Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-09-2014, 13:43   #1
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

Hello to all,
Spurred on by the announcement of the new Marine HF SSB Radio Net in Europe, I thought maybe some out there would like a thread / discussion about Marine MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone Communications, where most of the often-asked-about topics are just mentioned in a couple words or sentences, and then links provided for the details....sort of like an "index"...??
(that means no arguing here over what is the "best" way, etc., nor long, off-topic drifts, etc....just a way for some to FIND the details of specific topics in the realm of "Marine SSB" / Marine MF/HF-DSC-SSB radio communications / Distress Calling / Offshore Weather, etc...)


Not sure if this has the impact enough to make it to "sticky" status, but at least some of you may find this useful...



1) First and foremost are a couple pages....regarding a problem (the "clipping issue") with early versions of the Icom M-802.... as well as an important feature (DSP Speech Compression) that many of them do not have turned ON...

Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....

IC-M802 Compression

--- Remember that this "clipping issue" effects ONLY Voice SSB communications with the M-802, not DSC, CW, FSK, nor any data modes using a PACTOR modem, only Voice SSB...so those that "think" their radio works fine (but maybe haven't ever used it on Voice SSB, or maybe had difficulty making Voice SSB contacts but assumed their radio is working and that "SSB is full of static, etc.), should investigate this BEFORE they leave port....verify their M-802's serial number and test it on-the-air with other vessels and shore stations (using SSB Voice)...

Everyone should verify that their radios are working properly and optimally, BEFORE leaving port on a long passage ....and with many early versions of the M-802 still being sold/installed ("new old stock"), it is very important for everyone to verify the M-802's s/n, and if it's below 0108261, they should have an Icom Service Center do the "clipping fix modification" (it is FREE)....but everyone, no matter what their M-802's serial number, should verify that their radio is working correctly...
(see this page for many details...)

Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....


--- As for the "Speech Compressor", since the M-802 was 1.5db shy of meeting the commercial specs at 150 watts output (but does meet the spec at 100-125 watts), Icom USA decided to ship most of the M-802's with its very nice and clean DSP-based Speech Compressor turned off....and hence many M-802's sound a bit "weak" on-the-air, again on Voice SSB communications only....(this does NOT have any effect on DSC, CW, FSK, nor any PACTOR modes, only Voice SSB...)
Turning the Speech Compressor ON (done via software by an Icom certified radio tech / installer) takes just a few seconds and doesn't produce any harmful transmit effects, but rather seriously increases the radio's average output power ("talk power") and makes the M-802 a "loud-and-clear" radio on-the-air!!
I highly recommend doing this....
(see this page for details)

IC-M802 Compression



2) Secondly, I put together a few videos on Youtube, that explain every button, knob, and function of the Icom M-802....

As well as explain a few VERY common problems / issues that sailors / cruisers have with MarineSSB, such as "how to choose the proper channel/frequency", "how to find good weather info", "what should I hear" (what are the normal sounds/static), "what shouldn't I hear" (what is interference / RFI), and especially "how does the DSC feature work", and "what are the safety/distress frequencies"...etc...

Have a look here at these videos, and their descriptions....
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call

1) I started with just the basics....on, off, volume, channel knob, group knob, channel keypad, etc...as well as the front panel display features and an overall look at the radio...

2) Then, detail on the keypad's other functions, other buttons / controls, and details on all of the display features...as well as other radio features, RF Gain, NB, headphones, etc...

3) Details of the "VFO Mode", and the "RX/Clar" and "Freq/Ch" buttons....
(VERY important for ham radio users, as well as those desiring to program their radio for easier use / better effectiveness...)

4) Great detail explaining how to choose the correct channel / frequency for the distance you need to communicate, and variations with time-of-day, etc...(including layperson-friendly explanations)
Using real LIVE broadcasts from the USCG and public coast station WLO, and offshore or hi-seas weather forecasts....

5) Live, real-world examples and explanations of atmospheric radio noise..and other radio signals that many will find useful, including weather chart broadcasts (WeFax charts), ham radio communications...

6) Live demonstration of Ship-to-Shore telephone calls....real, live phone call from my boat....and live video showing WLO Radio's broadcasts....

7) Live demonstration of M-802 User Channels, ITU Channels, User Channel Programming, etc....

8) DSC-Distress Signaling, LIVE Demonstration of DSC-Distress Calling ("digital MayDay"), and a real-world explanation of the facts that no shore stations nor vessels are required to maintain an HF "voice" radio watch (since 1999) but all SOLAS vessels, and all SOLAS signatory nations are required to maintain a MF-DSC and/or HF-DSC Radio Watch....
DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Functions.....showing a LIVE demonstration (and differences) of "simple" (single-freq) Distress Call vs. "regular" (six-freq) Distress Call, MMSI#, GPS input, etc.

