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Old 16-01-2013, 15:55   #1
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ssb freqs

Can I get a few guaranteed-to-be-there frequencies. Freqs that are very strong signal so I can verify I can hear/receive?
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:34   #2
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Re: ssb freqs

Try the time tick on 5000, 10,000, 15,000, and 20,000 you should hear it on one of those frequencies and you can try them any time.
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Old 16-01-2013, 17:54   #3
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Re: ssb freqs

gettingthere,
Not sure where you at, nor when you're are trying to test your radio (PLEASE ADVISE, so we can actually help you out...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Can I get a few guaranteed-to-be-there frequencies. Freqs that are very strong signal so I can verify I can hear/receive?


If you're looking for some tips to get you started, we'd need to know a LOT more than just where you are at....but until then, you may find some postings of mine on the SSCA Disc Board very helpful....
SSCA Forum • View topic - Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)
SSCA Forum • View topic - HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..
SSCA Forum • View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts



Answering your question in general.....

a) In addition to the time and frequency standard stations, such as WWV and WWVH (on AM or USB/LSB) on exactly 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20mhz and CHU (on USB) on exactly 3.330, 7.850, and 14.670mhz), there are other int'l time/freq stations worldwide....

Have a look here...
HF Time and Frequency Standard Stations



b) There are BBC shortwave broadcasts, VOA broadcasts, and many other shortwave broadcasts (some in English and many in other languages), that are all very strong depending on where you are at and what time of day you are listening.....
And, of course you also tune in to some local MF broadcasts (what we in the N. America call "AM radio"), between 530khz to 1700khz (.530mhz to 1.7mhz), which should also be fairly strong....
(these would all be received in either AM or USB/LSB modes....)
BBC World Service | Radio Frequency Guide
Frequencies and schedules for broadcast - VOA News

AFRN is now only being broadcast in pretty remote areas...from Diego Garcia and Guam....and will be received in USB only!!!!
Armed Forces Ntwk



c) If you can arrange to test your radio at some specific times, I find one of the best things to do is listen to the US Coast Guard....
Their voice weather broadcasts are pretty strong, and using the simulated voice, are fairly easy to understand....
Depending on where you at, you can find them VERY strong (if you're 4000 - 5000 miles away) to fairly weak (>10,000 miles away)....
USCG HF Voice
(If you are in, or within 2000-3000 miles of the US, try 8.764mhz first....and then 13.089mhz...)


d) If your within 4000 - 5000 miles of the US, you can hear WLO/KLB hourly traffic lists and 6 times a day offshore weather pretty well...
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels



