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Old 19-06-2016, 08:23   #31
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPLepew View Post
Get in the 21 century.
Check out Delorme InReach or Explorer devices (delorme.com).
Does all these worlwide: tracking, email, charts, emergency coverage, weather, and a few more. Using Iridium Satellite Network.
All for less than $25 a month. Been using mine for a year now, well worth the $$.
No affiliation with Delorme, just a happy customer.

One more thing, it's a very small device, but it Bluetooth connects to your phone or tablet for ease of use.
Ok sounds pretty good, But, please explain how you can get weather from it. Does the weather come as a text message ? Can you download a weather map fax to your tablet with it ? Just how does it all work ? Thanks.
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Old 20-06-2016, 13:01   #32
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Does the email function, come up on my PC and if it does can it accept graphic attachments?
PHD PhD
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Old 20-06-2016, 14:09   #33
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

pdenton,
I hope you don't mind some direct, concise answers to your questions???
But, be aware upfront that while USING the radio(s) isn't difficult, explaining all of this can be a rather long, involved process....so, please bear with me!!!


1) First off, these questions do come up here every so often, and I will provide you with links, below, to other recent discussions....


2) Second...
There can be much confusion here when talking about "Ham" versus "SSB"....because some may be referring to the radios, and others may be referring to the actual frequency bands / channels...and others may be referring to the actual radio services....
And, still others might be unaware that there are vast differences between the radios, their capabilities/features, as well as vast differences in who you can talk to on the two different radio systems....
AND....

And, let's not forget that since the implementation of the GMDSS in 1992 (mandatory for all SOLAS vessels and all signatory nations, since Jan 1999), we've had MF/HF-DSC signaling for all ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore/shore-to-ship long-range radio comms....where vessels and shore stations (with the exception of the USCG, AMSA, and NZMA) do not monitor the SSB Voice channels, nor respond to calls on those channels, but rather monitor the MF/HF-DSC channels, and respond there and only then come up on an SSB Voice channels for two-way Voice communications....
{understand that no "ham" radio has any DSC capability}



3) Third, and probably most important and on-point here, you must compare apples to apples....not apples to oranges!
Trying to compare a used ham radio transceiver and used, non longwire tuner....to a new marine MF/HF-DSC-SSB radio, with weather-proof longwire tuner.....is certainly comparing an old bruised apple to a fresh-picked, ripe orange!



4) And, let's not forget that the typical "ham radio" even if connected/installed, adjusted, and operated correctly, will have significantly more interference generated by it, than even an old, tired HF Marine ("SSB") radio!!!
And, also that most (almost all!) "ham radios" are designed to operate on a stable 13.6vdc to 13.8vdc, NOT at 12.0 to 12.6vdc!!!
Most (almost all) "ham radios" will not operate at all if the voltage at the radio (under transmit) is below 12.2vdc to 12.4vdc....and most will produce serious transmit interference (horrible transmit IMD) when operated below 12.6vdc....many will also exhibit serious transmit distortions on frequency, such as "fm'ing" when supply voltages dip below 12.5 to 12.6vdc....
(And, remember these are voltages at the radio, when transmitting, when the voltage drop in the wiring/supply system is greatest....NOT your DC panel voltages!)

And, let's not forget the multitude of controls/settings that most/many "ham radios" have that allow skilled/experienced operators to tailor the radio to suit there preferences and on-air conditions, but if mis-adjusted by non-skilled/inexperienced operators can reduce/eliminate the likelihood of successful communications, and almost certainly cause significant interference to others (whether on the ham radio frequencies, maritime frequencies.....or, I even seen/heard first hand, interference to transoceanic aviation frequencies from ignorant hams!!!)

{please take note that I'm avoiding the whole "it's illegal" part of the discussion....'cause, yes it is illegal to use a "ham radio" on the marine "SSB" HF bands, and there are VERY important reasons for this....unfortunately in our world today we have many with that "I want it....no matter who it hurts" attitude, so I prefer to just give you the facts, and allow you to make the moral / ethical decision....not to mention that there are serious technical reasons why a marine "SSB" radio will work better for you, so why go off on time-consuming tangents...}


5) How about we look at things one at a time??
Here in red....
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
You can't get the right answer if you don't ask the right question.
I'm with ya' 100%!

