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Old 10-03-2013, 23:53   #16
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Re: SSB vs HAM

If cost is a factor, Ham radios are way cheaper. Bought my opened up Icom 718 used for $450. Can receive and transmit on all HF SSB frequencies. Not legal to transmit on Marine frequences except in an emergency. The modification to the 718 to transmit on all hf frequencies takes less time than it does to open the case and get to the right circuit board. Personally, like the 718 because it's a simple radio. Don't have to go 4 menus deep following arcane instructions buried in the manual to make simple changes to it's performance characteristics. Just found out that you can increase the output of the 718 to 200 watts with a simple modification as well.

The 7000 series of ICOM Ham radios have better filters, more bells and whistles and cost more. Still about a boat unit cheaper than the 802 marine radio.

The claim that Ham radios do not have as tight a frequency control is BS from what I hear from radio people that really know the technical aspects. Biggest problem with transmitting on Marine bands with a ham radio is inadvertent mistuning of the frequency other than it's frowned upon by the authorities. Would be willing to bet that the guts of the ICOM 802 are identical to their higher end mobile Ham radios like the 7000, 7100, & 7200. A radio nearly identical to the 718 is/was sold as a marine radio in certain parts of the world from what I hear.

I got my general license after getting the technician license with one day of solid practice on a couple of online practice test sights. Must have learned enough to take the Extra License test as the guys correcting my test tried to get me to take the Extra exam after they checked my General Exam. Figured that was pushing my luck and didn't go for it. I'm an electronics idiot that has to call my son to dial my iPhone so the test isn't that hard. You will have to put out some effort to study for it, however. The information you'll learn studying for the General/Extra license is mostly information you'll need to use your radio. You'll learn the frequencies that you can use, how radio signals travel through the atmosphere and how to take advantage of the atmosphere and time of day to get the best performance out of the various frequencies.

The ICOM 802 has the advantage of being certified for Marine SSB frequencies and can be easily opened up to transmit on Ham freq's with a fairly simple software command.

Other than the radio itself, Ham and Marine HF use the same equipment and set up. Another vote for the SGC230 antenna tuner. It tunes automatically as soon as you hit transmit and memorizes the frequencies that you use so it will tune nearly instantly. Does not require special cable from radio to Icom Tuner to work, just the coax radio signal output.
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Old 11-03-2013, 00:26   #17
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Most people we have met cruising with HF radios have a single HF set opened for both for the marine SSB frequencies and the HAM SSB frequencies. Even if someone doesn't have the licence for a frequency they might want to transmit on it in an emergency.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:37   #18
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Some marine SSB sets (for example, Icom M802) can be easily "opened up" to transmit on ham frequencies. FCC rules prohibit ham operations on a radio which is used as the ship's primary radio -- as I mentioned before, I don't know whether this rule is universally ignored, or not. If you have a ham license and an "opened up" marine SSB set, you might be able to communicate on both ham and marine SSB frequencies, if you are willing to flaunt that rule.
You have said this twice now... I believe you are mis-informed, but maybe things have changed in the last couple of years...

Can you please quote the FCC Rule that says a Marine SSB Radio like the ICOM M-802, which is designed and built to operate in HAM Bands, is illegal if you operate it on HAM frequencies?
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:43   #19
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Re: SSB vs HAM

For the OP... You might want to refer to this thread as well:

Marine SSB Radios Used for Ham Radio
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:44   #20
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Can you please quote the FCC Rule that says a Marine SSB Radio like the ICOM M-802, which is designed and built to operate in HAM Bands, is illegal if you operate it on HAM frequencies?
Other way around, A marine MF/HF set (some) can be opened to operate on HAM bands and is quite legal to do so ( ie operate on Ham frequencies) , if you have a HAM license. However doing so invalidates the type approval of the radio for its original use. ( if anyone checks that is, but nobody gives a toss )


SO use an 802 to do both , in my experience as I have a ICOM 7000 ( I love buttons) the 802 is not a great Ham rig.

Dave
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:54   #21
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Re: SSB vs HAM

I will be going for a HAM licence soon, as I know nothing about all different nets and which frequency is what and all that is involved.
Also there is a feiend here at the marina who is showing me some stuff about his radio and i will get his manual and read through it.

So, a few have mentioned that a marine unit (M802) can be opened or unlocked for ham frequencies... Does that cover eventually all of the Amateur spectrum, or at least all the frequencies that are used for communication nets?
Also, is that done by the company or by me on a personal level?

Thanks for all the info from all.

Richard
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:56   #22
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Other way around, A marine MF/HF set (some) can be opened to operate on HAM bands and is quite legal to do so ( ie operate on Ham frequencies) , if you have a HAM license. However doing so invalidates the type approval of the radio for its original use. ( if anyone checks that is, but nobody gives a toss )


SO use an 802 to do both , in my experience as I have a ICOM 7000 ( I love buttons) the 802 is not a great Ham rig.

Dave
Dave

I understand the FCC build requirements for marine radios....

