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Old 17-11-2015, 20:35   #46
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Here is the latest build for All Rpis...

https://github.com/JamesP6000/WsprryPi
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Old 17-11-2015, 23:21   #47
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

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Here is the latest build for All Rpis...

https://github.com/JamesP6000/WsprryPi
Thanks. I will check it out!
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Old 18-11-2015, 02:24   #48
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
. . .

Ever wonder why everyone with a ham rig on-board also recommends a $100+ "battery booster"??
It's cause they need them! . . .

But that sounds like an argument for -- a battery booster. Not for a marine radio per se

That's just a quibble about the argument, however. There are a million other good reasons not to try to use a HF ham radio as a substitute for a real marine SSB.


I have a "battery booster" even for my marine SSB, an M802. I had to, because my boat is 24 volts, and the M802 (unlike the M801E) must have 12v power. So I have a large Victron dropper which will put out up to 30 amps of power at 13.5 volts as long as it's getting power at anywhere between 20 and 30 volts.
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Old 18-11-2015, 02:35   #49
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

I installed my I802 last spring along with a mulitude of other electronics (inverter etc) I kept seeing a power usage of between 1 to 1.6 amps even when I had everything shut down ( I thought).

Finally I went at it last week and started disconnecting everything on the boat one wire at time until I had figured out where most of it is.

Turns out that the Icom802 has a normal usage of 0.6-0.7 amps even though it is powered off at the controller at the nav station.

Hmmmm. Back to reading the manual and I can't find anything about a standby power usage. Wrote to Icom and got the answer yesterday. The usage is normal is due to an oscillator that needs to remain powered up. Turning off the power completely means the radio needs 1/2 hour to warm up.

Seems like a lot of amps 0.7 x24 = 17 amps per day, but at least now I know what's causing it and that it is "normal"

The rest of the power "leak" was due to my inverter (checking this because I do have a remote control onthe inverter which is supposed to shut it down completely) and my electric winch which uses 0.1 amp (probably due to some dampness in the on/off button next to the winch.

All this only took me 4 days (sigh)
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Old 18-11-2015, 05:03   #50
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I installed my I802 last spring along with a mulitude of other electronics (inverter etc) I kept seeing a power usage of between 1 to 1.6 amps even when I had everything shut down ( I thought).

Finally I went at it last week and started disconnecting everything on the boat one wire at time until I had figured out where most of it is.

Turns out that the Icom802 has a normal usage of 0.6-0.7 amps even though it is powered off at the controller at the nav station.

Hmmmm. Back to reading the manual and I can't find anything about a standby power usage. Wrote to Icom and got the answer yesterday. The usage is normal is due to an oscillator that needs to remain powered up. Turning off the power completely means the radio needs 1/2 hour to warm up.

Seems like a lot of amps 0.7 x24 = 17 amps per day, but at least now I know what's causing it and that it is "normal"

The rest of the power "leak" was due to my inverter (checking this because I do have a remote control onthe inverter which is supposed to shut it down completely) and my electric winch which uses 0.1 amp (probably due to some dampness in the on/off button next to the winch.

All this only took me 4 days (sigh)
There will be times (when you leave the boat for several days without shore power) when you won't want that power consumption. ICOM should have given us "Standby" and "Off" positions, to control that.

I can shut down the dropper which powers mine, at the nav table. I did that because not only does the radio have constant power drain, but the dropper also has a slight idle power consumption.

I would put in a relay, Carsten, if I were you, which will let you cut the power to your M802, if you don't have an easily accessible breaker or switch.
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Old 18-11-2015, 05:08   #51
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
There will be times (when you leave the boat for several days without shore power) when you won't want that power consumption. ICOM should have given us "Standby" and "Off" positions, to control that.

I can shut down the dropper which powers mine, at the nav table. I did that because not only does the radio have constant power drain, but the dropper also has a slight idle power consumption.

I would put in a relay, Carsten, if I were you, which will let you cut the power to your M802, if you don't have an easily accessible breaker or switch.
HI Dockhead,

When I installed it, I put an 80amp thermorelay in between the batteries and the radio so I can easily shut it off.

But it still means 17 amps per day while we're sailing.

