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Old 14-05-2009, 07:21   #1
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SSB Receiver Questions

I know little about SSB but want to learn more, thought perhaps purchasing an inexpensive SSB receiver would be a good way to start learning what this is all about. Questions:

1./What's a decent make and model inexpensive SSB receiver? Seems like there is a lot of brand names I've never heard of that are probably Chinese and possibly junk?

2./Can an SSB receiver be connector to a notebook computer to download and view weather faxes and grib files? It seems to me this is done through a sound card input (microphone input??) and some specialized software?

3./Do these units need a complex antenna like a Ham/SSB transceiver uses or will they work OK for a starter unit with the antenna built into them?

4./Are there any good beginner websites on this subject? Google provided nothing that contains tutorial. Are there any websites that list content available on SSB frequencies?

Thanks in advance for any info on this.
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Old 14-05-2009, 08:29   #2
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Originally Posted by jdoe71 View Post
I know little about SSB but want to learn more, thought perhaps purchasing an inexpensive SSB receiver would be a good way to start learning what this is all about. Questions:

1./What's a decent make and model inexpensive SSB receiver? Seems like there is a lot of brand names I've never heard of that are probably Chinese and possibly junk?

2./Can an SSB receiver be connector to a notebook computer to download and view weather faxes and grib files? It seems to me this is done through a sound card input (microphone input??) and some specialized software?

3./Do these units need a complex antenna like a Ham/SSB transceiver uses or will they work OK for a starter unit with the antenna built into them?

4./Are there any good beginner websites on this subject? Google provided nothing that contains tutorial. Are there any websites that list content available on SSB frequencies?

Thanks in advance for any info on this.

1. The Degen receivers found on eBay have gotten very good reviews. They sell for about $80 and, yes, they're Chinese-made, but they're not junk. A good place to begin.

2. Yes, you can take the output from any SSB receiver -- usually via the headphone or external speaker jack -- and connect to a laptop computer. With appropriate software, you can download WX faxes, etc. There is a learning curve to this; it takes practice, but is do-able.

3. A simple antenna should suffice, depending on your location.

4. A good place to begin is Pactor-II/III Radio Modem sales/support, FCC License filing, Marine SSB & HAM Radio Net schedules/frequencies. They list a number of net frequencies and times. All marine SSB is upper side band (USB), while most amateur (ham) communication below 10 mHz is lower side band (LSB). Above 10 mHz it is USB, just like marine SSB.

You might also wish to pick up a starter book on SSB.

Bill
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Old 14-05-2009, 09:58   #3
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Bill, thanks for the info. The Degen unit is exactly the one I was looking at. Any suggestions for a starter SSB book? SSB for Dummies?
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Old 14-05-2009, 11:23   #4
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Sure. Good as any. Just don't take anything as gospel :-)

Do a lot of listening. If you have any interest at all -- or think you might have -- study for your ham license. Ham radio is extremely useful onboard, and can get you into the SSB business for a lot less $$ than you think. No code is required these days, and exams are administered by local ham examiners. Get in touch with a local radio club. Books available from ARRL.org.

Bill
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Old 14-05-2009, 12:48   #5
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jd, I'd second what Bill said. Look into ham radio, there is extensive overlap and hams are expected to understand what they are working with so you will be learning about antennas and grounds and other issues that are identical for ham and ssb.
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Old 15-05-2009, 05:29   #6
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Here’s some free on-line SSB study resources:

HF SSB Users Guide:
http://www.sgcworld.com/Publications...fguidebook.pdf

HF Antennas 101:

http://www.sgcworld.com/Publications...ntennas101.pdf

Marine SSB Single Sideband Simplified ~ by GordonWest
At the bottom of Sailing Resources page, Chris Ditzen has the guide* available by chapter.
* “The following is the SSB intro from ICOM”

Sailing Books, etc.
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