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Old 07-02-2019, 16:18   #46
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

1) Actually the answer to question #1 is the easy one...
The exact capacitance isn't critical.... 0.01uf to 0.1uf in total, is a good rough value...and 1000v to 5000v rating is good, but with our 150 watt radios, 1000v - 2000v might be okay...

Spend $5 to $10 or so, and buy 2 (or 3), ceramic disc caps....2Kv, 0.1uf ceramic disc caps...(Mouser, Newark, RF Parts, etc...)
(if you were designing a more precision circuit, I'd probably recommend some hi-tolerance silver mica caps, but for this application, generic hi-voltage ceramic disc caps are fine!)
BTW, if you have a ham radio friend, you can probably scrounge 'em from him/her, for free....and/or spend about 50 cents each for them at a "hamfest"...

Wire them in a series string (so that the voltage rating will be multiplied and capacitance will be divided), and place them INSIDE your remote tuner....solder one end of the string to the remote tuner's "ground wire" and secure (solder or use crimp terminal) the other end of the string to the inside of the remote tuner's ground terminal....

Then you can connect the tuner's ground terminal to your hull....using whatever is the recommended material by the hull / boat manufacturer...
And, you will have NO DC connectivity from your tuner ground and the hull, and no stray current issues!!

With fairly good certainty, you're probably never going to need more than 2Kv (2000 volts) rating (maybe even 1000v), with our normal 150 watt HF, if you just want to use one capacitor, that would be fine....but, you know I'm a radio nut...
(btw, SGC has a 0.1uf cap inside their tuners, for DC ground isolation....)

{I don't have an aluminum hull, but considering the mass of the hull, using a SS bolt, or whatever you currently use for alum hull attachments, and a liberal amount of Penatrox-A conductive grease (designed specifically for electrical conductivity between dissimilar metals, like alum, copper, SS, bronze, etc...), and you should have no issues...}

Originally Posted by flyingnut40 View Post
Two questions.....
1) If I have an aluminum boat and I need to couple the tuner ground to the hull through a capacitor (to prevent DC to ground) What size and type of capacitor is suitable?
Question 2) Has anyone any idea where to get a channel List (or CSV file) for programming channels into my ICOM HF radio? (not an 802)

I did find it on the internet a couple years ago, but cannot find it now.
Thanks Dennis

2) I really thought I covered this in these stickies and the links in them??
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

However, if you cannot find the details....I can tell you exactly what freqs to program in your radio...but...

But, those specific / exact answers depend on:
a) What radio?
b) What your planned application is? (SSB Voice, GMDSS SSB Comms, Cruising Nets, Wefax, Voice Weather, Maritime, Ham, Shortwave/BBC, AM/MW Broadcast reception, etc.)
c) Where are you planning to be sailing / cruising?
d) How many channels does your radio support?
Without knowing any of these things, the best I can do is answer you generically...

Note that ALL maritime HF-SSB freqs will be well as ALL SSB ham freqs of 14mhz, 18mhz, 21mhz, etc. and above will be USB...but, ALL ham SSB freqs of 7.3mhz and below will be LSB....

[Note that those freqs in bold type are the more important / critical freqs for just about everyone sailing Atlantic, Pacific, and/or USA / N. America / Caribbean / C. America....and most sailing anywhere offshore...
Those in red bold are Safety, Urgency, Distress calling freqs...
Those in blue are generally weather freqs...]

Starting here, with "channel #1 thru channel #6" being the "Safety Channels"....

A) Of course, you will want to make sure you have all six GMDSS SSB-Voice Freqs...

2182.0khz USB
4125.0khz USB
6215.0khz USB
8291.0khz USB
12290.0khz USB
16420.0Khz USB

Also, programming in WWV / WWVH, time/freq standard freqs....
2.500mhz USB
5.000mhz USB
10.000mhz USB
15.000mhz USB
20.000mhz USB

B) Weather freqs...
And whatever maritime SSB-Voice weather broadcast freqs...and their ship's transmit duplex freqs...(all USB)
518khz NAVTEX on 516.1khz USB...

