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Old 04-01-2014, 11:34   #1
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Smile Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Dear community, I am currently deciding on the question where I will buy my ICOM M802 SSB Radio from. There are plenty of offers from the US, that seem so much cheaper (after including customs, tax and shipping). The difference in price to the same model offered by retailers in Europe (tried UK and GER) is about 1.000 EURO. The boat will (hopefully) sail around the world, starting in the MED. So I would need all necessary bands for SSB in European waters. So here are my questions, I would be very happy if anyone with some experience is willing to share their thoughts. 1) Does anyone know if the US M802 is in any way different than the EU version? If yes, is this an issue that can be changed by reconfiguring or reprogramming (by the user)? 2) The US Version is usually bundled with an AT-140 automatic antenna tuner. In Europe, the AT-141 is on sale. I couldn't find any differences. Am I missing anything? 3) Has anyone actually imported a M802 from the us (via US mailorder or ebay) and is willing to share their experience? Thank you so much for your help, kind regards, Frix
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Old 04-01-2014, 13:36   #2
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

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Originally Posted by Frix View Post
1) Does anyone know if the US M802 is in any way different than the EU version? If yes, is this an issue that can be changed by reconfiguring or reprogramming (by the user)?
2) The US Version is usually bundled with an AT-140 automatic antenna tuner. In Europe, the AT-141 is on sale. I couldn't find any differences. Am I missing anything?
3) Has anyone actually imported a M802 from the us (via US mailorder or ebay) and is willing to share their experience?
1) M802 is completly different to the M801.
Its similar like to compare Volkswagen Passat with a Landrover.
Look for ICOM SSB Transceiver Manuals

2) The AT-141 has a default tuning position at 2182 kHz according to a CEPT recomendation.
You can use the AT-140 or the AT-141 as you like as a NONSOLAS boat.

3) You may not operate the M802 in european water.
Its not a question of modification, its a question of design.
Differences are:
M802 is not ROHS compliant
M801 has a internal DC/DC converter
M801 is hermetical sealed
You can import it at your risk.
Greetings, Wilhelm
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Old 05-01-2014, 00:00   #3
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Dear Wilhelm, thank you so much for your reply.

Especially concerning the ATUs, this helped a lot.

Concerning the tranceiver unit itself, there is a slight misunderstanding: I am referring to the comparison of the M802 sold in the US and the M802 offered by somea European dealers (als "Export" version).

I am aware of the differences between M801 and M802.

It really seems to be a dumb question (since the devices carry the same model number), but sometimes issues like EU-Channels etc. are mentioned by European dealers to be a special feature of European devices. I have the feeling that this simply means, that the devices need to be programmed open (which actually just needs the push of three buttons). But being a total novice, I wanted to make sure.

So maybe if there is someone out there who can help on this last question, that would be great.

Thank you very much,
cheers, Frix
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:28   #4
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

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... that the devices need to be programmed open (which actually just needs the push of three buttons).
Beside the ""ICOM open programming" with three button
there is a cloning software CS 802, cable and adapter
Wilhelm
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:14   #5
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Dear Wilhelm,

Ok I understand, they are identical, maybe some bands have to be reprogrammed.

Thank you very much for that !
Cheers,
Frix
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:20   #6
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

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Dear community, I am currently deciding on the question where I will buy my ICOM M802 SSB Radio from....
Hi Frix

I have the same thoughts. Please share your experiences, also which antena will you chose and instalation scheme
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:57   #7
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Dear cwetto!

After some research into this quite unfamilliar realm I am now sure, that the models sold in Europe and the US are absolutely identical (well, if they are both called M-802).

Some dealers will tell you, that there "are some modifications to be made" and some arcane ideas about differences. But this is basically not true. All modifications that you might want to make (such as "opening" the M-802 for all Ham-Bands) can be done by the user. THis is done by pressing a well documented button - combination at startup. Really easy.

So it is really just a question of price, and shipping times.

The price premium in the EU is either explained by the fact that EU-dealers buy their M-802s at US dealers, add margin, tax and customs (the latter actually not to be paid for Ham-equipment). Or they buy it from wholesalers or ICOM and really really add some high margin. I can only guess ;-). The M802 is not certified for marine use in the EU and may not be installed / used in EU waters. Everybody has to decide for themselves, if they want to comply to that. As I will use it outside EU, I didn't care.

