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Old 10-01-2010, 19:25   #1
RDW
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SSB Radio and Amateur Radio

I have a newly aquired ICOM 802 SSB radio and pactor III modem (installed on my boat and hooked to laptop) and an Amateur Radio General License but I have absolutely no experience. What are the best sources for learning how to get the most out of the above?
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Old 10-01-2010, 20:55   #2
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Check out the resources at www.arrl.org for ham radio, look for local clubs or at their book for "operating procedures." What most folks will tell you is to spend lots of time LISTENING on the radios, to hear what other people are doing and how they are doing it. And then you'll have some idea of what and how to operate when you do start transmitting.
And if you tell the ARRL that you are newly licensed--they have a special discount on the first year's membership for that. Worth doing for the first year, at least!
Or...you'll at least have heard a lot of the common ways to do it wrong, as well as right. Another good reason to look for a book on operating procedures.
Remember that with the dual-purpose radio, you will be working with two cultures, two sets of traditions, two sets of regs to comply with.
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Old 10-01-2010, 21:13   #3
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Remember that with the dual-purpose radio, you will be working with two cultures, two sets of traditions, two sets of regs to comply with.
Hellosailor,
What do you mean by dual-purpose? Two cultures, two sets of traditions...?

I just got my Technicians license (will be going for a General soon) and will be installing an SSB soon.
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Old 10-01-2010, 23:00   #4
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:58   #5
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Hellosailor,
What do you mean by dual-purpose? Two cultures, two sets of traditions...?

I just got my Technicians license (will be going for a General soon) and will be installing an SSB soon.
Ham operators (1)and single side band restricted operators(2). I am in the same boat, what I do is listen hams talk and what sort of protocol they seem to use. You can always wait for a break and CQ and ask questions. I would guess if the hams aren’t deep into some specific conversation they’d offer a tip or two. From what I’ve heard they welcome new stations if they play by the rules.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:24   #6
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Marine HF and AR has differences but if you listen to the various nets, both AR ans Maritime, you will see that they have a lot in common.

To get used to operating on AR i would recommend listening to several of the daily check in nets. Though I spent a lot of years on Marine HF i was a bit uncomofortable with AR ( I am so used to boat names that I still have problems remembering call signs). By listening to the nets you can get comfortable with the proceedures. It is also a great way to make a contact without pressure.

I found that there are times when the net is very slow and the moderator will call repeated for checkin's. This is a great time to put you call out. Let the modrator know who you are and where your at and that you are new to this. Most are pretty helpful.

The other thing I found that is on the nets when I mention that I am maritime mobile several would try to contact me for a chat. They most common questions would about the boat and the radio setup. It made a great way to talk on the air with a subject that I was comfortable with, Sailboats.

Work on getting your general as most of the voice nets require at least that level. Otherwise relax and have fun. Having access to both really opens up the possibility for contacts especially when you on long overnights bored out of your mind.

Look into a local club or got over to eham.net or qrz.com. Both have great info on getting upgraded, testing and procedures. You can even schedule a call with another ham just to get experience without the pressure
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:35   #7
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Are there two set of regs?
I have a license for my station on the boat from the FCC which I think lets me just do receiving work and no transmitting. No test, just applied and paid.
I got my technical and general license so I could transmitt, participate in nets, use phone patch, talk with any boaters in the area that would be listening in or talking. I was under the impression that I would be just like a Ham but would have less modes and equipment than the average land based Ham.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:05   #8
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Julie, RDW-
Yes, there are separate regulations. Different rules about who can operate the radio, different rules about what traffic can be passed (i.e. no commercial traffic on the ham radio) log or record keeping, and again different if you are outside of the US in another country. Hams are required to use their call signs and identify their station every ten minutes or less, I don't recall if marine stations have a similar requirement. Usually the "little things" like that aren't enforced or penalized, but it pays to stay within the regulations rather than find a surprise in your mail.
The IC-802 is one of a very few radios that is actually sold with the ability to legally operate on both ham and marine services.
FCC: Wireless Services
Select the right service (i.e. amateur radio) and there willbe a link to the regulations for it.
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Old 11-01-2010, 16:22   #9
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Are there two set of regs?
I have a license for my station on the boat from the FCC which I think lets me just do receiving work and no transmitting. No test, just applied and paid.
I got my technical and general license so I could transmitt, participate in nets, use phone patch, talk with any boaters in the area that would be listening in or talking. I was under the impression that I would be just like a Ham but would have less modes and equipment than the average land based Ham.
rdw
That sounds like a ship's license. You'll need a restricted radiotelephone operator's license for each person on-board who'll be using the 802 on the marine SSB frequencies. When operating on amateur frequencies, the operator needs a minimum of a General-class license -just make sure you don't transmit on frequencies set aside for Extra-class license holders.

*In theory, a technician's-class license could suffice, since there are frequencies in the HF band that are legal for technicians. But they're set aside for CW only (Morse code) - and not may tech-only licensees know CW!
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Old 11-01-2010, 16:58   #10
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John, last time I looked the FCC had set aside a tiny slice of ten meters for voice use by tech licensees. Not much--but a slice, on just that one band.
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Old 11-01-2010, 17:25   #11
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John, last time I looked the FCC had set aside a tiny slice of ten meters for voice use by tech licensees. Not much--but a slice, on just that one band.
See - that's what's great about Cruisers Forum - you learn something new every day. It seems techs have voice privileges on 28.300-28.500MHz.

But we should point out that the 10m band is not that great for cruisers, and we'd encourage all techs to upgrade to general. I gotta find time to study for my extra!
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Old 17-01-2010, 11:18   #12
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Since you have a packtor III modem, you might also want to check into the winlink system (Winlink 2000 | Global Radio Email System). It's a good way to do e-mail out in the middle of nowhere. I use it each year when I'm in Honduras out in the boonies.

73,
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Old 19-01-2010, 20:09   #13
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I'm sorry to start this but Ham radio has always seemed, to me, to be too full of rules to be worth the trouble. I enjoy listening to SW and have thought about getting my ham license, but I am intimidated by all of the rules and how serious everyone seems to take it.
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Old 20-01-2010, 11:58   #14
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The rules for ham radio aren't all that complicated, much as hams try to misread them and skirt around them.

Don't do business on the air, stick to a commercially made radio that won't transmit out of band, and watch your mouth. The rest is all details that won't impact most operators.

Or, there's the cell phone and Skype, simpler still.
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Old 20-01-2010, 15:35   #15
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I'm sorry to start this but Ham radio has always seemed, to me, to be too full of rules to be worth the trouble. I enjoy listening to SW and have thought about getting my ham license, but I am intimidated by all of the rules and how serious everyone seems to take it.
The rules help prevent a "tragedy of the commons". High Frequency (HF) spectrum is a scarce resource - very scarce. In fact the whole spectrum allocation from 2MHz to 30MHz, which is shared world-wide because HF can travel thousands of miles - is less barely more than a single WiFi channel (22MHz) - and there's 11 WiFi channels allocated in North America! But WiFi is limited to line-of-sight, so it can be re-used tens of thousands of times in a typical city. HF, again, is world-wide.

And there are commercial broadcasters, maritime users, amateur radio users, government users, etc., each assigned their own frequencies, and some shared with primary and secondary assignees.

The rules are there so that it doesn't become a free-for-all, and hence be totally useless to anyone.
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