I would like to know if for strictly marine purposes the far cheaper ham radio will do the job that a mariner needs to be done.
Oppss....two problems here...
First off, the "ham radio" isn't "far cheaper".....
The Icom -802 NEW is about $1800....
A comparable NEW HF "ham radio" (IF-DSP, multiple filter widths, remote heads, etc...) might sell for $1500 to $3000...
Adding a remote, long-wire, antenna tuner, adds about $400 - $500 to the cost of either...
As well as adding the other associated components, for whatever installation is required, or whatever ancillary services you desire, etc....also adds the same amount to either....

So, I'm not sure where this "far cheaper" fallacy comes from...
Perhaps, some think comparing USED "ham radios" to used Maritime "SSB" radios, there would be a "far cheaper" alternative....but this is not the case...

Used Icom M-802, sell for about $800 to $1100....
Used comparable "ham radios" sell for similar dollars....($500 to $1500)

Used Non-DSC, HF Maritime "SSB" radios, such as the Icom M-700Pro, M-710, etc. sell for about $500 to $700...
Comparable used "ham radios" sell for about $3500 to $750...


Secondly, the answer actually depends on what job you need/desire to do, which I see you clarify below....but also on WHERE you are sailing!!


Not emails and other such concerns of those safely on dry land.
Here, the marine "SSB" radio (the MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone) has an advantage....

But, also note that if you should decide on e-mail connectivity, the marine SSB radios have an advantage here as well....especially their ability to maintain a clean, linear signal in digital comms, especially when subject to lower than "nominal" voltages!!


First I want to get the maximum amount of information about the weather.
Having written all the above, this might surprise you....but, if all you desire is "weather information", you should really start with what weather information/forecasts are considered the best / most desirable, for your planned sailing/cruising/voyaging.....and then decide how best to obtain them reliably....

While the Icom M-802 is an excellent radio and has an excellent receiver, there are "ham radios" of comparable price that do just as well (or better, with a skilled operator using them) at RECEIVING....

Assuming you have a good radio, that is in excellent shape, and is properly aligned/installed/wired, etc....
Then, please understand that successful receiving on HF is primarily a function of:
a) YOUR understanding of HF radiowave propagation...
b) YOUR on-board RFI...
c) YOUR antenna...

d) YOUR understanding of / properly adjusting the radio (this is easy for "SSB", and much more difficult for "ham radios")

{Take note that a, b, and c, are the SAME whether you are using a maritime "SSB" radio, or a "ham radio"!}



Secondly I need collateral information about my particular passage for example what is the best way to handle passage through the Panama Canal.
Except for a rare instance of needing telephone interconnect (ship-to-shore, telephone call) to call/coordinate with the Canal Authority, you should not need any HF radio at all to transit the canal....no marine "SSB", nor "ham radio", needed here...
But, you will need a fully functioning VHF-DSC radio, and I believe AIS (soon, everyone will need AIS for most secure areas....but, that's a whole 'nother discussion!)

Now, if your cruising / sailing / voyaging takes you farther than coastal areas, then having long-range radio communications is almost a requirement!!

As I wrote above, with the exception of the USCG, Aus Maritime Authorty, NZ Mar Auth....(and of course public coast stations WLO and KLB) nobody else is monitoring any marine "SSB" VOICE channels / frequencies anymore, and haven't in > 16 years!!
All signaling to/from SOLAS-grade vessels, and to-from shore stations is via MF and HF DSC (which no "ham radio" has)

Everyone here knows that I'm the blow-hard proponent of MF/HF-DSC....and many here roll their eyes when they read what I type....but, nobody disputes the facts that I represent!!
{FYI, yes I will concede that if you all you have on-board is a VOICE radio, whether "ham radio" or marine "SSB", then getting on 14.300mhz and yelling MayDay is probably just as good as, doing this on 12.290mhz or 8.291mhz.....
But, I stand behind my recommendations that IF you are equipping an offshore sailboat, there is no reason to NOT equip with a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radio (such as the M-802), except for saving a couple hundred dollars....and if that will break the budget, perhaps forgo the new smart phone next year, of don't worry about upgrading to the new iPad, etc....or how about just saving for a couple months???}


Are there areas which have seen recent acts of piracy.
Stay well clear of Venezuela and its surrounding islands, as well as the horn of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean, and you will not have any piracy concerns, at all!!