9) Some Live examples of RFI / Noise that can effect your HF communications...especially man-made noise from shore, while at the dock or anchored close to shore...

10) Description of the GMDSS Voice communications channels (aka "Safety" Channels) and the EXTREME importance of using DSC-Distress signaling....and the proper use of the Voice Safety Channels of 8.291.0; 4.125.0; 12.290.0; 6.215.0; 16.420.0......(note that NOBODY is using/monitoring 2182!!!)


Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call


And, anyone wanting even more technical info on the M-802's DSC Distress Calling, have a look here...
Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!



3) Third, here are a few pages that explain many uses/aspects of Marine SSB Radio communications, Choosing the proper channel/freq, Offshore Weather info, finding and eliminating sources of interference (RFI), Ship-to-Shore Telephone calls, alternative backstay antenna, using the M-802 on the ham radio bands, FCC Licensing and MMSI #'s, the GMDSS, SSB Receive only, Icom Mic Cord problems, etc. etc...

--- Sources and availability of good offshore/hi-seas weather info and forecast...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

--- Basic and advanced installation instructions and tips...
http://www.sailmail.com/smprimer.htm

--- Proper frequency/channel choice...
HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..


--- Basics of Marine HF comms...
Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)
(mostly for those with older radios...but useful for all..)


--- Finding and fixing sources of interference...(even if the titles of these discussions do not seem to be "correct", the primary focus of them IS finding/fixing sources of interference)
Testing a SSB/Ham radio - poor reception
(lots of info on RFI and radiowave propagation)

ICOM 706 MK2 G optimization.
(lots of info on RFI and radiowave propagation, and radio operating tips)

Icom M802 in fresh water
(info on RFI and radiowave propagation)

How to reduce RFI from an Airmar depth sounder?
(info on unusual RFI)


--- Ship-to-Shore Radiotelephone Calls...

http://www.shipcom.com/
http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html

NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator Again on SSB


Brunei Bay Radio - HF/SSB radio email for isolated locations in SE Asia, the North West Pacific and Indian Oceans. The low-cost and reliable alternative to satellite email for isloated or remote locations, islands, communities, tourism, conservation,


New Zealand, Taupo Maritime Radio/ZLM (MF/HF)
http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/Public...dbook-2012.pdf



Australian HF radiotelephone network
http://www.gmdss.com.au/oz.html

http://www.radtelnetwork.com.au/

http://www.vks737.on.net/


Monaco Radio...
http://www.naya.mc/fr/frequence-radio.cfm


ZSC, Cape Town, SA...

Olympia Radio, Greece

Oostende Radio, Belgium

Lyngby, Denmark




--- Icom Mic Cord Problems (and the FREE out-of-warranty fix)...
Icom mic problem


--- An Alternative to the backstay for a good HF antenna...
SSB Antenna without a Backstay

SSB antenna for a ketch.


--- Ham Radio tips of the M-802, for hams new or old...
Icom M-802 use on the Ham Radio Bands

--- FCC Licensing and MMSI #'s
FCC Radio Licenses and MMSI Numbers


--- Detailed info on the KISS-Ground, and how to make one better for FREE in < 5 minutes...
Re: KISS-SSB Counterpoise


--- Sailors / Cruisers use of the GMDSS (incl. EPIRB's, NAVTEX, MF/HF-DSC, MF/HF-SSB, VHF-DSC, VHF-FM Voice, INMARSAT-C, INMARSAT-Fleet, SART's, etc..)
Marine HF-DSC-SSB, the GMDSS, "communications stool legs"



--- SSB Receive Only...
SSB Receive Only

SSB Receiver Only? Is it practical?




4) And finally, a few important pages with info about Distress signaling / EPIRB's, etc...

- Everyone please properly register your EPIRB!!
- And once registered, please renew (and update) this information every two years, as required!!!
(making sure that all shoreside contact info is up-to-date, AND that they will ALL know approx. where you are sailing...i.e. what ocean you're in, and/or what area you are in...)


EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds
Please read the links in this thread (COSPAS-SARSAT and the "cruising world" links), and you'll know more about your EPIRB and how to best use it, than 90% of the sailors/crusiers out there...


- USCG HF Radio comms, DSC and Voice...
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall

USCG Discontinued ONLY 2mhz Distress Watchkeeping 8-1-2013

~~



~~






I hope this helps some of you looking for info / details on Marine HF SSB (MF/HF-DSC-SSB) comms...

Fair winds to all!!

