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Old 28-09-2012, 06:51   #1
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Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

I am going to look at this boat and it says it has an SSB, but isn't this an ICOM amateur HF radio and manual antenna tuner beneath it? If it is a ham radio could it have been modified to transmit on marine SSB MF/HF frequencies (legally)?

http://imt.boatwizard.com/images/1/6...54451_15_0.jpg
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Old 28-09-2012, 09:21   #2
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

SSB is a subset of Ham frequencies. So ham is better in terms of channels/frequencies. If you don't have Ham license you wont be allowed to transmit on ham frequencies, only SSB. You are really not allowed to transmit on HAM frequencies without a license, you can receive.
A lot of those radios that have Marine designation really mean that Ham frequencies have been blocked in Firmware. So a non HAM operator can operate it without worry.
Get a license and then you can have winlink/airmail for free as opposed to SSB/sailmail for an annual fee.
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Old 28-09-2012, 09:39   #3
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

SSB stands for single sideband. It is a mode of operation. Both ham and marine HF radio's operate in this mode. It is quite common for a marine HF to be called SSB and ham HF to be called ham but they are really both SSB radio's. It is not legal to transmit on marine channels with a ham radio in the U.S. except in a mayday situation.

Eric
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Old 28-09-2012, 10:28   #4
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

Billion,

The picture is not very clear. It does look like a ham radio and the tuner below it is almost certainly a MFJ manual one. If you provide the model number of the radio, we can tell you for sure.

But, it does NOT look like any FCC "type-approved" or "certificated" marine radio I know of.

Eric is correct:

1. It is illegal to use a ham radio -- or any other non-certificated marine radio -- on the marine bands; and

2. SSB -- single side band -- is a mode of transmission, NOT a radio. Ham radios, aircraft radios, land-mobile radios, military radios, some CB radios, and others typically use this mode of transmission, i.e., they are SSB radios.

However, in common boat-speak the term, "SSB", is erroneously used as shorthand to refer to a radio which is employed on the authorized marine HF bands.

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Old 28-09-2012, 10:55   #5
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

Yes, its a ham radio, probably modified so that it can be used to transmit on the marine SSB frequencies. It can legally be used to listen on the marine frequencies and transmit on the marine frequencies in the case of an emergency. It can also be used to transmit legally on the ham frequencies if you get a license (takes 1-3 weeks of study, depending on your background).

If you learn how to use it properly, your chances of getting caught if you transmit illegally are very, very low.
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Old 28-09-2012, 11:57   #6
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
It is not legal to transmit on marine channels with a ham radio in the U.S. except in a mayday situation.
Eric
I think you might have meant to say on ham channels with marine SSB radio unless its mayday.
If your HF radio, HAM or Marine is located on a ship, and you have obtained a ship station license, you can transmit on Marine HF channels (usually SSB modulated). Ship station license can be obtained without taking any tests.

Transmitting on amateur(ham) channels is not allowed without a license for which you actually have to pass test.
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Old 28-09-2012, 12:05   #7
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

No, you have it wrong. Yes, you must have an amateur license to operate on the ham bands and yes, you must have a ship station license and operators permit to operate on the marine bands but you cannot legally operate on the marine channels using a ham radio. You can only use an FCC part 80 certified marine radio to operate on the marine channels.

Eric
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Old 28-09-2012, 13:17   #8
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

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Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
SSB stands for single sideband. It is a mode of operation. Both ham and marine HF radio's operate in this mode. It is quite common for a marine HF to be called SSB and ham HF to be called ham but they are really both SSB radio's. It is not legal to transmit on marine channels with a ham radio in the U.S. except in a mayday situation.

Eric
Thanks Eric

The advert just says "single side band radio" and I have no doubt it is capable of transmitting and receiving HF with SSB modulation. I am seeing the boat tomorrow so what I need to know is how to tell by looking at it if it is legal use to transmit on marine MF/HF. I am been shown the boat by a broker otherwise it would be easy to ask the owner.

I suppose to be up to date it would need to be replaced with a modern MF/HF marine transceiver with DSC, but at least the the ground plate and antenna could be reused. Opinions welcome!

I am a mathematician so I understand what single side band is, and I am quite happy solving Maxwell's equations too, but I have never touched a radio transmitter other than VHF! I was hoping some one would say "oh yes that's an old ICOM XYZ with a Versa UVW manual tuner" and proceed to tell me if it is something about it.. (like "its a heap of junk and it doesn't add to the value of the boat" for example)
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Old 28-09-2012, 13:20   #9
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Yes, its a ham radio, probably modified so that it can be used to transmit on the marine SSB frequencies. It can legally be used to listen on the marine frequencies and transmit on the marine frequencies in the case of an emergency. It can also be used to transmit legally on the ham frequencies if you get a license (takes 1-3 weeks of study, depending on your background).

If you learn how to use it properly, your chances of getting caught if you transmit illegally are very, very low.
Thanks donradcliffe. That's really useful. Previous reply posted before I saw others on slow connection. I am on a train in a tunnel not a boat just now! I just checked and there is a ham radio club near where I live and they run courses, although I am in the UK so I think its a bit different.
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Old 28-09-2012, 13:54   #10
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

That's an Icom 725 or 726 ham radio. Came out around 1988.

Eric
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:03   #11
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

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Originally Posted by fairbank56 View Post
You can only use an FCC part 80 certified marine radio to operate on the marine channels.Eric
My apologies , i was wrong in part of my previous comment. Never realized that. I have one of those dual marine radios, marine with ham frequencies, M710. So it was certified for marine frequencies and had ham bands open for use.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:24   #12
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

I think it is an Icom 735 with an MFJ manual tuner. As stated prior...it is not illegal to modify the Ham for SSB but it is illegal to transmit. My understanding is that the SSB "channels" Transmit on a particular fequency and receive on a frequency a few hertz off. Unless the Ham was programed to do that, you might hear everyone else ok but sound like Donald Duck when you transmit.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:15   #13
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

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I think it is an Icom 735
It's an Icom 725 or 726. 726 looks the same but has the 6 meter band included. Definitely NOT a 735.

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Old 02-10-2012, 10:19   #14
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

I often wonder whether these folks who warn us how illegal it is to operate a ham radio on marine frequencies have ever driven their car over the posted speed limit potentially endangering others. The horror!
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:25   #15
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Re: Is this a marine SSB or ham radio

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
I often wonder whether these folks who warn us how illegal it is to operate a ham radio on marine frequencies have ever driven their car over the posted speed limit potentially endangering others. The horror!
Being a scofflaw from way back the regulatory technicalities don't concern me but there are some potential technical details that could come into play.

The specifications for radios certified for marine SSB use are tighter than the specifications for radios certified for use on ham bands. I believe the channels on marine bands may be closer together requiring tighter bandwidth to avoid interference on adjacent channels.

PS
I never drove 55 mph.

Now a good ham radio may meet the requirements for marine band transmissions, whether it's certified for it or not, but some certainly don't and I think it would be considered discourteous to bleed all over your fellow boaters transmissions.
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