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Old 07-08-2008, 12:53   #1
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SSB & HAM radio questions

I am planning to cruise form Florida through the Eastern Caribbean in a trawler during 2010-2011. In preparation I ordered and have recieved the study giudes for the Tech and General Operators Class and plan to obtain these grades before the trip. The information with the guides is more directed towards land stationary or automotive use.
I have no experience with these systems and would welcome any advice as to what I will be needing on a boat for a station for voice communications, weather fax, and e'mail.
I believe most sail boats the backstay is used to mount the antenna and on a power boat a large fiberglass pole antenna is used?
I am not sure which would be more useful for cruising the HAM or SSB or both?
Finally any recommendation of a practical guide, to radio use on a cruising boat.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Steve
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Old 07-08-2008, 13:54   #2
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Steve, We have both Ham and SSB capabilities with our Icom radio and have for many years. We find both Ham nets and SSB nets invaluable for both information and just plain old social functions so we highly recommend having both. Both will give you good information on navigation problems, weather, changes in things like checking in, and where your friends will be. For the east coast and the Bahamas, there are more SSB nets and SSB weather nets, etc. than Ham nets in those particular areas, but you will find both.
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Old 07-08-2008, 14:05   #3
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Steve,

The best advise I could give would be to study for the exams by taking the on line practice exams over and over. Study for the tech exam, take it, pass it then move on to the general exam. Examples of practice exam web sites include: QRZ Ham Radio Practice Tests or AA9PW FCC Exam Practice Amateur Radio Exam Practice or eHam.net Ham Radio Practice Exams .

Have fun & enjoy the cruise.
Bill A. KE5QLO
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:12   #4
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Practice exams at QRZ Ham Radio Practice Tests

The easiest way to make contact on SSB and/or HAM is to be on the right frequency at the right time. Dockside radio has a great list. See their web site at Net / SSB Frequencies

George
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:14   #5
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Thanks for the information folks, I'll look into those sites.
Good Cruisin! I hope to see you all on the water some time.
Steve
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:52   #6
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Steve,

A good (but basic) reference book for radio on your boat is Marine Amateur available at the following: McGraw-Hill: Marine Amateur Radio : Book .

I would recomend having both SSB and ham available on your boat. Many people covert their ham radios (although this is illigal in the US) to transmit in both ham and SSB frequencies. Ham radios are much less expensive than SSB radios and a converted radio certainly much less expensive than buying two radios. I can see why some people convert them.

By the way, I once spent a year in Thibodaux one month (it really wasn't that bad but it was an experience). Is Bubba's on the Bayou still there?

Again, Good Luck
Bill A. ......... KE5QLO
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Old 08-08-2008, 13:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobetah View Post
By the way, I once spent a year in Thibodaux one month (it really wasn't that bad but it was an experience). Is Bubba's on the Bayou still there?

Again, Good Luck
Bill A. ......... KE5QLO
I spent a "lifetime" growing up in St. Martinville, Louisiana, which is about 80 miles WNW of Thibodaux. We'll be heading to Cypremort Point near the Port of Iberia next spring to visit family. By boat, of course!
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Old 08-08-2008, 15:06   #8
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Aside from the antenna you will need a counterpoise and ground for a high power SSB/Ham radio. You will need to consult w/ a radio tech to complete the installation successfully.
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Old 08-08-2008, 19:29   #9
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Thanks for the link Mobetah! Yes Bubbas on the Bayou is doing fine and keeping busy!
To you, Beausoleil, and any others passing through Houma in the ICW send me an email in advance stwillett at aol.com and if I'm in town and free I'll come over from Thibodaux to provide car transport, help, etc. The Houma Municipal Marina is not fancy but very nice and friendly people. It is located just under the bridges about mile 57 West of New Orleans, Harvey Lock on the Gulf ICW.
Steve
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