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________

__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2014, 13:58   #2
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

After deciding on posting all of the above info, I thought I might also want to include a couple other interesting videos, and add some UK/EU and Asia centric info as well....so here they are...

{But, I also found a VERY interesting, and surprising, article on Noonsite, from 2012....(see #3 below, it will make 'ya think!!!)}



1)
--- Some pages with the UK/EU and Asia's cruising take on MF/HF-DSC-SSB (Marine SSB), the GMDSS, fallacy of sat phone being a substitute for HF radios...(it not just in the US)

http://weather.mailasail.com/Franks-Wea ... appendix-1

http://info.yachtcom.co.uk/HF/index.php
http://info.yachtcom.co.uk/GMDSS/index.php

http://www.noonsite.com/Members/val/R2012-06-02-2

http://www.gmdss.com.au/dsc.html
http://www.gmdss.com.au/oz.html

http://www.sail-world.com/Cruising/inte ... e.../98805


No arguing, etc....just their real world take...









3) A rather eerily foreshadowing of the s./v Rebel Heart incident....
--- A REAL interesting thing to me was this Noonsite article from June 2012....
The Essential Role of HF/SSB Radio in Ocean Cruising €” Noonsite


Although it was the first 2 sentences that originally caught my attention...
Quote:
"As the operator of the SailMail station that covers SE Asia, the NW Pacific and eastern/northern Indian Oceans, from here in Brunei (NW coast of Borneo), I am often surprised that so many international cruising yachts coming into this region do not have a proper [DSC-equipped] marine HF/SSB radio.
Quote:

Talking with yacht owners, it seems that information is not available to them regarding the importance of marine HF/SSB with DSC in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, SE Asia and Australia/New Zealand."
It is actually his eerily foreshadowing of the s/v Rebel Heart tragedy / debacle, that made me sit up and take full notice, and makes me wonder!!
Quote:
..."Other cruisers may be mislead by what might seem to be an easy solution - just buy a satellite phone. The satellite phone salesman will get a good commission on the equipment sale and the ongoing connection time payments. The HF radio salesman will sell you the radio, but all voice communications to other yachts, coast stations, MRCCs etc is free after that. So too, is listening to broadcast weather forecasts, world news and receiving weather faxes. Nothing is free with the satellite phone.

Quote:
If the satellite phone runs out of credit in an emergency or distress situation, communication stops. Not so the HF/SSB [DSC] radio, you can call MRCCs, other yachts, ships etc without fear of running out of credit or creating a massive post-paid bill. Cruisers can therefore play their part in the international network of vessels at sea listening for distress or emergency communications and be one of the available vessels that can help; just like cruisers would like someone to help them if they faced a serious problem. A DSC equipped HF/SSB radio is a great advantage in this role."
Quote:

"...One reason for DSC in marine HF/SSB radios is to reduce an aspect of uncertainty with any radio comms; "have I called on the right frequency/channel and is the intended recipient's radio turned on?"
Please remember this article was written / published almost 2 years BEFORE the s/v Rebel Heart incident!!





Although initial contact is done via MF/HF-DSC...this is what we are all talking about when talking about "Marine SSB" these days...


Again, just posting the basic info and links, for all to read...
I hope that everyone finds this information useful...


Fair winds to all...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________

__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2014, 14:09   #3
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

While, I thought I might also want to include a couple other interesting videos (NOT my videos, but videos that can help explain some things better than my words might...)

But, was unable to get them to actually post correctly, above....so, I'm trying another post...



2) Here the first video (and it's apparently posted twice) is a cool, short video that shows real worldwide shipping, and their routes...have a look, and you'll see that most of our cruising routes pass near to, or in/thru, these ships paths....and we end up being close to, within a few hundred miles of, SOLAS vessels and/or within range of hundreds of MF/HF-DSC coast stations, along most of our typical cruising routes....
(but, unless we have MF/HF-DSC and/or INMARSAT-C we have no way of signaling most of these > 500 coast stations, nor these other vessels around us....also remember it is MF/HF-DSC that would allow you to signal another vessel for some non-distress assistance as well, such as if needing navigational or weather info, medical advice/info/supplies, fresh water, food, diesel fuel, etc...unless you are lucky enough to find a vessel within VHF-DSC range, it's going to be MF/HF-DSC or nothing...)


