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Old 10-04-2010, 11:54   #16
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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
.....
The reason I'm asking is that as I've read throu some of the talk like on "noon-site" many contacts for weather around the world is over the Ham bands......
NO country check licences!!!!!!!!!!!!! No country checks the heads for holding tanks!!!!!!!!!!!!! God only knows what happens in the USA but NOwhere have we even had the boat inspected even for guns and drugs except for australia (and then only clearing in!)

Someone sugested the FCC would get you. Thats only in the USA. Outside they have no jurisdiction. Do they?

Man, Randy, I gotta tell you, the BS we hear on our HF receiver with the cruisers nets would make anyone give up sailing. Its all so frikkin negative: "And is all is well on board?" every call. OF COURSE! Why wouldnt everything be all well on board? Said with a down bend inflection we have heard weeks of everyone hating passages.

It makes passage-making so scary to hear the odd person say that no all is not 'well' its 'SENSATIONAL!!!!!!!!'

Weather etc comes through my Sat Phone (Thanks James S!!!!) I SMS my sister for 50 cents and she sms's me back (for free on the internet) the weather.

Pactor modem for grib files may be a bit different but the cost of $5,000 for the HF and the pactor makes it silly against Sat Phone or Skymate

The women on crusing boats are scared stupid enough of being outside the sight of land and whenever they are, the old man is sitting hunched over the radio learing that it doesnt propogate... then woman then thinks shes cut off from the world in an emergency. And she is! But a sat phone you are instantly onto the authorities, in real time! A a person to speak with voice to voice, clear as a bell.

Quote:
the marine HF radio is used less and the ham radio is used more.. or have I got it wrong nd all that is used is the marine side band.. if so I'lldo a lock-out on the radio and only use the Marine SSB part of the radio.
Mate, NEITHER is used!
We have a bunch of people with Sailmail or Winlink email addresses and they obviously use it to get emails off HF -but only email - .... but really who needs email at sea unless in emergency (when sat can do it).

In reality at sea on passage you are by yourself. You are out there and you get the weather God gives you. And the day you get to port you get onto the local VHF net (Treasures of the Bilge, New arrivals Please Check IN!) and you get a new USB SIM card for the internet and get back on line for maybe $30.

Also remember all those stats about time spent at ses Vs time at anchor. Since Jan 10th we have had more time at sea than anyone - about 55 days. How much time are you really on passage out of sdight of land?

Ham radio and HF marine is not essential or even on a low scale of 'necessary' any more. Its a fun thing to have if you have a spare $5,000.

That does not mean its not a useful skill to have for a person. There is useful information to be had from it. people who use it well and without using other services would absoluty rely on it. It is not dead in the water.

But like any service that has relied on such out dated technlogy as morse code to allow enterence, it has not kept up enough to make the new generation of cruisers wish to need/want it. Am I saying their ain't no 'Facebook' on HF? Perhaps. There might be 2 million Ham users in the world but they are not re-inventing HF to where its necessary.

I commend you with using it and getting the equipemnt, but its an adjunct to the scources you will likely use for weather, routing, plotting, and general information.

I hope this all makes sense as not a missive against HF.


Mark
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:12   #17
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Randy- I'm a newby cruiser, so take my .02 with a grain. We, like you, installed an 802, with the intent of using the marine bands. We also have a pactor modem for e-mails and weather. Using the marine bands is fine and will get you by.

But you have so much more capability with the 802. All you need is the 'General' license to be able to participate in the ham nets. We just recently upgraded and obtained the ham licenses... it would have been much easier/convenient to have done that before we left.

I like to be able to participate in the cruising nets... if anything to know where our friends are, conditions at various anchorages, etc. It might be more 'social', but on a few occassions the info gained from the nets was quite helpful to us.

While anyone can listen in on the ham frequency nets, it's nice when you can ask clarifying questions regarding weather forecasts or conditions.

To me, the discussion regarding having the SSB/Ham is moot at this point. We have the equipment... it was a decision made quite a while ago. Now its only an issue of maximizing our options of use of the equipment.

By the way.... I'm pretty much radio illiterate. But, I was able to study and pass the 'technician' and 'general' tests in one sitting. It's not that difficult.

Best of luck.... hopefully we'll see you out here.

Steve
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:19   #18
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We'll be comming your way in the fall Steve............
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:33   #19
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$5000 ??? This smart shopper bought the whole Icom 710, Pactor III, tuner setup for $1700. Plus $250 a year for what seems to be unlimited Sailmail access make a real good deal. It is a bit techy and cumbersome, but it works very well.

