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Old 24-03-2017, 14:05   #1
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Licenses and Legal transmissions

Can someone help me with a few questions/scenarios on legal radio transmissions?

1) Can I get a Ship Station License for an Express Cruiser in a slip on a inland lake? I.E. SeaRay Sundancer 290 in Lake Saguaro Arizona

2) Would the Ship Station License allow me to transmit from the boat on all of the Marine SSB frequencies?

3) Is it legal to open a Marine SSB radio to the Ham bands and in combination with my HAM license/Ship station license, can I transmit on the HAM HF bands from a modified Marine SSB radio?

4) I think its always illegal to modify a Ham Radio and transmit on marine SSB frequencies?

5) Can I transmit from a Marine SSB radio with my Ship Station License when the boat is in dry dock 40 miles away from my home port or basically not on the water?


Basically I am a HAM with a boat on a lake who has no practical need for marine communications, but I am interested in getting ASA certified and venturing out in the ocean or chartering boats in the BVI in the next few years. In the mean time I am interested in learning/using traditional marine radio communications. I thought if I get my ship station lic I could learn my SSB equipment and participate in nets etc...
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Old 24-03-2017, 20:31   #2
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesquito_creek View Post
Can someone help me with a few questions/scenarios on legal radio transmissions?

1) Can I get a Ship Station License for an Express Cruiser in a slip on a inland lake? I.E. SeaRay Sundancer 290 in Lake Saguaro Arizona

2) Would the Ship Station License allow me to transmit from the boat on all of the Marine SSB frequencies?

3) Is it legal to open a Marine SSB radio to the Ham bands and in combination with my HAM license/Ship station license, can I transmit on the HAM HF bands from a modified Marine SSB radio?

4) I think its always illegal to modify a Ham Radio and transmit on marine SSB frequencies?

5) Can I transmit from a Marine SSB radio with my Ship Station License when the boat is in dry dock 40 miles away from my home port or basically not on the water?


Basically I am a HAM with a boat on a lake who has no practical need for marine communications, but I am interested in getting ASA certified and venturing out in the ocean or chartering boats in the BVI in the next few years. In the mean time I am interested in learning/using traditional marine radio communications. I thought if I get my ship station lic I could learn my SSB equipment and participate in nets etc...
Welcome aboard Mesquito Creek, nice to have a radio question as your first post

OK, I can't provide exact information for the USA requirements but I can tell you what the general ITU aspects are (and these are followed pretty closely in Aus). I expect the FCC with be very similar.

All of this applies to a marine SSB HF radio.

1) Yes. The ship station licence must be issued to the vessel and AFAIK, the vessel doesn't have to afloat; however it must be a vessel capable of being used as a vessel. So no shack beside the slip etc. Technically it could be a rowboat (I think).

2) Not quite, You (as the operator) also need to have a licence / certificate in order to operate the radio. So that means the radio must have a station licence and the operator needs to be licensed. You HAM ticket isn't sufficient. In Aus it is now called a LROCP (long range operators certificate of proficiency) but has had other names i the past. The USA will have an equivalent.

3) Yes

4) Yes

5) AFAIK, yes but not if it is permanently dry docked. I advise you get further clarification on this aspect.

You will have to sort out a suitable antenna and ground but I'm thinking with your HAM background, these aspects won't trouble you.

As an aside, the AMCA (Aus equivalent of the FCC) visited a large boat show some years back and issued infringements to some exhibitors for operating marine radar sets from the land based exhibition tents.
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Old 24-03-2017, 22:56   #3
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

Mesquito Creek:

The ham license permits you to operate ANY RADIO on the ham bands only. Period. You can build your own, use a modified aircraft or marine or land mobile or military or ??? transceiver....it doesn't matter. You can use it on the ham bands ONLY. From ANYWHERE....fixed land station, mobile, aircraft, marine, motorcycle, roller skates, hang glider, etc.

The only restrictions apply when in foreign waters, where there is no automatic reciprocal. Example: the Bahamas...you must have a Bahamas C6A license.