e) If you are within 4000-5000 miles of Australia, you can hear VMC and VMW hourly weather pretty strong.....
{heck I hear 'em here in S. Florida USA right here at my dock (with all the noise of being near civilization, etc.) I typically can copy quite well (over many hours) the offshore weather broadcasts from VMC on 12.365mhz (Charleville, Australia) and VMW on 12.362mhz (Wiluna, Australia), in the afternoons.....(and hear the 8176 broadcasts at night as well!!!)
These stations are 9600 miles and 11,100 miles from me, here in Florida...}


~~~
f) There are many, many other users of HF radio....from ham radio, maritime radio users on other vessels and pleasure boats, trans-oceanic airliners / air traffic control, military of many nations, etc. etc. etc....

These last groups of suggestions / lists of nets are NOT guaranteed to be strong and clear.....but sometimes they WILL be....sometimes they will NOT be....
If you're looking for some "boat related" ham radio nets....try the Intercon, MMSN, and Pac Sefarers, at 14.300mhz daily from 1300z thru 0300z....
Maritime Mobile Service Network

And, in the early mornings along the US east coast / Bahamas, the Waterway Net....
Waterway Net Web Site

And, for a list of many other maritime and maritime-related ham nets....
East Coast Cruising Nets
West Coast Nets

And, there are other maritime stations / users in more remote areas, such as Brunei, NZ, SA, etc...as well as many, many non-voice stations...



g) And, lastly a suggestion that is a bit off-topic....
Have a look at the NWS/NOAA Maritime Weather Home Page, where you'll find links to almost every marine / offshore / hi-seas weather product available worldwide....(including a lot of the links I posted above)...
National Weather Service Marine Forecasts


I don't know where you at, nor what you are trying to test, but I do hope all of the above helps....(especially my posting on the SSCA board about tips for using HF-SSB radio on-board)

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 16-01-2013, 17:59   #4
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Re: ssb freqs

Where are you located? That would help recommend frequencies that are more likely to be strong for you.
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Old 16-01-2013, 18:16   #5
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Re: ssb freqs

If you do a search (Google Custom) on this forum you will find many threads to SSB Frequencies.
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Old 16-01-2013, 19:06   #6
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Wow John, thank you.

I'm in Stuart, Fl currently. I've installed an M600 but no tuner yet. Just want to receive weather for now. Add the rest later. Seems almost all I hear is morse code across the spectrum. I did listen to Chris Parker this AM on 4045. But yesterday could not hear him on any of his scheduled freqs.

I'll open those links and write down some freqs for checking when I can take a break from all the other stuff!
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Old 16-01-2013, 19:58   #7
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Re: ssb freqs

Chris Parker should be a good test for you. He is FL based. That short of a transmit distance is a ground wave hop for you so should be good and strong and less subject to propagation issues.

Also, Cruiseheimers and BASRA. (Times and frequencies included in lists from earlier post).

Just before the cruisers net's like Cruiserheimers, it is not uncommon for cruisers to have brief conversations. So, this might be a good time for you to test out making contact.

WLO radio (ShipComm) and NMG both transmit from New Orleans so are not far from you. See ShipCom LLC :: Marine HF Radiotelephone and HF Single SideBand Email and USCG HF Voice. NMG transmits both HF Voice (the link I posted) and RadioFAX when you get to that point.
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Old 17-01-2013, 06:32   #8
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Re: ssb freqs

If you are in or near a marina in Stuart, you won't have good reception. If you are hearing "morse code" on all bands, then you have a noise problem - either generated onboard or from something near to you. Refridge compressors and inverters are notorious for chirping, so try turning those off first. If there are any wind gens around you (or on you), these are also noisy chirpers.

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Old 17-01-2013, 06:41   #9
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Bingo!

Just a half hour ago I traced a major source of noise to my frig. So it's Chris Parkers fault when I serve you warm beer!

We're not in a marina so we seem to be doing OK otherwise. Slowly working in a bit of radio time among all the other stuff.

Thanx
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Old 18-01-2013, 08:36   #10
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Re: ssb freqs

gettinthere,
You're welcome!!!

Now that I know what you're trying to do, I can be much more helpful...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Wow John, thank you.
I'm in Stuart, Fl currently. I've installed an M600 but no tuner yet. Just want to receive weather for now. Add the rest later. Seems almost all I hear is morse code across the spectrum. I did listen to Chris Parker this AM on 4045.But yesterday could not hear him on any of his scheduled freqs.
1) My boat is docked within a couple miles of you, and I spend most of my time there in Stuart..(but, I actually just left the other day for business....I'll be back next week...and I'll get in touch when I return...)




2) Being in the Stuart, FL places Chris Parker about 120 miles NW of you, over land, and as such you'll hear him primarily via skywave not groundwave...(actually Near Vertical Incidence Skywave, to be exact....)
Depending on the exact time of the morning and ionospheric conditions that day / at that time (and on local noise sources), you will find reception better on one freq vs. the other....
(From S. Florida, typically the "critical freq" early in the AM and low enough D-layer absorption allows the early 4mhz time to be used very effectively....but sometimes you'll hear him better on 6mhz or 8mhz....
