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Old 21-11-2010, 17:47   #61
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I would think the Winlink option would be "good enough" for mail
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Old 21-11-2010, 18:10   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I would think the Winlink option would be "good enough" for mail
Winlink is certainly "good enough" for e-mail within the constraints of amateur radio regulations. Since I sometimes have communications in which I have a pecuniary interest I keep a Sailmail account. Sailmail also supports "shadow mail" that I find convenient to filter out messages I don't want to spend radio time downloading - those can wait until I have access to Internet again.

Absent business communications, the case for amateur-only HF at sea is stronger yet.
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Old 21-11-2010, 18:46   #63
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I don't have as much blue water time as many posting here, but I haven't needed to go outside the amateur radio bands yet when using the MF/HF radios. The Winlink custodians do keep an eye out for inappropriate use of their network, so if you have to conduct personal business of a pecuniary nature, you will need to use SailMail on the marine bands (or a sat phone).

I don't believe that means you can't use amateur radio bands to call or email a friend and arrange to have them send you some part or line up some boat repairs for you, but I think it does preclude direct communication with a vendor via voice, email, or other modes.

Chip
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Old 21-11-2010, 18:54   #64
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Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
I don't believe that means you can't use amateur radio bands to call or email a friend and arrange to have them send you some part or line up some boat repairs for you, but I think it does preclude direct communication with a vendor via voice, email, or other modes.
I've done my due diligence for the day so this is from memory.

I believe a lot of this got thrashed during the hey-day of phone patches on VHF and UHF repeaters. The upshot if I recall correctly was that an individual calling for a pizza delivery was okay, but a pizza shop initiating a contact was not okay.

That would indicate that sending Defender an order would be okay if not as a regular part of your or their business.

Sending a proposal to a prospective client would not be.

The ARRL does keep track reasonably well of interpretations by the FCC and someone there would be best placed to describe the current state of the interpretation.
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:04   #65
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Thanks for that clarification, David. I recall now hearing your explanation from another source and it sounds pretty reasonable.
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:09   #66
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Question re "opened up" radios

I have a ship license, and am working on obtaining my general license. When I obtain my general license and a radio such as an ICOM IC-706MKIIG which has been "opened up" by mod to work on marine frequencies, I would expect that I could legally transmit on both the marine frequencies (using my WDE6212 ship license call sign) and the HAM frequencies (using the new call sign assigned to me by the FCC when I pass my general license).

Am I correct?
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:16   #67
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I have a ship license, and am working on obtaining my general license. When I obtain my general license and a radio such as an ICOM IC-706MKIIG which has been "opened up" by mod to work on marine frequencies, I would expect that I could legally transmit on both the marine frequencies (using my WDE6212 ship license call sign) and the HAM frequencies (using the new call sign assigned to me by the FCC when I pass my general license).

Am I correct?
I'm sorry but that is not correct. This goes to the discussion above about the use of type-accepted radios on marine frequencies. The 706MkIIG is an amateur radio that is NOT type-accepted for use on marine frequencies. It's a hardware certification issue, not a licensure issue.
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:30   #68
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Yes, its the reverse apparently...for example, you can get an ICOM 802 Marine SSB radio and have it opened up for HAM frequencies.

What I am trying to find is a least cost mechanism for retrieving email and for communicating long distances. The ICOM monopoly just doesn't do it for me - the cost or the capability or the mobility.
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:32   #69
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It's really quite easy to remember:

1. You need a ship station license and a marine operator's license in order to use a marine radio on the marine bands. You may not use any other type of radio on the marine bands.

2. If you have a ham license, you can use a any radio on the ham frequencies. Ham radio, marine radio, aircraft radio, land-mobile radio, military radio, home-built radio, etc. ANY RADIO on the ham bands ONLY.

Bill
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:34   #70
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Old 21-11-2010, 19:39   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
....
What I am trying to find is a least cost mechanism for retrieving email and for communicating long distances. The ICOM monopoly just doesn't do it for me - the cost or the capability or the mobility.
The least-cost path -- assuming you're talking about personal communications and not business communications as discussed above -- would be a used radio, ham or marine, and an appropriate modem for use with WinLink on the ham bands.

No matter the radio, you're gonna be stuck with about $1,000 or more for a Pactor III modem, the only choice IMHO if you're serious about sending and receiving emails regularly. Pactor II is much slower, WinMor is about the speed of PII but there are very few PMBOs as yet, etc.

Radio: $500-700
Tuner: $300-500
Modem: $1,000
Antenna, ground, installation: $200-1,000

This is a bare-bones setup. Actual cost will depend on your boat, your own skills, and your luck.

Bill
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Old 21-11-2010, 20:00   #72
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
No matter the radio, you're gonna be stuck with about $1,000 or more for a Pactor III modem, the only choice IMHO if you're serious about sending and receiving emails regularly. Pactor II is much slower, WinMor is about the speed of PII but there are very few PMBOs as yet, etc.

Radio: $500-700
Tuner: $300-500
Modem: $1,000
Antenna, ground, installation: $200-1,000

Bill
I have to ask, how come the Pactor modem is so darn expensive? Is the hardware/firmware that complex or is it just patented technology and the makers are milking it for all they can?

Have not researched Winmor in detail yet but from comments above I assume it requires a dedicated system to work? Guess no way that it would work with an existing system (Winlink, sailmain?).
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Old 21-11-2010, 20:08   #73
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The Pactor II-III modems are proprietary while Pactor I is an open standard. That's why they are so damn expensive. A Pactor I modem only costs a couple of hundred dollars. A Winmor soft modem option only requires a sound card and an available Winlink node that takes it.

I personally would go for
- HAM mobile HF such as the Yaesu above
- Outbacker marine antenna
- Tuner or even hand tuner
- KISS ground or none at all

and a portable Outbacker + outbacker radial ground when I am on shore leave.
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Old 21-11-2010, 20:11   #74
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I have to ask, how come the Pactor modem is so darn expensive? Is the hardware/firmware that complex or is it just patented technology and the makers are milking it for all they can?

YES (the latter).

Have not researched Winmor in detail yet but from comments above I assume it requires a dedicated system to work? Guess no way that it would work with an existing system (Winlink, sailmain?).
WinMor is an attempt to develop a software-based protocol -- as contrasted with the Pactor hardware/firmware-based protocols -- that will be reliable and reasonably fast. It does not require an expensive modem, but it's still in the development stage....not quite ready for prime time.

Bill
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Old 21-11-2010, 20:47   #75
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Im going to reserve judgement on whether its good and ready until I try it.
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