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Old 16-04-2014, 14:41   #121
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Kat: You must be a Licensed (Licenced for the brits) Amateur Radio Operator to transmit on the ham bands (except in an emergency). If you are ham licensed in the UK you are probably eligible for reciprocal privileges. Check with the RSGB <http://rsgb.org/main/operating/licensing-novs-visitors/operating-abroad/>. Note also that the Americas (including the Bahamas) are in IARU Region II and the band limits and privileges are slightly different from Region I (Europe) that you may be used to. For the US Amateur Band Plans look at <http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Regulatory/Band%20Chart/Hambands_color.pdf>. Your marine operator's license does not permit operation on the ham bands. The registry of your vessel has nothing to do with ham privileges. Don't get caught transmitting on the ham bands in the US without a license. The FCC monitors the ham bands and uses direction finders to locate violators. FCC fines run in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 and you could loose your radio gear or even your boat although that would be an extreme case. If you have the time and inclination to study for them, there is no citizenship requirement for US ham licenses - you only need a US mailing address. You can even take the exams outside the US if you can find an exam center. The US Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) <http://www.arrl.org> can help you find one. Fair winds and 73.
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Old 16-04-2014, 14:46   #122
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrine33 View Post
I have a m802 ssb radio
I am British and so is my boat
I have a vhf short range certification and a ship radio licence ,Mmsi number,call sign,atis number and mf/hf, dsc license, can I transmit on the ham frequencies programmed on my ssb
I am in USA waters and plan to go to Bahamas
Kat
Kat,

You cannot transmit on the ham bands using ANY radio unless you have a ham license.

If you do have a ham license, then you can transmit on the ham bands using ANY radio available, including one you made yourself....that's the whole idea of ham radio.

An American ham operating in the Bahamas needs a reciprocal license from the Bahamas government. Not sure about a Brit on a Brit boat (presumably with a Brit ham license).

Bill
WA6CCA
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Old 16-04-2014, 22:30   #123
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrine33 View Post
I have a m802 ssb radio
I am British and so is my boat
I have a vhf short range certification and a ship radio licence ,Mmsi number,call sign,atis number and mf/hf, dsc license, can I transmit on the ham frequencies programmed on my ssb
I am in USA waters and plan to go to Bahamas
Kat

Hi Kat, I live on the other side of the world, in SE Asia. Your M802 with DSC is a good choice and as per the comments from others, if you are a licensed HAM you can use the M802 to transmit on the HAM frequencies.

My experience is that if you live and sail where there are ample, quick response professional S&R facilities, then the combination of a VHF and satphone of some type will be sufficient. But once you sail beyond the professional, quick response S&R services which can solve all problems, the M802 with DSC will be the best option to alert other yachts, commercial vessels, fishing trawlers etc in your vicinity (without knowing they are there, or their satphone number) to get advice, a tow, spare part, or rescue.

The evidence we see over here is that a lot of cruisers from Europe/UK and North America simply do not realise how lucky they are with all the great RNLI lifeboats and Coast Guard cutters to solve their problems. Many get quite a surprise once they are beyond these facilities and learn that a quick mobile or satphone call can no longer provide a prompt response solution.

The DSC capability of the M802 radio is designed to address these differences, by quickly and simultaneously alerting all other vessels in the vicinity which are maintaining a DSC watch on their similar radio.

MRCC UK does not have a HF/SSB radio, so they can only suggest you use a satphone to contact them when beyond the range of their great VHF networks.

MRCC USA - the Coast Guard - has an effective HF/SSB marine system (with an increased focus on DSC calling), because, like Australia, the USA does not have an official (GMDSS) continuous coastal VHF network with DSC, like what exists in the UK and Europe. Terry Sparks ( http://www.made-simplefor-cruisers.c...20for%20us.pdf ) highlights the Coast Guard's DSC capability and also and preference for using a DSC capable HF/SSB radio before switching on an EPIRB.

MRCC Australia has a very effective marine HF/SSB with DSC system and they state the situation, limitations and answers very clearly for cruising beyond the range of S&R helicopters, RNLI Lifeboats etc. This means for 90% of the world's oceans and coasts, and especially in the underpopulated, pristine, low-cost and attractive island destinations many of us choose to cruise:

"The arrangements for search and rescue (SAR) in Australia have been influenced by the physical size of the island continent, the large size of the search and rescue region, Australia's relatively small population and the nature of governmental processes. Dedicated SAR facilities are limited in Australia. When necessary, other facilities are diverted from their primary function by arrangement or request."

