Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-01-2013, 06:39   #1
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Public correspondence telephone links are kind of stone age technology, and I understand they have been completely eliminated from VHF bands (is that right?).

I can't tell for sure from their websites whether companies like WLO or Monaco Radio are still operating it, or not.

Does anyone use this? How much does it cost? Does it work ok?

I have a permanently installed sat phone, inherited from the PO. But it is a Globalstar and I think I don't want to bother activating it. The satellite communication device which looks really good to me is the Yellow Brick, which for superbly reasonable charges allows you to send and receive 50 character messages, which I think would be supremely useful.

For the odd telephone conversation, however, I would think that a link by SSB or amateur radio might be better?
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:06   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 349
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Last year for a return trip from Caribbean to Ct I set up account with WLO for telephone calls from SSB (Icom 802) . Account setup was $25 and usuage cost was $.99/min. They are nice people to work with. As a public service they encourage everybody (don't need an account) to test their SSB by trying to call them. They give you feedback about your signal quality. Tim (northstar Tartan 43cb)
__________________

__________________
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:09   #3
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by maine50 View Post
Last year for a return trip from Caribbean to Ct I set up account with WLO for telephone calls from SSB (Icom 802) . Account setup was $25 and usuage cost was $.99/min. They are nice people to work with. As a public service they encourage everybody (don't need an account) to test their SSB by trying to call them. They give you feedback about your signal quality. Tim (northstar Tartan 43cb)
That seems very reasonable. Were you making telephone calls? Did it work well? I guess the per minute charges were probably just domestic US calls, right?
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:10   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
There are still vhf repeaters with phone patch capability. Usually have to get on and ask, but often that is reserved for members of the group that maintains the repeater.

On hf, There are atill hams with phone patch capability. Ive arranged this from the Mariner's net on 14.300 before.

Chip
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:13   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
.99/min from WLO is cheap! Seems like I paid WAY more 25 yrs ago.
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:17   #6
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Looks like hams have all kinds of additional possibilities:

Phone Patch, Autopatch and HF/VHF/UHF Operating Guidelines

Radio amateurs in the US enjoy a great privilege: The ability to interconnect their stations and repeaters with the public telephone system. The wisdom of the federal government in permitting, and even in defending, this freedom has been demonstrated time and again. There is no way to calculate the value of the lives and property that have been saved by the intelligent use of phone patch and autopatch facilities in emergency situations. The public interest has been well served by amateurs with interconnect capabilities.


Phone Patch Guidelines
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:22   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 349
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

I made several calls. Just set up your account while you have a secure landline or email as you need to give them a credit/debit card number. The quality of the call just depends on the SSB conditions. They have directional antennia and they will ask your position. Al the calls I made were US. Tim (Northstar Tartan 43)
__________________
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 07:24   #8
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
For the odd telephone conversation, however, I would think that a link by SSB or amateur radio might be better?
That has certainly been my experience.

WLO was once part of the AT&T High Seas Radio Service. Regardless, WLO and three other shore stations are operated by ShipCom. Regardless of the station you contact you end up talking to one of several ladies with comforting Southern accents somewhere in Alabama.

There is no charge of a ShipCom account - you just keep a current credit card on file with them and pay (last I checked) $0.99 / minute for calls. Shipcom also transmits weather information and has a traffic list they call after the weather if someone wants to reach you.

I've used ShipCom a number of times and find them to be outstanding. Once you let them know where you are they will steer their antennas toward you to improve circuit performance. The operators have and understand propagation models and may move you to another frequency for a better connection.

Recommended.

If you have an amateur radio license (or a bona fide emergency) you can use the services of the 14300 Nets (Intercon, Maritime Mobile Service Net, and Pacific Seafarers Net) which together provide 24/7 coverage on 14300 kHz USB.

There usually are several folks on frequency who can run a phone patch and their enthusiasm is very high. I did once need to make a call and net control fired off a phone tree to get someone up on frequency that could run a patch for me. I was impressed.

Also recommended.

I'm a big fan of HF/SSB radio and would given a choice would not go offshore without it. It is a safety system.

Sat phones are not nearly as reliable as purported to be. If I had elderly parents who needed care or some other dependents for whom direct dial, no matter how flaky, was a factor I would add a sat phone, but I would never replace my HF radio with a sat phone.

YMMV.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 09:18   #9
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead
Public correspondence telephone links are kind of stone age technology, and I understand they have been completely eliminated from VHF bands (is that right?).

I can't tell for sure from their websites whether companies like WLO or Monaco Radio are still operating it, or not.

Does anyone use this? How much does it cost? Does it work ok?

I have a permanently installed sat phone, inherited from the PO. But it is a Globalstar and I think I don't want to bother activating it. The satellite communication device which looks really good to me is the Yellow Brick, which for superbly reasonable charges allows you to send and receive 50 character messages, which I think would be supremely useful.

