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Old 27-03-2007, 07:58   #1
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US Coast Guard SSB Broadcasts on 2182 kHz

We are new to SSB and Ham. We just purchased an Icom 718 radio (opened up for ham) with AH-4 auto tuner.

We have now learned that the AH-4 does not tune below 3.5 Hz. Our question: is this a concern given that the US Coast Guard broadcasts urgent marine information and severe weather warnings on 2182 and 2670 kHz.
We want to make sure that if we need to broadcast to the Coast Guard that we have a way to do so.

We will be sailing in the Caribbean, Mexico and potentially the west coast of Canada.

We were told that 2182 is a 'lousy' frequency with very low usage and that we can get the same information on other channels.

Would you agree? Should we return the tuner (it's still in the box) and get one that does tune below 3.5 Hz?

Thanks in advance for helping out a newbie!


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Old 27-03-2007, 08:50   #2
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In my experience with Hams, even if you can't contact the coast guard directly there is almost certainly going to be at least one ham listening at any given time that would be happy to put through an emergency call to them.

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Old 27-03-2007, 10:30   #3
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You can get by just with the AH-4. Frequencies below 3.5 mHz are very little used these days. USCG broadcasts on 4, 6, 8, 12 mHz can be easily copied.

Re: "opened up for ham", you don't need to "open up" a 718 for ham use. It IS a ham radio. Conversely, it is NOT a marine radio, and its use on the marine SSB frequencies is illegal, except in a bonafide emergency. You need to be aware of this distinction. What you choose to do is up to you.

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Old 27-03-2007, 11:20   #4

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Your antenna tuner is there more for transmission purposes than for reception. So you should be able to receive the 2182 broadcasts just fine.

My limited understanding is that you will never have to transmit on 2182 since "A listening watch aboard GMDSS-equipped ships on 2182 kHz ended on 1 February 1999. " the USCG no longer monitors it for distress transmissions.

As Bill mentions, you need to be very clear on what is "ham" and what is "marine" the licensing and operations are different for each service.
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