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Old 21-09-2005, 12:49   #1
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SSB

The boat I am buying has an SEA 225 SSB. I can't find out anything about them - do I therefore assume it's an antique and junk - or is this a serviceable unit? Planning on leaving for Europe spring 2007...
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Old 21-09-2005, 13:01   #2
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Good unit

The SEA is a good transceiver, assuming that it is not corroded or damaged in some manner. Have it checked for output power, frequency calibration, and receive sensitivity by a competent technician with proper equipment. In addition, have your antenna tuner checked as well. If they pass the checks then the equipment is good regardless of age (in this case).

Your unit is easy to use and reliable. It may not have some of the bells and whistles of brand new gear yet it will perform just as well for voice communication.
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Old 21-09-2005, 16:50   #3
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I’ve installed the SEA 225 SSB as recently as 10 years ago, at which time it was a fully adequate unit - no longer ‘state of the art’, but functional (I’d suppose). Have it checked out, as Rick suggested.
SEA doesn’t list the 225 on their website.
http://www.sea-dmi.com/marine/mprods.htm

You might contact them, to see what support they can offer:
Datamarine International
SEA Inc.
7030 220th Street S.W.
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Voice: (425) 771-2182
FAX: (425) 771-2650
Domestic (US) Sales: sales@sea-dmi.com
SEA Service: seaservice@sea-dmi.com

HTH,
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Old 21-09-2005, 21:00   #4
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I have a SEA 235R and love it.

It is probably more "commercial grade" than the stuff ya buy in the marine toy stores.

Learn to use it and keep it, ya should be happy.
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Old 22-09-2005, 05:01   #5
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I have a 225 on my boat. If the unit is installed and working properly no direct reason to replace as a voice SSB or weather fax receiver [you have to use a sound card type program].

However the unit will not work with a Pactor modem. So you will need to do email a different way. I have mentally gone through the options and decided a sat phone for email and emergency was worth the $$ rather then the cost to replace the SEA with a new ICOM and a Pactor. I can buy a sat phone and a lot of minutes for the same investement.
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Old 23-09-2005, 09:57   #6
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Bill, notwithstanding Jon's cost/benefit analysis, my recommendation is that you diagram the current wiring hook-up for the SEA, properly bubble-wrap and seal it up, and keep it as a spare. For your plans (ocean crossings and operating in Europe), I think you will definitely want to have Pactor capability and the SEA is not your friend in that regard.

The mix of reasons why I would urge you to consider HF Pactor capability is the at-sea email capability and the immensely helpful wx f'cast info you can pick up at sea. In the Med, there are numerous ways to get Wx info, altho' I think you'll find routine cell use to do so gets to be expensive. But in places in Europe - and certainly at sea - email and wx f'cast info is simply not available unless you use HF.

As you probably know (see http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/Atlant...e%20Azores.htm if not, assuming the link is now fixed...) I think the routing guides are terribly old fashioned and incomplete; sailing across an ocean these days should be done in part by monitoring real-time wx f'cast data if you want to optimize the experience. Some of this info is available by downloading WxFax and RTTY files but doing it this way is much more demanding of your time - and specific times - at sea than is desirable for short-handed crews. And some of that info simply isn't available except on Winlink or Sailmail (and some of THAT is not even available on Sailmail). So...my wish for you and your cruising plans would be to fetch a General Class ham ticket (you certainly have the time), learn a bit about HF radio in the process, install an all-band transceiver (I'm very happy with our 706 and it costs a fraction of an 802 or 710 and requires very little installation real estate) and at least IIe TNC, and use Winlink non-stop thru-out your European cruising. Given all the other things you will probably add to the boat, I doubt anything - by the end of the cruise - will seem to have offered better value.

BTW and depending on one's cruising plans and therefore needs, both permanently installed SatCom systems and H/H units are chosen by lots of folks, just as Jon mentions. But most of the wx f'cast data you will want won't come from those systems, email capability is limited without high cost, and you will have none of the 'party line', Net and other HF comms benefits that come with a SSB (only a portion of which your SEA unit will provide). There are multiple 'right answers' for folks on differing cruising tracks...