Oh well -more solar
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Old 18-11-2015, 19:20   #52
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Carstenb,
Are you sure about your current draw measurement of your M-802 on standby (i.e. Off)???
If you're measuring this thru a panel meter, battery system monitor, inverter controller, etc....then I suspect the metering is the problem....(trying to measure very low current thru big shunts / panel meters, etc. is always inaccurate!!)

The actual "normal" current draw of the M-802 in standby is only 0.09amps to 0.12amps....that's 90-120ma....
(I've personally measured 100ma and 110ma on my two M-802's....and have confirmed with Icom engineering that this is within spec....they say 100ma is their design spec, but I assume this is at 13.6vdc....)
In a 24 hour day, that's about 2.5 A/H per day...hardly an issue for most....but, if leaving the boat unattended for a week or two (or more), just unplug the radio....


Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Turns out that the Icom802 has a normal usage of 0.6-0.7 amps even though it is powered off at the controller at the nav station.

Hmmmm. Back to reading the manual and I can't find anything about a standby power usage. Wrote to Icom and got the answer yesterday. The usage is normal is due to an oscillator that needs to remain powered up. Turning off the power completely means the radio needs 1/2 hour to warm up.

Seems like a lot of amps 0.7 x24 = 17 amps per day, but at least now I know what's causing it and that it is "normal"

The rest of the power "leak" was due to my inverter (checking this because I do have a remote control onthe inverter which is supposed to shut it down completely) and my electric winch which uses 0.1 amp (probably due to some dampness in the on/off button next to the winch.

All this only took me 4 days (sigh)
Now, if you spoke with Icom tech support / customer service....well, welcome to what I call the blind leading the blind!!
Yes, they have some good repair techs.....but few (if any) that actually understand the engineering of their rigs....
I cannot imagine how much misinformation they spew out....but....

Oh, well....

In a nutshell.....100ma to 120ma is normal....700ma is way out-of-spec...600% to 700% out-of-spec...
If you haven't used a DMM on a small current scale to measure this, give it a go....and I hope you'll find a much lower current draw!
BUT...
But, please do NOT try to transmit when doing this test, as you'll likely blow up your DMM!!! (I did this 30 some years ago, when working on some homebrewed stuff!!...and when you blow up a $100+ meter, it really sucks...but not as bad as a friend who fried a $20,000 analyzer he "borrowed" from work!!! True story....he was then hired by a defense contractor to proof-of-performance test the SDR's in the B-2 Stealth Bomber!!! And, he never blew them up!! But, took 'em a year to get thru the security clearances, and to this day he cannot talk about this project...not even WHERE he did the work....although I did end up finding out where...


)



BTW, if you look at this posting, you'll see all the real-world current draws of the M-802...
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call



I hope this helps...

John
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Old 19-11-2015, 01:32   #53
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Carstenb,
Are you sure about your current draw measurement of your M-802 on standby (i.e. Off)???
If you're measuring this thru a panel meter, battery system monitor, inverter controller, etc....then I suspect the metering is the problem....(trying to measure very low current thru big shunts / panel meters, etc. is always inaccurate!!)

The actual "normal" current draw of the M-802 in standby is only 0.09amps to 0.12amps....that's 90-120ma....
(I've personally measured 100ma and 110ma on my two M-802's....and have confirmed with Icom engineering that this is within spec....they say 100ma is their design spec, but I assume this is at 13.6vdc....)
In a 24 hour day, that's about 2.5 A/H per day...hardly an issue for most....but, if leaving the boat unattended for a week or two (or more), just unplug the radio....


Now, if you spoke with Icom tech support / customer service....well, welcome to what I call the blind leading the blind!!
Yes, they have some good repair techs.....but few (if any) that actually understand the engineering of their rigs....
I cannot imagine how much misinformation they spew out....but....

Oh, well....

In a nutshell.....100ma to 120ma is normal....700ma is way out-of-spec...600% to 700% out-of-spec...
If you haven't used a DMM on a small current scale to measure this, give it a go....and I hope you'll find a much lower current draw!
BUT...
But, please do NOT try to transmit when doing this test, as you'll likely blow up your DMM!!! (I did this 30 some years ago, when working on some homebrewed stuff!!...and when you blow up a $100+ meter, it really sucks...but not as bad as a friend who fried a $20,000 analyzer he "borrowed" from work!!! True story....he was then hired by a defense contractor to proof-of-performance test the SDR's in the B-2 Stealth Bomber!!! And, he never blew them up!! But, took 'em a year to get thru the security clearances, and to this day he cannot talk about this project...not even WHERE he did the work....although I did end up finding out where...


