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Old 16-06-2015, 04:20   #91
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

Regarding the DSC models available from ICOM, my understanding - based on information from dealers and trainers - is that availability is being determined by regulators, not by ICOM decisions:

1. There was an M710 with DSC, but it no longer appears to be available. Not sure why?

2. I've been advised the M801(E) is not available in Europe because regulators there changed the technical specs and ICOM is not willing to build the new radio with those specs. The ICOM M801(E) and M801(GMDSS) have disappeared in Europe.

3. The M801(E or A) is available in Australia. ICOM are still making them for ICOM Australia. I know people in Singapore and Hong Kong who have bought them from Australia and fitted them in their boats. Apparently regulators in Australia have not seen the need to ban this radio and demand a higher spec DSC radio for recreational vessels. The M802(DSC) is not sold in Australia because the regulator's specified the waterproof/dustproof case and stable power supply that comes with the M801(E and A). The power supply can give the radio a reliable 13.8v supply from widely varying voltages - up or down - so it can make the radio work even when battery voltages are dropping. Apparently this sophisticated power supply system is why the M801(E) draws more current in standby than the M802(DSC).

4. My understanding is the M802(DSC) was developed by ICOM to meet commercial fishing fleet requirements in the USA; a functional HF/SSB radio with DSC but at a lower cost than the M801(GMDSS) and M801(E or A). Fishing vessels tend to have generators running so the voltage range which the power supply needs to work with to create a stable 13.8 input for the radio is much narrower. And they probably have very good mains to 12 or 24 volt power supply units to run a variety of electronic and communications equipment, so the M802(DSC) does not need it's own protective power regulator. But in a yacht without a generator running, batteries need to be in good shape and other equipment, alternators etc, must not create high voltage spikes for the M802(DSC).

Others might have more accurate or up-to-date information.

Regards

Allan
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Old 16-06-2015, 04:51   #92
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
That's why you use the 802. Type approval does not count for non Comercial vessels.

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Right, that's fair. It's just if you're spending the coin on a new radio, the M801E is a bit more robust in that it doesn't have a fan (using passive heatsink cooling instead) and seems to be otherwise more well-built for the marine environment. Oh well!
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Old 16-06-2015, 08:38   #93
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

socaldmax,
No worries....now I understand....we are having a "communications" problem of our own!

1) You were referring to the original posting here, which I thought was settled a few months ago....sorry about not realizing what you were referencing...

2) And, I have always been referring to MF/HF-DSC-SSB in all my postings/discussions about "SSB", and have made mention of that many times here in the past, but you were not aware of this...




3) Further, now that I see your referenced experience was not HF-DSC (but US Navy, I assume), I understand your experience...
Not sure I should post anymore here, but suffice to say that I have family that were radio / tech folks in the Navy....and they, to this day, have no clue about HF radiowave propagation....don't get me wrong, I love my brother, as well as the US Navy, just saying that the vagarities of HF propagation have been an issue for many a radio operator over the years, whether ham, maritime, or military....


So, again no worries here...
Ya' see if you subtract the PACTOR modem ($1300 - $1800) and "professional installation"/rigging insulators (~ $500 - $1000) from the $5k, you get to the figure of about $2650....

And, if you experience the ability of HF-DSC to connect with another station, you'll see what I'm referring to...

Problem is, we were talking about two different things...



Fair winds...

John
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Old 16-06-2015, 08:52   #94
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

Allan,
This is partially true....but partially not...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanR View Post
Regarding the DSC models available from ICOM, my understanding -

1. There was an M710 with DSC, but it no longer appears to be available. Not sure why?
There was an EXTERNAL DSC-Controller (GM 110, I think?), that is what allowed the GMDSS version of the M-710 to send/receive DSC signals....but it was not an M-710 (GMDSS version or otherwise) itself that had this built-in...





http://www.icom.co.jp/world/support/.../GM-110DSC.pdf




Of course, no longer available, as this was a "stop-gap" measure before Icom released the M-802 / M-801 series radios...and as far as I know, the GM-110 hasn't been available since 2003???....
But just thought some might want a clarification...




And, FYI, here from 4 years ago, is a Cruiser's Forum discussion directly about it...
DSC for ICOM 710

fair winds..

John
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:03   #95
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanR View Post
. . . The power supply can give the radio a reliable 13.8v supply from widely varying voltages - up or down - so it can make the radio work even when battery voltages are dropping. Apparently this sophisticated power supply system is why the M801(E) draws more current in standby than the M802(DSC).

