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Old 27-09-2011, 20:31   #1
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Sony SSB

After reading several reviews and comparisons, I bought a Sony SSB (the model designated as ISFS7600G) to receive weather and other marine-related broadcasts while offshore. I also want to connect it to my Mac laptop running "Multimode" software to decode weather fax and texts.

But there is a big problem. I cannot receive ANY SSB signals. The thing just does not receive. Once in a while I seem to be receiving data signals, though very poorly. But that's about it. I tune into the nets at the times listed on line, but all I get is static. I even connected the wire antenna and stretched it out over my boat. Still nothing.

And to make matters even worse, when I turn on the computer the RF it generates interferes with the radio.

My questions are to anyone who has experience with this radio. Is this normal for this radio? Does it really NEED a powered antenna to work right? Is it just ...broken, right out of the box? I need a basis for comparison. So if anyone has some experience/knowledge of this unit, please share it.

Thanks mates.

-BH

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Old 27-09-2011, 20:57   #2
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Re: Sony SSB

Did you put the "mode" selector in USB? If not you are getting AM reception. The normal "mode" choices for such radios is "AM/LSB/USB" - HF AM broadcasts are typically voice or music. "LSB" is typically allotted to HAM operation. Marine SSB is in the "USB."
- -
Additionally to receive NOAA weather fax charts download: http://weather.noaa.gov/fax/gulf.shtml#SCHED
In the header you will see that you have to offset the desired frequency by 1.9KHz to receive the fax signal.
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Old 28-09-2011, 03:22   #3
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Re: Sony SSB

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Did you put the "mode" selector in USB? If not you are getting AM reception. The normal "mode" choices for such radios is "AM/LSB/USB" - HF AM broadcasts are typically voice or music. "LSB" is typically allotted to HAM operation. Marine SSB is in the "USB."
- -
Additionally to receive NOAA weather fax charts download: Radiofax Charts - New Orleans
In the header you will see that you have to offset the desired frequency by 1.9KHz to receive the fax signal.
Thank you, yes. I set the mode switch to SSB. Also set it for both USB and LSB. Also tried fine-tuning around each frequency (fine tuning on this unit swings +/1 1.5khz).

It seems strange that a Sony product would be DOA. But I think that is what I am dealing with here.

Thoughts?

anon

-BH

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Old 28-09-2011, 04:08   #4
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Re: Sony SSB

What is your location, are you in a crowded marina or somewhere quite away form boats? A crowded marina is often very very noisy RF wise. Can you check it at home?

What does the book say about the antenna requirements?

Is anyone else picking up the traffic on a SSB transceiver nearby?

Even the best manufacturers have the very occasional DOA but it does seem unusual.
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Old 28-09-2011, 15:49   #5
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Re: Sony SSB

I have tried it in my Marina, somewhat crowded, yes. Its in Annapolis. But I have also tried it out in my front yard with only marginally better luck. The manual only talks about using the telescoping antenna and the included attachable wire antenna. They suggest using it by a window if you are indoors.

I have given the unit to a friend who is a HAM and general all 'round radio geek. I will post his findings here for the benefit of any others who may have similar problems.

thanks

-BH

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Old 28-09-2011, 18:15   #6
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Re: Sony SSB

Quick test is to tune to 10000(day) or 5000(night), which is where you can listen to the time signals, runs 24 hrs/day. You can fine tune it to get the voice tone correct.
Tom
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Old 28-09-2011, 18:45   #7
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Re: Sony SSB

I have just purchased the same radio. I have no played with it much, But I can get the time signals. I am interested in your progress.
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Old 28-09-2011, 18:51   #8
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Re: Sony SSB

Had mine for many years. Works perfectly.
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Old 28-09-2011, 20:55   #9
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Re: Sony SSB

Unless you have experience with HF radios, the can be frustrating. HF SSB radios are noisy, cranky and sometimes just downright impossible to get a good signal. Everything affects them - solar flares, nearby battery chargers, inverters, boat refrigeration, and background RF interference from shore and a hundred other things. Time of day, location and other stuff make a big difference between nothing but noise and a good signal reception.
- - So patience and some help from a HAM or other SSB experienced person will go a long way to easing the frustration.
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Old 29-09-2011, 21:57   #10
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Re: Sony SSB

Thanks to all.

My friend is a professional radio head and he checked out the unit and said it is working fine. He attached an 8 AWG wire to the antenna and stretched it out about 25', then tuned in several HF transmissions. It all worked fine.

I guess these things really are just finicky. I will continue to try to get the usual weather nets and NOAA broadcasts.

Tips are welcome.

-BH

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Old 30-09-2011, 06:15   #11
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Re: Sony SSB

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Had mine for many years. Works perfectly.
Good to hear. Do you have any tips?
Are you able to use the telescoping antenna successfully, or do you have to use an external antenna? If you have to use an external antenna, what do you use?

ta

-BH

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Old 30-09-2011, 06:31   #12
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Re: Sony SSB

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Originally Posted by Capn Bri View Post
Good to hear. Do you have any tips?
Are you able to use the telescoping antenna successfully, or do you have to use an external antenna? If you have to use an external antenna, what do you use?

ta

-BH

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I use mine in FL and the Bahamas. I can get all the cruising nets and Chris Parker's weather easily with only the telescopic antenna. Usually listen in the cockpit but it works well down below too. You have to enter the exact frequency and then use the ssb dial on the side. It takes patience, if you're just a little off, the signal will change appreciably. On occasion I will not get the weather in the morning because of atmospherics but this is not too often and when this happens all the boats with big rigs have the same problem. When I first got it I tried the wire antenna but it did not make any difference in the signal so I don't use it.
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