And, the last video is an OLD (1992) video about the GMDSS...
{Please understand that this last video is an OLD GMDSS explanation video (from 1992), and some things have changed! Please ignore the errors from19m 23s to 19m 36s, showing MF/HF and VHF radios that do NOT have DSC capabilities and note the old external DSC controller shown from 20m 17s to 20m 24s.
Also ignore the references to the old defunct INMARSAT-E beacons (now completely replaced by 406mhz SARSAT-SOSPAS EPIRB's).
Further take note of the old "2182khz Watch Receiver", which haven't been used in almost 20 years (at 20m 54s), shown listening to static (which they didn't do, as they were typically squelched and listening for a two-tone alarm generator alert (NOBODY monitors 2182khz anymore!) }

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=17183#p81165


I hope some find these videos helpful, but please remember that the one video, about the GMDSS, is more than 20 years OLD (circa 1992), and things have changed....(although the main parts of the GMDSS is still working well, 24/7/365, everyday....there are more gadgets/gizmos nowadays, and some parts of the GMDSS have changed...)
{Please understand that this is an OLD GMDSS explanation video (from 1992), and some things have changed! Please ignore the errors from19m 23s to 19m 36s, showing MF/HF and VHF radios that do NOT have DSC capabilities and note the old external DSC controller shown from 20m 17s to 20m 24s.
Also ignore the references to the old defunct INMARSAT-E beacons (now completely replaced by 406mhz SARSAT-SOSPAS EPIRB's).
Further take note of the old "2182khz Watch Receiver", which haven't been used in almost 20 years (at 20m 54s), shown listening to static (which they didn't do, as they were typically squelched and listening for a two-tone alarm generator alert (NOBODY monitors 2182khz anymore!) }

For up-to-date info and explanations, please have a look here...
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=17183#p81165


Fair winds to all...

John
s/v Annie Laurie

P.S.
Sorry about the first video being shown twice...and the "blue" text, etc...
This seems to be a peculiarity of Cruiser's Forum software....it is not me, not how I posted...
But, enjoy anyway!!
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2014, 19:41   #4
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

I'm not sure why/how the post above no longer shows the links to the video....but oh well, here it is again...

Here is the other video, that I've been hesitant to post, as it is 22 years OLD (from 1992), and has some errors and some unfortunate misinformation....But, it does give a decent overview of the GMDSS (as it was originally designed, and implemented in 1992..), so I think some might find it useful....just remember it is OLD and dated, with some errors...





{Please understand that this is an OLD GMDSS explanation video (from 1992), and some things have changed! Please ignore the errors from19m 23s to 19m 36s, showing MF/HF and VHF radios that do NOT have DSC capabilities and note the old external DSC controller shown from 20m 17s to 20m 24s.
Also ignore the references to the old defunct INMARSAT-E beacons (now completely replaced by 406mhz SARSAT-SOSPAS EPIRB's).
Further take note of the old "2182khz Watch Receiver", which haven't been used in almost 20 years (at 20m 54s), shown listening to static (which they didn't do, as they were typically squelched and listening for a two-tone alarm generator alert (NOBODY monitors 2182khz anymore!)}



Fair winds to all....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 18:05   #5
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Not sure why the links to this video haven't posted correctly, but I'll try it again here....




Here in this cool, short video that shows real worldwide shipping, and their routes...have a look, and you'll see that most of our cruising routes pass near to, or in/thru, these ships paths....and we end up being close to, within a few hundred miles of, SOLAS vessels and/or within range of hundreds of MF/HF-DSC coast stations, along most of our typical cruising routes....
(but, unless we have MF/HF-DSC and/or INMARSAT-C we have no way of signaling most of these > 500 coast stations, nor these other vessels around us....also remember it is MF/HF-DSC that would allow you to signal another vessel for some non-distress assistance as well, such as if needing navigational or weather info, medical advice/info/supplies, fresh water, food, diesel fuel, etc...unless you are lucky enough to find a vessel within VHF-DSC range, it's going to be MF/HF-DSC or nothing...)


Fair winds....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2014, 15:56   #6
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Icom M-802 "Open Mode" (Open/Ham/Dial vs. Standard "marine mode")

Earlier this year, I heard that new Icom M-802's are being delivered to retailers in the "Standard Marine Mode" (which does not allow for user programming of various frequencies into your user channel list, nor use of "VFO Mode", etc.) rather than the "Open Mode" (which is what is described in the manual, and allows you to not only use the M-802 on the ham radio bands / in "vfo mode", but also allows front panel programming of the "user channels"), but unfortunately this info just went in one ear and out the other....

Then yesterday, I had a gentleman on-the-air ask me how to program his "user channels", and a second sailor popped-up right then and asked the same thing...(both were new M-802's and both sounded good on-the-air)

After a few minutes of on-air discussion, it became apparent that both of these guys' radios were not set up the same way (different software versions?) as earlier M-802's....

It was Sunday and I was advising contacting Gary at Dockside Radio in the morning (Monday), and/or Icom tech support.....and even said that Gary probably has something about this on his website...