Can I give other cruisers useful information about my current location.
You can do this on "cruiser's nets" on both "SSB" and "ham radio" bands/frequencies....using Voice comms.
Or, you can do this via DSC capabilities...


What you might call the social media aspects of HF radio have no interest for me.
Here the marine "SSB" bands are what will work best for you!!
And, of course, a marine "SSB"...


The 802 with its necessary adjuncts cost about $3000.
Actually it is less than that....but...

For strictly maritime purposes is this worth the investment to a Bluewater sailor?
Yes!
But, YOU must learn how-to use HF radio, whether Marine "SSB" or "ham radio"....and fact is that "SSB" ismuch easier to use!


What's a grib?
This is a whole 'nother discussion on its own...
But, since you cannot download any GRIB files, without "requesting" them to be sent to you via e-mail, and you will need some form of e-mail connectivity to get them...
Whether that be via an expensive PACTOR modem, or sat phone, etc.....this is again, a whole 'nother discussion!!
Do yourself a favor, assuming you have internet connection, please watch these videos....you'll learn a LOT!!

They are FREE, and designed for layperson sailors!

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY



HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX



Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr



Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY



Here are some recent discussions that you will find useful...
Icom 725, switch to SSB

Ham Radio vs Marine SSB

HF Rig on a Sailboat - the Practicalities

SSB in steel boat

Convert Icom 718 to SSB

Choosing HAM transceiver (under $500)




I hope this helps....more later!

fair winds...

John
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Old 20-06-2016, 16:01   #34
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

pdenton,
1) I completely forgot to point you to the very first thread in "Marine Electronics" forum here, a "sticky" titled "Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)", which is a thread of reference information on marine HF comms....and where you'll find the links to all the info you'd ever need on this subject, including the answers to your questions here....
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)




2) Just saw page 2 of this thread....and saw Jim's posting...
Yes, he is correct that many well-made HF ham rigs survive well on boats....after all we aren't mounting them in the cockpits!!

But, if I could comment on something that you wrote Jim???
Not in anyway disputing what you've seen/heard, but rather offering a learned explanation...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
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.
Jim, many of the older HF ham rigs (such as the 735) actually DO work at battery level voltages, although they work MUCH better at 13.8vdc (regarding transmit IMD, etc.).....
FYI, the IC-735 was designed as a mobile rig from the start, and as such was designed to operate from battery-level voltages....

But, this is not the case for the more modern rigs, IC-706, IC-718, etc...most of which have serious low-voltage issues...

And ALL of which have serious transmit IMD issues!!(and significantly worse at lower voltages)...
Problem here is that the user usually never knows this....unless some polite and patient operator points this out to them!


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.
Sorry to read of those issues....I won't try to quibble...
Just wish to add that my two M-1V's are still going strong 12+ years on....and my 25-yr old Icom marine VHF still works, but no longer have a working battery pack for it!


And, not personal experience, but all of our friends who have 802s have had problems with them, but not likely associated with salt air.
Jim, you are correct that these issues are not associated with salt air!!

If some wish to discuss these issues in detail, I will do so in another thread....
But, for our purposes here, these are the main reasons for these issues:
a) The dreaded "clipping issue" on most early M-802's (those with S/N below 0108261, manufactured before April 27, 2008)
Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....

b) Poor installation / commissioning (and/or wiring)....
Which you might think would be the same for those with "ham rigs", but most ham installs are done much better!
And, also the fact that most who "professionally install" marine HF radios, M-802's or otherwise, are next to useless, and are NOT professionals at all!!

c) Poor understanding of the sailor/operator of:
-- how-to use the radio...
-- how-to understand radiowave propagation...(how-to choose the correct channel/frequency for the time-of-day, and distance to communicate)
-- how-to reduce/eliminate RFI...