Plus, on Iridium you can't listen to hours of useless cruiser chatter about nothing at all. Actually the nets can be a little useful. Almost 2% of the chatter is factual and useful. However if a ham operator comes on it drops to 1%. I just use Sailmail and Saildocs.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:57   #20
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$5000 ??? This smart shopper bought the whole Icom 710, Pactor III, tuner setup for $1700. .
Bull twaddle.
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Old 10-04-2010, 13:13   #21
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Uh...calling me a liar? There's a 710 on eBay right now for $1512. I got a better deal from an ex-Pacific Cup race boat: it included the auto tuner and Pactor for $1500. I spent like $200 on the PIII upgrade. Easy. Smart.
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Old 10-04-2010, 13:20   #22
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Yep. Show me the money! Show me the money on the 710 for $1515 plus a pactor modem ($1,000) and tuner ($1,400) for a total of $1,700.

LOL show me
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Old 10-04-2010, 14:10   #23
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Mark:

My numbers are: a M710 SSB for $585, a SGC-230 tuner for $187.50 and a SCS PTC IIex pactor modem for $610.41, for a total of $1382.91, including shipping

Are you saying that if I email you my paypal receipts verifying this, you will pay the total??


Paul
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Old 10-04-2010, 14:23   #24
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Gentlemen, gentlemen...no need for squabbling here.

I'm, as they say, "in the business". I follow new and used SSB prices VERY closely. I buy lots of SSBs on eBay, test, fix and configure them, and install them.

While it is possible on occasion to find a very good below-market deal on SSBs, tuners, and even Pactor modems, it's relatively rare. You gotta be real lucky, either being Johnny-on-the-spot when a fellow cruiser want's to unload, or buying something off eBay or Craig's list which is sight unseen and untested. Sometimes you get lucky, but in my experience it's just that....luck.

For USED marine SSB equipment, expect to pay:

$500 to $900 for a marine transceiver in excellent condition (I have 5 at the moment);

$500 to $800 for a used Pactor modem in excellent condition; and

$200 to $400 for a used tuner (SC-230 or AT-130/140) in excellent condition.

Pay any less than this and I wanna be next to you next time you go to Vegas!

You can't touch a new 710 for under $1,000. Or a new Pactor III modem with needed cables for less than about $900. Or a new SC-230 for less than $495.

Just sayin' :-)

Bill
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Old 10-04-2010, 20:43   #25
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Wow. I got a good deal. But it was all a little used. And I had to tear it out of the guy's boat myself. Like I said: smart shopper :-)
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Old 10-04-2010, 22:40   #26
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Sorry some of my posts were getting a bit late at night...

So sorry to all! Daddle

One thing that Bill said: "You gotta be real lucky, either being Johnny-on-the-spot"

I can tell you its real hard cruising from home because Ebay is just not possible, waiting for your local store to have a sale, second hand sales, or even an internet store to clear their mail order shelves just can't happen because delivery is impractical/expensive or Duty needs paying.

The Go Now philosophy is the one we used, but I sure could have used 2 years scouting bargains before we left! And the cash to buy the bargain when I could be Johnny-on-the-spot...

PS Don't forget the installation costs of an HF radio. Cutting the backstay etc. Thats structural changes to the standing rigging. Thats a pro job. Or is a stern mounted ariel ok?

Theres lots of costs to be considered when deciding between HF and Sat phone with data capability.




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Old 10-04-2010, 22:47   #27
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No worries MarkJ. I play hard. I also too often pay retail.

The cool thing about backstays is you can now use a synthetic backstay without worry and then the antenna is just a stupid wire that the rigger shoves inside the core. No $$$ insulators. Yay!
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:42   #28
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I have an M802 on board, but never use the marine ssb bands, unless to communicate with another cruiser who doesn't have a ham license. We do use the hambands with a Pactor modem on Winlink a lot, between emailing home and friends, retrieving Saildocs weather information, and updating the sailblog with text and pictures. And all of that use is free.

Granted we haven't yet been hundreds of miles off shore - I would want satellite phone backup for that - but we haven't felt the need.

If I wanted to start fresh on the cheap, I would buy a used Icom IC-706 for $800, a used Icom AH-4 tuner for $170, and a used Pactor II modem for $600 to $900. And those are realistic prices, not the rare deal. I wouldn't really miss the lack of marine SSB bands. And in a year or two I could probably skip the Pactor modem and spend $120 on the best hardware for WINMOR protocol email. Oh, and theres no need to put up a backstay antenna. As Bill T. has so often talked about, you can just string up a wire with a spare halyard.

As for CW, I'm one of the "no code" Extra licensees. It was a lot easier for me to pass the tests than get up to speed on Morse code. I am working on code now, and can copy easily at 12-13 wpm and hope to make 20 wpm before too long. Why? I guess because its a challenge.
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