There are several US dealers, that offer to ship the M802 (sometimes bundled with the absolutely necessary antenna tuner) for a very good price. That means: 1.000 Euro cheaper including shipping and EU tax etc. Check E-Bay and Google, you will find them quickly.

I also found a dealer in Germany offering the equipment for a similar price (that is around January 2014). I didn't find him on Google but hidden in a supplier list of SailMail. The company is called Lunatronic.

Concerning your question about the whole setup (inkl. antenna): Every person on the net will tell you a different story for each component of your SSB system. I have not installed everything yet, but I can tell you what I ordered after a lot of research:

SSB Radio: ICOM M-802
Rationale: It's two device design. A small controll unit (the part you actually see / interact with on your dashboard and a bulky transceiver that you can hide anywhere it would fit.

Automatic Antanna Tuner: ICOM AT-140
Rationale: You do need an ATU, this one is actually designed to go together with the M-802. There is an "AT-141" sold in EU that is basically pretuned on one band. Not much of a difference.

Antenna: Shakespeare 5308
Rationale: It is a two piece fiber glass whip antenna. The pieces are very long allready, so not all services ship this. It totals at 7,3 meters which should allow for good transmission on most bands (may be a little tricky in the very low bands, as they may require an antenna being a little longer).

Ground: Ground Paint
Rationale: I didn't like the idea of another "hole" in the boats body to lead cables to a brass ground with direct water contact. I also didn't like the idea of frequent submerged cleaning sessions of these dynaplates to make sure, the contact with the water would be good. What remained are setups, where you create a large conductive area inside the boat, below the waterline and connect this to your ATU. Mostly you find copper foils or paints. I opted for paint, since I recon that it is easier to apply in my cat and that it is less sensitive to scratces and general wear.

I will be happy to report how everything actually worked out, as soon as I have it installed. This will be in July 2014, I hope.

Kind regards,
Fritze
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:20   #8
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

The list is fine,
but you should install a DSC receiving antenna to the ICOM M802.
I recomend
Metz Communication General Coverage/WeatherFax Antenna
The frequency range covers 2-30MHz.
The DSC alerts are on the 2,4,6,8.12,16 MHz bands.
When you install a 5 meter isolated wire,
than this antenna is resonant in the 20 meter band.
As a result you will receive DSC alerts on 12 and 16 MHz .
That bands are for long distance comunication and the alerts are from far away and without importance for you.
The 5 meter isolated wire antenna will not work properly for the lower 2, 4 MHZ bands.
So in case that you send a 6 frequency DSC alert you might not get the Acknowledge from the coast station.
Wilhelm
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Old 12-01-2014, 17:02   #9
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

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Originally Posted by Frix View Post
Dear cwetto!

After some research into this quite unfamilliar realm I am now sure, that the models sold in Europe and the US are absolutely identical (well, if they are both called M-802).
....
I will be happy to report how everything actually worked out, as soon as I have it installed. This will be in July 2014, I hope.

Kind regards,
Fritze
Hi Fritze, thanks a lot, save my time searching the internet.
The antena installation is a little unclear to me, all this backstay insulators, or rope antenas


Sent from my PadFone using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 12-01-2014, 21:20   #10
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

The DSC receiving antenna does not need to be tuned or resonant. The Metz antenna referred to above is convenient from a mounting perspective but holds little or no useable receiving advantage over a similar piece of straight wire on HF. Im not saying dont use it. Its form does simplify mounting the DSC receive antenna as far away from onboard noise sources as is practicable.
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Old 12-01-2014, 23:31   #11
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

When transmitting you will need a tuner to adjust the backstay wire to the wavelength you are sending. Thats a range from 150 m at 2 Mhz to 20 m at 15 MHz.
In other words: without a tuner you would have a resonant antena for one band only.
The Metz antena is tuned by design.
The frequency range is flat from 2 to 30 MHz.
So you dont need a tuner for the DSC receiving input.
You might test the DSC watch receiver with a station based in Dover
News and Newsletter - GMDSS Training LLP Dover, UK for GOC, ROC, LRC, SRC, RYA and MCA courses
When testing you have to take into account the propagation and the characteristic of the antenna.
At best you make in addition to a DSC test also voice comunication.
When receiving a DSC you will want to speak with that station.
When you only get an alert on your DSC receiver and you are not able to speak,
thats is a false alert.
Wilhelm

