Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-10-2016, 07:46   #1
Registered User
 
mario f's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Gulf of Mexico -
Posts: 136
Images: 8
HF SSB your thoughts please.

Greetings to all,
Thinking of installing a radio to get weather reports thru the west carib.
Looking at the Xiegu X108 Transceiver. My interest is mainly to receive but nice to transmit in emergency.
Not interested in mega bucks installation of mega hf system.
Just looking for economical reliable way to receive weather info.

HF on the cheap?
Your thoughts and opinions please.
__________________

__________________
"It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
Hunter S. Thompson
mario f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 07:53   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 16,589
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

It is a no from me:

- big batteries,
- big antennas,
- tuners, modems, etc.

Reception inshore is just soso.

Wx info can be had from FM radios, via mobile phones or sat phones / communicators.

Each offer smaller power print, easier interface, less cost and newer technology.

b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 09:28   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 5,754
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

If you expect to be able transmit on HF SSB, you'll need to spend around a $1,000 at the minimum. If you are just looking to receive WX, etc. a simple HF radio receiver like this Sony would be your best route. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...C&Q=&A=details

Went the Ham route with a ICOM 718 radio, SGC 230 tuner, insulated backstay and copper strapping for a ground ran just over a boat unit. Bought the radio used, and got a deal on the backstay insulators on Ebay. Several thousand mile range all the way to Hawaii.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 10:03   #4
Registered User
 
mario f's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Gulf of Mexico -
Posts: 136
Images: 8
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Thank you for the reply.
I've already have insulated backstay and copper strapping for a ground.
How much more needed to transmit, not looking to talk around the world, just local nets and weather.
__________________
"It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
Hunter S. Thompson
mario f is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 10:44   #5
Registered User
 
DDabs's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Caribbean
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 1,489
Images: 16
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Whether you are talking short or long distances, you will need the same thing: a transmitting radio, and most likely an antenna tuner.
__________________
DDabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 11:08   #6

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,177
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Mario here's some ballpark numbers that others can argue with.
$500 for a used transceiver. Another $200 to send it in for professional evaluation and tuning/repair as needed, unless you buy it from a radio shop that already does that and bumps up the price.
$500 again for a radio tuner. Maybe $300.
Some heavy power cables for the radio, coax cables to interconnect, and maybe a voltage booster since your batteries are likely to be low and the radio won't like that for emergency transmission. $300 could be low, mainly because of the voltage booster.
Oh, and since you aren't familiar with this stuff? But you want to be sure it is installed properly to work in an emergency? Yeah, maybe $300-500 to have it installed and checked by someone who does.
So, a fast two grand. Half of that if you cut corners, DIY, and get lucky. Or trust in luck and skip some of the professional testing and setup.


You might want to spend some weekends reading up, to find up just which way you want to do it. Just like buying groceries, or buying a car, you need to know a little more before you can "just" do that and really enjoy the results.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 11:18   #7
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,532
Images: 2
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

The Xiegu transceiver you are looking at only puts out 20W, and it's a ham radio, not a marine-frequency one. Here are some reviews: Xiegu X108 Transceiver Product Reviews Note the comments on the small screen size.

So it's a ham band device. This is OK if you have a ham license, but I don't know if you can easily "open up" the rig for all-band operation. Doing this certainly isn't legal for non-emergency use.

It only transmits at 20W. This will be adequate some of the time, but most marine radios put out 100-150W, and the extra power can really make a difference. Yes, under excellent conditions you can communicate around the world on a few watts, but in a more typical case 20W will make communications difficult.

If you want the radio mostly for the receiver, you can get a perfectly adequate receiver for much less than the US$600 list price of the Xiegu.
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 11:32   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 16,589
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

- antenna tuner,
- excellent ground plate,
- big batteries,
- a method to charge the batteries,
- a call sign,
- a station license,
- an operator license.

b.
__________________
barnakiel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 11:43   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Self-built 44' steel trawler
Posts: 840
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

I'm both a ham and a marine operator. For the SSB marine only, you're talking about a Icom M802 at $1,800 uninstalled. A HF ham radio is far less, and yes, they can be "opened" to T/R on the marine SSB frequencies, but the signal they put out is really dirty and not legal, and you'll irritate the purists among the Marine SSB group. You'll also need a ham General License, which is a bunch of work to pass the test even though they no longer require morse code. I've done all that, and it really wasn't all that practical an idea. My sat phone, Spot Hug, portable short wave receiver (Grundig makes some good ones), and VHF seems to me to cover the bases pretty well.
__________________
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 12:28   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 224
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Your best bet is to go for used equipment off eBay and Craigslist. HF popularity is going down and great used receivers can be had inexpensively. I got a SEA 235 marine radio with tuner for $300 and installed it myself. I rarely use the full power, typically 35-40 watts is enough. Make sure your antenna/ground is good, this is important. Ham vs. marine makes no difference for the casual user in terms of RF. More critical is to make sure your radio can work off 12.5V which is typical for a sailboat. The power drain is not as big as people say. Even at 150watts, it is 20 amps but only when you transmit. The beauty of SSB is that you can talk to fellow cruisers and occasionally send emails or chat with other hams. As was previously mentioned, you can put a great system for $1,000 or less if you are lucky. Read up on it and do the install yourself.

Next you will start playing with data transmission and that will lead you to the Pactor modem option which is expensive.

Sent from my MotoE2(4G-LTE) using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 12:43   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: English Harbour, Antigua
Posts: 439
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Quote:
A HF ham radio ...., but the signal they put out is really dirty
Sorry - this is total bs ....

Carsten
__________________
CarstenWL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 12:47   #12
Registered User
 
El Pinguino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: South of Pto Eden, bound Pto Williams, ETA... June
Boat: 39' Westerly Sealord
Posts: 3,514
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mario f View Post
Thank you for the reply.
I've already have insulated backstay and copper strapping for a ground.
How much more needed to transmit, not looking to talk around the world, just local nets and weather.
Second hand ICOM -718 ( about $600) and either S/H icom tuner or new LDG tuner ( about $100 )
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 13:13   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Self-built 44' steel trawler
Posts: 840
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Carsten, I got slammed on this forum for just this when I proposed using an opened ham HF about a year ago. It was complete with spectrographs of ham and marine SSB signals and how messy the ham signal was, and angry people saying basically "How dare you!" I'd love to have you proven right, since I have an opened Icom 725, but argue the point with them, not me.
__________________
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 13:14   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Carrabelle, Florida
Boat: Self-built 44' steel trawler
Posts: 840
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

If you want an opened Icom 725 I have a spare for $300.
__________________
tkeithlu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2016, 13:41   #15

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,177
Re: HF SSB your thoughts please.

Buying these things in a dark alley (ebay or CL) is risky business. You don't know if it is stolen, or has been modified, or is fully functional, or "just a little" off in some way. There are a number of ingenious scams going on. So first you have to think about the seller, but then, also, since the purpose is to have live saving equipment on board? Still take it to a tech, or send it to the maker, for inspection and tune-up. Often $200-300 and shipping won't be cheap either.


Kinda like buying a diamond ring in a back alley, if you don't know how to evaluate diamonds. Some folks get lucky. Others...


Just saying.
__________________

__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lease, ssb

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
400: Looking at buying, your thoughts please MadCat Lagoon Catamarans 21 06-03-2016 11:44
SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please JohnOrion Marine Electronics 8 28-05-2013 04:53
Thoughts on new SSB/Ham installation AnchorageGuy Marine Electronics 19 17-01-2009 19:26
your thoughts and experiences please hooligan971 Liveaboard's Forum 6 16-11-2006 18:18


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.