"The arrangements for search and rescue (SAR) in Australia have been influenced by the physical size of the island continent, the large size of the search and rescue region, Australia's relatively small population and the nature of governmental processes. Dedicated SAR facilities are limited in Australia. When necessary, other facilities are diverted from their primary function by arrangement or request."

"Distress beacons should only be used when there is a threat of grave and imminent danger. In the event of an emergency, communication should first be attempted with others close by using radios, phones and other signalling devices. Mobile phones can be used but should not be relied upon as they can be out of range, have low batteries or become water-damaged."

"Even once a position is obtained (from a distress beacon), response times then depend on the time for a search and rescue (SAR) unit, such as a helicopter, aircraft or ground party to be readied and transit to the search area. The more remote the location of the distress incident, the longer the response time. In all instances, be prepared to survive."

The key phrases are "communications should first be attempted with others close by using radio" because if you depend on the official S&R response in places beyond the great support services available around the USA coastline and in Europe/UK, it could be a long time coming and you will need to "be prepared to survive."

A recent solo sailor in the Pacific with a problem was lucky, the ship which MRCC New Zeraland sent to him was only 200nm away. A French solo sailor in the southern ocean in 2012 had to wait 3 days -for the only ship in the region which MRCC Australia could find - to reach him.

If this is what it is like in NZ and Australian S&R territory, you can imagine what it must be like elsewhere, were resources, money and trained staff are more limited. Here is an example. A satphone call to someone thousands of Kms away and subsequently the MRCC, but official resources were not successful:

Sail-World.com : Hopes fade as searchers fail to find shipwrecked Australian sailors

Sail-World.com : Sabbath laws and 'who will pay' hampers search for missing sailors

A DSC distress alarm call via HF/SSB radio to alert nearby yachts or commercial vessels (maintaining a 24/7 - silent - DSC watch for distress, group or individual MMSI calls) could have summoned nearby and prompt response assistance; as recommended by MRCC Australia.

The M802 (with DSC) has the ability to simultaneously send an alarm to all vessels in the vicinity, either anchored on the other side of an island or along the coast or at sea fishing or in transit. The more yachts that have a similar marine DSC HF/SSB radio, and maintain a (silent) 24/7 DSC watch - like nearby commercial vessels do - the better the chance of cruisers with a question to gain access to the extensive knowledge, experience and wisdom of other cruisers, who would be instantly available to assist with advice, a spare part or tow, or some waypoints into the sheltered anchorage; so a problem fro a fellow cruiser does not become an incident.

The modern DSC capable HF/SSB radio is noiseless. It can scan for Distress or General calls 24/7 without disturbing the crew, the peaceful anchorage or the spectacular sunset. It only makes a noise when a DSC alert is received.

This same radio can be the foundation for low-cost HF/SSB radio email via a subscription to the not-for-profit SailMail Association (see SailMail). There is no charge for GRIB charts, METAREA forecasts etc which can be selected and downloaded using the on-board software that manages a SailMail subscription. SailMail is a convenient and low-cost service developed specifically for yacht owners by other yacht owners. Taking advantage of SailMail's services becomes possible simply by adding a Pactor controller to the existing modern, marine, DSC capable HF/SSB radio.

Apart from emails with family, work etc SailMail provides access to valuable weather information so prudent sailors can have fun, plan passages to maximise the benefits of the the wind, organise a marina berth or spare part delivery on arrival, choose the optimum beautiful anchorages based on the expected wind, and send position reports to be displayed on the web. All free with a SailMail Association membership.

And when cruisers are involved in a rally or race over here, the organisers will appreciate the fact they can be conveniently contacted - by voice or email - via the marine HF/SSB radio; so everyone gets the same identical information, reliably, for free, without needing to charge participants extra money to pay for calls to those participants only equipped with satphones.

I hope there comments are helpful.

Best wishes and enjoy your trip.

Allan
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Old 21-04-2014, 12:17   #124
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Kat,
1) Unfortunately, the answer is NO...
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrine33 View Post
I have a m802 ssb radio
I am British and so is my boat
I have a vhf short range certification and a ship radio licence ,Mmsi number,call sign,atis number and mf/hf, dsc license, can I transmit on the ham frequencies programmed on my ssb
I am in USA waters and plan to go to Bahamas
Kat
Unless you have declared an emergency, you MUST have a valid amateur radio license ("ham license") to transmit on the amateur radio bands in ANY country....

Typically you are licensed in your country of nationality and when on-board (or ashore) in other countries you must apply for a 'reciprocal license"....
Many countries accept each others' amateur radio licenses and require no testing or official licensing from their country (such as CEPT countries), others require you to officially apply for a amateur radio license and while your home nation's license is sufficient to prove competency, there is a FEE assessed by them (Bahamas, etc.)

