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Old 05-01-2014, 08:16   #1
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Icom 7000

I want one of these for my Flicka sailboat. I can use one of the backstays as an antenna and a KISS ground. Space is very limited on a 20 footer so size of radio is critical. I do not have a ham license and am radio illiterate. If I am boarded by CG will I be asked to produce a license? Can I say that I am just using it to receive? How about the Bahamas DF? Does anyone there care about that stuff?
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Old 24-01-2014, 12:05   #2
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Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: Icom 7000

Nial,
1) Well first off, congrats on setting off in such a small boat....you're obviously ready for adventure....(the first circumnavigators that I met personally, back in the mid-1970's, did it in a 30 footer!!!)


Now onto specifics....
Quote:
Originally Posted by nial View Post
I want one of these [IC-7000] for my Flicka sailboat. Space is very limited on a 20 footer so size of radio is critical.
2) Please know that I understand that on a 20' boat space (and electrical power) is going to be scarce!!!
So, for your application an IC-7000 is a good radio.....although if budget is a concern, a used / good condition IC-706MkIIG would be just as good choice, and save you $500 - $800....



3) As for antenna / ground system.....oh boy, this has been discussed/argued almost to death... but in brief....
Quote:
Originally Posted by nial View Post
I can use one of the backstays as an antenna and a KISS ground.
a) Use of your backstay for an antenna is a fine idea...but on such a small boat, you're probably going to be just as well off if you rigged an "alternative-backstay-antenna" (not really used as a mast stay, just as an antenna)....
Understand that if using any end-fed / random wire antenna (such as the backstay), for transmitting you will need an "antenna tuner" of some kind....
If you haven't the space / budget for a remote automatic tuner (such as the matching Icom AH-4 tuner), then a small, inexpensive manually-adjusted tuner (such as an MFJ ) will work, but you WILL NEED TO LEARN A LOT ABOUT RADIO in order to make this work well for you....

Or, there are other antenna ideas that might be a workable solution for you...
Depends on exactly where you are going to be sailing, and on where/who you need to communicate to....
So, please advise us further...
{we may find that a couple mobile whips, semi-permanently-mounted on your rails, fed with coax to a coax switch, etc. might be all you'll need.....or we may find that you really need a remote auto-tuner like the AH-4, etc...it all depends on WHERE you are planning on sailing and WHERE / WHO you need to communicate with....}

b) I'm not a fan of the KISS-SSB-Ground.....as you can make your own in less than 5 minutes, for less than $5, and it'll work better....(I'll provide you with the details if you want...just ask..)
And/Or you can simply tie-in your rails, lifelines, etc....

I will not pollute this thread by digressing into details of the KISS, but there are plenty of places/threads where we can point you should you desire more details...






4) I actually assumed that you wanted this IC-7000 for ham radio use.....but it appears that you are putting the cart-before-the-horse???
Quote:
Originally Posted by nial View Post
I do not have a ham license and am radio illiterate. If I am boarded by CG will I be asked to produce a license? Can I say that I am just using it to receive? How about the Bahamas DF? Does anyone there care about that stuff?
a) But, to answer your question directly....
If you run into a USCG boarding party that are having a bad day, then yes you may in fact have a problem.....but that is very unlikely, and if you simply state that you are using the radio to receive ONLY and are studying for your ham license, then you'll be fine!!
Although Nial, you should understand that without a ham license you're not going to find anyone to communicate with...no question that in an emergency all hams will help you out in any way they can, typically above and beyond what anyone would even imagine....but unless you have an emergency (MayDay) nobody is going to talk to you....

b) Also, be aware that the knowledge that you'll need to effectively use the radio, will be what you'd need for passing the ham radio exams...
So, there is no reason to forego getting your ham radio license....it'll cost you less than $10, and take a few weeks of part-time studying....



c) Now, if you desire is to use the radio on the maritime bands/freqs, then you need to be aware that the IC-7000 is illegal to use on the maritime bands/freqs!!!
Yes, I understand your need for a small radio (and probably budget constraints as well), but you need to be aware that there are VERY IMPORTANT technical reasons that these radios are not allowed on the marine bands.....
See these recent threads for some details....(especially the first one, as the second one is just about ham radio use...)

Icom 725, switch to SSB

Buy me an Icom ic-7000 instead of Yaesu FT897?

Also, please understand that you WILL need a maritime radio license (NO test required, but costs $160...and is good for 10 years...), no matter what radio you choose...
And, yes the USCG will usually ask for this if you're offshore, in the Bahamas, etc.

You mentioned the Bahamian Defense Force, so I assume you're planning a cruise to/thru the Bahamas, etc....so you should further understand that ALL US-flagged vessels that carry a marine radio, even just a marine VHF radio, and sail internationally (even just to the Bahamas), and/or communicate with vessels or shore stations other than US stations, etc. are REQUIRED to have a marine radio ship's license (and operators license)...there are NO exams to take, but costs $160....and yes, these documents are many times asked for...

And I've even had the Bahamian Defense Force ask me for my radio licenses....my US licenses (ham and marine) and Bahamian reciprocal ham permit (which requires a US license as a precursor, so you cannot simply say you'll apply for a Bahamian license.....you're a US Citizen on a US-flagged vessel, if you travel in int'l waters and/or make any int'l contacts, and/or have any marine HF marine transmitters, and/or make any HF maritime communications, you MUST have a US license....)




5) I think you can see from the above..
Quote:
Originally Posted by nial View Post
Does anyone there care about that stuff?
Yes, plenty of people care about this....




6) I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for, what communications you desire, who/where/when/what you desire to communicate with....
So, PLEASE advise further, and we can certainly give some more specific info / recommendations....


I hope all the above helps...

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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