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Old 23-02-2014, 16:15   #1
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Icom 710

I am about 18 months from cutting the lines. Our plan is, SoCal to Mexico to Hawaii, to Alaska, and back. Our TDL includes the installation of a SSB transceiver. I realize that the Icom 802 has become the standard, I would love for that to be the radio I go with. That said, I might have the opportunity to purchase an Icom 710 at a very fair price. Our planed usage of the SSB would be, nets, weather, proctor modem. Should I, should I not?? If I acquire the unit would I be ok using the Icom AT-130 or would I have a better system with the Icom AT-140, and then there is the Mtech AT-130 as a third option. I realize that there will be more to this system that just the items listed. Ok bring it on.
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Old 23-02-2014, 18:35   #2
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Re: Icom 710

Perfectly good rig used by many cruisers.

I've run an ICOM 710RT and AT-130 for many years. Still meets my needs and performs well.


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Old 23-02-2014, 18:39   #3
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Re: Icom 710

Two big advantages of the M802:

1. The M802 has DSC. HF DSC is a key safety system, in my opinion.

2. The M802 has separate control head which is much easier to mount than the whole radio. The radio black box of the M802 can be mounted out of the way.

Since the radio is not actually the most expensive part of an SSB installation, usually, it might be worth springing for the M802.
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Old 23-02-2014, 18:50   #4
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Re: Icom 710

Go with the 710 & 130. They will not disappoint you. Buy a Pactor 4 with the money you save.
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Old 23-02-2014, 19:07   #5
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Re: Icom 710

Many people still use the 710, if you could get one for a good price it might be worth it to save some money. I'm pretty sure the AT-130 is for the 710 and the AT-140 is for the 802 only.
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Old 23-02-2014, 19:53   #6
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Re: Icom 710

Another drawback of the M710 is that it does not have a real VFO mode for ham radio use. If you don't have a ham radio license, and don't plan to get one, then this is not relevant.

Marine SSB is channelized -- it has specific channels on specific frequencies. Ham radio is not channelized and so needs the ability to tune continuously -- which is what a VFO ("variable frequency oscillator"; aka tuning knob) does.

The M802 can be set to be tuned like this, so it is quite reasonable for ham radio use (even if it lacks the more exotic controls that real ham radio transceivers have).
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Old 23-02-2014, 20:07   #7
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Re: Icom 710

I ran three HAM nets with an 710RT and never had a complaint about my signal quality. I could tune my 710 to hit any frequency I wished. It has worked perfectly for 15 years.

I spent many, many hours talking to HAMs all over the world and never had a problem or a complaint.

The 710RT and Pactor III worked great during 3-years in Mexico, two trips from Seattle to San Diego and 10 years cruising in the Salish Sea.

I am sure the 802 does have some advantages but the 710 served all our needs.
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Old 23-02-2014, 21:44   #8
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Re: Icom 710

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
I ran three HAM nets with an 710RT and never had a complaint about my signal quality. I could tune my 710 to hit any frequency I wished. It has worked perfectly for 15 years.

I spent many, many hours talking to HAMs all over the world and never had a problem or a complaint.
You would certainly not get any complaints about signal quality (provided you have a decent antenna and ground plane set up). The Icom M710 is a top quality radio with better specifications than most ham transceivers. Better signal quality is not among the advantages of the M802, as far as I know.
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Old 23-02-2014, 22:22   #9
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Re: Icom 710

Thank you for the feed back... time to do some shopping.
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Old 24-02-2014, 18:59   #10
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Re: Icom 710

The 710 and 802 can be used with either tuner (130/140). The 802 has lousy average talk power as compared to the 710. The 802 is advertised as having better average talk power due to it's audio compression but it's a lie because the compression is not enabled. You can enable it if you have the field programming software and then it will be better than the 710. The 710 can also be set up for ham use (vfo) but not as simple as the 802. Requires field programming software and the knowledge to set it up properly. Used a 710 in my shop for years on ham bands.

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Old 25-02-2014, 00:08   #11
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Re: Icom 710

NRosenthal,
1) First off the M-710 is a fine radio....nobody can argue with that...


2) And, the M-802 is not only also a fine radio, but the ONLY reasonably-priced MF/HF-DSC SSB Marine radio on the market....

I trust you understand that once past the VHF-DSC range, the only way to signal or raise another vessel is thru MF/HF-DSC signaling???
(understand that there has been NO voice radio watch requirements for vessels at sea since Jan 1999....that was 15 years ago!!)