Not sure about UK ham licenses, but for US hams operations in foreign countries is detailed on the ARRL member pages.... www.arrrl.org



2) The Icom M-802 is a great radio....
For some details about how to effectively use it, please have a look at these videos...
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call


And, please read over these threads which have just about everything you'll need to know about the M-802 and HF-DSC-SSB communications....

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!
SSCA Forum • View topic - Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!

Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....
SSCA Forum • View topic - Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....

IC-M802 Compression
SSCA Forum • View topic - IC-M802 Compression

Icom M-802 use on the Ham Radio Bands
SSCA Forum • View topic - Icom M-802 use on the Ham Radio Bands



Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts
SSCA Forum • View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..
SSCA Forum • View topic - HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..

Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)
SSCA Forum • View topic - Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)


EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds
SSCA Forum • View topic - EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

USCG to Discontinue ONLY 2mhz Distress Watchkeeping 8-1-2013
SSCA Forum • View topic - USCG to Discontinue ONLY 2mhz Distress Watchkeeping 8-1-2013



I hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-04-2014, 12:23   #125
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Carl,
Everyone has their preferences, etc.....so no worries here...

But, two things I'd like to clarify....
1- There is a BIG difference between what most cruisers call "SSB" and what is part of the GMDSS (which uses MF/HF-DSC as part of both routine communications and distress signaling)...
I understand that I've been laughed at here, for years, recommending sailors/cruisers actually adopt this new technology (HF-DSC), but since it has been part of the GMDSS about as long as Iridium has been in existence, AND is the ONLY way (other than INMARSAT-C) to directly signal other vessels at sea that are beyond VHF range, I find it curious that so many are willing to spend many $$$ on laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. AND keep upgrading / buying new ones every two years, but are unwilling to upgrade their HF radios (to an HF-DSC radio such as the M-802), which has been accepted as part of the GMDSS for 20 years now!!! (and a requirement for ships since Jan 1999)????


2- Secondly, in MY opinion it is poor seamanship to write that an "inReach" is a good back-up to an EPIRB....while this may be your opinion, it is NOT a fact and, again, in my opinion, it is a bad idea to post things like that here in a widely read public forum, where new cruisers may unfortunately take this mistaken opinion as fact...

And, I'd like to point out that under the GMDSS plan, it is a 406mhz EPIRB,
MF/HF-DSC, VHF-DSC, and INMARSAT-C, that are the multi-stage/redundant forms of signaling for assistance....not a smartphone tethered to small Iridium-based satellite terminal....




3- Again, I understand we all have our own opinions, etc....just trying to point out that what you wrote is not a fact..
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Offshore I use a Delorme Inreach paired to an iphone to receive daily weather and routing information and to keep in touch. It's also an excellent backup EPIRB. So far, it's been incredibly reliable.




Fair winds...


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-04-2014, 13:13   #126
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

Would anyone know offhand, for the purposes of radio license regulation, are "US waters" the three mile limit, twelve mile limit (I suspect) or the larger "economic interest zone" 100(?) mile limit?
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Old 21-04-2014, 13:51   #127
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

hellosailor,
It is the 12-mile limit...but...
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Would anyone know offhand, for the purposes of radio license regulation, are "US waters" the three mile limit, twelve mile limit (I suspect) or the larger "economic interest zone" 100(?) mile limit?
But, if you're a US-flagged vessel / US-licensed you still must comply with FCC rules and regs when in int'l waters....and under reciprocal licensing you must comply with BOTH FCC rules and regs AND those of the country (or territorial waters) you're operating in.....

{take note that there ARE some special rules under Part 97, that apply in certain areas....such as the ability to use phone (voice/SSB) between 7075khz and 7100khz, when south of 20* Latitude and/or in ITU regions 1 or 3.....as well as restrictions on power on 420mhz-450mhz, when in certain geographic areas (including some offshore, in "int'l waters"), so there ARE lots of rules/regs to follow.....hence why the ITU and all its member countries, require proper licensing for the amateur radio service...}


So, if you're a US-flagged vessel and/or a US-licensed ham, just figure on always operating under FCC regs.....as well as those of the country that you happen to be in, AND be sure to comply with nation's licensing requirements (whether reciprocal, CEPT, etc.) and you should have no worries...


Fair winds.

73,
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-04-2014, 14:40   #128
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Re: HF SSB Ham Radio Option

I went to the Delorme site, and could not see anything about receiving emails. I know it does text msgs, gps tracking, social media websites, but does it actually send/receive emails?
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