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Old 18-06-2016, 15:49   #16
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

If you are only looking to receive weather Forecasts and GRIB files you don't need an expensive Transceiver. A marine (and HAM) band Receiver with a Modem will do the job just fine and you don't need a license for that. Obviously you can't call anyone but I understand that is not what you're after?
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Old 18-06-2016, 16:00   #17
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

High and dry in Colorado...at the moment
I was recently granted a general class "ham" license making use of the online hamstudy.org and hamradiolicenseexam.com.
I took the technician and general class tests the same day and had my license granted with call sign two days later.
The tests and license here were free but usually $15 to the organization doing the testing.
As has been mentioned already having the license allows you on some of the ham bands (the higher the license class the more frequencies/bandwidth you have access) but do remember that there are different regions where your US license wont cut it.
I am unfamiliar with international restrictions on maritime radio but hoping to find out
The Ham license is not that hard to get and IMHO you can never learn to much about what could save your life, and being legal is cheaper than fines
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Old 18-06-2016, 16:58   #18
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

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Originally Posted by pdenton View Post

S/V Resolute bound for Clipperton Island
Why would anyone in their right mind be bound for Clipperton?? It ain't the end of the earth, but you can see the end from there.

I went by there a few years ago, but did not stop as planned. As I approached the island the sky turned ugly and the barometer started to fall, so I gave it a miss by a mile and headed for Hawaii.

BTW, the grib files I downloaded from near there (via an ICOM 735 and Winlink/Pactor) did not show a tropical depression until the next day. Sometimes its best to look out the window for your weather.
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Old 18-06-2016, 17:34   #19
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

I have not reviewed the regulations regarding marine radio in Australia for a long time however I don't think it would have changed much.


For marine VHF and HF you were required to have a ship station operators license and the ship station was also required to be registered for which there was an annual fee.


However since the volunteer rescue organizations started and spread VHF on small vessels has become ubiquitous and I suspect that the majority of them are not registered facilities. HF SSB is not as common however many cruising yachts have it to listen to the dedicated Bureau Of Meteorology SSB transmissions and there are a couple of yachting networks on SSB.


Australia is one of those places which has lots of laws about many things however provided transgressions are not harming other peoples interests or infringing their rights the transgressions are tolerated and I suspect this is the situation in regard to VHF usage. All these folks are not complying with the registration or licencing requirements but for safety purposes it is better that they have the VHF radios so the transgressions are tolerated.


Australia used to have a network of government operated coastal radio stations dedicated to commercial traffic on both VHF and HF SSB but just about all of these closed down years ago, as commercial operators fitted satellite systems to their vessels they fell into disuse.


I occasionally scan across the marine channels on my SSB but about the only thing you hear is Asians having a chat. When I worked in the boondocks in Indonesia quiet a lot of the locals had ham transceivers they used to call home every day and you still hear the occasional one on marine frequencies.


My son has a ham license and I have suggested that we go duplex with him transmitting on a ham frequency and I on marine and his answer was "cross channel work is verboten", pedantic little rat. Consequently I suspect you are more likely to run into problems with illicit use of ham frequencies than marine.


I have been told by radio service professionals that marine rated transceivers are more durable in the marine environment because the electronics are better protected from corrosion.
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Old 18-06-2016, 18:53   #20
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

hf 8176 aus /spot connect sat sms/pc navtex usb but no shore station in aus/ham radios get eaten by salt air
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Old 18-06-2016, 18:57   #21
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

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hf 8176 aus /spot connect sat sms/pc navtex usb but no shore station in aus/ham radios get eaten by salt air

What's that mean ?
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Old 18-06-2016, 19:04   #22
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Perhaps it is not so much a matter of right minds but of bright minds. Clipperton is of particular interest to reef scientists because of its isolation.
I think that most cruising yachtsmen, yourself obviously excepted, are concerned that the reefs of the world are in danger and anything that we can do to protect them is important.
Research is one such tool.

PHD, PhD
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Old 18-06-2016, 19:08   #23
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Say phone less expensive? Care to share the math on that...
IF one includes the cost of a new (even used) marine SSB, and perhaps a Pactor, then yes, the capital outlay for a Sat Phone can be considerably less. While WinLink "airtime" is free, SailMail is not. So, depending on your starting point and usage requirements, Sat Phone may prove less expensive. As in many things, devil is in the details.

Not to say I advocate any particular option, just do your homework ...
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Old 18-06-2016, 19:15   #24
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Message 22 was a response to message #18
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Old 18-06-2016, 21:00   #25
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

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hf 8176 aus /spot connect sat sms/pc navtex usb but no shore station in aus/ham radios get eaten by salt air
I too am uncertain of the meaning of this unpunctuated stream! But the last phrase seems to indicate that ham radios will not survive on a cruising boat.

Nonsense!

On our last boat I had an Icom 735. Worked for 15 years before I upgraded to an Icom 746. Thirteen years ago I transplanted that rig to this boat, and it is still working as new. No problems in that span of years from salt air or low voltage or anything else.

I wish I could say the same for the Icom "marine" VHF and handheld VHF purchased more recently; they have both had several issues, and neither work as new. And, not personal experience, but all of our friends who have 802s have had problems with them, but not likely associated with salt air.

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Old 18-06-2016, 21:14   #26
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

the OP needs to be certain of his desired usability. sounds like a Delorme InReach could satisfy needs... plus a HF receiver for fun and other news source.
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Old 18-06-2016, 21:40   #27
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

About GRIB files: These are *not* sent by broadcast transmissions. You need a SSB or Ham transceiver with email data capability to get these. For best results you will use a Pactor modem ($$$), but there are free software modems you can use on the ham bands (see WINMOR).

You can also get GRIBs via a satphone, either by email, or by a direct connection to a weather data service.

There *are* broadcast weather files, called WFAX (Weather Facimilie). You need a receiver and some sort of decoder for these. The decoder can be a Pactor modem, or one of several software decoders. There are even iPad apps that let you decode WFAX broadcasts via the radio speaker.

You can also download WFAX images via email (SSB, Ham, and satphone).

Finally, there are still voice broadcasts of weather information. You can pick these up using a $99 receiver.
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Old 18-06-2016, 21:55   #28
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

G'day, Mates. For the money (at times they can be had for less than $500 USD), it's hard to beat a good used ICOM 706, capable of most all frequencies including marine VHF. It is up to the user to legally use it on the appropriate frequencies and respective power settings. I am certainly satisfied that I had one on board with the others in the radio cabinet. All the best and be safe out there. Cheers.
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Old 19-06-2016, 06:50   #29
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Try this read. It might help;
Ham Radio License vs. SSB Single Side Band marine radio | Cruising World
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Old 19-06-2016, 07:45   #30
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

A solution not mentioned is to buy a second hand Icom M(arine) 710 that is opened up for the ham bands ...

Re durability there was an Icom 735 on my boat from about 1992 until maybe 2006 when it was replaced with an IC 706 Mk2G ... no corrosion or any other probs with either.

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