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Old 23-12-2010, 11:58   #1
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Ham / SSB Licensing Question

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 23-12-2010, 12:57   #2
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these are mutually exclusive licenses. A technician ham license is also not useful because of the frequency restrictions. In both case, you need a license to legally operate a marine SSB and another license to operate a ham radio on HF (SSB).
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:00   #3
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"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)?"

No...absolutely not!

The Restricted Radio Operators License is for MARINE BAND use (what you're calling SSB) and NOT FOR ANYTHING ELSE. In addition, to operate legally on the marine bands you need a type-accepted (certified marine) SSB radio AND a station license for the boat. You can get BOTH the station license and the RO for under $200 I believe.

Ham licenses allow you to transmit on the HAM BANDS ONLY. Period. You can use any radio on the ham bands, even one you build yourself. You do not need a "station license" for ham use; the ham operators license is all you need.

Bill
WA6CCA
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:00   #4
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No. You cannot. Unfortunately Marine SSB bands and HAM bands do not overlap. They are different. You need both licenses to get both band ranges. Also:

A HAM radio (hardware) is not allowed to operate on Marine SSB bands. If you have a Marine SSB license you CANNOT operate on your HAM radio to access these SSB frequencies. You must use a Marine SSB radio. Having or not having a HAM license will not help you.

OTOH, a marine SSB Radio (hardware) can operate on Marine SSB bands AND HAM bands. You must have an unlocked Marine SSB radio (for HAM bands) AND have a HAM license to operate on those HAM frequencies.

The advantage to getting a HAM license in addition to a SSB marine license is to be able to take advantage of the HAM group networks out there, and perhaps to use WINLINK email, on your Marine SSB radio.

Another option is to just take a HAM radio on your boat and ONLY use the HAM frequencies for your needs. However, you will not be able to use it locally in the waters of another country without first getting permission from that country. In international waters or US waters its AOK.

If you do get a HAM license, you will need to get a General class, not just a Technician class license to adequately take advantage of the HAM bands available on your Marine SSB radio.
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:04   #5
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Thanks

Thanks -
You do know y'all make me laugh with the emphaticness of your engineer-selves I just thought maybe the Ham license included privilleges to operate on the SSB bands. I spent the morning working through the online Ham test materials and, while I don't understand the theory behind many of the questions, the exam seems simple enough.

Thanks again for the clarification.
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:07   #6
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
If you do get a HAM license, you will need to get a General class, not just a Technician class license to adequately take advantage of the HAM bands available on your Marine SSB radio.
Thanks Salt. Can you explain that last bit a little further? Do WINLink and Ham communication generally require frequencies not available to a Tech?
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mambo View Post
Thanks -
You do know y'all make me laugh with the emphaticness of your engineer-selves I just thought maybe the Ham license included privilleges to operate on the SSB bands. I spent the morning working through the online Ham test materials and, while I don't understand the theory behind many of the questions, the exam seems simple enough.

Thanks again for the clarification.
and also feel the need to repeat it three times!!!

The tech license allows the licensee to operate only on VHF and a limited portion of the 10 m band which is not reliable these days. A General
license is the minimum you would need to operate on HF (where Winlink is usable) for long range messaging.
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Old 23-12-2010, 13:37   #8
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Concur w S/V Illusion and add:

To use the HAM nets utilized frequently by cruisers you will need a general.

Technician is good for 2m general rag-chewing in the neighborhood.
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Old 23-12-2010, 14:28   #9
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SSB is a mode of operation and has nothing to do with any range of frequencies. It means Single SideBand. The frequency range we are concerned with here is MF/HF which are Medium Frequencies and High Frequencies. When operating using voice, on the marine frequencies, the specific mode is Upper SideBand. On ham frequencies it may be either Upper or Lower SideBand, depending which band you are on.

Eric
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Old 02-01-2011, 17:21   #10
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Hello
You can get e-mail in SSB marine with www.cruisemail.com it would be commertial...
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Old 02-01-2011, 18:22   #11
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Geez, I remember when HAMs where great technicians. They even built their own equipment especially their transmitters & antennae. With sooo much commercial equipment available today, I cannot imagine anybody building their own rigs.

The one thing I believe was a great burden was code. I tried and tried but I could not get past about 8-10 words/minute. The requirements at that time if I remember correctly was 20+ words /minute. Code did have advantages though, one could work the world with a 25 watt (old 807 pentode maybe?) single tube transmitter.

And now our government wants $200 big ones for a license? Bewildering!

Foggy
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Old 02-01-2011, 19:06   #12
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There is somthing call free air for some, home of the Free, but in the US we pay for everithing. its bad I know...
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Geez, I remember when HAMs where great technicians. They even built their own equipment especially their transmitters & antennae. With sooo much commercial equipment available today, I cannot imagine anybody building their own rigs.

The one thing I believe was a great burden was code. I tried and tried but I could not get past about 8-10 words/minute. The requirements at that time if I remember correctly was 20+ words /minute. Code did have advantages though, one could work the world with a 25 watt (old 807 pentode maybe?) single tube transmitter.

And now our government wants $200 big ones for a license? Bewildering!

Foggy
Huh?
- $200 is for SSB / ships not for HAM. For $14 dollars you can sit for all the exams in one sitting.
- There is still plenty of CW going out there, and you can get code certed. Its just not a req. for licensing anymore. Generally you need an iambic key or similar to get over high rate of words a minute.
- You can still build your own rigs and experiment with antenna design.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:32   #14
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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
With sooo much commercial equipment available today, I cannot imagine anybody building their own rigs.
Lots of people still build their own rigs and a HUGE number build their own antennas.
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Old 04-01-2011, 18:45   #15
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I just finished building a battery powered 2 watt CW rig myself. I still need to figure out why I'm not getting closer to an expected 4 watts, but that's part of the fun. Even at 2 watts I've made a couple of contacts half way across the country!
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