Jack
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:38   #7
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In order to keep everyone aboard happy, it's essential that we have both email and wx info available at all times. It sounds therefore as if moving to an Icom unit with Pactor modem is the route to go. Can I presume that it's a straight replacement one for the other in terms of wiring at least?

Can someone tell me if it's possible (and how!) to make voice contact with family and friends back in the states whilst on the high seas - assuming they don't have radio communications.

Also, along with Jack's recommendation to bubble wrap the SEA, is there a way that the SEA can be set up as a land based unit - so that my wife and her daughter can stay in contact at all times? What's involved?

Thanks,
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Old 03-10-2005, 13:24   #8
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Bill, the Gam seminars given by Jim Corenman on HF, SSB installs and Winlink will show you that short, simplified replies (like this one!) aren't totally sufficient. Still, a couple of quick thoughts:

1. Your SEA install, assuming it was done well, can be easily adopted by a 706/710/802 SSB. You should find both - and + power leads, each separately fused, are running directly to the house bank from the SEA. The radio output coax should lead to a good SWR meter (essential for diagnosing whether the problem is 'you' or other factors), and a 2nd coax runs from the meter to your tuner. The tuner in turn has a wire leading directly thru the deck to the stay serving as your antenna AND copper foil leaving the ground lug on the tuner running to your rf ground plane. Unless any of those conductors are old and/or don't ohm out well, the radio hook up is directly transferable.
2. What's NOT the same is how the new radio plugs into a Pactor modem and how the modem plugs into your laptop. Those cables, if you order thru a knowledgeable vendor, will be included with the modem & will be appropriate to your laptop and radio.
3. Staying in touch with family is one excellent example of why the ham ticket is worth the effort. We've many times called the Maritime Mobile Net (14.300 USB) and sought a phone patch from another Net member, who then takes us to a separate frequency and dials up the family member. Often, I can't even get the ham helper to charge the family member for the call. As you get closer to Europe, this Net becomes much harder to work and my impression is that phone patches are less common here in Europe (perhaps for regulatory reasons). For the same reason, leaving the SEA at a family member's home isn't a great solution, plus the radio isn't properly licensed for that kind of use and setting up a radio station is another involved job you won't have time for.

Skype is a great, cheap answer for voice comms with family when you have cyber cafe access. For at-sea comms, email is going to be your most reliable method, altho' of course it isn't voice. If voice comms is just one of those things that, between you & the crew, is viewed as a 'must', buy a portable sat phone and some mins, and then call from the cockpit.

Jack
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Old 09-10-2005, 14:17   #9
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Is it possible/feasible/sensible to set up the SEA at home - so that I can pretend to be a boat, use the legal channels, and learn how to use an SSB during the long cold New England Winter?

What would be involved? String a wire up the house as an antenna, plug into the house ground and find myself a 12V DC supply. No?
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Old 09-10-2005, 19:10   #10
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That's about it, Bill...except for paying attention to a number of details and insuring your neighbors won't have their TV reception disrupted when you start blasting RF around.

But I'd wish something better for you, and that's to attend your local chapter ham association meeting, start studying for the Tech license and, in the process, solicit some good coaching on how to proceed. You will find folks very willing to help you understand what you're doing.

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Old 10-10-2005, 04:36   #11
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Old 24-10-2005, 06:36   #12
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New SSB

In looking at replacing my SEA 225, I've been (inevitably?) gravitating towards Icom.

Am I reading the information correct - for the 802, all the blurb says that it's 100% email ready... does that mean it already has the equivalent of a modem - does it mean I can take out the cost of a Pactor III when compared to say the 710 model?

Also, what's the optional tuner all about? At $500+ the AT140 Tuner seems like a lot - what does it do?


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Old 24-10-2005, 07:48   #13
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Still need modem

802 still requires an external modem such as the PActor. 802 is plug and play without having to buy the filters and such.
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Old 24-10-2005, 07:58   #14
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And yes you need the tuner - it tunes the antenna for different frequencies

Also if the 225 works and you want to sell it and the tuner cheap contact me off line or PM. Might be interested at the right price as a spare/back-up for the one I have.
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