Most ham radio users will know, or inevitably need to learn, these things....where are many M-802 users will not...
The unfortunate fact is that so many sailors were "sold" an M-802 (and many also a PACTOR modem), without anyone ever explaining how any of it works!!
If I had a $1 for every sailor with an M-802 who was told nothing at all or only to "turn it on and let the laptop do the work with Sailmail", I'd have enough to do a new AwlGrip job on my boat!!! Seriously!!

d) Many M-802's do not have the internal DSP-based Speech Compressor turned on....
Please have a look here for details...
IC-M802 Compression


pdenton, as Don and others have written, GRIB weather data is RAW computer model data....and is NOT a human-derived forecast...and of course, you'd need e-mail interconnectivity to allow you have access to GRIB data anyway (another big expense!), so this is a rather moot point of this discussion, but unfortunately the topic comes up all the time...
Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Why would anyone in their right mind be bound for Clipperton??

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.
But, if you're looking for the best overall weather info/forecast for offshore sailing, you should be looking at WeFax charts...
These are weather charts (current analysis and forecasts) drawn by seasoned and experienced marine meteorologists and transmitted multiple times each day, via powerful radio transmitters worldwide....

Here is a discussion with lots of info...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

Understand that the WeFax charts from the US NWS/NOAA are considered the Gold Standard of offshore maritime weather info/forecasts, and the meteorologists sign their name to each forecast, so their rep is on-the-line everyday!....(note that wefax charts from the UK, Aus, NZ, Germany, etc., are also excellent!!)

And, the Voice SSB broadcasts (although more generalized) are also considered the gold standard of offshore / hi-seas maritime Voice Weather broadcasts....

All of these are sent out multiple times each day, by powerful (4000 watt or more) transmitters...

Have a look here at these pages for details...(I'm highlighting the info/forecasts that you would need for a passage thru Caribbean and Panama Canal, and onto Clipperton Is.)
And, remember, ALL of these are FREE!!
NWS Radiofax

Marine Radiofax charts

New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links
Pt Reyes Radiofax Schedule with Links
Honolulu Radiofax Schedule with Links
Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf


USCG HF Voice


http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html


USCG HF SITOR




pdenton, I see you are under the false impression that there are vast differences in prices....when in fact there are not...as long as you compare apples to apples!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
I would like to know if for strictly marine purposes the far cheaper ham radio will do the job that a mariner needs to be done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
It certainly would be weird if an SSB at its much greater cost didn't have features that the most lower cost ham radio provides, but from what you say having a ham radio would cover the needs which I imagine that I will have.
Please see my posting above for the details of prices and comparing apples-to-apples....
Ham vs SSB for marine purposes



I hope this additional info helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 20-06-2016, 17:33   #35
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Great response John !
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Old 20-06-2016, 19:57   #36
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Hi John.
Since I'm a professional scientist, I'm always happy to hear the facts even if it is encumbered with a patronizing air and fruity ultra clichés.
Since you have gone to a lot of trouble to put me in the picture and obviously despite bad manners know great deal.
Before I attempt to digest in detail what you have been so good as to send me.
I would like to make a few simple points.
1. Over the years I have operated extremely complex mechanisms like research NMR and mass spectrometers. Somehow I believe that I could learn to operate a device as inherently simple as a radio properly and quickly.
2. Perhaps it is naïve but a full package ICOM 802 with antenna tuner and sintered bronze ground plate costs $2700. A Yaesu 450D which has an internal antenna tuner costs $600. In what respect is this not a fair comparison?
3. During the years before I got my PhD I sailed in the Pacific in the early eighties we had what must've been an antique ham radio but were able to check into a net from Guam, get useful weather reports, and contact friends who were in other ports. The only thing beyond these modest goals would be the ability to receive emails with graphics attached. I am trying to spreadsheet information about the state of coral reefs in the Caribbean in the circum-tropical Pacific. If that one thing is not possible with the ham radio but is possible only with a Marine SSB, and I'm prepared to spend more money.
4. As an American I subscribe to the moral and ethical standards of American corporations i. e. whatever you can get away with is okay.
5. The heads up about the voltage is much appreciated but somehow I feel that in our technological Shangri-La, that problem can be overcome.
So just as I have chosen to overlook your attitude because you have freely given me so much valuable information, I hope that you can accept my sincere thanks despite my attitude.
PHD, PhD
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Old 20-06-2016, 22:09   #37
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

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Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
2. Perhaps it is naïve but a full package ICOM 802 with antenna tuner and sintered bronze ground plate costs $2700. A Yaesu 450D which has an internal antenna tuner costs $600. In what respect is this not a fair comparison?
The Yaesu internal tuner has a limited tuning range, and is unlikely to be able to tune an insulated backstay-type antenna (except on a couple of frequencies, it you're lucky). You will probably still need the external antenna tuner. I see that Yaesu sells an external "long wire" antenna tuner, which would probably work similarly to the Icom tuner.