It was a few minutes later that the first sailor came back on-the-air to tell us that he fixed the problem by placing his radio in "Open Mode" and said that he got the procedure from Dockside Radio's website...
(Thank you Gary!!)

So....
So, if you have an Icom M-802 and cannot program your "user channels", nor use the "VFO Mode" on the ham radio bands, it is because your radio is in "Marine Mode", rather than the "Open Mode" (even though the "Open Mode" is what the Icom manual shows!)
And, the good news is that switching your M-802 to "Open Mode" is VERY easy and takes just 2 seconds, literally!!

Gary Jensen, Dockside Radio, has the exact procedure for programming the M-802 (including placing the radio into "Open Mode"),laid out for you on his website...

Icom M-802 Programming Instructions


But in brief, you're turning the radio OFF...
Then pressing and holding down three different buttons, and then while holding those three buttons down, pressing the power button, turning the radio ON....


And, that's it....
Your M-802 is now in "Open Mode", and you'll be able to program your "user channels" and use the "VFO mode" on the ham bands, etc...


With the radio OFF, the three buttons you press and hold down are:
"Mode", "2", "TXF/TX"
And, while holding those buttons down, turn the radio ON by then pressing the "Power" button...
And, you're done....the radio is now on and in the "Open Mode"



I want to say a big thank you to the skipper/radio op of s/v Corsair, who not only brought this back to my attention, but also provided the solution to us!!!
(and a big thank you to Gary at Dockside, as well...)


I hope some find this useful...

Fair winds...

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2015, 13:30   #7
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

I have some additional info to share...


Working with a ham radio manufacturer who is looking into improving their transceiver's transmit IMD, he mentioned that it seems the M-802 used a fair amount more power than typical "100-watt" ham rigs did, and asked me if I had the current draw figures (which I did for the most part, but I went ahead and did a new round of tests..)

Here are the Icom M-802 current draw figures (normal production run tolerances might be reflected in other M-802's having minor variations on different bands/freqs, but overall these should be very close for all M-802's...)

The stand-by and receive current draw...
Under stand-by, radio turned off, the TCXO draws about 100-110ma (~0.1amps), and on receive w/ audio, in all modes, it draws about 2.1 amps....all at 13.7vdc


My M-802 is run off a large (1125 A/H) battery bank, charged via a large solar array....and early this morning the battery voltage was 13.7vdc....a short run of 2ga wire powers the radio, with typ. max voltage drop of about 2%...giving me about 13.3-13.4vdc at the radio this morning, at the max current draw of 29.4 amps...


So, here are the overall current draws of the radio on the various bands (subtract 2.1 amps, the current draw in receive, for transmitter-only current draw), at approx. 140-150 watts output...

The zero-signal, mic-keyed but no modulation, current draw was 5.4 to 5.5 amps on all bands, 160m - 10m...

Band ```` SSB-whistle````` FSK Carrier (PACTOR-I)
160m````` 25.6amps`````` 25.6amps
80m ``````28.7 ````````` 28.7
40m ``````25.6`````````` 25.6
20m ``````28.7``````````28.8
17m```````24.7 `````````24.6
15m```````29.3 ``````````29.4
12m ``````24.4```````````24.3
10m ``````24.6``````````` 24.5


PACTOR-II is an approx. 50% duty-cycle mode, so "average" current draw in PACTOR-II would be about half of the FSK PACTOR-I figures....and PACTOR-III's duty-cycle varies from ~ 30% to ~65% (depending on speed), so your "average" current draw in P3, will be 30% - 65% of the FSK PACTOR-I figures...

(FYI, the M-802 is spec'd at 30 amps, max current draw @ 13.6vdc....and all of these figures are about typical for a 150-watt marine HF transceiver....and yes, that is more than your typical "100-watt" HF ham rig...)


All measurements were done near the radio, with a fairly new Klein clamp-on meter (which has proven to be within 0.1 amps of other meters I have tested it against), at ambient temp of about 70*F....with battery voltage of 13.7vdc, and voltage at radio of approx. 13.3-13.4vdc under full current draw of ~ 29amps...

So, when people tell 'ya that you need to figure on 30 amps of current draw from a Marine SSB radio, they are correct....judge and size your wiring run accordingly...



I hope this helps...



Fair winds to all....

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-01-2015, 21:10   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Good job John de N6QPT, Kurt


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
poesch6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2015, 09:28   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: St Michaels, MD
Boat: Cal 46-3, 46' ketch
Posts: 161
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

A lit of good advice has already been given. Yes any (flexible) wire a little shorter than 19" will do. (19" is for 2M ham frequencies... VHF frequencies are higher and hence the length of the whip a little shorter).