The ham license gives you NO operating privileges on any bands other than the ham bands.

For the boat, you need a station license, and each operator who uses the transmitter must have a marine operator permit (the least of these being a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit). These two licenses under international law allow you to operate anywhere in the world marine mobile.

While the laws are written to cover high seas operations, I doubt if anyone will object if you use the marine radio from a lake or inland waterway.

RE: modification of radios, it is illegal to USE a non-certificated transmitter on the marine bands. You can modify a ham radio OK, no problem, until you try to transmit with it on the bands for which it is not certificated. That said, it's probably a good thing to have a modified radio for use IN AN EMERGENCY ONLY.

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Old 25-03-2017, 04:56   #4
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, mesquito.
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Old 25-03-2017, 10:27   #5
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

Hop on to the facebook group "Offshore SSB and E-MAIL" group. Lots of good info there.
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Old 25-03-2017, 14:15   #6
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

Thanks for the info! Sounds like I can get a station license for my cruiser and I will need two operator tickets for my wife and I. She is already a HAM also. From there I can familarize my self with the marine HF rig and get comfortable with it. They are 2-3 times more than HAM HF rigs so I suppose that is why people are tempted to mod the ham units. If marine ssb radios hold value as crazy as ham gear does it's worth the investment. My boat is in the water 8 month a year and drydock on my side yard for winter maintenance so that would be the time when I can work the radio installation and pretend I am at sea! Haha
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Old 27-03-2017, 06:26   #7
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

I have seen some debate concerning question #3. If you make modifications to a certified Marine SSB radio, is the certification still valid? If not, then you can no longer use it to transmit on the Marine channels, except in an emergency.

Some certified radios (like the Icom M802) can be used on HAM frequencies with nothing more than a software change. Others, however, (some older radios, in particular) require things like removing resistors, or other hardware changes within the radio. I think a very solid argument can be made that a software-only change would not invalidate the certification. I think the argument is much harder to make if you have opened up the box and gone to work on the circuits with your soldering iron.

I am not aware of any case where this sort of thing has gone through the courts, though, so that leaves the issue pretty vague. Personally, unless you misuse the frequencies in a way that draws attention to yourself, I don't think you have much to worry about. Still, it is worthwhile to be aware that there may be some question in this regard.

Good luck.
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Old 27-03-2017, 07:17   #8
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I have seen some debate concerning question #3. If you make modifications to a certified Marine SSB radio, is the certification still valid? If not, then you can no longer use it to transmit on the Marine channels, except in an emergency.

Some certified radios (like the Icom M802) can be used on HAM frequencies with nothing more than a software change. Others, however, (some older radios, in particular) require things like removing resistors, or other hardware changes within the radio. I think a very solid argument can be made that a software-only change would not invalidate the certification. I think the argument is much harder to make if you have opened up the box and gone to work on the circuits with your soldering iron.

I am not aware of any case where this sort of thing has gone through the courts, though, so that leaves the issue pretty vague. Personally, unless you misuse the frequencies in a way that draws attention to yourself, I don't think you have much to worry about. Still, it is worthwhile to be aware that there may be some question in this regard.

Good luck.
Add to this the requirement of at least a GROL license to even work on a marine radio! Not many sailors or hams have such a license and it's not easy to get.

Probably best to leave this can of worms unopened. :-)
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Old 04-07-2017, 16:25   #9
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Re: Licenses and Legal transmissions

i passed the Canadian Basic Ham test today with 94%. That gives me the Basic certification with honours, meaning that i can transmit on the HF bands. i still don't know my call sign, but it will start with VE2. i bought an Icom IC-M700 from a fellow here on CF, and i read that it can access the ham bands without modification. Can anybody confirm that?

ICOM IC-M700, no LSB

taken from:

http://hamradio.online.ru/ftp3/All_I...n_ONE_file.pdf

Despite that the literature says, no lock-out is employed. For ham frequencies on 40, 80 or 160 meters, set the mode switch to
the hard left position of "A3," to enable the lower sideband filter (all marine HF uses upper sideband).

blessings
jon
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