I have an M802 and like it a lot. I use it on the ham bands for email
on winlink. I have an SGC tuner which I am also pleased with; I bought it to use with my old ham radio
, before switching to the Icom
. The Icom tuner has the advantage of being integrated, so there is "handshaking" going on between the radio and tuner. The SGC just senses the first transmission
and tunes it up, indicating tune on an LED. Some think it is a better tuner. I suspect either would work just fine.
Yes, the Dynaplates I have are a problem. They crud up. One of them is breaking apart. Anecdotal evidence suggests they only work for 6-9 months in the water
, then must be removed and soaked in acid. Not impressed...
I wrapped the underwater portion of my transom-hung rudder
with roofing copper - it has proven to be an excellent ground. If you are interested I can explain how to do it.
I have an insulated backstay as well. It seems to work well. I have some reason to think that a vertical multiband whip antenna
might perform a bit better. With the M802 it is desirable to have two antennas (I don't yet); one for the transceiver and the other for the DSC
receiver. So I may add a whip and switch between them to see which works better (don't hold your breath: if I do it, it will be a few years from now).
Winlink works for email
, including grib files. It is free, but requires getting a ham license
. I recommend doing that. Otherwise stick to the marine
bands and paying for the Sailmail service
; it uses the same software
but has far fewer land stations.