4. My understanding is the M802(DSC) was developed by ICOM to meet commercial fishing fleet requirements in the USA; a functional HF/SSB radio with DSC but at a lower cost than the M801(GMDSS) and M801(E or A). Fishing vessels tend to have generators running so the voltage range which the power supply needs to work with to create a stable 13.8 input for the radio is much narrower. And they probably have very good mains to 12 or 24 volt power supply units to run a variety of electronic and communications equipment, so the M802(DSC) does not need it's own protective power regulator. But in a yacht without a generator running, batteries need to be in good shape and other equipment, alternators etc, must not create high voltage spikes for the M802(DSC).
This "sophisticated power supply system" is just a DC-DC converter, which are inexpensive and readily available. I needed one anyway since my boat is 24 volts. It's made by Victron and will give regulated 13.6 volts out of any input IIRC from 10 volts to 30 volts. Would seem like a good thing to have, or even better, fit a separate battery as required by GMDSS.
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:17   #96
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
socaldmax,
No worries....now I understand....we are having a "communications" problem of our own!

1) You were referring to the original posting here, which I thought was settled a few months ago....sorry about not realizing what you were referencing...

2) And, I have always been referring to MF/HF-DSC-SSB in all my postings/discussions about "SSB", and have made mention of that many times here in the past, but you were not aware of this...




3) Further, now that I see your referenced experience was not HF-DSC (but US Navy, I assume), I understand your experience...
Not sure I should post anymore here, but suffice to say that I have family that were radio / tech folks in the Navy....and they, to this day, have no clue about HF radiowave propagation....don't get me wrong, I love my brother, as well as the US Navy, just saying that the vagarities of HF propagation have been an issue for many a radio operator over the years, whether ham, maritime, or military....


So, again no worries here...
Ya' see if you subtract the PACTOR modem ($1300 - $1800) and "professional installation"/rigging insulators (~ $500 - $1000) from the $5k, you get to the figure of about $2650....

And, if you experience the ability of HF-DSC to connect with another station, you'll see what I'm referring to...

Problem is, we were talking about two different things...



Fair winds...

John
John, it costs more than that.

If you order from DSR, the following parts: M802, speech compression switch, flush mount kit, AT140, AT140 control cable, RFI kit, GPS cable (for DSC), DSC antenna, the total comes to $2927 with shipping, but no taxes.

To that, you still need to add the RG8 cable from radio to tuner, GTO-15 cable from tuner to backstay antenna, copper counterpoise and backstay antenna. I think it's safe to say those parts will total over $500, so the total just for a working HF SSB/DSC setup is $3430, and that doesn't include a Pactor modem.

A Pactor 4 kit costs $1660 with cables and shipping, a backstay antenna (Google search) costs $455 and I'm guessing a thick copper ground plane will cost at least $100, since copper is more expensive than gold these days. Let's say the RG8 cable costs only $50.

$2930 + $1660 + $455 + $100 + $50 = $5195, not including any installation or training costs. That's only hardware costs. Those are actual prices, and the total is well over $5,000.

Perhaps you're getting the $2650 number from the M802 kit price, which includes maritime channel programming, the tuner, a couple of cables and copper foil. That kit still lacks the backstay antenna, GPS data cable, flush mount kit, DSC antenna (DSC won't work without the DSC antenna), DSC antenna cable, compression switch and RFI kit. There's the other $580.
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Old 16-06-2015, 09:39   #97
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

socaldmax,
I think I've been polite, and will continue to be....but, please forgive my bluntness here...


WTF, are you rambling on about???

The discussion of what things you need, what they cost, where to get 'em, etc. was done/complete months ago...
Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I have NO issue at all with your $5k figure when you add in all the ancillary items you mention...

But, seriously, if you expect me to stroke your ego and genuflect at your "understanding" here, you're going to wait a long time sir...

There is nobody else reading your ramblings but me, and at this point, I'm done as well...


Again, please understand I mean no offense here, it's nothing personal....but I don't have the time to spend arguing over what a "Flush Mount Kit" costs! And, who needs a switchable speech compression (we've done the tech tests/eval, and we've discussed this all before)....
Sorry, I just don't have the time to continue..
Seriously, do you all have nothing else to do??



Fair winds to you my friend, but just like a couple other radio threads, this seems to have devolved into just some guys with big egos, spouting off.....and I'm NOT one of them, so, I'm outta' here....

John
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Old 16-06-2015, 11:16   #98
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

For those readers who have not previously been aware of the purpose of the GMDSS service and the importance of prompt and reliable communication with other nearby yachts or small-craft, the existing website information from MRCC Australia - with a vast S&R responsibility area and few S&R resources - has been stating for years what the MAIB report in the Chiki Rafiki incident has echoed again:

"Depending on the circumstances, your initial distress alert should still be made by radio if possible.. You should activate your distress beacon only if contact cannot be made by any other means or when told to do so by a rescue authority." (Because distances are great, and the time needed to get an official S&R response on-site might be beyond the battery life of the EPIRB.)

"Even once a (EPIRB) position is obtained, response times then depend on the time for a search and rescue (SAR) unit, such as a helicopter, aircraft or ground party to be readied and transit to the search area. The more remote the location of the distress incident, the longer the response time. In all instances, be prepared to survive." (Because distances are great, shipping densities are low and there are no nearby RNLI lifeboats or Coast Guard cutters on 24/7 standby.)