The issue is, a SMA connector on the radio is pretty fragile. I think I would start with a pin or needle 'stub' stuck into the radio's connector and delicately attach a very flexible 18" wire to it and make a 'splint' out of non-conductive material (wood paint stir stick) taped to stock of handheld and to your improvised antenna. A 5-6 watt HT with full length (18") whip antenna 9" above water talking to another boat with antenna 36' above water will give you square root of 9' + sq root of 36' = 3 + 6 = 9 mile range... more than enough. I believe the most important focus should be on making your wire/ antenna to radio SMA very very reliable. No matter how fancy or high you try to get an antenna... if it pulls out if the little SMA connector your range will be about 100 feet. I might be tempted to put a glob of silicon sealant on that whip-SMA to better insure it doesn't slip/ pull out in a panic/ bad wx situation.

If your could ask around marina maybe someone will have a SMA to pl-259 adapter already mentioned. A pl-259 connect is much more robust and would even support soldering your whip to it.

By the way, your temp full length 18" whip antenna will radiate/ receive 6 dB (3 times) better than the stock 'rubber duck' antennas that are supplied with HTs. Rubber duck antennas sacrifice significant performance for flexibility/size. That means your radio with its factory rubber duck antenna actually performs like a 1.5 watt HT while transmitting (-6dB) with equal drop in receive performance.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
W3GAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2015, 08:36   #10
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Hello to all,

Since posting my earlier series of videos about HF Maritime Communications (and specifically delving into the details of operating the Icom M-802), "Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call", SSCA Forum • View topic - Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call , I've had some questions regarding DSC (Digital Selective Calling)...

Some of these questions about DSC came from those who truly had no understanding of what DSC was, nor how it works, let alone how to use it.
And, some recent discussions with some SSCA folks has showed that there are many sailors / cruisers out there (and many more prepping or dreaming) that have gotten little practical education from expensive "communications webinars", let alone any free boat show seminars!

These facts promoted me to make some new videos, the first group of which tackles HF-DSC (Long-range Digital Selective Calling), which are designed to educate non-technical layperson-sailors in how "these blasted radio things" work, as well as show real-world LIVE demonstrations of actual on-air use!

(But, like my earlier series of videos, I suspect that many seasoned radio operators will also find them to be helpful...)

Here are links to my new DSC videos....
(Please note that the last two videos are ONE video, just couldn't upload it all at once so it ended up having to be broken into 2 parts....But, you should watch these last two videos back-to-back, in order to fully understand each of them....)

HF-DSC - Digital Selective Calling, Basic Explanation




HF-DSC Demonstration Set-up / Offshore Sailing Nav Station Set-up




How to use HF-DSC to contact other boats/vessels and coast stations




Live Demonstration of HF-DSC "Test" Calls to USCG and WLO, Part 1 (be sure to watch Part 2!)
(Please forgive the awkward edits here, I'm not a pro videographer....but the RADIO info is top notch!)




Live Demonstration of HF-DSC "Routine" and "Safety" Calls to USCG and WLO, Part 2




If you combine these new videos above with some of my earlier videos, such as these below, anyone can easily learn how long range marine communications systems work, and how-to actually use it effectively!
And, these are all FREE!

HF-DSC (Digital Selective Calling), Distress Signaling


How-to Choose the Correct channel/frequency


Global Ship Traffic


How-to place a Ship-to-Shore Telephone Call, via WLO/Shipcom



GMDSS Voice Channels and the EXTREME Importance of DSC-Distress Signaling


Atmospheric Noise and Radio Signals


RFI, man made noise (on board and from shore, and/or other boats)



And, for those looking for basic instruction, and detailed how-to, of operation of the Icom M-802 radio itself, please have a look at all the videos...
"Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call"
SSCA Forum • View topic - Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call



I hope everyone enjoys them!

I'm also working on some videos showing simple/easy, and very reliable ways to "get weather" info/forecasts while at sea and in remote areas....without breaking your budget!
Hope to post 'em soon!




Fair winds to all!


John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2015, 10:22   #11
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Again, not sure about the Cruiser's Forum software, but here is the other HF-DSC video (that didn't show up above), describing how-to call another boat on HF-DSC..

Fair winds...

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110


"Calling other boats using HF-DSC"

__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2015, 18:07   #12
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Those that wish Parts 1 and 2 combined....but with a little lower resolution...

Live Demonstration of HF-DSC "Test", "Routine", and "Safety" Calls to USCG and WLO, etc.
(this is parts #1 and #2 combined together using youtube edit, but the resolution is a bit lower....which might be good for those of you on bandwidth limited internet...)


