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Old 17-08-2013, 15:56   #31
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

This is a total noob question: What is a HAM license for? I assume you don't need one for those VHF radios I see on boats. What about SSB? I don't need a detailed explanation, just a quick summary all these radio technologies are for, and what a HAM license allows.
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Old 17-08-2013, 16:03   #32
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

Hiya O-Q! Google HAM...not the one that comes from a four legged pig. There's so much to read and learn...it's a fun hobby...but, can be very pricey. A friend of mine in Atlanta, has over $25,000 USD in equipment, including a towering antenna that almost rivals a broadcasting radio tower! Have fun!

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Old 17-08-2013, 16:04   #33
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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I know that back in the 80's Mexico had a reciprocal agreement with the US on your HAM license. As a graduate of the 'Gordon West School of instant Radio Proficiency' in San Diego (when you needed 12 wpm morse code for a General, I think), cruising south, our first stop was in Ensenada and about 4 blocks inland from Baja Naval was the office where they copied my Canadian and US licenses and for $100 pesos gave me a Mexican license which was prefrixed by EX or XE or something like that.
We used the SSB a lot for the nets when we were cruising (Sonrisa was our favorite in the Golfo de California) and also chatted with some of the Transpac boats during their race across to Hawaii.
Prior to that after I got my Canadian SW license, I actually talked with the Shah of Iran who was a real Shortwave nut and he mailed me his card and call sign which I've lost unfortunately. This was back in the early 70's when SW was a hobby from home. Phil
yeah, back then I think most everyone just added the suffix and didnt bother with the going to mex office! What's a listening ham gonna do... call the Mex govt and try to find out if you got one? ha ha lots of luck with that!
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Old 17-08-2013, 16:46   #34
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

Ocean Girl: You were sort-of right about the UN, in the sense that ham (amateur radio) is ultimately guided by the international treaties on usage of the radio spectrum. These treaties, regularly updated, are concerned with radio frequencies which propagate long distances and are thus a shared resource of all nations. In the past showing proficiency in code was a requirement for using the HF ham band, so the FCC felt limited by the treaty in doing away with that requirement. The treaty also states that hams may not use ship's radio stations for their hobby; in Europe this is strictly interpreted, so marine SSBs cannot be opened up for use on the ham bands, while in the US this is interpreted to only apply to vessels with mandatory carriage requirements. So much of what is codified in the FCC rules is actually the result of international negotiations that result in the current treaty.

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Old 17-08-2013, 18:06   #35
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

Mauritz,

I do believe you are the only person on CF that has a multihull capable of 150 kt.
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:22   #36
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

Hiya Officer! You are correct depending on the cargo weight, however, I do not own the Twin Otter float plane; I lease it, along with 9 other SCUBA diver buddies. I wouldn't be here, if I was a millionaire. This beautiful bird is worth about $8 Million USD; loaded with avionics. ...If I was a rich man... <Fiddler on the Roof>. Have a nice evening!

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Old 17-08-2013, 18:25   #37
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Re: so why do i need a ham license in mexico?

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rh--you consistently downplay importance of knowing mexico and mexicans-these people are not all baja residents there are some incredibly intelligent and modern inhabitants of this not as backward as you seem to think nation.
mexico is a lot more modern than you seem to credit them ....try getting to know the area.
i do not sail baja as the folks are all gringos. on mainland mexico many folks are wealthy mexicans. excellent modern folks. not all mexicans are cartel folks, either--rich mexicans are not all corrupt cartel thugs.

you would be surprised exactly how modern it is here in mainland mexico, away from gringoland influences. is an awesome cool place to play extended visit.
banderas bay has a radio licensing place that is used by most of the pacific puddle jump rally boaters.
omg they even have boat engine parts and decent foodstuffs..they even use good quality toilet paper and paper towels. computers made in mexico actually work better than made in china...go figger.

sorry i forgot to include the nice bit of news that came up this week that usa is claiming canada and mexico as part of the homeland..
Karen,

This is great news! I don't how many Canadians and Mexicans have over the years asked me when this would happen. They will be so happy.

Paul
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:30   #38
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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Hiya O-Q! Google HAM...not the one that comes from a four legged pig. There's so much to read and learn...it's a fun hobby...but, can be very pricey. A friend of mine in Atlanta, has over $25,000 USD in equipment, including a towering antenna that almost rivals a broadcasting radio tower! Have fun!