4316.0khz simplex
8502.0khz simplex
12788.0khz simplex

4149.0khz simplex (Australia)
6230.0khz simplex (Aus)
8113.0khz simplex (Aus)
6507.0khz simplex (Aus)
8176.0khz simplex (Aus)
12362.0khz simplex (Aus)
12365.0khz simplex (Aus)
16546.0khz simplex (Aus)
{plus some others for New Zealand, see link}

ITU Ch 424 = 4426.0khz ship rx / 4134.0khz ship tx
ITU Ch 601 = 6501.0khz ship rx / 6200.0khz ship tx
ITU Ch 816 = 8764.0khz ship rx / 8240.0khz ship tx
ITU Ch 1205 = 13089.0khz ship rx / 12242.0khz ship tx
ITU Ch 1625 = 17314.0khz ship rx / 16432.0khz ship tx

Schedules and Frequencies for HF Marine Radio Voice Services

And the HF WeFax freqs...(way too many for me to type 'em all here, especially 'cuz I don't know the answer to the questions I posed above...)

So, have a look here:

For Atlantic, Caribbean,'ll want NMF and NMG freqs...

For C. America, Pacific,'ll want NMC, NMG, KVM70, and NOJ

And, for western Pacific, Indian,'ll want VMC and VMW, HSW64, ZKLF, etc...have a look here....and also, for N. Pacific, Med, EU, N. Sea, etc...have a look here...

And, HF-SITOR freqs...

C) Basic HF SSB Voice Simplex freqs...
4a = 4146.0khz
4b = 4149.0khz
4c = 4417.0khz

6a = 6224.0khz
6b = 6227.0khz
6c = 6230.0khz
6d = 6516k.0hz

8a = 8294.0khz
8b = 8297.0khz

12w = 12350.0khz
12a = 12353.0khz
12b = 12356.0khz
12c = 12359.0khz
12d = 12362.0khz
12e = 12365.0khz

16a = 16528.0khz
16b = 16531.0khz
16c = 16534.0khz

Some 18mhz, 22mhz, and 25mhz simplex freqs might be useful to some, cruising some areas....but with our falling sunspot numbers, these will be less useful in the coming couple years (possibly totally unusable)...but some are nice to have, to check occasionally...

And, if you have the channel space, and are a radio nut, you may find many of these "shared" maritime-fixed-land-mobile freqs to be good to have...

D) Plus the cruising net freqs (both maritime and ham) for the areas that you'll be sailing / cruising...

East Coast Cruising Nets
West Coast Nets


Some cruising nets inexplicitly use "shared" maritime / fixed-land-mobile simplex channels....and as such these are also useful...
8152.0khz USB simplex (Doo-Dah Net and Cruiseheimer's Net, primary freq)
8146.khz and/or 8164.0khz (Cruiseheimer's secondary / alternative freqs)

E) Some further weather freqs...
Some other SSB Voice weather services (Aus BoM /AMSA, listed above) as well as commercial services like CaribWx, also use some non-standard and/or "shared" maritime-fixed-land-mobile freqs...
4045.0khz USB simplex
8137.0khz USB simplex
12350.0khz USB simplex

F) Some popular ham freqs....
14.300mhz USB (Maritime Mobile Service Net / MMSN, InterconNet, Pacific Seafarer's Net) almost 24hrs a day...
Maritime Mobile Service Network
14.300 MHz NCS Schedule

7.268mhz LSB (Waterway Net)
Waterway Net Web Site

And, some other boat/marine related ham freqs...