For the odd telephone conversation, however, I would think that a link by SSB or amateur radio might be better?
Ireland still has public correspondence on VHFand MF . But its hardly used. To my knowledge there no VHF one in Europe. I don't think. Even lyngby I beleive doesnt have it on HF.

It never the same since Portishead. Sniff sniff

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 09:56   #10
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Ireland still has public correspondence on VHFand MF . But its hardly used. To my knowledge there no VHF one in Europe. I don't think. Even lyngby I beleive doesnt have it on HF.

It never the same since Portishead. Sniff sniff

Dave
I guess VHF public correspondence is obsoleted by mobile telephony. I will have a high gain antenna on a a spreader with a fixed GSM/UMTS terminal. It's mostly for data, but should be good for voice too anywhere in VHF range of a coast.

But HF public correspondence/phone patch ought to still be incredibly useful. Shame if it's dying out. I guess yet another damned good reason to have an amateur radio license.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 10:06   #11
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Dockhead,
Unusual for me to be in the majority here!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Public correspondence telephone links are kind of stone age technology, and I understand they have been completely eliminated from VHF bands (is that right?).

I can't tell for sure from their websites whether companies like WLO or Monaco Radio are still operating it, or not.

Does anyone use this? How much does it cost? Does it work ok?

For the odd telephone conversation, however, I would think that a link by SSB or amateur radio might be better?
1) Yes, I am a Shipcom customer and I DO use WLO for ship-to-shore telephone calls...and for their "Traffic lists", which allow shoreside parties to get in touch with me while I'm at sea....
So, allow me to add my high recommendation for WLO / Shipcom!!
ShipCom LLC :: Marine HF Radiotelephone and HF Single SideBand Email
HF SSB Radiotelephone Voice, Email, Fax, Satellite Marine Messages, Telegrams, VHF Radiotelephone, Telex Sitor & Marine Weather Services
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels

I have used WLO while sailing across the Atlantic (both ways) and to/from the Caribbean.....and before I got a EU cell-phone, I have actually made a call or two back to the US (via WLO) while in port in Azores and Gibraltar, it was a bit noisy on my end, but cheaper than using a "pay phone" on the street....(although using an European cell-phone or multiband unlocked phone w/ local SIM card, while in port is easier...

They have great coverage throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean, etc. thru WLO...and good coverage of the Pacific thru KLB (near Seattle Washington)....

Rene and his staff are really super people and if you weren't aware of it, Rene himself (K4EDX) is the long-time Net Manager of the ham radio MMSN on 14.300mhz....(and I've heard him run the Net a few times, from W4WLO !!!)
Maritime Mobile Service Network



2) While I still do hear Monaco Radio on the HF bands, I have not used their services in many years....although I do believe that they still provide HF radio-telephone interconnect, and I believe Olympia Radio in Greece does as well(???)



3) There are also some other stations that do HF-radio-telephone-interconnect in other parts of the world....such as Brunei Bay Radio and the Australian HF radio network....
And, BTW, I DO hear the Australian HF signals even while tied to the dock here in S. Florida.....daytime I hear their hourly marine weather broadcasts on 12.362mhz and 12.365mhz, and at night I hear them on 8.176mhz...
(I never tried to listen for Brunei...)



4) And, yes many hams on the MMSN, Intercon, and Pacific Seafarers Net...all on 14.300mhz will be happy to provide phone-patches while you're a sea....
Maritime Mobile Service Network
14300.net



Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
__________________
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 10:19   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Quote:
Sat phones are not nearly as reliable as purported to be.
On a two-year trip to the southwest Caribbean I found Iridium to be very reliable once I worked the kinks out of the set up. However, many boats with SSB and/or Ham set ups were having constant issues with hardware, propagation, etc.--seemed to be one of the biggest topics of conversation at the pot lucks. Now, that could have a lot to do with skill level, but there are certainly a lot of radio issues in the fleet.
__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 10:21   #13
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

I love it. I had no idea what advantages there are for hams at sea: MMSN - Sailors Services. This is very cool.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 10:30   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

I've seen a report that for whatever reason, the Bounty was unable to make contact with the Coast Guard via satphone. The rescue was initiated after they were able to send a HF Pactor email requesting assistance.

Not sure why that would have been necessary if they were carrying an EPIRB like they surely would have been, but haven't heard anything about that.
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2013, 11:05   #15
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Public Correspondence Telephone Link By Marine SSB or Ham Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
I've seen a report that for whatever reason, the Bounty was unable to make contact with the Coast Guard via satphone. The rescue was initiated after they were able to send a HF Pactor email requesting assistance.

Not sure why that would have been necessary if they were carrying an EPIRB like they surely would have been, but haven't heard anything about that.
That story is bandied about quite a bit, including, on the Winlink website.

It seems very strange that the call was not made by EPIRB, if the story is true.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marine, radio, 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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:31.


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.