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Old 23-08-2015, 17:35   #16
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I suspect that there are quite a few using 'opened up' Ham radios such as the Icom ic-718 which can be found for under $A1000

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I have a IC-718. It is not good for a boat.

It loses much power when voltage is below 13.5 volts. You need a radio that will work fine with batteries at 80 percent SOC without a charger running. The 718 loses half its power when fed with 12.7 volts.




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Old 23-08-2015, 17:58   #17
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Ham is going to teach you way more than trying to use HF in SA. You can legally set one up at home, and the skill and licence is going to be very usefull at sea. The foundation Ham licence is reasonably simple. But I would hold off buying anything untill you are ready to head off, unless a good deal come up.

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Old 23-08-2015, 18:23   #18
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Ham is going to teach you way more than trying to use HF in SA. You can legally set one up at home, and the skill and licence is going to be very usefull at sea. The foundation Ham licence is reasonably simple. But I would hold off buying anything untill you are ready to head off, unless a good deal come up.

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Maybe an Icom 802 operating on the HAM bands (If I read things correctly this is possible?) would be the best of both worlds then? Move it down to the boat in time to get it properly installed and tested before the real journey begins?
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Old 23-08-2015, 18:26   #19
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
I have a IC-718. It is not good for a boat.

It loses much power when voltage is below 13.5 volts. You need a radio that will work fine with batteries at 80 percent SOC without a charger running. The 718 loses half its power when fed with 12.7 volts.
Interesting... I have one ashore where it is a great little radio... however that is on regulated 12v.....
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Old 23-08-2015, 19:09   #20
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

You are ahead of me. I was done studying about a month ago, but haven't been able to get tested. Now my scores on practice exams are dropping, so I need to figure a date then cram for a few days.

You are right about not really very practical, but I still enjoyed learning about the theory, etc.

I am ahead of you in already having a radio -- ICOM 802. So far, I have just listened. My primary purpose is to be able to talk on the nets (still not sure whether those are on a frequency for which a license is necessary), and to entertain myself when way offshore and standing the 2:00 am watch.

Which license did you get?
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Old 23-08-2015, 19:25   #21
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Snowpetrel said, "... the high bands are full of foreign language chatter."

Reminds me of a company school I was in once with employees from all around the states. A guy from Alabama didn't say a word for about 3 days, then one day he held up his hand and asked the instructor, "Why's ever'body in here talk funny 'cept fer me?"

I guess Oz would hear a lot of Asian traffic on 40M but I would think that 20 and 15 would be open a lot farther, maybe to US and Europe. OK, so the UK is about the only english in Europe... so you just have to habla or sprekenzie or parlez-vous or whatever. For those long, boring times offshore, try learning CW... er, Morse code. First mobile CW contact I made was driving along, using an old WWII tanker leg key and worked a chap in Papeete from Texas. FO8FO was his call, IIRC. Try that sometime, driving and operating an old straight key. It is actually less distracting than texting on a cell phone. But, I digress... Ham radio will teach you a lot that you can then use while on marine bands. And you can have fun on the ham bands when not on marine frequencies. Enjoy.
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Old 23-08-2015, 19:47   #22
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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You are ahead of me. I was done studying about a month ago, but haven't been able to get tested. Now my scores on practice exams are dropping, so I need to figure a date then cram for a few days.

You are right about not really very practical, but I still enjoyed learning about the theory, etc.

I am ahead of you in already having a radio -- ICOM 802. So far, I have just listened. My primary purpose is to be able to talk on the nets (still not sure whether those are on a frequency for which a license is necessary), and to entertain myself when way offshore and standing the 2:00 am watch.

Which license did you get?
Sounds like you have a good plan, listening in seems to be part of the way to learn and I'd like to use the radio in much the same way as you are planning to do. FWIW I have been watching a series of youtube videos by CF member KA4WFJ that have been very informative. I think he's called captain john on youtube.