And, as you move further away from Chris' transmit location, you will find no useable signal from him on 4mhz at all, and 8mhz will become your primary contact freq for Chris....and as you move even further, you may even find yourself hearing him well on 12mhz...)




3) The best way to "get used to HF radio" is to learn the basics (read some books) and LISTEN to the radio as much as possible....
That doesn't mean that you need to sit for hours with the headphones on, while other boat projects lay waiting, nor that you ignore family responsibilities, etc....
Rather, you CAN listen to the radio WHILE you are doing all those other projects.....and you WILL pick-up many subtle lessons along the way....

Some suggestions:
a) Try tuning in the USCG offshore weather broadcasts from NMN....
USCG HF Voice
Just have the radio on when you're doing other things...
At the prescribed broadcast time, switch between their channels to find which one is the strongest...and then leave it on while you're doing boat projects...


b) If you're an early-bird or are working on projects during the morning, try leaving the radio on 7.268mhz LSB.....this is the Water Way Net freq....
Before, during, and after the net, there will be guys on talking, etc....
(this alone will give 3+ hours of "boat-related" radio talk, as well as familiarize you with net operations....)


c) After 1000am - 1100am local time, 20 meters is usually open to many locations...and after listening to NMN at 1530z (for 30 - 45 minutes), try setting your radio to 14.300mhz USB for the MMSN.....and you can listen to them all day long....
Maritime Mobile Service Network


d) After a few days of the above, you may find the maritime cruising nets a little boring...
But that's okay, you'll be learning a lot....




4) Mark is correct about the frig, as you found out!!!
(Danfoss compressor controllers produce many annoying birdies....)
Read the other links (SSCA threads), for further details on RF interference, etc.



Fair winds...

John
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:15   #11
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Re: ssb freqs

gettinthere,
I forgot one fairly important point!!!

You originally asked:
Quote:
a few guaranteed-to-be-there frequencies. Freqs that are very strong signal so I can verify I can hear/receive?
, and I just wanted to post here that while Chris Parker is on-the-air 6 days/week, on various freqs, his transmitter is not "very strong", nor is he "guaranteed" to be on those freqs at any of those times....

You should use one of the stations I referenced above as a "guaranteed to be there" signal that is "very strong"....

Just FYI....
--Most other pleasure craft / your fellow sailors use 150 watts, and some have fairly poor antenna systems....
--Chris is limited to 150 watts transmit power...and uses low-gain (or no-gain) antennas...and he is 100+ miles inland, not on the water...
--Most commercial ships use 250 - 1000 watts, with very good antenna systems....
--WLO uses 1000 watts....using directional/gain antennas...
--NMN (and the rest of the USCG HF stations) use 4000 watts....with some directional gain antennas...
--Many ham operators use as much as 1500 watts, some with large directional gain antennas...(although there are many hams that use < 100 watts...)
--Most aircraft HF transmitters are from 100 - 400 watts...
--Most HF aviation ground stations are 1000-4000 watts...with excellent antenna systems....
--AM radio broadcast stations use from 1000 to 50,000 watts....(most of the larger stations are 50,000watts...)
--BBC, VOA, and other shortwave broadcasts stations typically use 250,000 to 500,000 watts...almost all using very high-gain antennas....(and some use as much as 2,000,000 watts)

So, in addition to the variables of the ionosphere / radio wave propagation, there are wide differences between the transmitter power and antennas used by the various users of the HF radio spectrum....


I hope this helps.....

John

P.S. I've been wasting time, waiting on a client....but gotta' go now....
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Old 18-01-2013, 11:28   #12
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Re: ssb freqs

Good summary, John, on "what's out there I can hear".

BTW, on all my HF radios -- ham, military, marine, etc. -- I typically program several WWV, WLO, NMN, and ARINC (aero enroute) frequencies into the memories.

Of these, I find that for me the ARINC freqs are most useful, since they give me a very quick and good idea of what paths are open on various frequencies. Interesting listening, too (certainly NOT transmit freqs!).

Bill
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:47   #13
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Re: ssb freqs

Bill,
Thanks!

1) I also use the HF aero freqs like "propagation beacons"....I have a few NAT-A freqs (5mhz, 8mhz, and another) plus an HF Volmet freq programmed into my M-802's.....named them "GANDER" and "AIR WX".....

And, at home I've used the Australian weather on 8176 as general observation to see when 40m is open to VK....and also have used the Aus 2965 and 6676 volmets and the NZ 2863 and 6679 volmets for a general check on VK and ZL paths on 80m and 40m...as well as their maritime stations....but since the volmets are always there (on precise schedules), they work great....
(I'm into 80m long-haul work...



2) On a side note, about 5 - 6 weeks ago I heard a couple guys on 12.359mhz (immediately following Herb's Net) trying to connect and when conditions wouldn't allow, they stated they were switching to a 8mhz freq which was just 2khz from one of the NAT-A (ARINC) channels....unable to get to the mic before they QSY'd, later that day, using the internet I found one of the guy's e-mail addresses, and sent him a quick e-mail advising him of the issue with just "picking a freq", etc. and informing him of the specific problem of that particular freq....he replied with a "thank you", and advising me that he was not aware that aircraft used HF anymore. (????)
But.....
