtain their MMSIs directly from the Federal Communications Commission.

Click here to find out if you qualify for a MMSI under this registration program.

Our Canadian friends can obtain MMSIs from Industry Canada / Industrie Canada.  (17 Jun 08)

GMDSS Guide

The Boatowner's Guide to GMDSS and Marine Radio, a new Guide to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, is now available at USPS Headquarters.  This Guide comes with a CD-ROM that contains a computer program simulation of a VHF-DSC marine radio.  Using this interactive program you can learn how to exercise all the features of digital selective calling that are now available on marine VHF radios.  (10 Nov 05)

Marine Amateur Radio Guide

The long awaited Marine Amateur Radio Guide is now available from Headquarters.  Get your copy today!  (08 Nov 05)

Accuracy of Electronic Navigation Systems.

Read or print (PDF, 9KB)) the latest information on accuracies of electronic navigation systems.  (21 Feb 05)

Return to Top


Marine Electronics Course Description

The Marine Electronics curriculum consists of three courses: Marine Electrical Systems, Marine Communications Systems, and Electronic Navigation.

Marine Electrical Systems Course Description

The Marine Electrical Systems course is presented in seven chapters that start with an explanation of what electricity is, followed by discussions on boat electrical wiring, DC and AC electrical systems, galvanic and stray current corrosion, lightning protection, and ends with troubleshooting of boat electrical problems.

The course includes detailed instructions on how to use a multimeter, how to solder and crimp electrical wiring circuits, and how to read electrical wiring diagrams. This course can be used as a reference guide for anyone interested in properly maintaining their boat electrical system.

EMSCom has written this course to require nine two-hour sessions.

  • Day 1 - Introduction, Chapter 1: Properties of Electricity
  • Day 2 - Chapter 2: Boat Electrical Wiring Practices
  • Day 3 - Chapter 3: Direct Current Power
  • Day 4 - Chapter 4: Alternating Current Power
  • Day 5 - Chapter 5: Galvanic and Stray Current Corrosion
  • Day 6 - Chapter 6: Lightning Protection
  • Day 7 - Chapter 7: Troubleshooting Part 1; on-the-boat optional
  • Day 8 - Chapter 7: Troubleshooting Part 2
  • Day 9 - Review and Examination

Marine Communications Course Description

Marine Communications Systems is an in-depth, nine chapter review of those systems available to the recreational boater, or to those with whom he/she shares the water. Radio history and spectrum definitions are presented along with definitions of radio circuits that the student should learn, to choose the best communications method for his/her situation. One chapter is devoted to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and another to FCC Rules and regulations to set the stage for instruction of radiotelephone operating procedures (both voice and digital messaging are covered). The remaining chapters cover High Seas radio (MF/HF and satellite communications) and other systems such as Family Radio Service transceivers. There is also a chapter on troubleshooting of radio installations.

EMSCom has written this course to require seven two-hour sessions.

  • Day 1 - Introduction, Chapter 1: Radio History and Communications, Chapter 2: The Radio Frequency Spectrum, Chapter 3: VHF Communications
  • Day 2 - Chapter 4: GMDSS
  • Day 3 - Finish Chapter 4, Chapter 5: FCC Rules, Radio Licenses and the Radio Frequency Plan
  • Day 4 - Chapter 6: Radiotelephone Operating Procedures
  • Day 5 - Chapter 7: Long-Range Radio Communications
  • Day 6 - Chapter 8: Other Marine Communications Systems, Chapter 9: Radio Maintenance
  • Day 7 - Review and Examination

Electronic Navigation Course Description

Electronic Navigation introduces GPS technology from the most basic receiver to chart plotter systems for navigation on board. The process of navigating by establishing waypoints and routes, and then running the planned courses, is demonstrated. Further, electronic charting software for the desktop computer is examined, with creation of waypoints and routes on the desktop and subsequent download to the onboard unit. Despite differences among the various manufacturers' offerings, a thorough discussion of the features being made available is included.

Special attention is paid to apps for tablets and smartphones that provide the electronic navigation function at the helm, for relatively little cost.

Students should be familiar with basic charting concepts such as latitude, longitude, the compass, course plotting, and time/distance calculation, to get the most out of the course.

The student materials include a soft-bound course text and a Windows-compatible CD for electronic content. The course menu provides all the class presentation PowerPoints, an interactive homework tool, hands-on exercises on the PC that simulate GPS function, as well as the Maptech Chart Navigator software and a chart plotter emulator from Standard Horizon.

This course omits Radar and Depth Sonar technologies, however Appendix 8 of the course text on Automatic Identification System (AIS) is presented and made part of the examinable material for USPS course credit.