Fair winds...

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110


__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2015, 05:12   #13
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

I created a few Youtube Playlists that might make finding / watching the videos that you desire to be a bit easier...


Maritime HF Communications ("HF-SSB")

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

(which currently consists of 13 videos, showing/discussing: radiowave propagation and channel/freq choice; atmospheric and man-made noises; radio-telephone calls; Distress Signaling; explanations/demonstrations of HF-DSC calling; etc. etc.)



Icom M-802 Instruction Videos

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr

(which currently consists of 15 videos, showing/discussing: basic and advanced Icom M-802 instructions, use, and programming;......along with radiowave propagation and channel/freq choice; atmospheric and man-made noises; radio-telephone calls; Distress Signaling; explanations/demonstrations of HF-DSC calling; etc. etc.)



HF-DSC Communications

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX

(which currently consists of 8 videos showing/demonstrating the features and capabilities of HF-DSC signaling, as well as detailed explanation of what DSC is, how it works, and why/how you should use it...)


[I will add/update videos in these playlists as needed / when input is received....]

I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-02-2015, 12:04   #14
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,916
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

You all may wish to have another look at the above "Playlists", as I have added more videos!

And, have also finally uploaded my Offshore Weather videos into their own playlist...

Offshore Weather....procedures, sources and applications

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

(which currently consists of 7 videos explaining and showing/demonstrating, exactly what weather sources are easily available to sailors/cruisers when at sea or in remote locales, showing/demonstrating both SSB Voice Weather Forecasts and WeFax Charts, worldwide....)


Fair winds...

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110


P.S. Also have my offshore sailing videos posted...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-05-2015, 05:23   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Brunei Darussalam - NW Coast of Borneo, SE Asia
Boat: Swanson 36 - 10.97m
Posts: 57
Re: Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, e

Hi John and others who have contributed to this very helpful topic. I firmly believe that yachties can help yachties and the DSC capable marine HF/SSB radio makes it easy and convenient to do so. If it is turned on.

It was something of a surprise to see my words about the value of DSC capable HF/SSB radios quoted in this topic. But we do seem to keep encountering events that demonstrate this is important.

The recent MAID report into the cause of the Chiki Rafiki incident highlights problems with the style of boat construction, but the other important factor is where were the other boats - including other yachts - which were probably nearby to Chiki Rafiki when they needed help?

It's certain the Coast Guard used their DSC capable HF/SSB equipment to sent DITRESS alarms to open up the mute on all the similar DSC capable radios - in yachts and other small craft - nearby to Chiki Rafiki, but no-one could be found to assist them, or to direct to the PLB in the water. Did no-one have their radio switched on?

It's very understandable the Coast Guard could not be expected to know the satphone numbers of any yachts or other small craft which happen to be nearby to Chiki Rafiki. Their best option to contact other nearby vessels is via the unique broadcast characteristic of marine HF/SSB radio, and especially by using the DSC alarm to wake up the mute in any vessel with a similar radio maintaining a 24/7 (speaker muted, quiet) watch. But they apparently got no-one.

Cruising and racing yacht crews have a remarkable depth of knowledge and skills and tend to be very resourceful. They might also have equipment such as pumps, EPIRBS, life-rafts etc that could be useful to assist other yacht crews with a problem. Other yachts and their crews are an excellent and potentially nearby resource, but these resources are not accessible if people turn off their radios.

The DSC capable radio maintains a silent watch and only disturbs the crew when a relevant call is received. DSC calls can be to the INDIVIDUAL yacht's MMSI number (like calling a phone), or to a GROUP (eg: all yachts in the event, or all the yachts that are members of a club), or ALL CALLS; ie a DISTRESS call, which will open up the mute on all similar radios it reaches.

Many passengers on the Titanic learnt the hard way that switching off the radio is deadly. Radio operators on RMS Titanic and the nearby SS Californian had been communicating earlier that evening, but the SS Californian radio operator switched of their ship's radio ten minutes before the Titanic hit the iceberg.

Other yachts may have been nearby and able to assist the Chiki Rafiki crew - either before the inversion or afterwards, to intercept the PLB in the water - but were uncontactable by either Chiki Rafiki (no HF/SSB radio?) or the US Coast Guard, because - like the SS Californian - their HF/SSB radios were apparently turned off.

Modern DSC capable HF/SSB and VHF radios make it easy - and cheaper than a new sail - for each yacht crew to look out for the safety, welfare and convenience of fellow sailors, simply by maintaining a 24/7 (silent) watch with their radios. It's that easy to help each other enjoy yachting, provide mutual support in places where outside assistance is limited, and in the unlikely event of an emergency, to save lives and boats.

