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Old 29-03-2018, 14:02   #1
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Maritime Mobile Service Network

So was just granted radio operators license and shipstation call sign for my vessel. In my zeal to see if my radio installation is working I attempted to raise the Maritime Mobile service network 14300 MGHZ, when the net controller asked if there were any Maritime mobiles wishing to check in I keyed up the mic spoke my call sign and and to my great joy made contact from New York to Chippewa Falls Wisconsin. To my surprise the net controller wouldn't speak with me unless I was having an emergency. Does this service only speak to ham operators?
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Old 29-03-2018, 16:00   #2
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

Yes, this is a network on amateur frequencies, and your marine operator's license does not allow operation on the ham bands. In a bona fide emergency the hams will be glad to communicate and will bust a gut helping, but it must really be an emergency... being out of beer is not recognized as such!

Sorry if this is a disappointment, but true the world over... might consider getting a ham license, for it is not very difficult these days for yanks.

Jim N9GFT/VK4GFT
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Old 29-03-2018, 16:46   #3
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

Think I would like to start working on getting basic ham license, so I am guessing that all these marine mobiles they communicate with out to sea are using ham radios, never would of imagined so many
Using this type of equipment.
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Old 29-03-2018, 16:53   #4
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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Think I would like to start working on getting basic ham license, so I am guessing that all these marine mobiles they communicate with out to sea are using ham radios, never would of imagined so many
Using this type of equipment.
Most marine SSB radio's handle Ham frequencies fine. You just need the Ham license to legally use them. In the US, the general license is not tough to get, as all the questions are available for review.
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Old 30-03-2018, 09:07   #5
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

While we are on the subject...
A question for all of my fellow HAM operators aboard this website.
Do any of you use VHF/UHF/ satellite HAM communications routinely while living aboard?
And, has anyone contacted a space station from aboard your vessel?

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Old 30-03-2018, 12:42   #6
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

There are about 750,000 hams in the US and about 2,000,000 worldwide. In the US there are three classes of licenses - Technician, General and Extra.

There are many advantages to having a ham station on board. The Meritime Mobile Service Net is one. Keeping in touch with other sailors and free email while at sea are others. With the email service you can also request weather faxes and forecasts.

Each license class requires an exam. The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) and others publish study guides. Many ham clubs organize classes and the exam process is simplified due to volunteer examiners that schedule exams locally.

My club teaches the course material and also administers the exams. You can go to the ARRL website and follow their links to see who teaches classes and who administers exams in your area. The exams are multiple choice and the question pool is public. Many potential hams just memorize the questions and answers to take the test. Learning the underlying technology and the rules & regulations is the better way to go.

To get the benefits of ham radio on the High Frequency (HF) bands you need at least a general class license. The Extra class license give you more frequencies to use. The HF bands can give you worldwide coverage.

So, it is up to you to study, optionally take the classes and pass the exam. Ham radio can be a lot of fun.

73 (regards), Brian N7BMW
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Old 30-03-2018, 12:51   #7
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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While we are on the subject...
A question for all of my fellow HAM operators aboard this website.
Do any of you use VHF/UHF/ satellite HAM communications routinely while living aboard?
And, has anyone contacted a space station from aboard your vessel?

mnh KC2GJZ
There are many VHF maritime nets conducted through repeaters. The one that i have used is the British Columbia cruisers net that covers Puget Sound and most of British Columbia waters during the summer months. They are using linked repeaters to cover a very large, sparsely populated area.

73, Brian N7BMW
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Old 31-03-2018, 04:55   #8
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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There are many VHF maritime nets conducted through repeaters. The one that i have used is the British Columbia cruisers net that covers Puget Sound and most of British Columbia waters during the summer months. They are using linked repeaters to cover a very large, sparsely populated area.

73, Brian N7BMW
So this being said I agree it will be a worthwhile endevor to pursue ham licensing, in the meantime how do I go about trying to find people to speak with with the restricted license. Never seems to be anyone speaking on the programed ITU frequencies and alot of the marine nets I've seen seem to be amatuer bands?
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Old 31-03-2018, 07:15   #9
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

You need to study up just a bit more to get it straight in your head:

The amateur radio service and the mariitime service are TWO DIFFERENT AND DISTINCT services which make use of (two different) assigned portions of the radio spectrum. Other services include aeronautical, military, civilian emergency, government agency, etc., etc. These are all distinct.

The ships license you have and the restricted rsdiotelephone operators license permit you to operate a marine ssb radio from your boat on the assigned marine frequencies anywhere in the world (under international agreement). These licences/permits do not authorize you to use any other radio service.

An amateur radio license allows you to operate a radio on the assigned amateur radio frequencies only, and NOT on any others. The Maritime Mobile Service Net (MMSN) operates on the amateur radio frequency, 14300kHz.