Please note that even if you're not a licensed ham, these can be helpful, in an emergency for you, as you apparently do not have an MF/HF-DSC radio, which hinders your ability to signal most maritime coast stations (worldwide there are > 80 HF-DSC Coast Stations and > 450 MF-DSC Coast Stations) and prevents you from signaling the 1000's of SOLAS-grade GMDSS / DSC-equipped vessels

BTW, some of the ham freqs are only able to be used in certain countries and/or in certain geographic areas....due to different freq allocations...
3.696mhz LSB Bahamas Weather NET (must be a US licensed "Extra Class" or "Advanced Class" licensee, or be operating in Bahamas WITH A BAHMAMIAN ham license or reciprocal permit)

7.096mhz LSB Bahamas Weather NET (must be operating in Bahamas WITH A BAHMAMIAN ham license or reciprocal permit)

G) Further, some Shortwave Broadcast / BBC freqs...(although these are all AM transmissions, you'll typically find less noise and less fading in USB mode, rather than in AM mode)

12095khz USB
15400khz USB
6195khz USB
9410khz USB
5875khz USB

And, of course, you can program in a few US AM Broadcast stations (a few "clear channel" stations, like WCBS, etc. can be heard at night most of the way across the Atlantic, and into the Caribbean...
You can listen to WCBS (880khz), WABC (770khz), and some of the other NYC and east coast stations, too, every night, as you sail across the Atlantic...and some other US 50KW, "clear channel" stations also have quite a range...(I hear WWL, WSM, and WSB, frequently thru the Caribbean, as well...)
BBC (and other) Shortwave Braodcasts, still on-the-air (and stong in Florida!)

H) Sailmail and/or WINLINK freqs???
If you'll be using your radio for HF e-mail connectivity, you'll want to program some of those in as well....choose ones in your region of the world, but NOT necessarily just the ones "closest to you"...

3) Not knowing your radio, your specific applications, nor where you'll be sailing/cruising, I cannot be specific in what should be in every specific channel number....
A) I highly recommend you start with the "Safety" channels in # 1 thru #6...and some of the WWV channels next...

B) Then all the weather freqs (Voice SSB, WeFax, SITOR) for your planned sailing / cruising region...

C) Then the basic maritime simplex channels...

D) Then the "Cruising Net" freqs....

E) Then some alternative weather, cruising, freqs....and some of the "shared" maritime-fixed-land-mobile freqs...

F) Then some ham radio freqs....(even if you're not a ham, at least program in 14.300 and 7.268...)

G) Then some Shortwave / BBC...and some US AM Broadcast stations (if these interest you)

H) In some Sailmail and/or WINLINK stations (if you'll be using HF e-mail)


4) Please if you let me know the answer to these questions....I could've been more specific, and especially more concise, in my answers / recommendations!!

a) What radio?
b) What your planned application is? (SSB Voice, GMDSS SSB Comms, Cruising Nets, Wefax, Voice Weather, Maritime, Ham, Shortwave/BBC, AM/MW Broadcast reception, etc.)
c) Where are you planning to be sailing / cruising?
d) How many channels does your radio support?

5) I do hope you have a chance to watch some important videos???

For a better understanding of HF Maritime communications, what freqs do what, and Offshore Weather, etc...please have a look at these playlists.....they're free of course....nobody is selling you anything at all!!

They are all made by me personally, with no script, no director, just LIVE as-it-happens, in the real-world, on-board a real offshore cruising sailboat (just like most of you will be doing all of this), no laboratory simulations (except for the Icom VHF DSC videos), no fancy edits to cover-up "oopps"'s all done LIVE, on-the-air, as-it-happens....(so, please be kind to my less-than-professional video's just my M-802, my fingers, and my voice...)

Please have a look at these Playlists....and watch the videos there in order (skipping any that are of no interest), as this way they will all make better sense..

Maritime HF Comms (in general)

Offshore Weather

HF-DSC Comms

Offshore Sailing

Icom M-802 Instruction Videos (I know, you don't own one, but you can still learn a LOT about many different radio functions / features / controls, as there are many similarities!!)


Hope this helps..

Fair winds..


P.S. You didn't ask, and never mentioned EPIRB....and you may think that this is way off topic...but, fyi, proper registering EPIRB's and most importantly understanding how EPIRB's and the COSPAS-SARSAT system actually work, is very important!! And, is unfortunately a fairly misunderstood subject, and once aware of the details, many sailors pay more attention to their HF radio set-up, especially HF-DSC...
Have a look:
EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds!!