The old technology routine of skeds (which were often missed) was developed so crews could turn off their noisy radios. The new technology - DSC capable HF/SSB radios - has overcome this problem of the unpleasant intrusion of radio noise into the yacht or magic anchorage, and the difficulty of listening for calls. DSC capable HF/SSB radios create a convenient, quiet, 24/7 link to other nearby yachts, and the radio - not the crew - do the work of listening for calls.

Via radio, all the voice calls to provide advice (eg: anchorages and waypoints), warnings (eg: obstructions in the water) and assistance (eg: engine problems, flooding, dismasting) are free; it costs nothing to help each other. And the unique broadcast feature of radio means everyone in a race, rally or cruise-in-company group - gets the exact same message simultaneously.

On my side of the world, were there never have been lots of quick response RNLI lifeboats, or Coast Guard helicopters, MRCC Hong Kong, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Yachting Australia, MRCC Australia and MRCC New Zealand already have their small-craft communication strategy developed to address the need for greater self-sufficiency (as the MAID report suggests). It's based on mariners helping other nearby mariners. Because that is the most likely quick response asset available. Australia's AMSA states:

"While satellites and satellite-compatible distress beacons have significantly improved the effectiveness of SAR operations, the system is NOT a substitute for carrying appropriate marine or aviation radio ... Depending on the circumstances, your initial distress alert should still be made by radio if possible. You should activate your distress beacon only if contact cannot be made by any other means or when told to do so by a rescue authority .... In the event of an emergency, communication should first be attempted with others close by using radios .... The basic concept of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) is that search and rescue authorities ashore, as well as shipping in the immediate vicinity of a ship in distress, will be rapidly alerted to a distress incident so they can assist in a coordinated search and rescue operation with the minimum of delay." (AMSA website)

There is evidence that using radios to call nearby yachts works:

www.sail-world.com/World-ARC-Rally-yacht-saved-by-quick-acting-fellow-rally-participants/99644 "A VHF Pan Pan call brought eleven fellow participants to the boat within minutes ... two rally friends volunteered to sail onboard with Dave and Magali, and another seven World ARC boats shadowed them on the passage to Pago Pago."

www.sail-world.com/Cruising/international/World-ARC-Rally---Crew-of-yacht-Ciao-safely-evacuated/102334 "The intra-yacht SSB radio net also enabled swift communication between all rally boats on the passage."

It's worth remembering - as demonstrated by the Chiki Rafiki incident and emphasized by the MAID report - that the excellent S&R services available around the UK, Europe and parts of North America, are abnormal. They do not exist in most parts of the world, especially not in the lower-cost, environmentally intact get-away-from-it-all places many people like to cruise. Nor in mid ocean. If not already part of a race or rally group, teaming up with other cruising yachts to establish a support network by setting up a DSC Group call (as described by MRCC Australia in their website), could be very effective; but only if participating crews take the trouble to keep their radios turned on.

Limited search and rescue capabilities, in combination with local practices can mean that a satphone call to alert the MRCC has little effect:

www.sail-world..com/Hopes-fade-as-searchers-fail-to-find-shipwrecked-Australian-sailors/98741

www.sail-world.com/Sabbath-laws-and--who-will-pay--hampers-search-for-missing-sailors/98618

But when other small-craft operators, who understand the needs of fellow mariners, can hear the call for help on the radio, they can make a difference:

www.sail-world.com/SOS-unheeded---abandoned-cruising-sailors-rescued-by-divers/102481

If yacht crews - racing, cruising, in rallies, delivery trips, cruise-in-company groups, or just anchored - take the trouble to maintain a blissfully quiet 24/7 DSC watch on their VHF and HF/SSB marine radios, they become an accessible and valuable resource and they can help each other.

As emphatically demonstrated by the Titanic, with the radio turned off, even if very close, other vessels and mariners become an inaccessible resource, and because of that, people die. Break the pattern, fit a DSC capable radio and keep it turned on 24/7 whenever on-board. Someone might need your help, like you might need them one day.
__________________

__________________
AllanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marine, ssb

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HF/SSB RFI Bob on OTTER Marine Electronics 9 02-06-2012 05:26
RFI on SSB Radio from FloNet rcassano Marine Electronics 2 24-12-2010 14:54
RFI from Air Breeze Wind Generator Beausoleil Marine Electronics 4 01-06-2009 18:43
ownership, registrations, tax etc etc etc, (future boat owner) liquido Dollars & Cents 1 20-07-2008 06:00
Outback 60 RFI Wahoo Sails Marine Electronics 2 01-05-2007 15:42


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:08.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.