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Old 01-12-2011, 06:45   #61
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

Heres a radical thought

Actually we are looking at the problem the wrong way round. Most demand is for non-hams to access the Ham Cruiser Nets.

So. Lets channelise teh Amateur HF bands, and let marine radios access it with the radiotelephone license. Channelisation would have little effect on amateur setup ( as many have said they can all programme up their sets and sure they are all good guys anyway

Simple, one radio on the boat solution.

Dave
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:01   #62
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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Originally Posted by Penceler View Post
Practical implementation is an entirely different and complicated issue.
And that's the real problem. I wouldn't disagree that the basic concept has merit, but I don't see any way around the problems of actually implementing it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:10   #63
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Heres a radical thought

Actually we are looking at the problem the wrong way round. Most demand is for non-hams to access the Ham Cruiser Nets.

You may be right!

So. Lets channelise teh Amateur HF bands, and let marine radios access it with the radiotelephone license. Channelisation would have little effect on amateur setup ( as many have said they can all programme up their sets and sure they are all good guys anyway

Totally impractical -- I haven't the time or energy to explain why right now.

Simple, one radio on the boat solution.

That's already a possibility IF you have the proper licenses for a marine radio capable of transmitting on the ham bands. Just this morning a boat with a problem contacted the amateur radio Waterway Net on 7268kHz using a marine radio. They had the proper ham license as well as the marine radiotelephone operator's permit, so no problem talking to them.

They had several ham frequencies plugged into their marine radio, so could easily switch from one to another without reprogramming the radio. Hams with ham sets can use their VFO (variable frequency oscillator) tuning knob to tune to any desired frequency. That's what happened, good contact was made, and the necessary information was passed to the boat.

Dave
This is an everyday occurrence on the ham nets. Boats with hams aboard pass traffic easily back and forth. In extreme emergencies, the ham nets handle traffic with people on boats who don't have a ham license. Again, no problem. The Coast Guard comes up on the ham frequencies when required.

What was described in an earlier post regarding boats which call into ham nets without ham callsigns also happens periodically on the East Coast ham nets, and these calls are handled exactly as mentioned above, i.e., the boats are politely advised that they cannot transmit on ham bands without a ham license UNLESS there's an extreme (life threatening) emergency.

The present schema works well. What problem are we attempting to address here?

Bill
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:24   #64
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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The present schema works well. What problem are we attempting to address here?

Bill
I totally agree with you. It's fine as it is. The issue is that ham's that only have a ham radio on board want to be able to legally communicate on marine channels for routine communications. Not going to happen. They either need to use a certified marine radio, or do it illegally as many apparently already do. They don't understand why their ham radio's couldn't easily be part 80 certified for use on the marine channels. I'm suprised they don't also want to use their 2-meter rigs on marine VHF. Oops...

Eric
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:12   #65
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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The present schema works well. What problem are we attempting to address here?

Bill
Bill,

The two problems that come to mind that are not address by the present schema are interacting with weather routing stations on the marine bands and commercial transactions not being permitted on the ham bands. These are not only useful, but at times could be critical for the safety or well being of the cruiser. Neither of these activities can be done on the ham bands or with a ham radio. Both of these activities require marine SSB radios.

So, I guess you are right, cruising vessels need to be equipped with marine SSB radios instead of ham radios. It does seems a shame that there isn't some way to use less expensive ham radio equipment to fill this gap.

Perhaps someone, with one foot in both camps, could file a request with the FCC to allow the operation of maritime mobile stations with properly configured and adjusted ham radio equipment on a limited set of marine channels. Maybe extra class hams could somehow be used to inspect and sign off on these installations. Whats the worst that could happen -- the FCC could say no.

Best regards,

Paul
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:24   #66
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The proscription against business on the ham bands does not preclude the cruiser or other user from using ham radio on ham bands to order a part or arrange a repair on their boat, for example. What it does preclude is using ham bands to conduct business for your or your employer's potential pecuniary gain. This has all been hashed out in the past but is still a point of confusion among many.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:26   #67
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I need to add that these are USA rules. In the waters of other countries, use of ham frequencies is often more restrictive.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:31   #68
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

Paul,

Hams without marine SSB's can take advantage of paid and free weather routing services on the marine bands by just listening, e.g., to Herb on 12359 kHz daily or to others.

As you know, there are plenty of sources of weather information available to hams, including the ham nets, listening to USCG and other broadcasts, listening to the marine nets, downloading grib files via WinLink, etc., etc.

Hams can and do request weather information on the ham nets, and they often get just what they want. They cannot, of course, interact with paid weather routers on the ham bands, but there are usually alternatives.

As for no commercial transactions via ham radio, I think that's just fine. The FCC some years ago let it be known that boats ordering parts or equipment or making reservations, etc. is not "commercial" activity, and is thus OK on the ham bands.

I doubt that the FCC would agree to having hams using ham equipment operating on even a few of the marine channels. That's just muddying the waters, IMHO, and isn't really necessary. Hams on boats who want to avail themselves of the marine HF frequencies should equip their boats with proper marine HF gear and licenses.