Wilhelm
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Old 13-01-2014, 00:14   #12
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

It seems to me that there are 2 risks with importing an M802. The first is that it may get caught up in customs, as it does not meet EU standards and is not going in bond for reexport. I suspect this is not very likely at all, but would be a nasty surprise if someone were to check. The second issue is getting it licensed on board the boat. In the past some nations have required the model and serial number of the radios, which would quickly show up as a non-approved radio. I think most nations no longer do this, but it is easy to check first for your nation and know for certain before buying.

Greg
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Old 13-01-2014, 01:01   #13
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Since there seem to be some very knowledgeable persons on this thread. If I install a Gam/Mckim backstay antenna - is that a good option? Seems like a simple solution and easy to install.

Will that antenna also work for DSC?
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Old 13-01-2014, 01:25   #14
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frix View Post
......
So it is really just a question of price, and shipping times.

The price premium in the EU is either explained by the fact that EU-dealers buy their M-802s at US dealers, add margin, tax and customs (the latter actually not to be paid for Ham-equipment). Or they buy it from wholesalers or ICOM and really really add some high margin. I can only guess ;-). The M802 is not certified for marine use in the EU and may not be installed / used in EU waters. ...........
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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
It seems to me that there are 2 risks with importing an M802. The first is that it may get caught up in customs, as it does not meet EU standards and is not going in bond for reexport. I suspect this is not very likely at all, but would be a nasty surprise if someone were to check. The second issue is getting it licensed on board the boat. In the past some nations have required the model and serial number of the radios, which would quickly show up as a non-approved radio. I think most nations no longer do this, but it is easy to check first for your nation and know for certain before buying.

Greg
While I'm not familiar with Icom distribution in Europe, I am very familiar with Icom distribution in Australia and I expect the Australian and European arrangements would be very similar.

Aussie Icom units are sourced from Icom Australia and this is a very separate organisation to Icom USA. I expect there is a corresponding Icom Europe (and perhaps an Icom UK). These separate business are supplied direct from Icom Japan and each one has their own pricing arrangements both locally and with Icom Japan.

One issue to keep in mind is both warranty and service. These companies will not honour any warranty for a unit supplied by Icom in another country. AFAIK, neither will Icom Japan. All warranty claims must be dealt with the country that Icom Japan sold the unit to. Thus a USA sourced radio must be returned to Icom USA for warranty.

Another issue is general repairs if the unit is not authorised for use in the country in question. Normally Icom will not repair such units.

I am aware of several instances where VHF Icom units were imported into Australia already fitted to mining equipment and when the unit required repair, they were sent to Icom Australia who refused to repair them as they were not certified for use in Australia. The owners then either had to send them to the UK for repair or buy new Australian certified Icom radios. The kicker was that the Aussie certified ones were no different in form or function than the imported UK ones expect for the certification.

I expect the situation in Europe will be similar.
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Old 13-01-2014, 01:29   #15
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Re: Import of ICOM M802 form US to be used in EU waters a good idea?

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... backstay antenna -

Will that antenna also work for DSC?
Yes and No:
If you make a routine call you select yourself the band and the tuner will work for you to tune the antenna. Then a DSC call can be send and received with the backstay antenna in the same band. The main receiver will receive the DSC on the "routine call" DSC frequency.
On the other hand the watch receiver is scanning permanently (in parallel) all DSC alert frequencies in the 2,4,6,8,12 and 16 MHz bands.
Therefore a DSC receiving antenna is needed.
When you send out an DSC alert,
your backstay will be tuned to e.g. 2 MHz, then you send the alert.
some seconds later, the ICOM M801 or 802 will go automatically to the 4 MHz band, tuning the backstay antenna, and sending the next alert on that band etc.
When the coast station is sending you the Acknowledge e.g. on 2 MHz e.g. 20 seconds later,
your backstay might be tuned to 12 MHz.
The independet DSC antenna is required to receive on DSC alert channels without tuning in any moment.
Wilhelm
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