I sat the MROCP, not sure what the equivalent is in your part of the world. Looks like I am going to have to do the HAM certification next.
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Old 23-08-2015, 19:48   #23
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Snowpetrel said, "... the high bands are full of foreign language chatter."
First time I bought a sideband CB for the car I thought everyone was talking Chinese, until I flicked the switch to sideband mode. Suddenly I could understand "Chinese"
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Old 23-08-2015, 19:49   #24
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Interesting... I have one ashore where it is a great little radio... however that is on regulated 12v.....
There was a regulated 12V supply on our boat for the old Kenwood TS430, probably for the same reason?
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Old 24-08-2015, 00:45   #25
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Hi Matt,


Pro's and con's for both. Amateur (Ham) bands are very diverse and versatile, and you can get on air with a very nice set up for A$1000 or so (Icom IC706 MkII etc with Icom AH4 ATU is one example that you can pick up fairly readily). If you do go the amateur equipment route at least as an interim, then you will have a general coverage Rx and can listen to all the nets you like to get a feel for procedures, performance etc. Just make sure you don't press the Tx button unless you have obtained an amateur license. I am also in Adelaide, so happy to chat about it if you like.
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Old 24-08-2015, 01:07   #26
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

Leaving the DSC debate aside Marine band HF is not the most exciting place to be these days.
When you decide to 'go foreign' then Sailmail email is good. VMC and VMW along with Taupo in NZ put out v good weather fax and voice but you only need a receiver for that.
Also a number of cruising nets that make it all worthwhile .

Meanwhile with an Oz Ham 'F' call ( Foundation licence ) you can get on localish ( Hobart to Noumea) cruising nets like the Comedy Net on 7087.

First up I would be getting a receiver with portable SSB receiver like the Tecsuns and such that I keep banging on about ( about $A150 ) and start receiving wefax, listening to Charleville vox and so on. Oh...and start reading stuff about band plans, propagation and the like.....and get that licence...

Pity you sold that Kenwood... if the receiver was anything like their R5000 it was a keeper

Ping
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Old 24-08-2015, 03:17   #27
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

El Pinguino what Kenwoods do you like? I have a ham lic and a friend used ham going across to England no problem.

I wonder what is wrong with using DSC on VHF I thought that that was intended for emergencies, complete with lat long and a simple button. Who is going to have time to screw around with Ham DSC when you are short handed? - I am guessing its advantage is range.
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Old 24-08-2015, 03:45   #28
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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The 801E has been discontinued at Icom, but were originally much more expensive by about 1000 USD as a result of many features. They did put out less power than an M802, but had a voltage regulation circuit that allowed you to maintain power at low battery levels. They were also more water tight.

If you are a Ham or just want to talk on the radio, a Ham radio is fine. If you are buying HFSSB for your boat to get help in an emergency, DSC is probably the only way you will get help. If you do not believe it, I suggest you learn more about GMDSS, ITU, and the laws of the sea. As a side note since 2005, commercial ships are not required to monitor channel 16 on VHF so DSC is the best way to get help at sea if you can see a container ship on the horizon. This is my last post to try and help this track, if anyone needs more help: p-t_on_sunyside@live.com
Commercial ships are not required to monitor 16?

Can you cite this? I was under the understanding it was still a requirement?

And I've tried several times calling a commercial ship on DSC and I can't get anyone to answer it.
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Old 24-08-2015, 04:32   #29
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Pity you sold that Kenwood... if the receiver was anything like their R5000 it was a keeper

Ping
The Kenwood was, apparently, an excellent unit, and it got a lot of interest when I put in Ebay. At least 10 bidders from memory and I was very pleasantly surprised at the final price.

Apparently it was a very good radio for modification.

But I would never have trusted it as my boat radio, just too old, too much time in a boat, too much salt water, humidity... you name it.

But a great home unit if I'd decided to go that way.
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Old 24-08-2015, 04:36   #30
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Re: OK, I am HF certified... now what?

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Hi Matt,


Pro's and con's for both. Amateur (Ham) bands are very diverse and versatile, and you can get on air with a very nice set up for A$1000 or so (Icom IC706 MkII etc with Icom AH4 ATU is one example that you can pick up fairly readily). If you do go the amateur equipment route at least as an interim, then you will have a general coverage Rx and can listen to all the nets you like to get a feel for procedures, performance etc. Just make sure you don't press the Tx button unless you have obtained an amateur license. I am also in Adelaide, so happy to chat about it if you like.
Thanks David, would love to catch up. Will PM you.
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