Neither radio needs a sintered bronze plate ground. Either radio will need a ground of some sort, be it a copper strap to a through-hull or keel bolt, or some radial wires in the bilge, or your aluminum toe rails, or, yes, a sintered bronze plate.

You can't just wave your hands and make the power supply range issue go away. You can purchase a buck/boost switching regulator to deliver the 13.8V your Yaesu wants, but this will be an additional expense.

The Yaesu may be a great radio -- I'm not saying it isn't. But when comparing it to a true marine radio there are significant differences that you shouldn't ignore.

By the way, speaking as a sailor, an engineer, and a radio enthusiast, (and *not* as a moderator), I personally think you owe John an apology. He provided some exceptional information for you to study. He provided it in a way that was accessible to anybody. You having a PhD should be irrelevant, or is plain English somehow beneath you?
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Old 21-06-2016, 00:46   #38
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

I recently installed an SSB radio (second hand SEA 235) on my sailboat. It has a steep learning curve and once you have everything set up properly, while a joy to use, it is not that practical. You really have to decide if you are in the hobby (ham radio) or not.

Any radio will do. Good models are the Icom 802, 706 and 718. A split head/amplifier model such as the 802 or the SEA 235 will give you more mounting options but there are no practical differences among any recent SSB transceivers. You definitely need the ham frequencies (marine nets are boring). The ham radio license is easy to get but you do need to learn about propagation, waves, RF grounding and all this stuff to be able to use it effectively. The cost of the radio and the antenna tuner can vary from $300 to $2700 as others have said. You need to add at least $500-$700 for install (backstay insulators, rigging work, grounding work), more if you hire people to do it for you. At he end, if you are not into the hobby you will be better served by Iridium (either a phone, an SMS messenger or Go).
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Old 21-06-2016, 05:46   #39
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
Hi John.
Since I'm a professional scientist, I'm always happy to hear the facts even if it is encumbered with a patronizing air and fruity ultra clichés.
Since you have gone to a lot of trouble to put me in the picture and obviously despite bad manners know great deal.
Before I attempt to digest in detail what you have been so good as to send me.
I would like to make a few simple points.
1. Over the years I have operated extremely complex mechanisms like research NMR and mass spectrometers. Somehow I believe that I could learn to operate a device as inherently simple as a radio properly and quickly.
2. Perhaps it is naïve but a full package ICOM 802 with antenna tuner and sintered bronze ground plate costs $2700. A Yaesu 450D which has an internal antenna tuner costs $600. In what respect is this not a fair comparison?
3. During the years before I got my PhD I sailed in the Pacific in the early eighties we had what must've been an antique ham radio but were able to check into a net from Guam, get useful weather reports, and contact friends who were in other ports. The only thing beyond these modest goals would be the ability to receive emails with graphics attached. I am trying to spreadsheet information about the state of coral reefs in the Caribbean in the circum-tropical Pacific. If that one thing is not possible with the ham radio but is possible only with a Marine SSB, and I'm prepared to spend more money.
4. As an American I subscribe to the moral and ethical standards of American corporations i. e. whatever you can get away with is okay.
5. The heads up about the voltage is much appreciated but somehow I feel that in our technological Shangri-La, that problem can be overcome.
So just as I have chosen to overlook your attitude because you have freely given me so much valuable information, I hope that you can accept my sincere thanks despite my attitude.
PHD, PhD
Gosh!