The FCC technical requirements for Marine Radios are are much higher than typical HAM type radios, including being able to operate at very low voltage (10.5v), which most HAM radios can not.

What I don't understand is the statement Dockhead made that it is illegal under FCC Rules to operate on HAM Bands with an approved FCC Marine Radio on a vessel under "Watch Keeping Requirements".

Just as a side note...
My M-802, in combination with the AT-140 Antenna Tuner works great on 20, 40 and 80 Meter HAM Bnads using my backstay as an antenna. On other bands it is not so good.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:06   #23
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Z View Post
So, a few have mentioned that a marine unit (M802) can be opened or unlocked for ham frequencies... Does that cover eventually all of the Amateur spectrum, or at least all the frequencies that are used for communication nets?
Also, is that done by the company or by me on a personal level?
The ICOM M-802 is built at the ICOM factory to transmit and recive all ITU Voice and Data frequencies (Marine SSB) and HAM frequencies.

For European sailors, the M-802 is not sold in Europe, due to EU Rules.... They sell the ICOM M-801, which is not HAM capable.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:13   #24
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Thanks Tom,

That was my whole concern, having to buy two expensive sets. But I guess now after I take the HAM tests, I will have to buy only the M802, and thats expensive...

Tom, while you are/were in Roatan, have you metntalked with LH from Connie Marie?

Thanks again for all.

Richard
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:26   #25
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Ah, the eternal debate: ham vs. marine SSB :-)

A few observations on comments made above....

1. Marine SSB radios are not necessarily more expensive than ham SSB radios, particularly if you're talking about used radios. A perfectly good marine SSB radio can be had for under $500.

2. Virtually all marine SSBs can be made to work on the ham bands. A few of the older ones, particularly those made by SEA, don't have LSB. Most others have both USB and LSB. Similarly, most ham transceivers can be made to work on the marine bands.

3. HOWEVER, it is illegal to use a ham radio on the marine bands, except in a bona fide emergency. While it is perfectly legal for a licensed ham to modify a marine SSB -- or any SSB for that matter -- to work on the ham bands, it is probably illegal to use the same radio on both ham and marine HF bands. For a time, the 802 was touted as being both marine and ham certificated by the FCC. It isn't.

4. As noted above, marine SSBs are built to tougher technical standards than are ham SSB radios. No question about that.

5. I completely agree that it's best to have both a marine SSB and a ham SSB radio aboard. This not only makes for perfect unambiguous legality, but it makes operation easier as well as provides a good measure of redundancy. And, it need not be all that expensive. For example, you could obtain a good used ham radio AND a good used marine radio for less than the cost of a new 802.

6. To answer one of the OP's original questions, with a marine SSB radio, a proper station license, and an operators permit you can use the radio anywhere your boat can go...without further permissions. By contrast, transmission on the ham bands is permitted in many countries only with a valid reciprocal license, which you must apply and pay for.

Bottom line: both ham operation and marine SSB operation are very useful on a boat. It's usually best to have radios for each, if you can.

Bill
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:36   #26
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
A caution -several folks who responded to your initial inquiry provided poor or inaccurate information about HAM issues. This is a typical problem with technical HAM information. Check the credentials of anyone giving you HAM advice.
So what about this (from part 97 US HAM regulations), that you seem to ignore in recommending an M802 combined HAM/SSB?

Quote:
97.11 Stations aboard ships or aircraft.

(a) The installation and operation of an amateur station on a ship or aircraft must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.
(b) The station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft, except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation. The station's transmissions must not cause interference to any other apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft. [bold added]
(c) The station must not constitute a hazard to the safety of life or property. For a station aboard an aircraft, the apparatus shall not be operated while the aircraft is operating under Instrument Flight Rules, as defined by the FAA, unless the station has been found to comply with all applicable FAA Rules.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:48   #27
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Re: SSB vs HAM

So in a case where you have 2 older sets, can you use the same tuner (130) for both since one of my backstays will be the antenna for both?

Thanks
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:53   #28
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Re: SSB vs HAM

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
So what about this (from part 97 US HAM regulations), that you seem to ignore in recommending an M802 combined HAM/SSB?
This section of the FCC regulation is refering to HAM only radios, not USA Marine Radios, built to FCC specifications.

This is the rule that prohibits HAM radios from being used on ships as a Ship's Radio.

Here is the link to the entire FCC Part 97
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:55   #29
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Also, any leads for a used marine SSB set? Looks I may be able to get a used amateur unit and its tuner for $500 after I get my Ham licence...

Thanks agaib
richard
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:59   #30
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Re: SSB vs HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Z View Post
That was my whole concern, having to buy two expensive sets. But I guess now after I take the HAM tests, I will have to buy only the M802, and thats expensive...

Tom, while you are/were in Roatan, have you metntalked with LH from Connie Marie?
Have not heard Connie Marie on the morning net yet, but I will listen up....

Also if you are thinking of purchasing a M-802... I would recommend you purchase or find a used copy of a book by Marty Brown titled "The ICOM M-802 for Idi-Yachts". It is well written and explains in very simple terms how to install, set-up and use your M-802.
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