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Old 09-01-2011, 08:13   #16
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Hi,

Just in case you don't know, here is some more information about Amateur Radio licenses:

Amateur Radio licenses are free and last 10 years. There is a 2 year grace period. So if your license expires - you can't transmit, but if you renew within 2 years then you do not need to re-take any of the tests.

Amateur Radio license testing is usually free, but clubs providing the testing are permitted to charge a small amount of money to cover their costs.

Morse code is no longer required for any of the Amateur Radio licenses.

There are three levels of Amateur Radio Licenses currently being issued by the FCC: Technician, General, and Extra. The best way to prepare for the tests is to buy the ARRL book for the license you wish to obtain. The book costs around $30 if I recall correctly.

To use the Amateur Radio portions of the 1.8 to 30 Mhz HF frequency range one needs to first obtain a Technician license, and then obtain the General license.

The Extra license gets one just a little bit more frequencies to use and is a very difficult test to prepare for. I consider it more of a status symbol rather than something really useful.

Howard
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:45   #17
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Technicians can use the 10 meter band, 28-28.3MHz for data, and there are a handful of winlink stations using that band, but I doubt you'd have much luck making a connection. The only extra-only frequency I saw was 3.613MHz, but that was in the phone/image portion which surprised me. However, it's a Canadian station, VA3LKI, so maybe that's it -- anyone know?

I just did a cursory look, but General seems like all you need to connect to practically all of them.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:31   #18
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Quote:
The Extra license gets one just a little bit more frequencies to use and is a very difficult test to prepare for. I consider it more of a status symbol rather than something really useful.
An Advanced or Extra license allows one full reciprocal operating privileges in most European and Western Hemisphere countries with CERT or IARP agreements. With a General license one would have to apply to each country for an operating permit, and then there would be restrictions on use.

Michael
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:04   #19
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The extra license is worth getting, and I think if you look carefully you will see a number of advantages in frequency additions. It's not just for contesting.

Taking the extra exam is difficult but not impossible. I studied and reviewed over 6 weeks and aced the test. There are software tools to help you - both online and for your iPad/iPhone.

The Tech/general together took me about the same amount of time, and I sat for both in one sitting.

If you like to study and learn, and like the challenge and rush of taking a test...these tests are a lot of fun. You learn a hell of a lot about radio, although the only way to understand it fully is to use it.

Personally, I felt I needed to complete the process. Leaving open the extra for "another time" seemed to me a personal push off...so I had to sleep at night.
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Old 11-01-2011, 23:53   #20
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The Real Costs of a Ship Board Radio Licence

As a point of interest, I just obtained a shipboard radio license for The Chester P, and it was $160. This covers all marine telecommunications gear including radar gear, E-Pirbs, HF SSB & CW, SiTOR and all data communications, and SAT-PACS as listed on the authorization. I filed the license application on-line at FCC.gov, and had the printed license in three days.

I have had an Amateur Radio ticket for over 35 years, and while I'm confident that my ham gear would serve me well, that doesn't help my non-ham girlfriend or an of my other crew members in their need to utilize the shipboard radio gear on Marine frequencies when we're out-of-country.

Forgive, but we're really bitching about a supposed $200 license fee here? This is about secure communications in a sea service that is known for being challenging, and if your vessel is US documented, this is the right thing to do to protect your right to use that communications equipment out of the US.

Even having a ham license doesn't cover you in other countries. While a number of countries DO offer reciprocal amateur radio operating privileges, not all do. And non-resident amateur license often needs to be applied for from the host country's communications authority. I recommend applying at least 6 months prior to your visit (if you're eligible by having a current, US-issued amateur radio licensee).

I spend a-lot of time explaining and answering questions like these contained in this thread at clubs coordinating regattas, and more recently, the single-handed Trans PAC throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.



Fair Winds to All !

Chuck Bullett
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Originally Posted by Mambo View Post
Hi -

The SSB licence (I believe more accurately called the Restricted Radio Telephone Operators Permit) appears to cost $200+. The Ham license, OTOH, costs only about $15. If I get my Ham Technician license, can I operate my radio on board in both SSB and Ham bands without paying the $200 in fees (or are they the cost of the Ship's Station License)?

Thanks!
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:58   #21
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Why would I really care about HAM or Marine SSB in another country anyway? I'd just use the damn internet, my cell phone, or VHF.

Its not just the cost of a license that is prohibitive. Its the cost of all the related Marine SSB Icom gear that goes along with it. I can pick up a portable HAM box and antenna and get my mail and stay connected without the overload of $$$$$$$$$$$ wasted on monopolizing junk by ICOM.