Did you ask a genuine question to be answered, which in my observation has been FULLY answered, or is this an exercise in promoting your views, achievements and philosophical leanings on this thread?

jes askin'...
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Old 21-06-2016, 06:43   #40
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

pdenton;
I think you must define your objectives more succinctly because there are different solutions at play here. If one is just coastal cruising, one solution is practical, off-shore and crossing an ocean with many days at sea and needing help or just information, another solution will be the best.
Then there are varying degrees of safety. If I'm sinking 2000 miles from anywhere or have an on board medical emergency, I want to get help by whatever means possible, whether it is via SSB, HAM, SATPHONE or SPOT/D' LORME But that's just me.
My strong suggestion is that you discuss this with a professional who specializes in Marine Communications and find the up to date and most practical solution for your needs.
The good folks on this forum have offered solutions as best they can, given you hours of their time in writing authoritative responses and I'm still not sure you feel your questions have been answered.

I'd suggest: It's time for you to consult with a professional.
Travel Safe
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Old 21-06-2016, 06:52   #41
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Mr. pdenton,
I have read and reread my postings above, and I honestly cannot find anything in them that would be offensive to anyone, nor any "attitude", other than that of a mariner wishing to help another fellow sailor...(heck, I even used plenty of smiley faces to show my happy and fun attitude)

But, with 7 Billion people on this planet, it's certain that I will offend someone, so I am truly sorry!
Please accept my sincere apologies for whatever perceived slight you read into my words above, and please know that I mean, and meant, NO offense at all!
I am sincerely and truly sorry sir!




My gut tells me that you will be unwilling to accept any further information or clarification from me, and as to not offend anymore, I will be unsubscribing from this thread...
However for the sake of others that are reading this thread, and for those who may stumble across this in the future, I feel it is my responsibility to add some further info and clarifications....so, please bear with me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
Hi John.
Since I'm a professional scientist, I'm always happy to hear the facts even if it is encumbered with a patronizing air and fruity ultra clichés.
Since you have gone to a lot of trouble to put me in the picture and obviously despite bad manners know great deal.
Before I attempt to digest in detail what you have been so good as to send me.


I would like to make a few simple points.
1. Over the years I have operated extremely complex mechanisms like research NMR and mass spectrometers. Somehow I believe that I could learn to operate a device as inherently simple as a radio properly and quickly.
I'm sure you have a great deal of experience elsewhere (just as I do), and you can probably learn the vagaries of HF comms, but I'm not sure what posting your CV has to do with this discussion....
But, oh well, thanks for sharing!



2. Perhaps it is naïve but a full package ICOM 802 with antenna tuner and sintered bronze ground plate costs $2700. A Yaesu 450D which has an internal antenna tuner costs $600. In what respect is this not a fair comparison?
If someone reads the above referenced material, and gain an understanding of the differences in radios and tuners, it becomes clear that while the FT-450D isn't a bad rig (and the $600 discontinued/close-out price is quite good!), it hardly compares to the M-802...

As Paul mentioned, the internal tuner in the FT-450D will not do what is necessary for your application, and therefore you would need to add an external, remote, "long-wire-type" auto-tuner (adding about $500 to your total)...

Also, as the FT-450D is a rather simple, entry-level rig, it hardly compares to the M-802....if you're looking for current-production "ham radios" that compare in tech, features, and capabilities, the Icom IC-7600, the Kenwood TS-590s, the Yaesu FT-3000, are all close....(but, please understand that there are still differences between "ham" radios and "marine SSB radios!)

Please take note that NONE of these "ham radios", nor any "ham radio" currently made (nor made in the past 30+ years) has anywhere close to the same demanding specs for both transmit spectral purity and reliability...

Of course, I haven't even gotten to the big elephant in the room....NO "ham radio" has any DSC capability, and for more than a decade and a half this is the way of signaling the > 450 MF-DSC coast stations, and the > 80 HF-DSC coast stations, and the 1000's of SOLAS-grade vessels, worldwide...
Okay, maybe you don't care about DSC...no worries, I won't ramble on about that....
So, if that's the case, why not buy an Icom M-700Pro for about $500 - $600, and have a radio that is much more rugged and reliable, and much more capable that the FT-450D??

Again, I do not wish to offend, but many sailors end up comparing apples-to-oranges (as many who are new to HF radios, do....so please understand there is nothing new under the sun here), but once they read the above referenced material, look at the spectral scans, understand "how" these radios work, etc., they easily see what I'm talking about...