But, the frustrating thing for me was that he wasn't just some guy on his boat, but rather an Extra Class ham at his home in New England (w/ his boat hauled-out for the season), working on the HF Maritime channels (without a coast station license), trying to connect with his friend at sea.....AND then they were about to interfere with trans-oceanic aviation HF communications....
Apparently the other guy (at sea) was not a ham, so they figured they'd just "pick a freq" and communicate.....
This is arrogance covered with ignorance!!!

I mention this personal experience of mine here, specifically to inform/remind everyone here that while their radios may be capable transmitting on many freqs/channels, there are other users of the radio spectrum.....and it is not only prudent to use only the channels/freqs that you are specifically authorized for, it will also save you from an embarrassing and costly fine for doing otherwise....
And you may not realize it, but there are peoples lives that rely on communications, and what if it were one of your loved ones whose life was put at risk by some yahoo who thought he had a right to transmit anywhere he please????



3) BTW, I did make a typo in my earlier post...(it should read 1000 - 5000 watts of transmitter power, for most HF Aviation Ground stations....)


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 18-01-2013, 19:18   #14
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Re: ssb freqs

John

Thanks for your input, I am also learning as I go, I have an I-com M802 with a 140 tunner already installed on my boat when I bought it, but never took the time until now to learn how to use it. Your posts have been very helpful to me also. Like the OP, I would turn it on and maybe hear some clicking, fax like sounds, or only occationally a voice. I was very frustrated, because I did not know how to use it and I did not know if it was working or not.

After, alot of studying, and looking at the equipement and instalation of the equipement, I found that the copper foil used to conenct the bronze gound plate to the tunner had degraded so much because it was tissue thin in a salt water enviroment it was basicly gone. Today, I found a roofing suplier who had some copper flashing that I used to replace the copper foil and now it works way better.

Now, I have gotten the licences required, and I think my radio is working at least to a minimal degree, I am very interested in other aspects of what the SSB can do. I am also under the impression that I could also use the SSB for basic email and weather fax information and possibly more.

If you have time could you tell me and others what is needed to get the most out of the SSB radio. Also, I have not actually tried to talk on the SSB yet. Could I try to contact you at a certain time to see how well my radio is working? I am in Marco Island currently.

Thanks for your help, and anyone else that would be willing to help.
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Old 19-01-2013, 11:44   #15
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Re: ssb freqs

Rocketman,
1) First off, you're welcome...

2) Secondly, if you take my advice and try listening (even while doing other things on-board) to the stations, freqs, nets, etc. I posted above, you'll find yourself learning quite a bit....



3) At the moment, I'm out-of-town on business, but should be back on-board sometime next week (???)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
If you have time could you tell me and others what is needed to get the most out of the SSB radio. Also, I have not actually tried to talk on the SSB yet. Could I try to contact you at a certain time to see how well my radio is working? I am in Marco Island currently.
So, until then, there are some very helpful discussion board threads that should be helpful to you....

SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Icom M-802 "Clipping Issue" - Revisited....
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - A Few SSB Install Questions
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - KISS-SSB Counterpoise

SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Testing a SSB/Ham radio - poor reception
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - and the SSB saga continues
SSCA Forum &bull; View topic - Help!! SSB Issues

New SSB Installation


Reading all the above should keep 'ya busy...



4) In all humility, while I'm really good at all this (been into radio communications for ~40 years, majored in physics, and have made a living running my own electronics company for the past 30 years) and have taught seminars on radio wave propagation, antenna design / choice, etc...you can learn a LOT more from books than you can from internet discussion boards....

Bottom line is that "getting the most out of the HF radio on-board", is just like getting the most out of anything on-board....you must learn the basics, hone your skills, and practice, practice, practice....
Just like sail trim, boat handling, navigation, diesel maintenance, anchoring, etc.....you read the reference books, maybe take some classes / pass some tests, use your knowledge / common sense, and practice, practice, practice....

As for gaining the basic knowledge, in my opinion, NOTHING beats reading some books....remember radio waves are very well understood, and there has been hundreds of books written about radio, but NOTHING is as comprehensive as the ARRL Handbook...

The ARRL Handbook is probably the best overall book to start with.....it isn't cheap, nor small!!!
But it is THE book which can teach you everything from the basics of electronics, radio wave propagation, antennas, etc..as well as radio operating basics, info on RFI, etc...
Buy the book, read the book, use the book....all before even looking into getting your ham radio license, and when you do sit down to take the tests, you'll breeze thru them in just minutes (and possibly even know more than some of the test examiners....don't get me started on that!)
American Radio Relay League | ARRL - The national association for AMATEUR RADIO




I hope the above is helpful....

Fair winds....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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