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Old 17-12-2016, 15:06   #1
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Help with ssb choice

Hi folks,
I'm outfitting my boat for long term cruising. Hoping maybe this could be a relatively simple question. Which is a better radio, the icom m710 or sea 235, in regards to quality and useful capabilities, or just simply the better choice for a simple cruising boat? I've never used an ssb or ham. So, at this point I can't say that I would like to have any specific functions, and I don't know how much I would desire ham functions. The question is specifically about the icom ic m710 (not pro), vs sea 235. Those are my two choices right now. Thanks for the help.
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Old 17-12-2016, 15:18   #2
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Re: Help with ssb choice

It's a matter of choice.

Icom has some of the best support in the industry. It is my opinion that were I in the market I would favor them. I'd also be looking for the latest in their lineup.

Good luck. Compare the specs and reviews.
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Old 17-12-2016, 15:45   #3
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Icom 710.

Best and simplest choice if wanting to use with Sailmail.

'Transceivers

Transmitting and receiving digital signals is similar to voice, and most modern marine SSB radios will do the job. For comments on various marine radios used by SailMail members, see the application note on radios in the Application Notes section below.

The second issue is the transmitter's ability to transmit a continuous full-power signal without damage. Some recent transceivers can do this without a problem (e.g. Icom M710, M700-Pro, M802), but many older transmitters will have to be operated at a reduced power setting. If you are buying a SSB and intend to use SailMail, choose a radio that can transmit data at full power.'

' If, however, your radio is only designed for voice duty, (e.g. SGC SG-2000, SEA-235 ) it is worth checking that the radio is not being over-driven, which could cause it to overheat. For instructions on how to check and set the drive levels to your radio, see the Application Note on Setting Drive Levels, in the Application Notes section of this Primer.

Thats from here https://sailmail.com/wp-content/uplo...2/smprimer.htm
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Old 17-12-2016, 18:00   #4
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by justsammer View Post
Hi folks,

I'm outfitting my boat for long term cruising. Hoping maybe this could be a relatively simple question. Which is a better radio, the icom m710 or sea 235, in regards to quality and useful capabilities, or just simply the better choice for a simple cruising boat? I've never used an ssb or ham. So, at this point I can't say that I would like to have any specific functions, and I don't know how much I would desire ham functions. The question is specifically about the icom ic m710 (not pro), vs sea 235. Those are my two choices right now. Thanks for the help.


I'm in the exact same place as you, and recently got a great deal on a used M710 and AT-130 antenna tuner. Got it set up at home so that I can learn how to use it, sitting in front of it right now as a matter of fact. I'm taking my Ham Technician license test tomorrow, followed by General, so that I can transmit on the amateur bands (no tx on marine bands if you're not on a boat).

Not sure I'm the best person to be offering advice, as I'm still a newbie myself, but if you want to share notes just holler.

Regards,
David
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Old 17-12-2016, 19:23   #5
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Guys, thanks for the info. Here's a more specific question... should I be considering the sea 235 for its advantages in switching over to ham capabilities so easily? Is this a big consideration? If not, why not?

Also, Dave, you mention your using your 710 for ham. How was that switch to ham capabilities made on your radio?
Thanks
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Old 17-12-2016, 19:36   #6
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by justsammer View Post
Guys, thanks for the info. Here's a more specific question... should I be considering the sea 235 for its advantages in switching over to ham capabilities so easily? Is this a big consideration? If not, why not?

Also, Dave, you mention your using your 710 for ham. How was that switch to ham capabilities made on your radio?
Thanks
My 710 was opened up for Ham about 15 years ago. Maybe the one you are considering has already been done. Memory a bit shakey but I think it involved a cloning cable and a DOS program so not a simple DIY fix ... Icom dealer should be able to do it for you.

I'm not familiar with the SEA 235.
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Old 17-12-2016, 20:04   #7
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by justsammer View Post

Also, Dave, you mention your using your 710 for ham. How was that switch to ham capabilities made on your radio?

