Jim and Ping,
A couple points of clarification...
As far as I know (with > 40 years of HF comms experience, including 11 years personal experience with my two M-802's, multiple other's M-802's, multiple discussions with Icom including Icom Japan
, etc.), there were only two product-wide issues (defects) in the M-802....
a) the "clipping issue"..
b) intermittent inability / refusal to "tune" the AT-140...
--- The "clipping issue" was the one where Icom America refused to admit there could possibly be a problem....it took cruisers (especially those from S. Cal
, and those in Mexico
/ C. Amer) to physically show the icom America engineers / technicians that there WAS a problem...
Good news is, once they finally realized the problem, they had a fix implemented in their shop within a month or so, and within another couple months the Icom Japan
engineering team had redesigned the APC circuit slightly....
And, no more "clipping issue"!!!
And, Icom still does these clipping issue mods, for free!! (at least Icom America does, not sure about their other divisions)
"......as of 4/27/2008 beginning with s/n 0108261, all M802's exported from
Japan have the circuitry corrected, and the clipping problem is no more."
Gary Jensen, Dockside Radio
Please read this thread, for all the details...
Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....
--- The intermittent refusal to tune, was an issue with some early model/versions of the M-802 (I think those manufactured prior to 2006?), but as far as I know has been a fairly rare issue....and typically requires simply a second push of the "tune" button to force the AT-140 through another tune cycle attempt....
According to Icom America, this isn't a product-wide issue....but, since Jim brings this up, perhaps it effects more than a few???
Originally Posted by Jim Cate
Why Ping, ain't you been payin' attention? At least two Comedians have had ongoing issues with their 802s: VK2PRA and VA3BLV (now out of cruising).
Some of the issues have been to do wiith the old clipping problem that WJA says has been laid to rest, but others have seemed to be associated with the relationshiip between the 802 and the AT140. PRA is still fighting it, with several trips back to the mfg for 'the cure".
The fact that Icom starting shipping
with the DSP Speech Compressor
turn On, was good!!
Then, they got paranoid and starting shipping
the units with it turned Off....anyone buying
one of those from a "discount store" or mass retailer, probably never knew it, and never got it turned on...
Those who purchased their M-802 from a reputable Icom HF dealer, got it turned On automatically....and have been plenty happy!!!
Re: IC-M802 Compression
Of course, we have the fact that some following the old Icom info of connecting a grounding strap to the M-802 itself, can exasperate RFI...but with the plethora of electronics
and microprocessors on-board these days, having a 150 watt HF transceiver and antenna
within a few feet of them doesn't help!
And, this is the same for ALL modern HF rigs, marine
And, we also have the Icom "mic cord deterioration issue" (which effect many 1000's of Icom, Standard Horizon, etc. radios of ALL types), caused by a Chinese OEM cord supplier's bad rubber compound....
Excepting those issues above, the M0802 is a fine HF rig!!
And significantly better than hf ham rigs cost 2 - 3 times as much!
Now, Ping, as for what you found??
A few clarifications are needed here too...sorry..
First off, in addition to being PRICEY.....
The Thrane/Sailor/Cohban, Furuno, and JRC radios are all 24vdc / 110vac radios....not an issue for commercial
vessels, megayachts, etc., but most of us have 12vdc boats....
Secondly, the SEA 245 is not really comparable to the M-802/801, nor really much else....as it does NOT have an HF-DSC capability...(something I tried to school
"Practical Sailor" magazine about, but they didn't understand)...
The SEA 245 does have a scanning DSC receiver, BUT it is set up to transmit a DSC Distress
Call on only 2187.5khz...
(although, deep in the menus this could be changed to select another freq on a one-time basis, it is hardly something anyone but a service
tech in the shop would even know how to do...)
This was a "stop-gap" radio, that SEA marketed to fishing
boats who needed Sea Area A2 GMDSS compliance, cheap!!
The DSC feature of this radio was just added to meet a "compliance" rule
, and not really meant to be efecctively used...
If you're looking at current
production MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephones, you have:
For 12vdc radios:
Icom M-802...(150 watts...)
IC-M802 HF Marine Transceiver - Features - Icom America
IC-M802 HF Marine Transceiver - Specifications - Icom America
Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components
And, for 24vdc/110vac radios...at 150, 250, and 500 watts:
Furuno FS-1575 / FS-2575 / FS-5075
Sailor/Thrane/Cohban 6310, 6320, 6350
SAILOR 6000 Series - On Your Frequency
BTW, the 6350 is my fav marine
HF rig!! But at about $14,000 USD....it will never be on my boat!
JRC JSS-2150, 2250, 2500,
Oh, and yes....I too carry an old MFJ tuner, as my back-up / emergency
tuner....(and extra GTO-15, and whip, etc...)
Originally Posted by Jim Cate
And I think that Matt may have been referring to me as the user of an elderly MFJ manual tuner. It is now almost 30 years of full time on board use, and it still works... and when we were dismasted in I-one, it tuned a length of scrap wire laid over the dodger
and onto the foredeck. Dunno if an AT would have done that. I surely would like the ease of an auto tuner, but have not as yet gone that route
And, for "back-up" / emergency
use, there is nothing wrong with it!!
For everyday use....either it's a pain to use/tune, 'cause the tuner is aft at the base of the antenna
, away from the rig...or you place it near the rig and have transmit RFI issues on-board (many times distorted transmit audio, etc.)
If you do choose a manual tuner (why, I don't know, excpt for the $$$), it is best to place at the antenna feed location, away from the rig, and have a tuner card (i.e. "cheat sheet") next to the tuner that you refer to, to adjust the settings accordingly....
But, this would NOT be something most average sailors would be able to do in an emergency situation....(hence "auto-tuners"....and now HF-DSC radios...)
I hope my clarifications are not taken as corrections, just friendly clarifications!