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Old 05-05-2009, 17:56   #31
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[quote=skipmac;280355

Bill, you say you have six units sitting on a shelf that will do marine for much less than an 802. Would you mind naming names? Will they also cover ham bands?

My goal here is as follows:

1. Find one radio that will legally allow me to transmit on marine and ham bands.
2. Do so for a bit less than the 802 (until I win the lottery).
3. Who to call to buy one.

Thanks
Skip[/quote]

The radios are: two Kenwood TKM-707s, a Yaesu FT-600, an Icom M700, and an Icom M600. A second FT-600 was installed aboard a client's boat recently, and I have an identical one aboard my own boat.

These radios are sandwiched between, inter alia, Icom 706MKIIG, 703, Yaesu FT900, FT817, Index Labs QRP+ (2), U.S. military transceivers including GSB-900DXs, Collins KWM-2A, ITT Mackay MSR8000, Southcom SC120, Harris/RF301, etc., etc.

Too many radios!!

Some of those mentioned have been sold and will be installed in the next couple of months. Others are or will be for sale, and there are a few I intend to keep regardless.

Bill
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Old 05-05-2009, 18:39   #32
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There is a lot of very good information here, some going in different directions. It may help to clarify one issue. The expense and utility of an FCC type cert marine ssb radio.

First and foremost...they do not have to be expensive. Yes, the ICOM 802 is...but the absolutely outstanding ICOM M700PRO is just $1100 RETAIL. It does every single thing that the 802 does, it just does not have DSP (which it really does not need, the signal processing is so good). But the reality is, it does everything an 802 and the 710 does. The venerable ICOM M-700 (non-pro) does everything the 700 pro does, except it cannot do HF Email and has 48 user defined memories, rather than 150. It can be had used for $450, sometimes less. A new ICOM 706MKIIG is $800-900. You can easily find good used ICOM 700PRO's and 710's for well under $1000.

Second, these marine transceivers are already 'opened' and able to send and receive on all ham bands, right out of the box. It is legal to use them to transmit.

Amateur or ham radio's such as the ICOM 706 do NOT come from the factory able to transmit on marine bands. They are locked out via diodes or jumpers on their circuit boards. In order to transmit on a marine band, the radio must be modified (not particularly hard to do...but still...must be done and voids the warrantee...if that is an issue).

As mentioned, it certainly is possible to transmit on marine frequencies, using a ham (amateur) radio, but illegal to do so. Obviously, many people chose to do so. Does the FCC have people out watching...not really ...however....if anyone hearing any radio harmfully interfering on a frequency can report them to the FCC...and they may or may not be prosecuted. Have people who have illegally used a ham radio on a marine band been prosecuted? If memory serves, the answer is yes. But that is not the point...the point is WHY ON EARTH would you want to intentionally harmfully interfere with fellow sailors?

For Unbusted, you have a perfectly fine radio. You can do everything you posted that you wish to do with it, with the sole exception that you should not transmit on marine frequencies (if the radio has been opened to transmit on those freqs, obviously you CAN...but you should not...it is your choice). I think it is good advice to get to WM and get a slim, straight forward book on how HF radio works. I think this would be far better than trying to have people on the net tell you how to operate your radio or try and tell you everything there is to know about HF radio. Just one or two thin books and this will all be very clear...and you will have a reference you can go back to as you learn more.

And...so that you CAN use your radio and open up the world of communication right now.... just a couple pointers. Ham and marine radio's operate on a single side of the carrier wave...thus the term "single side band (SSB)." By convention, that side is either UPPER SIDE BAND (USB)or LOWER SIDE BAND (LSB). This is found on the MODE selector for the radio. ALL marine freqencies are USB, so, in order to listen or transmit, your mode must be set to USB. Ham frequencies at 7MHz and below are on LSB, above 7MHz are USB. Check out docksideradio.com, find a net or weather report going on that will reach your location, use the large (VFO) dial to dial in the frequency and then the mode selector to select USB or LSB, depending on the frequency and transmission. If the tuner is on and everything is set up properly, you should hear transmissions. Best bet is the BBC or AFRS or weather.

You cannot hurt anything by listening, so keep trying. The references I listed before, especially Reeds, will be very helpful in finding resources to listen to.

Hope this helps.

best

J
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Old 05-05-2009, 19:20   #33
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Second, these marine transceivers are already 'opened' and able to send and receive on all ham bands, right out of the box.
Not necessarily. Depends on the year of manufacture and/or version. Some 700pro's can be opened with a key sequence at power-up (same with the 802), some must be programmed with field programming software. Some 710's are already open, others must be programmed with software.

Eric
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Old 05-05-2009, 19:47   #34
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Good clarification, Eric.