Thanks


Haven't actually unlocked the ham frequencies on my M710 yet, need to get my General class license first. Taking the test for technician tomorrow. Technician class has very limited voice privileges on the HF bands. Once I have the license, there's a local Icom dealer who will unlock it for me, using some DOS-based software and a special cable, and $50. You can get the software online, but then need the cable and a machine running DOS, and a real 9-pin serial port (I hear that USB serial adapters rarely work).
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Old 17-12-2016, 21:03   #8
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Re: Help with ssb choice

I'd like to know, too. what kind of ssb radio to listen to Chris Parker's weather reports out on the high seas. I have a small 80dollar Kaito ssb but it does not has Chris's frequencys. does the icom 710 ssb have the right tuner? more money but if it works, great. also looking at Kaito voyager KA600 and the eton grundig 750, would they work?
Many thanks!
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Old 17-12-2016, 23:04   #9
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Re: Help with ssb choice

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Originally Posted by chuckg5 View Post
I'd like to know, too. what kind of ssb radio to listen to Chris Parker's weather reports out on the high seas. I have a small 80dollar Kaito ssb but it does not has Chris's frequencys. does the icom 710 ssb have the right tuner? more money but if it works, great. also looking at Kaito voyager KA600 and the eton grundig 750, would they work?
Many thanks!

The Icom 710 will get all of Chris's weather broadcasts, probably better than the small receivers. With a proper antenna and ground, it will also allow you to transmit on the maritime SSB frequencies. It should also transmit and receive on the ham bands--if it doesn't, its a pretty simple modification.
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Old 17-12-2016, 23:20   #10
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckg5 View Post
I'd like to know, too. what kind of ssb radio to listen to Chris Parker's weather reports out on the high seas. I have a small 80dollar Kaito ssb but it does not has Chris's frequencys. does the icom 710 ssb have the right tuner? more money but if it works, great. also looking at Kaito voyager KA600 and the eton grundig 750, would they work?
Many thanks!
The problem with the 710 for that use is that you can't 'spin the dial' and have to enter and save the frequencies you want to use via the keypad which gets pretty old pretty quick.
Best solution if you have the space and the money is a new or near new IC-718 Icom IC-718, Icom 718 Amateur Transceiver
Ham transceiver with a very good general coverage receiver. Easy to open up for TX on Marine frequencies in an emergency.

If reception is your only concern I recommend my old favourites , Tecsun 680/880, Sangean 909/909X, and Sony 7600GR.
Tecsun 880 is the easiest to tune. Sony and Sangean very high build quality.
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Old 17-12-2016, 23:34   #11
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Re: Help with ssb choice

The radios just mentioned.... Sangean lower left, Tecsun 880 lower right, Sony upper left, Tecsun 680 upper right, IC-718 lower right at the back....so yes I have been able to compare them.... I haven't just been reading reviews on eham
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Old 18-12-2016, 00:37   #12
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Re: Help with ssb choice

I have the SEA 235 installed on my boat. It is a better radio than the M710 without question. Better components, better filters, microprocessor controlled, etc. I have never run into an issue with the duty cycle even after an hour of sending data. Furthermore, you can install a 40mm fan for $10 which solves the overheating issue. The tuner is one of the best out there. I love this radio.

Yet, one key consideration in selecting an SSB radio nowadays is CAT control or the ability to control the radio from the email program of your choice. Airmail works with both radios but requires a Pactor modem, RMS Express (Winmor) works with the M710 but not the SEA 235. It is not a big deal but it is more convenient to have the program select the frequencies for you vs. manually entering the frequency.

In general, marine radios are controlled via a subset of NMEA 2.0 commands which require a checksum at the end of each command. Except for the two programs above most of the other ham programs do not support this protocol and the checksum makes it nearly impossible to create the driver yourself (unless you write an app). This is a good reason to go with a ham radio like the IC-718... even though it uses lesser components than the SEA-235 and the filters are not as good, it is just more convenient which means you will use it more often.

If you do go with the SEA-235, join my effort to convice the RMS Express team to write the driver for the radio. I spoke to them a couple of times and they said they would do it in the next version. Keep fingers crossed.

If you have SEA 235 specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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Old 18-12-2016, 06:31   #13
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Re: Help with ssb choice

many thanks, great info. ended up getting the sony 7600gr on ebay. finally get so weather reports out there! conditions permitting of course.
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Old 18-12-2016, 09:42   #14
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Re: Help with ssb choice

Anybody using the ICom IC-M802?

M802 HF Marine Transceiver - Features - Icom America

Thanks,
Merlin
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Old 18-12-2016, 12:01   #15
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Re: Help with ssb choice

I have an ICOM IC 728 fully functional as ham and sub, complete with a newICOM AT 130 auto tuner, a manual tuner and rope antenna, all for $1000.
I have used this offshore with my computer for weather fax as well as comms.
I will try to include a photo.
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