"While satellites and satellite-compatible distress beacons have significantly improved the effectiveness of SAR operations, the system is NOT a substitute for carrying appropriate marine or aviation radio." (Because the DSC capable marine radio can immediately alert all known or unknown vessels nearby with one simple DSC alarm call.)

"Distress beacons should only be used when there is a threat of grave and imminent danger. In the event of an emergency, communication should first be attempted with others close by using radios, phones and other signaling devices." (Because nearby help from another mariner will likely be much faster.)

AND: :The basic concept of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is that search and rescue authorities ashore, as well as shipping in the immediate vicinity of a ship in distress, will be rapidly alerted to a distress incident so they can assist in a coordinated search and rescue operation with the minimum of delay." (AMSA website)

I fully understand that supplying electricity for a DSC HF/SSB radio on 24/7 standby can be a task, especially if trying to conserve diesel on a long ocean passage, or when on an extended cruise of remote islands or coasts. But these regions are precisely the places were formally organized S&R services are likely to be non-existent. Therefore the importance of yachts providing each other with the 24/7 S&R communication and mutual support service. As another writer has stated, it's a matter of priorities.

I'm not sure what it's like on your side of the world but over here, if we expect the government to provide a service, the total cost to taxpayers will be something like 4 of 5 x the actual service cost, because of bureaucracy, government procrastination, politics and government inefficiency.

It's a lot cheaper for everyone to do it yourself. In this case, by installing a DSC capable radio and using it's excellent value capabilities to create a 24/7 mutual self-support network, with great features like Group Call. Save lives and save lots of money by actively using agovernment to provide the same service in a similar location.

There are ways to reduce the install cost of DSC capable HF/SSB installations, for example, a lot of money can be saved by sharing the incoming receive signal from an AM/FM stereo antenna as the input for the radio's dedicated DISTRESS receiver; via a splitter box. It is not necessary to find space and money to install another large transmit capable whip antenna. This DSC radio input only needs a receive signal. Terry Sparks has info on another option - making an receive-only antenna from stripped co-ax - see www.made-simplefor-cruisers.com .

A budget is a means to plan and put into effect desired goals, by balancing competing financial constraints and declaring priorities. For most of us, it involves choosing between alternatives, because we don't have the money for everything.

One of those alternatives is not to undertake long ocean passages or cruise in isolated areas without adequate communications capability, for your own and other similar mariners benefit. A HF/SSB is not just about switching on and talking when you have a need. It's about switching on to make yourself, your crew and your resources accessible to assist another mariner or family in need. Pre DSC. the concept was a 5 minute silence period each hour, so people could (hopefully) listen for emergency calls. The DSC capable radio eliminates this human requirement, instead happily doing the work, 24/7, without complaint, in smooth or rough seas.

Yes, it costs to install and operate the DSC radio and Pactor controller, but they earn their keep via routine tasks such as getting the weather, updating position, advising others about hazards, requesting waypoints and sending emails to suppliers. And in an emergency, asking for nearby assistance from others nearby, or offering assistance to others who contact you for help and advice.
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Old 16-06-2015, 13:35   #99
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
socaldmax,
I think I've been polite, and will continue to be....but, please forgive my bluntness here...


WTF, are you rambling on about???

The discussion of what things you need, what they cost, where to get 'em, etc. was done/complete months ago...
Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I have NO issue at all with your $5k figure when you add in all the ancillary items you mention...

But, seriously, if you expect me to stroke your ego and genuflect at your "understanding" here, you're going to wait a long time sir...

There is nobody else reading your ramblings but me, and at this point, I'm done as well...


Again, please understand I mean no offense here, it's nothing personal....but I don't have the time to spend arguing over what a "Flush Mount Kit" costs! And, who needs a switchable speech compression (we've done the tech tests/eval, and we've discussed this all before)....
Sorry, I just don't have the time to continue..
Seriously, do you all have nothing else to do??



Fair winds to you my friend, but just like a couple other radio threads, this seems to have devolved into just some guys with big egos, spouting off.....and I'm NOT one of them, so, I'm outta' here....

John

John,

You're the one who was doing the rambling about DSC. That wasn't the point of this thread, but you made the longest posts, by far, rambling on about it.

Talk about redundant - the same thing has been said about DSC in every other thread as well.

What I was stating, if you bothered to read it, is the fact that it does cost nearly $5200 just for the parts to install an HF/DSC setup with Pactor modem.

That is contrary to what you claimed, and I broke the math down for you, so you can see where every penny went, in case you were still going to make erroneous claims as to the cost of the system.

It has nothing to do with ego, and everything to do with accuracy, despite your claims. Remember, I'm the one who apologized for the miscommunication due to my being unclear and referring to HF/DSC when I meant to say HF SSB.

I can definitely see why $5200 is a big chunk of change for someone who might be on a $500/mo. cruising budget.
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Old 16-06-2015, 23:04   #100
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Re: Is an SSB/pactor modem worth it?

After reading all this, I could have answered it in one simple word. YES.

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