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Old 09-04-2010, 13:01   #1
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Just a Ham

set the boat up with an ICOM 802 awhile back and got the station license for the boat and figured to pick up my Technician Class this summer..
But recently someone had mentioned that I needed a "General Class" license to opperate the station once I left the US area.. or to be used in other areas of the world..
I cant seem to find any info on Marine use in other countries..
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Old 09-04-2010, 13:49   #2
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Randy:

You're mixing things up.

You need a General Class ham license to operate SSB ON THE HAM BANDS (anywhere in the world, including here in the U.S.). A ham license entitles you to operate a radio transmitter on the designated ham bands only, not on the marine bands or aircraft bands or land mobile bands or police/fire bands, etc., etc.

For operation on the marine bands, you need two things:

1. an operator's permit (the Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit at a minimum); and
2. a station license for your boat.

The Operator's Permit is good for life. The Station License is good for 10 years. Neither requires an exam....just pay the fee.

When you apply for the Station License, check all the equipment boxes, even if you don't have the equipment -- radar, EPIRB, SSB, satellite, VHF, etc. This will cover you in case you do add equipment in the future, so you won't have to pay the rather stiff fee again (I think it's now about $180 for both licenses).

These marine licenses cover the use of your VHF abroad, as well as the SSB. I think that's where you were confused. For marine VHF you don't need any license to use it in the U.S., so long as you don't talk to a foreign station. You do need the two licenses to operate a VHF legally when outside the U.S.

For info on marine licensing, check the FCC.gov website. Full info, forms, fees, etc. are to be found there.

Here's the Operator's Permit info: http://wireless.fcc.gov/commoperators/index.htm?job=rr

Here's the Ship Station license info: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/othrcoms/fcc.htm

Again, the ham bands and the marine bands are two different services. A license for one does NOT permit you to operate on the other. Except, of course, in an extreme (life-threatening) emergency.

Get the licenses...it's no big deal. Just a pain.

Also, study up and go for the General Class ham license. They're very useful for the cruising sailor.

Bill
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Old 09-04-2010, 14:28   #3
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I've got the Marine station licences.. applied for that when we put the 802 in.. but in unlocking the radio for Ham use, I need the additional license........
and thanks bill, for the info and the links.....
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Old 09-04-2010, 15:21   #4
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You'll learn about the frequencies you're allowed to talk on when you study for your Technician's license. You'll find that to talk on the frequencies that you want to talk on, you'll need a General license.

Bill's right - you don't need any ham license to talk on the marine SSB frequencies. It doesn't matter if your SSB was unlocked, clipped, etc. What matters is the frequency you're on when you key the mic.

It's a really good idea to get the General license. It's what you want if you're cruising. It's really not that much tougher to get and you don't even need Morse code any longer.

73's - W1ACA
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Old 09-04-2010, 15:24   #5
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Randy,

You don't need a ham license to LISTEN on the ham bands or to "open" the 802. But you DO need a ham license to transmit on these bands.

Your radio may already be "open". If not, here's the procedure:

"Knowledge Base Article 57DG1541A3 Issue
IC-M802 Open Programming
Resolution
Use the following steps to open your M802 to HF frequencies outside the Marine HF band:

1. Turn off the radio.
2. Press and hold the 2, MODE, and TX buttons.
3. While holding these three buttons, turn on the radio.

Note: this needs to be done only once in the life of the radio to enter the open mode.
If you wish to restore the radio to the marine band only, simply repeat steps 1-3 above."

Bill

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Old 10-04-2010, 00:43   #6
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I am just trying to think of who in the world would be inspecting your Ham license?

Maybe some person designated Ham Spam Fighter in the USA, but the rest of the world?

Does the Caribbean give one hoot in hell if you twiddle the Mic switch on the Ham Tranny?

Surely Muslim countries wouldn't touch a Ham.

Why don't you just use the damn thing and see if some high powered dinghy slides up to your port side with a gorilla on board with arm band: Ham Police. "Righto You Pactor Factor, Where's your bloody GCHL?"



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Old 10-04-2010, 07:34   #7
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When other hams hear your call sign on the air on the HF bands, whether communicating with you or not, they will often look up your call sign on qrz.com where they can see what class of license you have. If you are on a band not appropriate for your license, then yes, there are hams that are part of voluntary enforcement efforts that will turn you in to the FCC. I have no idea how much this actually happens, though.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
You need a General Class ham license to operate SSB ON THE HAM BANDS (anywhere in the world, including here in the U.S.).

For info on marine licensing, check the FCC.gov website.
Here's the Operator's Permit info: Commercial Radio Operator License Program: Types of Licenses: Restricted Radiotelephone

Here's the Ship Station license info: FCC Radio Licenses - USCG Navigation Center

Also, study up and go for the General Class ham license. They're very useful for the cruising sailor.
Bill
I am interested in the licenses, and understand the difference between the marine bands and HAM. I have spent a little time on the FCC site, and still haven't answered a couple of questions for myself. I'll keep looking, but thought I would come back here with them:

When I click the link to learn about the Operators Permit, it is referring to a Commercial Operator. I wouldn't be commercial, but maybe thats the way the license is worded. What might I be missing here?

Is the info on the General HAM on the FCC site? I would certainly think so, but I am too dense to find it, at least so far.

