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Old 28-08-2014, 14:55   #1
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Icom 725/Pactor II Compatibility?

We're new to SSB and Ham, and outfitting our boat for a future cruise. We've learned that the Icom 700 that came with the boat won't work with Pactor modems. As we're doing this outfitting on a very tight budget, I'm considering purchasing a used IC 725 (with compatible tuner) and a Pactor II modem. Will this combination work?
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Old 28-08-2014, 17:38   #2
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Re: Icom 725/Pactor II Compatibility?

Paul,
First off, I understand about being cost conscience / being on a budget...so, I won't try and tell 'ya that you gotta' spend a lot of $$$$ here to get what you want...(but I also won't sugar coat the facts...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mazza View Post
We're new to SSB and Ham, and outfitting our boat for a future cruise. We've learned that the Icom 700 that came with the boat won't work with Pactor modems. As we're doing this outfitting on a very tight budget, I'm considering purchasing a used IC 725 (with compatible tuner) and a Pactor II modem. Will this combination work?
1) Fact number one:
You may not need the PACTOR modem at all!!!
a) Many sailors planning on heading off on a cruise are led to believe that they must have a PACTOR modem to make their SSB Radio useful/viable, but this is far from the truth...

b) You have access to what is considered the "gold standard" of offshore / hi-seas weather info/forecasts, without any need for a PACTOR modem at all...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

c) Also, if you require e-mail connectivity when offshore / on the high-seas and/or in real remote areas, for other purposes, understand that you can get your ham radio licenses, use the radio on ham radio bands, and use WinMor (WINLINK) or PSKMAIL for persona;/non-business e-mail...

d) Most cruiser's these days find a good external Wi-Fi set-up (~ $250) that allows them to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots from a few miles away (whether free or subscription)....combined with their wireless/cellular/3G/4G/LTE plan (using either their existing phone/dangle, or an external cellular "booster")....to provide all the e-mail / internet access they require....as the few days / weeks at a time they are out at sea, most will have no need for e-mail (and many, like me, have no desire to be bothered by e-mails/web when I'm offshore or in real remote locales!!)



2) Fact number two: the Icom M-700 and M-700Pro, are very good radios....and although they're getting a bit "long-in-the-tooth", they are usually very reliable and ABSOLUTELY a MUCH better radio than the IC-725...
And, remember the IC-725 is also going to be a very old radio, and ven when new it was NOWHERE near the radio that the M-700 or M-700Pro are even today!!
For some info on the IC-725 and its use on-board, have a look at these postings (all are different, even if the links look the same)

Icom 725, switch to SSB

Icom 725, switch to SSB

Icom 725, switch to SSB


3) Fact number three: Regardless of the specifics of your application, there are better alternatives than the IC-725....and some just as inexpensive...


4) Fact number four: The Icom M-700Pro (which is what I assume you have?), is a GREAT radio and it will work with a PACTOR modem just fine....
But, the old M-700 might require a special plug, or an internal connection to work with a PACTOR modem (I need to check my references, and I'm working out-of-town at the moment)




5) Paul, I've gotta' go right now (more later, if needed), but please confirm to us:
a) What exact radio you have, M-700 or M-700Pro???
b) What are you needs for a PACTOR modem???



I'll have more for you later...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-08-2014, 05:52   #3
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Re: Icom 725/Pactor II Compatibility?

Paul,
I had a chance to look at some specifics regarding the Icom M-700 and its suitability for use w/ a PACTOR modem / on Sailmail...understand that this is regarding the M-700....(NOT the M-700Pro, which IS a great radio and is completely suitable/compatible with a PACTOR modem)
And, here are the details...
Quote:
Transmitting and receiving digital signals is similar to voice, and most modern marine SSB radios will do the job. Ideally, the audio signals to and from the HF modem will be line-level (100mV rms.) signals to a rear-panel connector, allowing the radio to be interchangeably used for digital and voice communications. Some older radios (in particular, the Icom M700) do not provide a rear-panel "accessory" connector so a marine radio technician will need to be hired to add an accessory jack. It is generally more cost-effective to buy a new radio rather than to pay for an expensive modification to an older radio. For comments on various marine radios used by SailMail members, see the application note on radios in the Application Notes section below.
The second issue is the transmitter's ability to transmit a continuous full-power signal without damage. Some recent transceivers can do this without a problem (e.g. Icom M710, M700-Pro, M802), but many older transmitters (e.g. the Icom M700, SGC SG-2000, SEA 235, Furuno) will have to be operated at a reduced power setting. This generally works ok as 50 watts is enough output when conditions are good, but if you are buying a SSB and intend to use SailMail, choose a radio that can transmit data at full power.
Quote:
The M-700 radio has a number of disadvantages for use with digital communications.
There is no accessory jack with the necessary AF input, AF output, and PTT signals. The addition of an accessory jack will require you to have a radio technician modify the radio. Most radio technicians will (sensibly) refuse to do this modification because they feel that it is pointless to work on such an old radio. If you do decide to get the modifications done be sure to get the price quoted in advance, and then reconsider just replacing the radio.
Once modified, the M700 still is not ideal. It is only capable of about 50 watts continuous output.
I hope this, combined with my earlier info, helps...

But, please don't forget to let us know what you desire the PACTOR modem for / "why you need it?" (see below for details)...and confirm exactly what radio you have....


Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Paul,
First off, I understand about being cost conscience / being on a budget...so, I won't try and tell 'ya that you gotta' spend a lot of $$$$ here to get what you want...(but I also won't sugar coat the facts...)1) Fact number one:
You may not need the PACTOR modem at all!!!
a) Many sailors planning on heading off on a cruise are led to believe that they must have a PACTOR modem to make their SSB Radio useful/viable, but this is far from the truth...

b) You have access to what is considered the "gold standard" of offshore / hi-seas weather info/forecasts, without any need for a PACTOR modem at all...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

c) Also, if you require e-mail connectivity when offshore / on the high-seas and/or in real remote areas, for other purposes, understand that you can get your ham radio licenses, use the radio on ham radio bands, and use WinMor (WINLINK) or PSKMAIL for persona;/non-business e-mail...

d) Most cruiser's these days find a good external Wi-Fi set-up (~ $250) that allows them to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots from a few miles away (whether free or subscription)....combined with their wireless/cellular/3G/4G/LTE plan (using either their existing phone/dangle, or an external cellular "booster")....to provide all the e-mail / internet access they require....as the few days / weeks at a time they are out at sea, most will have no need for e-mail (and many, like me, have no desire to be bothered by e-mails/web when I'm offshore or in real remote locales!!)



2) Fact number two: the Icom M-700 and M-700Pro, are very good radios....and although they're getting a bit "long-in-the-tooth", they are usually very reliable and ABSOLUTELY a MUCH better radio than the IC-725...
And, remember the IC-725 is also going to be a very old radio, and ven when new it was NOWHERE near the radio that the M-700 or M-700Pro are even today!!
For some info on the IC-725 and its use on-board, have a look at these postings (all are different, even if the links look the same)

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-725-switch-to-ssb-115358.html#post1390840

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-725-switch-to-ssb-115358.html#post1391886

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/icom-725-switch-to-ssb-115358.html#post1394200


3) Fact number three: Regardless of the specifics of your application, there are better alternatives than the IC-725....and some just as inexpensive...


4) Fact number four: The Icom M-700Pro (which is what I assume you have?), is a GREAT radio and it will work with a PACTOR modem just fine....
But, the old M-700 might require a special plug, or an internal connection to work with a PACTOR modem (I need to check my references, and I'm working out-of-town at the moment)




5) Paul, I've gotta' go right now (more later, if needed), but please confirm to us:
a) What exact radio you have, M-700 or M-700Pro???
b) What are you needs for a PACTOR modem???



I'll have more for you later...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie


Fair winds,

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:16   #4
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Re: Icom 725/Pactor II Compatibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Paul,
First off, I understand about being cost conscience / being on a budget...so, I won't try and tell 'ya that you gotta' spend a lot of $$$$ here to get what you want...(but I also won't sugar coat the facts...)1) Fact number one:
You may not need the PACTOR modem at all!!!
a) Many sailors planning on heading off on a cruise are led to believe that they must have a PACTOR modem to make their SSB Radio useful/viable, but this is far from the truth...

b) You have access to what is considered the "gold standard" of offshore / hi-seas weather info/forecasts, without any need for a PACTOR modem at all...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

c) Also, if you require e-mail connectivity when offshore / on the high-seas and/or in real remote areas, for other purposes, understand that you can get your ham radio licenses, use the radio on ham radio bands, and use WinMor (WINLINK) or PSKMAIL for persona;/non-business e-mail...

d) Most cruiser's these days find a good external Wi-Fi set-up (~ $250) that allows them to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots from a few miles away (whether free or subscription)....combined with their wireless/cellular/3G/4G/LTE plan (using either their existing phone/dangle, or an external cellular "booster")....to provide all the e-mail / internet access they require....as the few days / weeks at a time they are out at sea, most will have no need for e-mail (and many, like me, have no desire to be bothered by e-mails/web when I'm offshore or in real remote locales!!)



2) Fact number two: the Icom M-700 and M-700Pro, are very good radios....and although they're getting a bit "long-in-the-tooth", they are usually very reliable and ABSOLUTELY a MUCH better radio than the IC-725...
And, remember the IC-725 is also going to be a very old radio, and ven when new it was NOWHERE near the radio that the M-700 or M-700Pro are even today!!
For some info on the IC-725 and its use on-board, have a look at these postings (all are different, even if the links look the same)

Icom 725, switch to SSB

Icom 725, switch to SSB

Icom 725, switch to SSB


3) Fact number three: Regardless of the specifics of your application, there are better alternatives than the IC-725....and some just as inexpensive...


4) Fact number four: The Icom M-700Pro (which is what I assume you have?), is a GREAT radio and it will work with a PACTOR modem just fine....
But, the old M-700 might require a special plug, or an internal connection to work with a PACTOR modem (I need to check my references, and I'm working out-of-town at the moment)




5) Paul, I've gotta' go right now (more later, if needed), but please confirm to us:
a) What exact radio you have, M-700 or M-700Pro???
b) What are you needs for a PACTOR modem???



I'll have more for you later...

Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
Many thanks for this John!

For those of us trying to understand long-range communications and/or weather via SSB you have done an excellent job of summing it up with the links and information provided here.

Fantastic resource, and greatly appreciated!
Les
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Old 04-09-2014, 21:29   #5
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Re: Icom 725/Pactor II Compatibility?

John, thanks for valuable information. Sorry it took so long to respond, we've been working through all the options. We definitely want to have a SSB/modem combination on our cruise, mainly to access Sailmail and some of the other e-mail type services. Your input re: the ICOM 725 forced me to spend some time educating myself, and have dismissed it as an option. Here's what I've done. I just bought a used ICOM 710, AT-130 and Pactor II modem from a cruiser, who used it for a Mexico cruise, and is now selling off some of the specialized equipment. I'll sell my ICOM 700 (not a Pro) and it's 'brand unknown' antenna tuner at our local marine consignment store. I'll have the 710/AT130/Pactor combo checked out at Farallon Electronics a local electronics company who specialize in SSB. Hopefully they can guide us to a proper installation. Thanks again for all the valuable info, we're still digesting it. Paul and Jenn on the Endeavour 37 Pohotu in Alameda, CA.
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