)



BTW, if you look at this posting, you'll see all the real-world current draws of the M-802...
Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call



I hope this helps...

John
John,

The tech department at ICOM told it was normal

I'll see if I can get hold of a meter sensitive enough....................
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Old 19-11-2015, 01:49   #54
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
John,

The tech department at ICOM told it was normal

I'll see if I can get hold of a meter sensitive enough....................
FWIW, I can confirm John's numbers, at least for my (ex) M802. I measured it at just over 100 milliamps (with calibrated meter).
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Old 19-11-2015, 04:57   #55
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Hows it.

Lots of this has been covered in mnay recent threads. I am no way anti Ham or SSB , but for many people it just doesn't make sense. technology has moved. I woudl invest my money in A GO. I purchased one this and used it crossing the Indian Ocean. I have an 802 but turned it on only to lurk and listen to the BBC/VOA

Why buy a GO with the marine package for 1K

1) with the external antenna - reliable signal

2) Comms 24 a day - direct to whom you need it to be. Nothing like being able to speak to the DIRECT duty officer at the MRCC when you really need it

3) with 3rd party Wx programs ( and this stuff is just going to keep getting better _- predict wind now has a in app grib viewer) instant access to Gribs, forecasts, sat images. Its unreal. No more chasing propagation, slow pactor modems, antiquated software.

4) its cheap. Now with the unlimited data for $125 a month you get 150 satphone minutes. you can not prepay minutes that cheap for traditional sat phone.


if you want to rag chew, be social and have something to kill time with there is no reason you cant put together a SSB setup for 300 dollars on your boat. A quick look on the internet you cant find a opened up IC 706 ( which is nice little piece of kit), a MFJ tuner and build a Q5RV dipole, hoisted on a halyard as suggested by Ka4awj. The amount of excellent resources and books on antennas, propgation and ham radio where the knowledge is transferred to marine SSB is unreal. There is some real value IMO of understanding what you are putting together, how to fix it , and why it works.

good luck

Barry

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Old 19-11-2015, 06:03   #56
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

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4) its cheap. Now with the unlimited data for $125 a month you get 150 satphone minutes. you can not prepay minutes that cheap for traditional sat phone.
Depends on your definition of cheap. Even those operating costs are a killer for many, un included. I have an Iridium phone but have stopped putting minutes on it and only use SSB. Once you have SSB installed it's much cheaper to run than any satellite system.

I don't agree with your 24/7 availability for Iridium either it's often very flaky, but you do get through eventually

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Old 20-11-2015, 17:38   #57
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Re: SSB radios - which one to get as a cheap starter one?

Barry,
I take you at your word that you're not "anti Ham or SSB"...
So, no worries!!!


But, just in case others here are not fully aware of a few things, I thought I'd add a bit of fun facts for clarification..

First off, the original poster never asked about sat com at all....he was asking about HF radio options...

Secondly, many sailors (including myself) do not wish to be "in contact" with everyone, everyday....where e-mail and SMS messages are sent out/received so often that nobody has a chance to actually enjoy sailing!!!

Third, the limited amount of time that most cruisers are actually away from terrestrial-based data comms (whether Wi-Fi, cellular/3G/4G/LTE, etc.), is so small that once this is actually explained to them, most find they have absolutely NO need at all for any additional data / e-mail connectivity....(of course there is actually no "need" for anyone....just that some desire to have more "connectivity"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamadriver View Post
I am no way anti Ham or SSB , but for many people it just doesn't make sense. technology has moved.
Many are not aware that the Iridium system and technology actually PRE-DATES the MF/HF-DSC-SSB system!!
(yes, the IridiumGO is a new product aimed at all those boomers that have their smart phones permanently attached to their hands! But, the technology pre-dates the HF-DSC system and your M-802!!)
Always makes me smile when I hear people remark about "technology moving on", and they don't realize that some of that "old fashioned" stuff is actually rather new!!!
Have a look at what I posted in another thread, just this past week:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
....Actually, those old Moto engineers designed a very elegant system....and remember this was all designed > 20 years ago!!!
And still works great today!!!