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
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Old 07-02-2019, 19:55   #47
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Power/SWR Meter for HF-SSB Radio...Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

I've recently gotten a few questions regarding the Power / SWR meters I have permanently flush-mounted on my Nav Station....
And, I thought some might find this info useful (not really the info on my power/swr meters, but on what you might desire or need...or not need??)

So, here is what I just wrote...

The meters you see flush-mounted on my Nav Station are Daiwa CN-410m for my M-802 (15w/150w from 1.8mhz thru 150mhz)....
And, a Daiwa CN-460m for my M-602 VHF (15w/150w from 140mhz thru 450mhz)...

Unfortunately they are no longer imported into the US....and are in short supply in
So, if those are the ones that interest you, you're out of luck...

But....two pieces of good news...

1) Daiwa CN-801HP or CN-901HP, are both good meters....but, a bit bigger and a bit more complicated to "flush mount"...

2) But, you may not need to permanently mount a meter on-board....
You might not be fully aware of the features / displays of the M-802?
But, fyi, most sailors find that while they might desire permanently mounted power/swr meters, they find that might not really need one...

I agree that having one is very nice, and I do recommend them....but might not be necessary...


Fact is, the M-802 actually DOES have power output metering AND a high-swr indicator (as all other Icom HF Marine transceivers have had for > 20 years)...

No, it does not read-out the exact wattage number on a display, nor is there any numerical swr indication...but...

---- But, the M-802 (as well as other Icom HF Marine rigs) does have an 8-segment bar-graph display that is surprisingly fairly linear, and accurate....

(AND in the M-802, at least, the LED bar-graph is fast enough to show as a "peak-reading" display, so that it does follow normal speech fairly well, and therefore is actually a darn good indication of the radio's actual "SSB Talk Power", i.e. whether the M-802's DSP Speech Compression is On or Off, as well as how "loud" your audio is on-the-air...
And, except for the fact that I know how my Daiwa CN-410 "average-reading" meter should read under normal voice, the M-802's internal meter is better for showing the voice peaks!)

The M-802 illuminates one segment for every 15 - 20 watts of output power...

All 8 segments = full output - 140 - 150 watts

This should be seen when full carrier is transmitted, such as when pressing the microphone PTT button in "FSK" mode, or when transmitting a CW carrier....and also, 7 - 8 segments should be illuminated when you whistle into/across the microphone in "SSB" mode...

In CW or FSK modes:
1 - 2 segments = 10 - 20 watts = "tune power"
1 - 2 segments = 15 - 20 watts = "low power"
~ 4 segments = 60 watts = "med power"
8 segments = 140 - 150 watts = "hi power"

In SSB mode, the exact number of segments illuminating when speaking normally will vary, depending on 3 things:

a) Whether the M-802's internal DSP Speech Compression is turned On or Off...
(If it is On, you will see approx. 7-8 segments on voice peaks, and typically 4 - 5 segments on normal speech....
If it is Off, you will see 4 - 5 segments, at most, on voice peaks, and typically only 1 - 3 segments on normal speech)

b) Exactly where you place the microphone...
(1" to 2" away from your mouth, and speak directly into the small electret mic element opening, is best...)

c) Your exact voice..
(some talk louder, and annunciate well, some don't....and typically women have a better SSB voice than men do!!)

---- As for an SWR indicator....well, all marine radios fall short....but...

But, the M-802 (like other Icom HF Marine rigs in the past 20+ years), does have an "hi-SWR" indicator...

The display that normally shows "TUNE" will flash "SWR" when the swr reaches approx. 1.7:1 to 1.8:1, and "SWR" will stay illuminated if the swr is 2:1 or higher...

Also, the M-802 (like all other modern solid-state HF radios), will reduce its output power when presented with a high SWR....this is known colloquially, as "SWR Fold-back"....

And, while I don't have the exact specs at my finger tips, I do know that at 2:1 SWR, the M-802 will fold-back to approx. 110 watts....and at 3:1, will fold-back to less than 50 watts...and at much higher SWR's (such as when you have a tuner failure, etc.) the M-802 will only output approx. 20 watts...


