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Old 01-06-2008, 09:47   #1
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SSB and HAM

A- while back I installed an ICOM M802 radio and regestered it with the FCC and recieved a CALL-SIGN - (WDB 9499) ....
Now I understand that the "call-sign" is for the radio conected to the base, being the boat, and I have to have a "ham" liscense to operate it..
Sounds kind of confusing.. can someone explain?
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:03   #2
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What?
never heard of that requirement.
I have been using ssb for many years and have never needed a Ham licence.
You need the ship station licence (you Have) and perhaps a marine radio operators permit but not a ham licence.
I'm not even sure if you need the operators licence anymore for a private boat, Comercial opperators need to have the licence (it's no big deal a very easy test),
but I dont belive the general public is required to.
Better check the FCC web to be shure.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:06   #3
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you will need the ham license to operate on ham bands or to participate with winlink.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:09   #4
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Randy, you need a ham license to transmit on amateur radio frequencies. The Icom M802 is capable of transmitting on the marine bands as well as ham bands. As long as you don't transmit on the ham bands (except you may do so in an emergency situation only) you are okay.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:10   #5
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You can operate you radio on marine single side band frequencies but should have a "Restricted Radio Telephone Operators License" to be completely legal. There is no test, just Google the FCC and get the form. Send it with the check and you get the license in the mail

The 802 is capable of operating on HAM frequencies and to use those, you need a HAM license.

There is a lot of discussion on these issues on other threads. Do a quick search. One such is at HAM, Marine SSB, Other?

George
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:44   #6
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So How do I know what are ham and what are marine?
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:37   #7
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Hello

Just checking in so I can get enough posts to reply to others. I wanted to tell the individual who wanted to about ham frequencies to check the ARRL website. I'm pretty overwhelmed with questions about voltage regulators, heart interface, and gel batteries. Just purchased a 1993 Caliber 40.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:32   #8
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Randy,

You do need an operators permit in addition to the ship's station license (which you already have). There are several classes of license, but the easiest is the Restricted Marine Operator's Permit (earlier mentioned). Just Google it or look on the FCC website for info on how to get it.

These two licenses (the operators permit and the station license) will allow you to use the 802 on any designated marine channel anywhere in the world. There are hundreds of them in the 2,4,6,8,12,16, and 22 mHz bands. Many of these are likely pre-programmed into your 802. Incredibly, the 802 manual doesn't have a listing of these frequencies (channels), but you can find detailed information on the USCG website here: MF & HF Channel Information - USCG Navigation Center

Although the 802 is capable of transmitting on ham and other hf frequency bands, you may not do this except in a bona fide emergency if you are unable for some reason to make contact on the marine bands.

Even without a ham license, however, you can listen on the ham bands and can learn a lot from the various MM nets. A good place to start with these frequencies is here: Net / SSB Frequencies

While it all sounds quite complicated to begin with, you really have to learn something about your radio, hf radio propagation, and marine SSB operation. You cannot expect to operate the radio like just another appliance, i.e., just turn it on and expect it to do what you want. Sorry, but there really is a learning curve, and you've just gotta tackle it if you're going to happily coexist with the 802 onboard :-)

Bill
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
So How do I know what are ham and what are marine?
This is the HAM radio band plan. Amateur radio frequency allocations
Don't let its apparent complexity freak you out. It all makes sense with a little studying.

If you go get your HAM license you will understand how it works a lot better. No code is required and you can get study guides with the actual FCC test questions. Its very easy to get a HAM license now. Also, having a HAM license makes available quite a number of bands and frequencies that non-HAM's are not allowed to transmit on.

Google "Gordon West" and buy one of his study guides. I'm studying for my General License right now and eventually want to get my Extra License.

David
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:21   #10
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Minor nit/pet peeve

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
This is the HAM radio band plan
Guys,

It's not HAM. All caps usually denotes an acronym like SSB (single side band) or FCC (Federal Communications Commission). "Ham" is short for amateur, as in amateur radio operator, and the origins of the term "ham" are lost in the fog of history. Ham-fisted Morse-code operators in the glory days of the railroads. Hamming it up on the airwaves....

Please - don't capitalize "ham". It makes us 'hams' with Amateur Radio licenses wince...

Jon - KB1HTW, General class
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:47   #11
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"So How do I know what are ham and what are marine?"
It's an SSB radio, not a cell phone. Some reading of the manual is required. I'm not sure, but I think on that radio the SSB frequencies are factory enabled, and the ham frequencies are not enabled unless it was ordered that way, or a local dealer performs the "unlock" for you. (The manual should explain that too.<G>)
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:27   #12
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Your Icom 802 comes with a ton of preprogrammed channels. The 2 way channels are all Marine SSB and they cover just about every frequency you will ever need to use. You will not accidentally end up on a Ham frequency.

Dockside Radio has a very informative web site with SSB and Ham nets listed. Take a look at East Coast Cruising Nets

The link is for East Coast Nets. There is a similar page for the West Coast. Can't tell from your profile where you hail from.

George
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Old 02-06-2008, 14:09   #13
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SSB Transceivers

The ICOM 802 seems like a very nice machine but are there less pricey alternatives especially for those who have amateur radio licenses? Also can someone explain why such an extensive grounding system is necessary - I see a lot of wide copper strips leading down to the ground plate from my ICOM IC-M710 (which unfortunately doesn't seem to have any ham frequencies avaliable.)
-- Chuck, ARS WB2BXF
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Old 02-06-2008, 14:27   #14
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Chuck,

The M710 can operate very well on ham frequencies. See Gary Jensen's site...www.docksideradio.com....and look for instructions on programming the 710. I've installed a couple of them, set up for the ham bands as well as the marine bands.

An efficient RF ground system is important because the typical setup on a sailboat involves an insulated backstay antenna....basically, an end-fed random wire antenna. With such an antenna you must provide an adequate "counterpoise" or "ground plane"...essentially, the "other half of the dipole".

See my posts on "RF Grounds in the Marine Environment" here: SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - RF GROUNDS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

and on "Serious SSB Ham Setup on the Cheap", here:
SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - SERIOUS HAM SSB SETUP ON THE CHEAP

There are tons of other posts on the subject on the SSCA Board, Sailnet, this Board, and elsewhere.

73,

Bill
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Old 02-06-2008, 15:32   #15
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Bill is spot on. I know some cruisers with very crude grounds that have great receive and send capability but as a rule of thumb, grounding is probably the most important factor in a good installation.

George
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