The only exception to the above is in the case of a bona fide severe emergency (life-threatening), where there is an overriding regulation which allows the distressed station to use ANY MEANS of attracting attention and getting help.

By all means go for an amateur radio license. The one you want is the General Class license, as it will permit you to use SSB on the amateur HF frequency bands.

There are several very good online study guides. The license is not hard to get; just takes a bit of study. No code is required.

Re: traffic on the marine frequencies, there are several daily Nets on marine frequencies, including Cruisheimers (8152kHz at 0830ET), the DooDah Net (8152kHz at 1700ET), and a bunch of others. See excellent Net listing on Dockside Radio's website: Pactor-II/III Radio Modem sales, FCC License filing, Marine SSB & HAM Radio Net schedules &amp frequencies.

Bill
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Old 31-03-2018, 08:01   #10
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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...To my surprise the net controller wouldn't speak with me unless I was having an emergency. Does this service only speak to ham operators?
I am not certain exactly where in the FCC Part 97 this is enumerated, but in general stations in the Amateur Radio Service can only communicate with other stations in the Amateur Radio Service, with an exception allowed for emergency communication involving safety and life.
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Old 31-03-2018, 11:29   #11
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

cb-
You may find a number of hams at sea are using the Icom marine radios which happen to be dual-certified for both ham and marine use. There are a few other radios that are also dual certified, but not many. The "channelization" on the marine bands makes it easier to use a marine radio for them, rather than separately adjusting the transmit and receive frequency for a "channel pair" on a ham radio.
And then again, there's the legalities.(G) If you are out at sea, there's no "US Radio Police" to come around checking you out, and the USCG wisely ignores radio questions unless they are pushed. But especially at the dock, you're in FCC territory and there's always someone scanning and monitoring.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:15   #12
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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cb-
You may find a number of hams at sea are using the Icom marine radios which happen to be dual-certified for both ham and marine use. There are a few other radios that are also dual certified, but not many. The "channelization" on the marine bands makes it easier to use a marine radio for them, rather than separately adjusting the transmit and receive frequency for a "channel pair" on a ham radio.
And then again, there's the legalities.(G) If you are out at sea, there's no "US Radio Police" to come around checking you out, and the USCG wisely ignores radio questions unless they are pushed. But especially at the dock, you're in FCC territory and there's always someone scanning and monitoring.
I believe the net controller knew by my call sign I did not hold an amatuers license. My old Sea allows for programing amatuer bands with a feature they call the scratchpad memory. I firnd it a bit odd that the Maritime service will only speak with licensed amatuers, isn't there a far greater number of SSB radios on board than ham units?
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:50   #13
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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I firnd it a bit odd that the Maritime service will only speak with licensed amatuers, isn't there a far greater number of SSB radios on board than ham units?
Therein lies your confusion. What you call the "Maritime service" is only a few ham radio operators who routinely congregate on 14.300 MHz and call their group a maritime service. There is nothing official about it. They can call themselves anything they chose but nothing except an emergency can allow them or any other ham to work non-hams or transmit except on ham designated frequencies.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:57   #14
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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I believe the net controller knew by my call sign I did not hold an amatuers license. My old Sea allows for programing amatuer bands with a feature they call the scratchpad memory. I firnd it a bit odd that the Maritime service will only speak with licensed amatuers, isn't there a far greater number of SSB radios on board than ham units?
That is not the point. As posted earlier Ham (Amateur) radio and Marine SSB radio are two distinct services. Each service requires it's own license. For Marine SSB all you do is pay your license fee. For Ham you need to know something about how radio waves and your radio work. The law restricts Ham radio operators - they can only communicate with other licensed Ham radio operators. Violating that law , except in the case of emergencies endangers the Ham's license.

Expecting the Ham to talk to you is like asking the driver of a car that you are in to run a red light.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:38   #15
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Re: Maritime Mobile Service Network

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Hams created a maritime network for hams at sea, so they call it a maritime network. It is not a "Mariners' Network".
Yes, the format of ham licenses is different from that of marine licenses, so they can tell instantly when they hear your license, what it is. Many, possibly most, ham operators on land also have at least one computer at their station, and they will pretty much instantly look up the call sign of every contact, to confirm that it is a valid one, and to find out who or what they are talking with. So, yes twice, they knew you're not a ham. (That brodline paraoia on checking call signs also helps ensure that folks aren't just "pirating" the call signs of other licensees.)

As Storm points out, federal law, following international agreement, sets who a radio operator (of any type) may speak with. If a ham uses their radio to speak to an unlicense party for any reason except actual emergency-in-progress communications, they face a hefty fine AND permanent loss of their license. There are similar rules about marine stations contacting other parties and unlicensed services, regardless of what your radio can be programmed to do.
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