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Old 18-11-2013, 15:23   #16
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Re: Icom 725, switch to SSB

What this means, folks, is that if you use a ham radio on Marine SSB frequencies, there is a very good chance that your signal will bleed over into the next channel and interfere with the mariners there who are trying to communicate. They will hear this incredibly annoying high pitched squeaking. The older or cheaper your ham radio, the more probable you will be doing this.

That is why there are type certified MARINE SSB radio's.

If cost is a consideration, you can get a GREAT Marine SSB for less than an entry level ham radio...used. Get the ICOM M700Pro.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:41   #17
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Re: Icom 725, switch to SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
What this means, folks, is that if you use a ham radio on Marine SSB frequencies, there is a very good chance that your signal will bleed over into the next channel and interfere with the mariners there who are trying to communicate. They will hear this incredibly annoying high pitched squeaking. The older or cheaper your ham radio, the more probable you will be doing this.

That is why there are type certified MARINE SSB radio's.

If cost is a consideration, you can get a GREAT Marine SSB for less than an entry level ham radio...used. Get the ICOM M700Pro.

Hope this helps.
John and John (Drake and WJA)...

Good summary guys. No doubt about it, there are real and meaningful technical and operational differences between ham radios and type certificated marine SSB radios.

Two additional notes: you can find lots of good used marine radios for no more than the cost of an entry-level ham radio. I have several at the moment. Note, however, that these do NOT have DSC capability and some are suitable for voice/CW only, not the digital modes.

A nitpic with John WJA:

1. I agree that the 802 is the only game in town if you want/need a MF/HF DSC radio;

2. I agree that the technical specs of the 802 are superior, and that it's performance can be superior;

3. I do NOT agree that it's a great radio. It's an "only game in town radio", which has had and continues to have many design and physical flaws. These are most annoying in a $2,000 radio but, alas, there is really no other choice these days.

4. I also do not agree with the statements/implications that a voice-only radio without DSC is without value for a cruising boat. Quite to the contrary, voice SSB continues to be an excellent mode for general communication, weather reception, digital mode use (email), and for safety. The utility of voice SSB is somewhat diminished in the EU region and, perhaps, elsewhere outside Region 2 (the Americas) but it is still a very useful and much used mode. In other words, depending on your cruising grounds and your style, you do not HAVE to have a MF/HF DSC radio.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:18   #18
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Re: Icom 725, switch to SSB

Good points all.

I think it should be pointed out that NO amateur/ham radio has DSC.

A thread on the practical utility of DSC would be interesting. If I were in trouble out there, I would want to get somebody on the horn....not just press a button and believe that someone is coming. But, then....from what I read, that is the way things are being done and it may ...perhaps...get you a better response from both the USCG and commercial traffic.

But...not to drift this thread...just a thought.

73 to all

J
ps - if I were in this situation, I would pick up a used M700Pro in a heartbeat. Less money and much better radio than most new $1000 amateur rigs.
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Old 03-05-2014, 14:21   #19
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Re: Icom 725, switch to SSB

Bill,
I assume we all agree that "greatness", like beauty, is in-the-eye-of-the-beholder???
So, with that in mind....here is my polite rebuttal...



Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
1. I agree that the 802 is the only game in town if you want/need a MF/HF DSC radio;
If a sailor is on a budget and in coastal areas, etc., I understand them not wanting to spend the $1800 on an MF/HF-DSC-SSB radio (M-802), if they already have a working HF radio....
But, I do not understand why some (magazine writers, internet posters, etc.) will recommend that these same sailors should have the newest whiz-bang smartphone/tablet/app, etc. or the newest networked on-board nav system, etc. and/or recommend a ~$2000 PACTOR modem, etc. and NOT spend the money on a HF-DSC radio...
It just doesn't make much sense...


2. I agree that the technical specs of the 802 are superior, and that it's performance can be superior;

3. I do NOT agree that it's a great radio. It's an "only game in town radio", which has had and continues to have many design and physical flaws. These are most annoying in a $2,000 radio but, alas, there is really no other choice these days.
a) In the early days of the M-802 (< 2006/2007), many of them DID have the dreaded "clipping issue" (my original M-802 had it, and was corrected by Icom years ago)....
Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....
b) And, around the time they solved the "clipping issue" (or a bit earlier) Icom was shipping the M-802 with the DSP Speech Compressor turned Off....
IC-M802 Compression

But...
But, if you buy a M-802 from a reputable dealer, they will make sure that your radio does in fact have the factory "clipping mod: done, and will invariably switch On the DSP Speech Compressor...
So, these "annoying" flaws are now moot...