As I understand it, the 700PRO has gone through three software upgrades, the latest being the most ham friendly. I bought my 700PRO new about a year ago. It was ham ready, right out of the box, nothing to do.

I had an M-700 before I got the Pro. It also could transmt on all ham bands (and had the secret LSB detent on the mode switch), no mod was needed.

A good friend just got the 802. It also could transmit on ham bands, right out of the box.

Not sure about the 710.

Still, the point is that they can transmit on all ham bands without any hardware modification.

I also have a Yaesu 857D for amateur work.

Best

J
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Old 05-05-2009, 20:34   #35
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A good friend just got the 802. It also could transmit on ham bands, right out of the box.

Not sure about the 710.
Iv'e received many email requests on the procedure to open the 710 to the ham bands and use the channel knob as a VFO. I figured this out a couple years ago and posted it over on the SSCA board. It requires the field programming software and interface cable. I think maybe the new ones are already open. Also figured out how to do the "clipping" mod on the 802 and have done a few of them. The only problem with using the marine radios on ham freqs is that you can only change freqs in 100hz increments. Usually not a big problem though.

The 802 works very well on the ham bands and the channel knob works well as a VFO with it's "smooth" detents. One of the things I do not like about the 802 is that it is advertised as having DSP speech compression "increasing average talk power" when in fact this feature is turned off and the average talk power is considerably less than that of the 710. You can turn the compression on with software but then the transmitter no longer meets FCC specs for spurious emissions. Oh, and also that cheap chinsy tuner cable connector.

Eric
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:07   #36
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HAMHELL part deux

So I am starting to think that maybe my equipment is not properly installed as I don't seem to be able to tune into any channels. I am in a marina with a bunch of masts around me so I am wondering if that is messing me up. I can hear a few stations on LSB like between 1k and 8khz but I think I am just tuning into AM radio. I have a few lists of frequencies and times for HAM nets and weather broadcasts that I got off of the sights people suggested but everything I tune into either sounds like static or nothing at all. I think I am about to give up.
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:10   #37
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You really need to get an electronics (radio) professional to have a look. If you were in the Chesapeake Bay area, it would take me less than 30 mins to figure out what's wrong. A good techie ought to be able to do that for you, and surely there are some in the San Diego area.

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Old 11-05-2009, 15:35   #38
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It can be frustrating at first. Inside a forest of masts in a marina will mess up your tx, But you should receive fairly well. Double check for the net times,...it's really confusing with daylight sav's in some countries and not in others, as well as time zone issues etc. You will get it eventually. No ground plane or tuner should be needed to receive decent. If you are getting nothing... maybe you're in the wrong time slot.....
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:35   #39
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Off topic: Does a Loran C use rg8 or 58 cable for the antenna?
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Old 11-05-2009, 16:58   #40
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Off topic: Does a Loran C use rg8 or 58 cable for the antenna?
I think Obama just got rid of Loran c didn't he?
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:06   #41
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i heard it was being kept for several years. I have a unit I'm getting rid of, but had to clip the antenna wire........
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:20   #42
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Actually, HF reception in a marina is often terrible! Every microprocessor and switching power supply on every boat is transmitting noise (often well up to VHF and UHF frequencies). On my boat, the Prosine 2.0 inverter/charger is by far the worst culprit, but other things also put out some hash. So the lack of good reception in the marina does not necessarily mean your radio is sick.

My suggestion is to go to an empty anchorage, turn off everything else on your boat (especially the inverter/charger), and play with the radio. Then slowly turn things back on. If you're lucky, all will still be OK, and the noise will be from other boats. This is common. If reception suddenly goes to hell, you will have isolated the source and can work on grounding/shielding.

If you need local expertise in San Diego, http://www.offshoreoutfitters.com has a good reputation, though I have never dealt with them myself.

Cheers, and hope to catch you on the air someday!
Steve
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Old 13-05-2009, 05:46   #43
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I think Obama just got rid of Loran c didn't he?
The Coast Guard will continue to operate the current Loran C system through the end of FY2009, and is preparing detailed plans for implementing the FY2010 Budget.

The Fiscal Year 2010 (FY2010) budget calls for termination of Loran-C in the coming year.
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Old 15-05-2009, 13:24   #44
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Legality: As btrayfors said, any amateur gear is only legal to use by a licensed amateur radio operator (or control operator) on an amateur frequency using the correct mode.

Reality: Using ham gear "out of band" is done all the time, and isn't a primary offense. Yes, amateur gear doesn't have bulletproof transmitters and receivers but they work just fine. If the FCC wants to go after you, watch out since they don't do much enforcement (due to financial reasons) unless it is a serious issue.
Would I use a 706 for this purpose if it was my boat? Sure would if I didn't have a maritime radio for it since the flexibility of the radio is so great.