Yes, I'm sure you'll have an EPIRB, and that is good.....but if you wish to contact another vessel past your VHF radio range for any reason (ask a question, weather info, medical assistance, fuel or water assistance, etc. etc.) and/or you wish to send a "Distress" call to not only the shore but also to other vessels in your region, the only way to do when past VHF radio range is via MF/HF-DSC....

Please have read these threads, and watch some videos, for much more info/detail....
http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15457

http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16705

http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16779



3) Not knowing the price of the used M-710 you're considering, makes it difficult for any of us here to evaluate your decision and/or make specific recommendations...
But, considering that the M-802 sells for about $1800 new, and the M-710 sold for about $1300 new (when it was still in production), and used M-710's are going for about $500 - $800 nowadays, I suspect that you're looking at paying about the current used M-710 prices....(which will save you about $1000 compared to a new M-802....)



4) You do seem to understand that whichever radio you choose, you will need a remote auto-tuner (such as the AT-130 or AT-140), either one is fine as either one will work fine with both radios..
(Or, you may wish to look at the SGC-230 auto-tuner..)

I would steer clear of the "generic" remote auto-tuners (even the MFJ's)...and especially the "made-in-China knock-offs"...are you really going to be happy you saved a hundred dollars when the tuner craps out when you're at sea 1000+ miles from land???


5) Have a look here for good prices (and honest advice)on radios/tuners/installation supplies...
http://www.docksideradio.com/Icom%20SSB%20Radios.htm

And, BTW Gary should also be able to turn on the M-802 internal DSP Speech Compressor, that makes the radio work much better....
(see this thread if you want more info.. SSCA Forum • View topic - IC-M802 Compression )



6) But, using what you write, I have a few VERY important comments/suggestions/questions for you....before I could make any absolute recommendations...
Quote:
[QUOTE=NRosenthal;1475481] I am about 18 months from cutting the lines. Our plan is, SoCal to Mexico to Hawaii, to Alaska, and back. Our TDL includes the installation of a SSB transceiver. I realize that the Icom 802 has become the standard, I would love for that to be the radio I go with. That said, I might have the opportunity to purchase an Icom 710 at a very fair price. Our planed usage of the SSB would be, nets, weather, proctor modem. Should I, should I not??
a) For maritime "nets" and "weather" broadcasts, the M-710 will do just as well as the M-802....

West Coast Nets



b) For "weather" info/forecasts along your planned cruising areas, you have access to the "Gold Standard" of offshore / hi-seas maritime weather....the US NWS/NOAA....
And, all of this is broadcast for FREE via the USCG HF stations in Pt. Reyes, CA; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Kodiak, AK....

There are Voice weather broadcasts (multiple times each day) for all of the offshore waters and hi-seas waters, that suit many sailors/cruisers just fine...(once you get used to their broadcasts, rhythm, etc. they are very easy to follow, as well as concise and logical...)
They are all FREE, paid for by our tax dollars...
USCG HF Voice


Should you desire a graphic look at weather info/forecasts, they also broadcast weather charts and satellite images (WeFax)...again, multiple times during the day, all for FREE...
(you can use some free software to decode these tones into the weather charts/images and a simple one-wire connection between your radio and a laptop computer....or some even just place their iPad next to the radio and let its microphone hear the WeFax tones you're receiving, and an iPad app decodes them into the weather charts / sat images...or you can spend the $$$ to equip your boat with a dedicated WeFax receiving unit, such as I have on-board...)
NWS Radiofax

Pt Reyes Radiofax Schedule with Links

Honolulu Radiofax Schedule with Links

Honolulu Radiofax Schedule with Links

Please read this thread for much more info/details....
SSCA Forum • View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts


Also, if you wish to read the hi-seas forecast in text form, they are also sent out that way a couple times each day....
USCG HF SITOR



c) Either the M-710 or the M-802 will work fine with a PACTOR modem...but, you've made no mention of a requirement for e-mail access when at sea / away from cellular networks and/or Wi-Fi networks...so, I'm not sure what your application/requirement is that you need the PACTOR modem for???

They do work well, and the Sailmail system is very good as well....but the modems are very pricey ($1300 to $2000, for the modem, cables, etc...depending on which modem)....
Pactor Modem Kit Contents and Pricing.htm

SailMail

You made no mention of the need for e-mail access when at sea / away from cellular and/or Wi-Fi networks....so perhaps you do NOT need a PACTOR modem for your application at all, and that can save you $1300 to $2000!!!



I hope this helps....

Fair winds!

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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