Granted, at sea IF I had crew there may be an issue with communication. However, in an emergency situation anything goes and licenses are mute. And in normal situations, as long as I am the chief control operator, they can communicate under my responsibility and management. Done all the time in remote regions of the world.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:14   #22
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As a point of interest, I just obtained a shipboard radio license for The Chester P, and it was $160.
At least one person on board must also have a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit, which will cost you an additional $60

Eric
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:09   #23
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might as well get the radar certs as well
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Old 18-01-2011, 16:14   #24
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all is cool but ham is for a earth station, and not for marine use on a ship thats why they give you a ship licence to communicate.
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Old 18-01-2011, 16:50   #25
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all is cool but ham is for a earth station, and not for marine use on a ship
Huh??? According to FCC rules, an amateur radio station may transmit on any amateur service frequency from any vessel that is documented or registered in the United States, with the approval of the vessels master.

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Old 18-01-2011, 18:07   #26
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Ditto with fairbank56. Actually, its a bit more open:

Within 50 km of the Earth’s surface and aboard any vessel or craft that is documented or registered in the United States;

(I thought there were constraints about being in international or USA waters as well but I cannot find).

(a) The installation and operation of an amateur station on a ship or air-craft must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.

(b) The station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship or air- craft, except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation. The station’s trans- missions must not cause interference to any other apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft.

(c) The station must not constitute a hazard to the safety of life or property. For a station aboard an aircraft, the apparatus shall not be operated while the aircraft is operating under Instrument Flight Rules, as defined by the FAA, unless the station has been found to comply with all applicable FAA Rules.
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Old 18-01-2011, 18:37   #27
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A ssb marine radio has the ship licence by FCC and requires a Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit it can not use HAM its ilegal now it may be use but with out being registed to the ship its ilegal. and IAW 47 C.F.R Part 80 subpart H end of discution.
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Old 18-01-2011, 18:58   #28
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You US based guys have it easy ....

In the UK, there is very little provision for non-professionals to obtain what is called here the 'Long Range RadioTelephone Licence' (the equivalent of a GOP ticket) enabling you to install and use an SSB on a UK registered vessel.

The course I attended alone was 5 days at technical college and a 1/2 day practical and written exam it covers SOLAS, EPRIRBs, Inmarsat, Navtex, DSC, VHF and SSB and there are only two or three places in the UK where you can offically take the course.

The course cost me ~$1,000 and the exam an additional $150.

FWIW I also obtained an FCC permit as I didn't want any hassle with Uncle Sam in US waters, I filled in the forms online and paid my $200 which seemed like a bargain to me.

I am aware that there are many sailors in the UK who flout the law and just use the SSB anyway (getting a callsign is not actually linked to proving you have a license beleive it or not), but on the upside, the license itself is pretty impressive looking more like a diplomatic passport personally gold tooled by the Queen's secretary than the one page legal computer printout I got from the FCC.

Just my 10c

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Old 18-01-2011, 19:32   #29
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You're confused casique8 and dont dictate to me when the discussion is over - you are referring I think to a MARINE SSB RADIO which is hardware specifically made for using MARINE SSB Frequencies. This radio can be opened up to also use HAM frequencies. However, for this radio hardware, yes you do need a FCC Marine station license as described to operate on a boat - for both HAM and MARINE frequencies. You will also need a MARINE operators license for the MARINE frequencies, and a HAM operators license for the HAM frequencies.

However, what we are referring to is a HAM radio, which is different hardware and cannot be used to operate MARINE SSB frequencies by default. For this piece of hardware, you do NOT need an additional station license from the FCC and can use it for HAM designated frequencies aboard any vessel, as long as you have a HAM license that allows for those HAM frequencies, and for the additional rules I stated above.

NOTE: a HAM operators license alone cannot ever operate on MARINE SSB frequencies regardless of hardware.

To sum up:

MARINE SSB RADIO HARDWARE = Marine Station License + Marine Operators License for marine freq. (+ Ham Class License for ham freqs.)
HAM RADIO HARDWARE (ham freq. only) = Ham Class License
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Old 18-01-2011, 19:51   #30
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duncan_ellison:

Right now my thoughts are:

Ham Radio Outlet | YAESU FT-817ND | 5 Watt HF/6/2/440 QRP Multi mode w Battery and charger
Ham Radio Outlet | YAESU FT-857D | FT857 W 60M + DSP2 BUILT-IN / FREE YSK-857
Ham Radio Outlet | YAESU FT-897D | FT897 HF/6/2/440 W/TCXO

and one of these antennas:

Outbacker Antennas NA - Products

they make a Marine antenna as well as other portables.
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