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Old 27-02-2013, 20:01   #106
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Congrats Dockhead. Job well done.

Going to stick my toes in the water here about marine ssb and ham radio. While the reg was posted, like most laws, it is how we read it vs. how someone else reads it. The US Power Squadrons read the reg to say I cannot use a ham radio on a marine band since it is not " FCC type-accepted " for marine use, ( I can build my own ham radio from my own design ) I can use my marine radio on ham bands as long as ( and this is key ) 1. It is capable, without modification, of operating on ham bands, and 2. The operator has a valid ham license. To make modifications to a marine radio you must have a "Maintainer License" which most boaters do not have and any mods made must not violate the " type-accepted " rating.

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Old 27-02-2013, 20:24   #107
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Re: Ham License

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Originally Posted by Cruiser2B View Post
very nice, great job!

I picked up an old kenwood ts440, tuner, power supply and dipole out back for less than $400 bux.Right after getting my general. Using at home an learning the ropes of ham radio. Been monitoring 14.300mhz mobile martime net, following cruising boats as they travel.
I have found the ham radio hobby quite nice and full of great people. I was hoping to get a smaller Icom 706 for the boat but i eally love this Kenwood.....great receive audio!

good luck and have fun!
Once a Kenwood, always a Kenwood! For the boat, check out the TS-480HX !!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 28-02-2013, 07:32   #108
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Re: Ham License

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about separate radios, most people ignore that requirement. However, just in case, here is the US regulation, from CFR Part 97 that covers amateur radio:
I believe that applies when the vessel is required to carry an MF/HF radio (sea area A2 and up, right?).

It doesn't apply to my knowledge for vessels carrying MF/HF voluntarily (i.e. us).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
The US Power Squadrons read the reg to say I cannot use a ham radio on a marine band since it is not " FCC type-accepted " for marine use, ( I can build my own ham radio from my own design ) I can use my marine radio on ham bands as long as ( and this is key ) 1. It is capable, without modification, of operating on ham bands, and 2. The operator has a valid ham license. To make modifications to a marine radio you must have a "Maintainer License" which most boaters do not have and any mods made must not violate the " type-accepted " rating.
The maintainer license is required for physical modification. Opening up the 802 requires holding down three front-panel buttons and turning on the power. Front panel button presses don't constitute a modification.
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Old 28-02-2013, 08:16   #109
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Re: Ham License

Don-
"The US Power Squadrons read the reg to say I cannot use a ham radio on a marine band since it is not " FCC type-accepted " "
There's no interpretation required or allowed. The FCC will clear up any confusion if you ask them directly, as many have over the years. You can't use a ham radio in the marine bands (other than the usual wide-standing exemption for emergency use) period. Because it is not type-accepted. And that same requirement for acceptance applies to all radios, all services, all users, there are pretty clear regs covering who is allowed to use what for all of it.
The "difference" with ham radio, is that the entire amateur radio service is unique among all US radio services, in that it is designed to encourage and promote operators experimenting, building, and maintaining their own gear. And, it also makes them responsible for maintaining it. No other US radio service places that combination of freedom and burden on the licensees or unlicensed users.
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Old 28-02-2013, 09:02   #110
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Re: Ham License

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
I believe that applies when the vessel is required to carry an MF/HF radio (sea area A2 and up, right?).

It doesn't apply to my knowledge for vessels carrying MF/HF voluntarily (i.e. us).
Sorry, but the exception is right in the posted reference:

Quote:
except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation
So, for a voluntary (i.e. not required to carry marine SSB) installation you are allowed to share the antenna with amateur operation, but nothing else.

And in case you get to wondering about the word "ship", here is the Part 80 definition:

Quote:
Ship or vessel includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance, except aircraft, capable of being used as a means of transportation on water whether or not it is actually afloat.
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Old 28-02-2013, 18:45   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Don-
"The US Power Squadrons read the reg to say I cannot use a ham radio on a marine band since it is not " FCC type-accepted " "
There's no interpretation required or allowed. The FCC will clear up any confusion if you ask them directly, as many have over the years. You can't use a ham radio in the marine bands (other than the usual wide-standing exemption for emergency use) period. Because it is not type-accepted. And that same requirement for acceptance applies to all radios, all services, all users, there are pretty clear regs covering who is allowed to use what for all of it.
The "difference" with ham radio, is that the entire amateur radio service is unique among all US radio services, in that it is designed to encourage and promote operators experimenting, building, and maintaining their own gear. And, it also makes them responsible for maintaining it. No other US radio service places that combination of freedom and burden on the licensees or unlicensed users.
I am not arguing you can use a ham rig on marine freqs. I am saying it is allowed to use a marine type accepted on ham bands. What I am saying about maintainers is that it is not allowed for a ham to open a marine radio, made a mod, such as cutting a diode then use it on ham bands and when finished, replace the diode. That would not be allowed. A ham could take a marine radio and make mods to use it on ham bands if it never returned to marine bands. It would forever more a am rig.