[Iridium] System concept and initial design in 1987....build-out in the mid 90's!!!
About the same time frame of HF-DSC in the GMDSS, in the mid to late 90's!!
Always makes me smile when I read sailors comment on the "modern" sat comm technology and the "antiquated" SSB technology....
I woudl invest my money in A GO. I purchased one this and used it crossing the Indian Ocean. I have an 802 but turned it on only to lurk and listen to the BBC/VOA

Why buy a GO with the marine package for 1K
Don't forget you need the smart phone too!!

1) with the external antenna - reliable signal

2) Comms 24 a day - direct to whom you need it to be. Nothing like being able to speak to the DIRECT duty officer at the MRCC when you really need it
Remember that with a M-802 (or any MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone), you DO have a direct 24/7/365 rain-or-shine connection with RCC's worldwide (via > 450 MF-DSC coast stations, and > 80 HF-DSC coast stations worldwide!)....as well as being able to directly/instantly connect with 1000's of SOLAS grade vessels worldwide (especially those in YOUR immediate area, within just a few hours of steaming from you)...
And, of course, once you've made your initial contact via DSC, you will be speaking directly to a watch officer in a matter of a minute!!

Not to mention all the other uses/needs you may have to signal / communicate with, other vessels and shore stations...other than distress!!



3) with 3rd party Wx programs ( and this stuff is just going to keep getting better _- predict wind now has a in app grib viewer) instant access to Gribs, forecasts, sat images. Its unreal. No more chasing propagation, slow pactor modems, antiquated software.
Not discounting the weather apps, programs, and services available via e-mail, etc. (whether from Iridium, PACTOR, etc.), lest we forget that whether sailing the N. Atl., S. Atl., Pacific, Indian Ocean.....HF WeFax charts are available for free....and these are not the raw computer model data like GRIB's, but rather weather forecasts/charts prepared by seasoned, experienced maritime meteorologists..



4) its cheap. Now with the unlimited data for $125 a month you get 150 satphone minutes. you can not prepay minutes that cheap for traditional sat phone.
A "boat buck" for equipment and another one every 8 months, isn't cheap to me!!
But, compared to a VSAT system, etc...yes...



if you want to rag chew, be social and have something to kill time with there is no reason you cant put together a SSB setup for 300 dollars on your boat. A quick look on the internet you cant find a opened up IC 706 ( which is nice little piece of kit), a MFJ tuner and build a Q5RV dipole, hoisted on a halyard as suggested by Ka4awj.
Haven't got the time to pick thru all of this....but, suffice it is comments like these that confuse most sailors (those unfamiliar with HF comms).....
So, just a few corrections here....
You can find an older (used) Icom M-700Pro or M-710, etc. for about $400 - $500....(or a used M-802 for about $1000), and these would be 100 times better than a 706!!!
(have you ever listened to the crap signal from a 706, run on "battery voltage"??? oh baby, watch out!!!)

It is actually Bill (btrayfors) that has been advocating running a 1/2-wave dipole up a halyard for an excellent single-band antenna....(and yes, they do work well)
But, if doing this....you do NOT need a tuner....as these are single-band antennas!!!

And, NOBODY would want to try a G5RV on-board an offshore boat....even in the perfect config, it's a compromise antenna!!!!
(yeah, maybe some hams might like to experiment when in port / at anchor, for fun...but, NOBODY here ever advocated using a G5RV!!!)

And, yes, I do carry an old MFJ tuner as my emergency tuner....but trying to use a manual tuner, in a remote-mount situation, is a pain in the a**....and one that nobody would ever recommend for normal operation!!!
And, while you can make use of a compromise set-up....with a radio mounted MFJ tuner, with coax to a current balun (un-un), and then to a random wire (backstay or whip) and ground....cannot think of anyone that recommends this to the typical sailor!! (some of my fellow hams have done this type of set-up, for specific applications....but, these are a rather narrow exception!)


The amount of excellent resources and books on antennas, propgation and ham radio where the knowledge is transferred to marine SSB is unreal. There is some real value IMO of understanding what you are putting together, how to fix it , and why it works.
I've added the bold-type to your last couple sentences...as this is GREAT!!!


Hope you don't mind the clarifications....
Fair winds!!

John
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