---- if you know the amount of power your radio outputs based on how many segments of the display are illuminated...

---- and you understand the radio will indicate when an SWR of 1.7:1 is reached (by "SWR" flashing) and when an SWR of 2:1 or higher is reached (by "SWR" staying illuminated)...

---- and you understand the radio's SWR-Fold-back specs....

Then, you can certainly make simple "proof-of-performance" tests, and do basic RF troubleshooting...all without any external power/swr meter!!

Again, this is NOT as good as having a real external power/swr meter, but all of the pertinent info is right there for you!!

The REAL problem here is that Icom does not have this detailed info in their owners manuals!!!
And, unless / until, many of my fellow radio nuts pass this on to as many sailors as possible, then few sailors will know all of this!!!

I do hope this helps!!!

Fair winds...


John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:05   #48
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.


That is 10x more answer than I expected!

I am a Canadian amatuer with all band privileges and I own a ICOM 756 pro that I love and if my next boat does not have a better radio, I expect to be putting my 756 into it.

I have an ATU-140 as well but nothing newer than a PK232 for a modem yet.

I have searched before asking the questions, but have come up empty but must confess I have not read this entire thread.

I have the marine radio licence as well but have zero experience with the HF side other than a few check ins on 14.300mhz.

The lingering question is, if I bought the 802 would it not come pre loaded with channels or does everyone have to custom program it for the area they are cruising?

I plan to retire in the next 1 - 3 years and am shopping for my next boat this spring. I will start out in the ICW and Caribbean and when ready (if) likely the MED would be next. After that could be Panama Canal and west.

I'm still trying to decide how much extra equiptment I would need to do the other stuff. wefax, gribs, email etc. etc.

I will have some significant funds available for tech. but I'm still trying to figure out how it all goes together.

It is pretty overwheming even for someone who considers himself a serious techie.

Many Thanks! Dennis
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:48   #49
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Re: HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

1) You're welcome...
But, since I didn't know where / how you'll be cruising, I really couldn't be too much more specific...

2) As for the M-802 coming pre-programmed....yes, it does!!

It comes with both ALL the maritime ITU channels (simplex and duplex), including all the GMDSS Safety Calling freqs, all permanently stored in memory....
Plus it has a 160 channel "user channel" bank, that you can change/customize as needed....but this too, comes pre-programmed from the factory with about 150 - 160 of the more common HF channels / band segments, used generically worldwide, but with a US-centric influence...(and some dealers do their own "custom" list as well)

Here is a link to the Icom M-802 factory pre-programmed "user channel" list..
Icom M802 User Group Channel Guide

And, there you can find pdf files of that list that you can print out if you need...

3) BTW, you'll find the M-802 to work similarly as your 756Pro....Icom took some of the design of the M-802 an incorporated it into the 756ProII and ProIII....

Of course the M-802 transmitter PA is totally is the "user interface" / display, and operating firmware.....but they are similar...

4) Also, as you're a ham, I'd recommend placing a couple of channels into each of your fav / most used bands.....once you select that channel(s), one touch of a button, and the channel knob is now your VFO...
Slick n easy-peasy...

But, for US, Bahamas, Caribbean, across the Atlantic, Med, etc....most of what I wrote earlier is good!!
(In addition to adding some more ham channels, I'd add a couple channels for the two Med nets, and OCC Nets...and then if heading west across the Pacific, I'd make sure you had the Aus, NZ, etc. freqs programmed in...)

5) I think, if you look'll find the M-802 can do just about everything you'll likely need....(and you'll probably not need GRIB's, as you'll have excellent wefax charts....remember wefax charts are drawn by experienced marine meteorologists...GRIB charts are the raw computer data files with no human interaction...)

Please have a look at these videos...for more details...

Offshore Weather

Most find e-mail / internet connectivity unnecessary during the short times they are out-of-range of cellular/3G/4G/LTE and/or Wi-Fi service....
But, if you do find a need....the choice is usually between a PACTOR modem versus a sat com data set-up....but you have time to figure all of that out!!

Hope this helps...gotta go!


John, KA4WJA

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
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