Don
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:35   #112
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Re: Ham License

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Again a bit off topic, but since there are a few hams about this might be of interest..

$20 and some free software gets you a software defined radio from about 50Mhz to 2Ghz.





Windows Software [rtlsdr.org wiki]
Just a couple of notes on this:
1) That's just a receiver, not a transceiver.
2) I'm having a bear of a time getting the radio part to work
3) For the full range you need to build the up-converter.
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Old 28-02-2013, 21:27   #113
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Re: Ham License

Don, technically you are right about not returning the radio to marine service. In point of practice? Since there are no requirements to keep maintenance logs for marine radios, who is to stand up and say "I saw him tampering with that radio!" ?

If the "tampering" is simply a clean snip or clean conversion, and it is undone properly afterwards? Sure, the radio can go back into marine service, and no one will be the wiser. Now, if the job is a hack and if the owner gets taken to task, it would be on them to prove any work was done legally--or not.

In the case of the dual-purpose Icoms? There's no physical modification made when the radio is put in ham service, so that's a total non-issue. I've never heard of the FCC calling a reprogramming a "modification" in that sense, even though I'm certain that it is one. Wirecutter, software flash, all same. As Chairman Mao said "Black cat, white cat, all same, catch mouse."
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:16   #114
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Re: Ham License

Hmmm. Well, I have one other regulatory problem -- my radio is a U.S. version M802 without a CE mark, so technically not allowed at all on my UK flagged vessel. I would like to avoid getting into trouble.

One other question I have, however, is whether the UK has the same rule about never using your marine radio for ham use. The FCC has no authority in the UK. Maybe the rules are different here. I have not been able find anything on the subject, although I supposed I could write to Ofcom.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:30   #115
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Quote:
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Hmmm. Well, I have one other regulatory problem -- my radio is a U.S. version M802 without a CE mark, so technically not allowed at all on my UK flagged vessel. I would like to avoid getting into trouble.

One other question I have, however, is whether the UK has the same rule about never using your marine radio for ham use. The FCC has no authority in the UK. Maybe the rules are different here. I have not been able find anything on the subject, although I supposed I could write to Ofcom.
I guess one could find better use of their time than to correspond with politicians ! It is all about bureaucratic procedures and papers and fees and stamps. Over the years I have slowly moved towards what works best and my collectionof Icom marine gear has been collecting dust since... and that includes the VHF.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:55   #116
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Re: Ham License

Congrats on passing the exams Dockhead.

Nothing wrong with having more radios, as long as you have a place to put them. I have several and most are little QRP type and two regular sized ones (IC706g, IC718). There are lots of good things you can do.

See you on the air!
73's de W4ABN
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:05   #117
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Re: Ham License

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I guess one could find better use of their time than to correspond with politicians ! It is all about bureaucratic procedures and papers and fees and stamps. Over the years I have slowly moved towards what works best and my collectionof Icom marine gear has been collecting dust since... and that includes the VHF.
LOL.

Well, you are in a somewhat less regulated environment, Nick, than I am

Where possible, I do like to keep my nose clean with the paper-pushers I might be interested in playing with an opened-up amateur VHF radio. Actually, VHF and UHF really interest me. It seems to me that SSB modulation on the VHF band would be a really useful emission at sea -- apparently you can achieve quite long ground wave distances. Too bad there would be no one to talk to as no marine radio is capable of this, and you would have to have specific amateur equipment to do it.

I am looking at the Icom 7100 with interest, which could be fitted fairly easily without eating up any panel space. But I think I will use the M802 for a while before I start buying more radios, as tempting as it is.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:21   #118
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Re: Ham License

So if you're a yank, dare one ask how the boat is UK flagged? You might ask Icom if there are actual differences in the versions of the radio. If there are, it may not be CE-acceptable. Or may be if mods are done. Unlike the FCC, OfCom apparently does go checking around. I recall a tale from one fellow in the UK who had buried their TV in the garden so he wouldn't be taxed for owning a receiver when they came around checking. (So he said!)
I doubt they would check further into the Icom, as they are popular and easily recognized. Still, it might be worth asking Icom. (And not asking OfCom's attention directly.)

SSB on VHF might not be very productive. Remember, no one else is going to be set up to chat with you, even if you can do it. VHF really does tend to work best (reliably and predictably) at line-of-sight, UHF and microwave even more so.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:38   #119
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Since dockhead mentioned wanting to explore digital communications, and now is contemplating a 7100, I am curious. Is there a use for D-star on a boat? Is anyone using it? Obviously you would have to be a HAM. Seems like a very good email solution, but I only know what I have read on the Internet.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:51   #120
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Re: Ham License

I understand D-Star on boats works very nicely at sea, as long as you have a satellite internet connection to download the maps of where D-star carrying maritime birds, typically albatrosses, happen to be deployed at sea, so you can hook up to the local D-star link.

In port, of course, you are somewhat more constrained in having to work with D-Star equipped repeaters at fixed locations. <G>
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