Oh, and notice that I didn't mention the 1.8db advantage of the "150-watt marine SSB", vs. the "100-watt ham radio"....as this is seldom a factor in successfully completely communications.....but, be aware that it can make the difference sometimes, and with the fact that many of the ham radios will struggle attaining 100 watts on battery-level voltages, where the marine SSB radios must maintain the full-specs throughout the entire voltage range (11.5 to 15.6vdc)....this can become a factor more often than many are aware!


And, whatever a sailor decides to use for an antenna / RF ground (counterpoise), is going to be the same choice no matter which radio you choose....
(please remember, that just like antennas....almost anything will work to some extent, it is just a matter of degree....heck, even no ground system at all will work...just not too well!)
BTW, if they look at the above referenced info, they will see how various ground systems compare and, should they choose a less than optimal approach, they will also learn to save money and make their own artificial counterpoise for > $5....




3. During the years before I got my PhD I sailed in the Pacific in the early eighties we had what must've been an antique ham radio but were able to check into a net from Guam, get useful weather reports, and contact friends who were in other ports. The only thing beyond these modest goals would be the ability to receive emails with graphics attached. I am trying to spreadsheet information about the state of coral reefs in the Caribbean in the circum-tropical Pacific. If that one thing is not possible with the ham radio but is possible only with a Marine SSB, and I'm prepared to spend more money.
Please understand that I was going off your original posting here, where you wrote that you were not interested in e-mail connectivity....
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
Not emails and other such concerns of those safely on dry land.

But I see now that you are???
Sorry, I'm a bit confused by this....and if I'd know this earlier, I would not have tried to educate you on HF radio comms, as I suspect that you will need sat comm to accomplish your goals...
And, it appears that desire e-mail connectivity with attachments???


If this is now the case, understand a few facts...
a) For HF radio e-mail connectivity with attachments, it is a PACTOR modem (an additional $ 1400 to $2000) and Sailmail ($250/yr).....but understand that this is still rather slow-speed data, typically 4.8kb...

b) Yes, a marine SSB radio will be required to use the Sailmail system, but you can use an older (non-DSC) radio, such as an Icom M-700pro, or Icom M-710...

c) If you are thinking that using HF radio for e-mail connectivity is as simple as "dial-up", then you'll be in for a surprise....and I would highly recommend that you stop looking into HF radio for your data comms right now, and look to sat comm!!!

Yes, pdenton, if I read between the lines of some of what you write, I see you may be desiring something that HF radio cannot deliver....and you might be better served by a sat comm terminal on-board....

Take note that I'm NOT talking about a simple "sat phone" tethered to your laptop (which would have an even slower connection speed than a PACTOR IV modem and HF radio!), but rather a real sat comm terminal, that would allow "DSL-type-speeds" worldwide....(these will start out at $4000 to $5000, and run up to $75,000....plus significant monthly/air-time/data costs....most will find a $5000 to $10,000 system to be adequate, with monthly costs of about $1000...)
As you see, these are quite pricey....
But, if your research is well funded, these are rather minor expenses....




4. As an American I subscribe to the moral and ethical standards of American corporations i. e. whatever you can get away with is okay.
I'm afraid we will have to politely disagree here, as I was taught morality and ethics from my parents (my late father and my 95-yr old mother), who also taught me sailing, celestial Nav, etc....
By both their words and examples, they instilled in me a sense of right and wrong...and moral clarity and integrity that I hold dear to this day!

I sir, live by the Golden Rule ("do unto others, as you would have them do unto you"), and that wonderful rule that my Dad taught me as a kid, "treat everyone like your friend, and they will be"...

Please make no mistake, neither I, nor may parents are passivists...nor shrinking violets....to the contrary we are strong folks who will fight hard, but we treat others with respect, dignity and decency!!

I do not preach or try to sway others, I just live my life as best I can...and hope this example is good enough...so, other than saying that I am truly offended by your words here, I will not comment further on them!