Now, HF radio 101.

There are a few basic things to learn about an advanced application, never mind the radio itself.
We use a spectrum of oscillations, from what you might hear referred to as "DC to daylight". Your Marine uses fall between 2 mega-Hertz (mHz) up into 20 mHz, also known as shortwave, or High Frequency (HF) band. BTW, one Hertz is one cycle per second.
We use these Radio Frequencies (RF) to send information across it. This information could be things such as a voice, or tones for digital communications such as fax or packet, etc. To send that information, it goes over a frequency.
On every frequency is a mode (emissions type) of conveying the information to other radios. For now, understand that the modes to be used on a certain frequency is determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Some modes you are already familiar with are FM and AM.
FM (Frequency Modulation) can be found on your everyday car radio for that ride to and from work, or to and from the Marina, etc. So, listening to classic rock on 101.1 KGB or "Kicksy 96 Soft Favorites" on 96.5 KYXY is being heard using the method FM. The number you see is the frequency in mHz, 101.1 and 96.5 (KGB and KYXY are callsigns issued by the FCC).
In another part of that same radio, is the ability to receive AM (Amplitude Modulation) signals. Stations in your area are KOGO which is news on 600, or talk radio on KLSD 1360.
There is one difference in how these frequencies are expressed, which are in kHz (yes, the standard metric units- kilo, mega). 1360 is actually 1360 kHz (1.360 mHz), and 600 kHz (0.600 mHz). If you are following, that is 1,360,000 cycles per second, and 600,000 cycles per second.

So, you have learned about modes AM, FM, and frequencies in mHz, and kHz. To tie some of this together (and without getting into how each mode works), Single Side Band (SSB) is the mode you will communicate with on your boat.
There are two parts to SSB, Upper Side Band (USB) and Lower Side Band (LSB) and there is a difference- one can not talk to the other and it sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher if you are using the wrong sideband. With all the time you have spent on your 706 I bet you have seen LSB and USB many times. So, if someone mentions Side Band or SSB, they are referring to either USB or LSB. I do believe USB is the mode of choice for Maritime operations.

Recap:
AM, FM, USB and LSB are modes to use on frequencies. This could be thought of as a language.
Frequencies are the place in the spectrum where you use the modes. FM on 101.1(mHz) is an example. This could be thought of as an address.
So, if you happen to be at the same address using the same language, you will be able to communicate!

Now that you have a basic understanding of the methods used, lets go into the physical portion of your radio system. This is explained in the 706 users manual, so hopefully you unerstand a little about this already.
You have a microphone, and a radio, and I bet you understand how those work together.
You also need a feedline (coax) and a matched antenna system. The coax that would work is known as RG-58, and the antenna could be a number of choices.
A matched antenna system is one that appears to be a certain impedance to the radio or it will destroy the final amplifier in it. The correct impedance is 50 Ohms. You probably have a 8' or so fiberglass antenna mounted somewhere on your boat. The antenna itself is matched at only one frequency, so when you change frequency the antenna would no longer be matched, and that's where an antenna tuner comes in. On page 12 of the owners manual, the AH-2B antenna is connected through a AH-3 antenna tuner.

For the last part of this segment, I want you make sure there is an antenna connected to your radio since this could be your whole problem. Page 9 of the 706 manual helps with this.
To do this, start at the back of the 706, and on the left side (viewed from the rear) are two antenna jacks. The top one is for antennas that cover HF (all frequencies below 54 mHz).
Follow that piece of coax to the other end. Hopefully it's connected to an antenna tuner. If so, find the other jack on the tuner, and follow that to the antenna. You could be looking for another coax connection, or there might simply be a stud with a single wire connected to it.
The tuner could be mounted somewhere near the antenna rather that at the radio itself so you might have to follow it for a bit. While you are there, do a visual inspection of the connections. If any look corroded, rusty, etc, then they need to be cleaned since the marine environment is not friendly to metals.

One last test, try tuning all the way down to the AM broadcast band (500-1800 kHz) and find a station. Try either 600 or 1360 since they are in your area. Remember this is AM mode, so press the mode button until you get to AM so you are listening to the right 'language'. Refer to page 19 for more info on changing modes.

If you post some pictures, that would be great so not only to see your radio setup, but to see your ship too!


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Old 15-05-2009, 13:53   #45
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re:Loran The IAT “unanimously recommends that the U.S. government complete the eLoran upgrade and commit to eLoran as the national backup to GPS for 20 years." Loran Study Finally Unleashed: Says Keep It, Best Option - GPS System Integration Design & Test

Not sure they will.... or even should.... but there it is... time will tell....
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