Thanks for the good info,
Jim

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Old 10-04-2010, 08:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim D View Post
I am interested in the licenses, and understand the difference between the marine bands and HAM. I have spent a little time on the FCC site, and still haven't answered a couple of questions for myself. I'll keep looking, but thought I would come back here with them:

When I click the link to learn about the Operators Permit, it is referring to a Commercial Operator. I wouldn't be commercial, but maybe thats the way the license is worded. What might I be missing here?

Is the info on the General HAM on the FCC site? I would certainly think so, but I am too dense to find it, at least so far.



Thanks for the good info,
Jim

~
Yeah, Jim, it is confusing. For operation of a marine SSB, you need what the FCC calls a commercial license. There are several classes of license. Don't sweat it...just apply for the Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit...that's what you need.

RE: ham licensing, see: ARRLWeb: ARRL Home Page

Hit the tab, "Licensing".

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:34   #10
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Excellent, Bill. Back in the day, as it's said, I wanted a HAM license, and studied for it. I was good with the non-code information, however, I never got my code speed to the levels required. I spent too much time mentally thinking, "dit-dah-dit, ok that's an 'r' ", and by then I'd missed the next 4 or 5 letters.
I think dropping the code test was the right thing in modern times, but I know it was a sad day for those that had learned it to obtain their ticket.

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Old 10-04-2010, 08:44   #11
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Back again, for any one like me looking to figure out the process for the HAM licensing: this link - from the site Bill told me about above - takes you to a nice summary of the licensing and what to do to get ready and earn them.
ARRLWeb: Where Do I Start?


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Old 10-04-2010, 08:53   #12
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Originally Posted by Jim D View Post
Excellent, Bill. Back in the day, as it's said, I wanted a HAM license, and studied for it. I was good with the non-code information, however, I never got my code speed to the levels required. I spent too much time mentally thinking, "dit-dah-dit, ok that's an 'r' ", and by then I'd missed the next 4 or 5 letters.
I think dropping the code test was the right thing in modern times, but I know it was a sad day for those that had learned it to obtain their ticket.

Jim~
Yep, dropping the code was probably a good thing.

It's a shame that so many persons were put off by the "teaching methods" sometimes used, including memorizing the morse alphabet. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I was lucky. Some of us in Laos in the mid-60s wanted to get licenses and needed the code, so we engaged one of our Thai radio operators to give us lessons after work. The method he used, IMHO, is the proper one. He sent us code at the regular speed...not slowed down...about 18WPM. We learned the alphabet -- character by character -- entirely by ear, like learning a piece of music. "A" was "dit-dah", "B" was "dah-dit-dit-dit", etc., etc. We learned about 5 or 6 new letters each night, and reviewed the others we'd learned previously. It was damned easy and fun. We were up and running in no time, and passing the 13wpm exam -- and, later, the 20wpm exam for the Extra Class was no problem.

Even now that the code requirement has been dropped, there are LOTS of hams who still operate CW. I checked into the WaterWay CW net just this morning (7047kHz @ 0700 EDT).

And, for those non-hams who might be reading this, try to get your mind around the fact that amateur radio is GROWING by leaps and bounds There are now about 700,000 licensed hams in the U.S., almost 1.3 million in Japan, and about 800,000 in other countries . So, about 2.8 million hams worldwide. Plenty of folks to listen and talk to, no matter where you roam. And, lots of ears to hear you if you should be in distress.

Ham radio is also growing amongst the cruising community, as more and more cruisers are introduced to all it can deliver for them. Even in this age of WiFi, satellites, and other technical advances :-)

73,

Bill
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:37   #13
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And, for those non-hams who might be reading this,
Look, cruising does give us more time, no matter how much we complain that our heads are stuck down the bilges. We can take up new and interesting hobbies: Nic is learning guitar. We all ought to be learning a bit more history about the places we are visiting and the world in general. we can't just sit on our boats not bettering ourselves in any way.
So any new passtime is comendable in many ways.

I'm glad the code was dropped from licenses. That was just killing your sport.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:05   #14
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Look, cruising does give us more time, no matter how much we complain that our heads are stuck down the bilges. We can take up new and interesting hobbies: Nic is learning guitar. We all ought to be learning a bit more history about the places we are visiting and the world in general. we can't just sit on our boats not bettering ourselves in any way.
So any new passtime is comendable in many ways.

I'm glad the code was dropped from licenses. That was just killing your sport.

Mark,
because you are checking in and out of countries, is this something that comes up..
the whole reasoning for the licences was to opperate the radio without getting into any crap while we traveled..
I was under the understanding that if your boat is checked, and you dont have the licences to go with the radio, youd catch crap from the officals..
and maybe you can answer this, while you are traveling, of what I've heard, 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.
What do you find more usefull......
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......
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:24   #15
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Learning CW is not as hard as many think and that M802 works great on CW as does the M710 with a 500Hz filter installed. Bill is right on about the method he used to learn. I was not interested at all in CW when I first got my license which was only 8 years ago. I did have to pass the 5wpm but I was done with it after that. Three years later, I decided to give CW a real try. Once I made my first very nerve racking contact, I was hooked. I really worked hard on it every day and quickly got up to being comfortable at 30-40wpm. It's a blast and I usually have no problem finding someone to chat with, or "work a dx station", any time of day and there's even more folks to chat with on SSB. The ham bands are WAY more active than the marine bands.

Eric N3EF
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