5. The heads up about the voltage is much appreciated but somehow I feel that in our technological Shangri-La, that problem can be overcome.
Yes, so called "battery boosters" / DC-DC supplies, can eliminate this issue....but in addition to costing you more money, they also introduce problems of their own, such as added on-board RFI, another component to maintain or do-without when it fails, etc...


So just as I have chosen to overlook your attitude because you have freely given me so much valuable information, I hope that you can accept my sincere thanks despite my attitude.
PHD, PhD

I do hope the above helps clarify things for everyone...

Fair winds to all..

John
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Old 21-06-2016, 12:59   #42
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Yo John,
It is for me to apologize not you. You provided me with an impressive degree of knowledge and I thank you for it.
If my questions seem to have changed, it's because as I learn more, then I understand how little I know and I have to modify my questions.
So for the time being I'll just shut up, digest what you and others have been so good as to provide me and then if I still have questions, which I most certainly will, I will ask them.

Respectfully,
Peter H Denton, PhD
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Old 21-06-2016, 15:37   #43
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

The posters original enquiry has generated a fair bit of both technical and philosophical rejoinder and a touch of acrimony. Since I am fitting out a recently purchased vessel for coastal cruising I have found it fairly interesting.


My existing vessel has an Icom M-710 which I installed in 2002 and which is pretty well used only for coastal weather forecasts and reports and I could probably get by with one of the small, cheap all band receivers readily available. However I have used a number of these over the years and none give the reliable performance of the receivers in the marine HF transceivers I have had experience with.


I use a mobile phone and computer and wireless modems and the internet for all social communications and only transmit very occasionally for a radio check on the HF radio. I like having the transmit function as a contingency safety item but do not want all the hassles of maintaining the licenses required to operate a fully functioning HF ship station.


My advice to the original poster is, fit a marine HF transceiver so that you have the capability of reliably receiving weather information and contingency broadcasting particularly if you are going to cruise in remote places where hurricanes or cyclones are prevalent, use the internet with short range connections for social and research purposes and if you decide to make voyages beyond the range of the terrestrial networks go satellite. For my part I like the look of the Iridium Go for this.
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Old 21-06-2016, 18:59   #44
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

I'm afraid that I have not been forthcoming about my need for electronic communication. My vocation is that of a molecular immunologist and geneticist lately retired from the Duke University medical school.

My avocation is marine biology. I have worked in the past both at the Scripps Institute of oceanography and the Woods Hole Institute of oceanography. I am outfitting a 35 foot Pearson as a mini research vessel. Likewise I have spent 10 years in the Pacific where I ran a kind of eco-charter business where my clients did research diving.

One of the things that I hope to establish is connections with cruisers particularly in the central Pacific who can evaluate the health of the reef. Marine biologists are at the end of the food chain. They simply don't have the resources to observe the condition of the reef in far-flung places like the Tuamotos. But many cruisers are passing through those reefs and could evaluate the health of reef (especially the presence or absence of coral death: bleaching) in a way that would be useful to professional scientists. I also have some more exotic interests and it might be helpful to be able to communicate with colleagues on shore.

So far the most exciting suggestion is the Pactor Modem which apparently can be linked to either a ham SSB or a more sophisticated Marine SSB. The problem here is that what does the person that I'm communicating with need to have.

PHD, PhD
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Old 21-06-2016, 19:34   #45
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Re: Ham vs SSB for marine purposes

Quote:
So far the most exciting suggestion is the Pactor Modem which apparently can be linked to either a ham SSB or a more sophisticated Marine SSB. The problem here is that what does the person that I'm communicating with need to have.
All t hey need is an e-mail address. Both Winlink and Sailmail provide communication between you at sea and the internet. Winlink allows small attachments, Sailmail does not IIRC. Practically speaking, the attachment size limits on Winlink preclude images being sent, so no photos of coral, etc.

The idea of employing cruisers for data accumulation has been done before. We've done cetacean, sea turtle and migratory bird reporting off and on for years, and I'm sure there have been other similar efforts. The trick is to format your research focus questions in such a way that an intelligent amateur observer can make useful observations for you... and that ain't easy! But there are lots of us plying remote waters, and many are willing to participate, so the ball is in your court.

One more thing: you might consider backing off on the PHD stuff. You are not the only scientist that participates in this forum...

Jim
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