And, frankly, I'm a bit tired of hearing guys/gals on $100,000 plus boats grousing about the cost of SSB radios vs. ham radios, when the difference in price -- as I noted before -- is practically negligible.

73,

Bill
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Old 01-12-2011, 14:41   #69
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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Lets talk about WHY those frequency stability requirements exist--its a perfect example of a bureaucracy run amok, creating unnecessary costs which get passed on to us.

I'm not an expert, but in my experience the marine SSB's function (you could understand each other) if two radios are within 100 cycles of each other, so a more reasonable limit might be +/-50 cycles. If you use the built-in clarifier function you can probably get away with a 100 cycle drift on each radio. The Pactor mode already has an automatic frequency compensation scheme.

So WHY do you have to pay double the price for a marine radio to satisfy some bureaucrat??
Clearly a lack of understanding. As Bill points out, frequency stability is only one issue. Adjacent channel interference is another. Harmonic output is another. There is a good reason that most of the ham bands are in a harmonic relationship to one another.

It is most certainly not bureaucracy run amok. Marine radio is a life safety service. Ham radio is not. The hardware requirements differ accordingly.

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I'm not convinced of that (the international standards part). How is it that the VX1700 (marine version) cannot be certified for use in the US yet can be in Europe? Apparently, FCC technical requirements are different than those of European nations.
Or Yaesu chose not to pay for certification as a business decision not to enter the US market. Or they found something that the FCC implements in the US regulation that other ITU signatories did not.

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Again, I am NOT advocating that anyone transmit beyond the limits of thier license.
It sure sounds to me like you are John. There are good reasons for the regulations as they exist, and for type certification of marine HF/SSB units.
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Old 01-12-2011, 15:39   #70
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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Or Yaesu chose not to pay for certification as a business decision not to enter the US market. Or they found something that the FCC implements in the US regulation that other ITU signatories did not.
The marine version of the VX1700 would not pass US certification requirements and I have since found information that it is also not approved for EU or AU vessels. Just what country this radio is marketed for is a mystery.

Certification in the US requires extensive testing for RF power output, occupied bandwidth, spurious emissions at antenna terminal, radiated spurious and harmonic emissions, modulation characteristics, and frequency stability/temperature variation.

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Old 01-12-2011, 17:49   #71
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

"Marine radio is a life safety service. Ham radio is not." With respect, Auspicious. have to disagree with you on that one. I'm sure the Amateur Radio Marine Nets, such as the Pacific Seafarers Net, would concur with me also. They have helped saved many lives the years using ham radios. Cheers.
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Old 01-12-2011, 18:05   #72
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

I believe he was talking about the primary purpose of each service. From the FCC website:

Amateur Radio service: The amateur and amateur-satellite services are for qualified persons of any age who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest. These services present an opportunity for self-training, intercommunication, and technical investigations.

Maritime mobile service: The Maritime Mobile Service is an internationally-allocated radio service providing for safety of life and property at sea and on inland waterways.

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Old 01-12-2011, 18:12   #73
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

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Originally Posted by matauwhi View Post
"Marine radio is a life safety service. Ham radio is not." With respect, Auspicious. have to disagree with you on that one. I'm sure the Amateur Radio Marine Nets, such as the Pacific Seafarers Net, would concur with me also. They have helped saved many lives the years using ham radios. Cheers.
I've been a ham a long time. I am very aware of the lives that have been saved, the lives that have been patched back together, and the aid that has been provided by those using using ham radio. The fact that ham radio has served those ends doesn't mean the service and the equipment that supports it is specified as life safety.

Someone might make sure in a pool floatation toy - that doesn't make the float a life raft.

Ham radio is of course much more robust than a pool float. *grin* Part of it's strength is the sheer number of people on the air at any given time. Part of it's strength is the operational skill of many licensees.

Using a ham radio out of band on marine frequencies, leaves those strengths behind and endangers those who may in fact be engaged in a life-safety communication on an adjacent or harmonically-related channel.

73 es sail fast, dave KO4MI
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Old 01-12-2011, 18:56   #74
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Re: Let the Hams in ?

G'day again, Auspicious. It is perfectly legal, in a distress situation for any one, licensed or not, to use a ham radio on any frequency in an attempt to obtain assistance. And likewise, a marine SSB can be used on the ham bands.

Personally for the money, I consider my ICOM 706MKIIG one of the key safety related items on our boat and would recommend anyone heading offshore to seriously consider acquiring one. All the best. Cheers.
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Old 01-12-2011, 19:04   #75
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Originally Posted by matauwhi
G'day again, Auspicious. It is perfectly legal, in a distress situation for any one, licensed or not, to use a ham radio on any frequency in an attempt to obtain assistance. And likewise, a marine SSB can be used on the ham bands.

Personally for the money, I consider my ICOM 706MKIIG one of the key safety related items on our boat and would recommend anyone heading offshore to seriously consider acquiring one. All the best. Cheers.
Yes but nobody is talking about the distress situation here. We're discussing normal non emergency use

Dave
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