While the USPS course Marine Navigation Systems (MNS) remains in development, successful completion of this Electronic Navigation course from CPS will earn MNS credit toward a full certificate.

Additional Instructor guidance is now available in the form of a Read-Me First file folder and available chapter-specific review questions and answers. Get them in the Downloadable Material section. (22 Mar 16)

Marine Navigation Systems Course Description

Marine Navigation Systems will be the third course in the Marine Electronics series. This course content is in development and a completion date is not yet available. It presently consists of eight chapters on electronic navigation instruments including depth sounders, radar, and GPS, and on display systems including chart plotters and personal computers. EMSCom will be adding sections on interfacing these systems (bridge integration) and a section on new visual aids to piloting.

Requirements and Prerequisites for Marine Electronics

The new series of courses for Marine Electronics consists of three standalone courses. EMSCom recommends that these new courses be taken in the following order: Electrical Systems, Communications Systems, and Navigation Systems (Electronic Navigation). The committee also strongly recommends that students take Communications Systems, as mastery of this important topic can help you call for help if you should need it.

There are no prerequisites for these courses and they may be taken in any order, however, the subject matter tends to build on the MES/MCS/MNS progression. SEOs should take this into account when planning squadron curricula. (04 Mar 16)

Return to Top


Downloadable Material

 

Additional Electronic Navigation Instructor Guidance

Additional Instructor guidance for the Electrronic Navigation course is now available in the form of a Read-Me First file folder (1753KB, ZIP) and available chapter-specific review questions and answers. (24 Mar 16)

Electronic Navigation Optional Review Supplement

Click here for the Review Supplement (196KB, PDF) to get added instructor help in the form of optional additional chapter specific review questions and answers. (08 Oct 15)

Marine Electrical Systems Erratum

Table 3-1 of the student guide for MES contains an error due to a frame shift during publication layout. The row labeled “Charging (see Table 3-5)” should contain a blank entry in the first column “Flooded Starting,” with the other entries moved over to the right. This link (PDF, 13KB) will take you to a table with the correct table entries. Note that the table is correctly shown on slide 17 of the Power Point presentation for chapter 3. (05 Sep 11)

Marine Electrical Systems PowerPoint® Presentation Slides

The following files are for use ONLY WITH THE ORIGINAL 2008 VERSION of the Marine Electrical Systems course CD. These changes have already been incorporated into the 2008 Rev 1 - 20 August 2010 CD of PowerPoint files. (21 Sep 10)

You will need Microsoft PowerPoint or its free viewer to view or print these slides. See the Educational Department Help page to obtain a free viewer for these slides. (30 Apr 09)

Ch 1 Electricity Slides 042909.ppt (4311KB)
Ch 2 Wiring Slides 042909.ppt (8006KB)
Ch 3 DC Slides 042509.ppt (6151KB)
Ch 4 AC Slides 042509.ppt (18614KB)
Ch 5 Corrosion Slides 042909.ppt (4081KB)
Ch 6 Lightning Slides 042509.ppt (2087KB)
Ch 7 Troubleshooting Slides 042909.ppt (6893KB)

 

Updates for Manuals

Click on the appropriate file name and format to download, print, or view an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Word (.doc) file.  Free viewers, including the Acrobat Reader program, that you need to view or print these files are available from the Educational Department Help Page.

Important note:  If you print the Adobe Acrobat update, be sure to use the Adobe Acrobat Reader "print" function and not your browser's print function.

The following files are for use ONLY WITH THE ORIGINAL 2008 EDITION of the Marine Electrical Systems course. These changes have already been incorporated into the 2008 Rev 1 version. (21 Sep 10)

Marine Electrical Systems — Student and Instructor Manual Updates (30 Apr 09)

Student Manual MES SM (.pdf) (64KB) MES SM (.doc) (305KB)
Instructor Manual MES IM (.pdf) (22KB) MES IM (.doc) (64KB)

Note: The above updates include corrections that were previously posted on 30 Nov 08.

Return to Top


Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments about the Marine Electronics course, please contact the National Electro-Mechanical Systems Committee chairman by e-mail, phone or postal service mail.  Please be sure to keep your SEO and/or DEO advised of any correspondence you may have with the National committee. Addresses for the National EMSCom chairman are listed in The ENSIGN and on the Committee Chairpersons page.

We will try to answer your questions as soon as possible, but please allow 5 working days for an answer.

Return to Top

USPS Ship's Wheel Logo
Privacy | Trademarks | Disclaimer | WebMaster | ©2014 United States Power Squadrons

This page last updated Thursday, March 24, 2016 20:52