Now for "ham radio use"....
c) Do I wish it had a selectable AGC time constant....yes...
But it IS a very good AGC....actually much better than modern $5000 ham rigs....doesn't get pumped by impulse noise, etc...
And, with receiver specs even a bit better than the IC-756ProIII (better blocking DR, and lower phase noise), in comparison to "modern ham radios" the M-802's receiver IS great!!
d) Do I wish it tuned in 1hz or 10hz steps....yes...
But, 100hz steps has actually not been a detriment to any operations yet....(but if you were a CW contester, this would not be the radio for you...


Aside from these minor points (not flaws), I cannot think of anything wrong with the M-802...
It's transmitter is far superior to any ham radio (the M-802 is on par with the M-710 in this regard....and meets Part 80 specs for maritime use, as well as Part 87 and Part 90, for fixed/land mobile and aviation use)....and with the exception of "close-in" specs for extreme CW contesting on radios costing 3 - 4 times the price, the M-802's receiver has few peers....


So sorry Bill, but I have to politely disagree with 'ya...



4. I also do not agree with the statements/implications that a voice-only radio without DSC is without value for a cruising boat. Quite to the contrary, voice SSB continues to be an excellent mode for general communication, weather reception, digital mode use (email), and for safety. The utility of voice SSB is somewhat diminished in the EU region and, perhaps, elsewhere outside Region 2 (the Americas) but it is still a very useful and much used mode. In other words, depending on your cruising grounds and your style, you do not HAVE to have a MF/HF DSC radio.
a) While I agree that there is no requirement for pleasure craft to have MF/HF-DSC radios fitted.....as I wrote above, I do not understand why some (magazine writers, internet posters, etc.) will recommend that sailors should have the newest whiz-bang smartphone/tablet/app, etc. or the newest networked on-board nav system, etc. and/or recommend a ~$2000 PACTOR modem, etc. and NOT spend the money on a HF-DSC radio...
It just doesn't make much sense...
b) And, while you do have a point about the ubiquity of Voice "marine SSB" amongst cruisers along the US Coasts, Caribbean, Mexico, etc...and in my original response to the original poster I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Please consider spending some of the $$$ that you may have used for a new "smart phone", etc. on a real marine HF transceiver!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Heck, you can buy a used M-700Pro for a few hundred dollars, or a used M-710 for around $500, or so....
Or, you could consider an Icom M-802 (new for $1800, used about $900-$1000)
Since this Forum is widely read in areas outside of the above, I think it prudent to recommend a MF/HF-DSC radio (such as the M-802)...

And finally, as we in the Americas, actually pull our heads out-of-the-sand, we'll see that we should really get-on-the-bus with the rest of the world and actually adopt the "standards" that have been in place for more than 15 years....
Yeah, I'm all for tradition and nostalgia (and heck, I still recommend 35 - 40 year old ham radios, Drake TR-7, etc.), but when equipping cruising boats for offshore passages, I think recommending an MF/HF-DSC radio is not only very good practice, but not doing so is (in my opinion) a mistake....
(again if on a budget and if they already have a working HF radio, and in areas we discussed, then not having a HF-DSC radio is not detrimental, but in my opinion recommending HF-DSC is still part of good seamanship....)


Bill
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I hope my comments above are taken in the friendly matter intended...


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie


P.S.
I agree with John Drake....and his post should be reread by all....
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
I think it should be pointed out that NO amateur/ham radio has DSC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post

A thread on the practical utility of DSC would be interesting. If I were in trouble out there, I would want to get somebody on the horn....not just press a button and believe that someone is coming. But, then....from what I read, that is the way things are being done and it may ...perhaps...get you a better response from both the USCG and commercial traffic.
And, there has been such a debate over on the this thread....
SSB or SatPhone ?


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Old 03-05-2014, 15:24   #20
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Re: Icom 725, switch to SSB

I would hate to be termed a luddite, but I am going to start a DSC thread. I do not want to hijack this one, but I think ...hope...that it would be a worthwhile discussion, since the only HF DSC solution is expensive.

My best to all

John
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