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No way I'm paying even a 10th of that. I have a feeling this is a market that preys on enthusiasts.
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:38   #39
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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No way I'm paying even a 10th of that. I have a feeling this is a market that preys on enthusiasts.
Kind of like sailing?
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:41   #40
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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Just curious about this, I looked around and couldn't quite figure it out. We're here in Mexico, and then taking it a step further on the high seas, why exactly do I need to have a license from the USA to transmit?

When I hear the ham nets, at least around here, it's clear that it's primarily English speaking Americans and it's frequent to hear "If you don't have a ham license you cannot transmit."

In Mexico?

1000 miles out to sea?

Seems kind of odd.
Something to do with the "golden rule". Them's that have it, make the rules.

In short because they said so. If you want to go to the party, you'll need to put on some clean clothes and remember to play nice.
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Old 17-08-2013, 18:57   #41
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

RH...Maybe you would be much happier with Marine Single Sideband.
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Old 17-08-2013, 19:09   #42
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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Kind of like sailing?
I've no argument with that.
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Old 17-08-2013, 19:19   #43
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Re: so why do i need a ham license in mexico?

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I mean seriously, report me to the Mexican radio authorities? Come on. That's five guys in Mexico City behind a desk playing lottery.
Three guys. One of them told me that sailboats were exempt, one threatened me with jail time unless my station license was endorsed by the Ministry of Fisheries, a process that takes three years, and one of them offered me I a shark-tooth neckless for 70 pesos.

(Can you tell I've been in Baja for the past 17 days?)
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Old 17-08-2013, 19:28   #44
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

70 pesos?...it's not even leather! What a ripoff!

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Old 17-08-2013, 22:19   #45
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Re: So, Why do I need a Ham License in Mexico?

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Originally Posted by o_q View Post
This is a total noob question: What is a HAM license for? I assume you don't need one for those VHF radios I see on boats. What about SSB? I don't need a detailed explanation, just a quick summary all these radio technologies are for, and what a HAM license allows.
Ham radio is an amateur radio group that has been around since Marconi. They are given certain frequency bands in the HF, VHF and UHF frequency spectrums to use by the FCC and International Government bodies. The original idea was to encourage interest in radio as there was no ready built equipment available and limited number of people involved in the technical side of radio. Up until the '50s many Hams used home brew equipment that they built themselves. With the advent of solid state electronics and printed circuit boards, it's pretty much gone to store bought equipment though the serious Hams tweak their equipment to the utmost to get the absolute best performance. Radio Shack and the late lamented HeathKit Company were originally begun to service the home brew crowd.

The Hams have many frequency bands that are close to the HF Marine Radio frequencies. The hams have much more latitude on the use of the bands. You need to get a license to operate as a Ham which involves taking a written test. The tests are administered by local Ham Clubs but generated by the FCC. The lowest license, Technician, allows you to use voice on VHF and UHF frequencies so is of limited use to a long distance sailor. The General License allows you to talk on several HF bands for globe girdling coverage. The Amateur Extra license gives you a slightly larger frequency band to use. Most Maritime Mobile Hams stick to the 40 and 20 meter bands because they give you the greatest distance and reliable transmissions.

There are maritime mobile nets on 14.300mhz, 20 meter band, thoughout the world to keep track of those making long passages. There are a host of more local nets on 40 meters that you can check into as you cruise around the world. It's really nice to be able to talk with someone in your next port of call to get the skinny what you need to do for check in, where to go and what to watch out for or even order parts for stuff that may have broken on passage. You can also talk with ham operators anywhere in the world just to pass some time.

You cannot use the Ham Frequencies to conduct business. That does not mean that you can't arrange to have stuff sent to you for the boat or whatever unless the boat is a money making venture.

Ham equipment is generally cheaper than Marine HF. Bought my ICOM 718 radio used for $400. The rest of the equipment like antenna tuner, etc. are the same as you'd need for Marine HF SSB radio. I went with a new SGC 230 tuner at $500 to an insulated backstay for an antenna. Have a Pactor modem to use the free Ham Radio HF email service that I bought used for $500.

Kept in touch with my wife via email and checked into the Pacific Maritime Mobile net at 5pm Hawaii Time each day on a solo TransPac in 2010. In the past have talked with Hams from virtually all over the world and kept a regularly scheduled QSO with a couple of Hams on the West Coast. Interesting people that it was just nice to get together with and talk about what was happening in their and our lives.

Ham radio is really great for long distance sailors because you can talk with other hams thousands of miles away. There is also a bunch of Hams who use line of sight radio frequencies that can span long distances over land via repeaters. It's a neat hobby for a sailor. Like any hobby, you can drop a fortune on the equipment if you have the inclination. You can also get world wide coverage investing as little as a boat unit.
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