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Old 15-01-2013, 07:59   #1
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SSB system wanted

Looking to buy an SSB system for a long trip south to warmer waters. Need e-mail capabilities for my wife's business. Prefer newer models (Icom M802/AT140/Pactor II/III) but am willing to entertain anything if nothing pops up. I live in Southern California and am will pay for shipping if the right deal comes up.
I have some time (8-10+ months) before we leave so if it's something that's on your radar but you need to think about it keep me in mind (PM me). The more warning I have the better.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 16-01-2013, 16:37   #2
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Depending on your wife's business needs you may find SSB email inadequate. Suggest you compare speeds, byte limits and costs between satellite and SSB. In many harbors wifi is available too. Probably 98% of cruisers use wifi for business.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 16-01-2013, 17:46   #3
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Thanks For the advice Dan.
Although no options are off the table I'm a little leary of depending on Wifi due to the sometimes sparsely populated west coast of Baja, Nicaragua and Costa Rico. Believe me though we will still be relying on Wifi. We spent 2 months sailing down and back last year.
I'm just thinking I'd like to have the capability to hang out in a secluded anchorage when the time comes. I will definitely keep checking the options though. My wife just needs to be able to e-mail back and forth to her employees. Luckily
It's a small business.
Cheers,
Mike
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Old 16-01-2013, 18:32   #4
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Re: SSB system wanted

We have found that if ya keep them small and compact them, you can send a bunch of e-mail fairly cheaply!! a couple of years back we were still sailing constanly, and anchoring 90% of the time, we sent e-mail to delivery customers and family members almost daily! never seemed to be to costly! of course now with the avent of good laptops we do use wifi a lot more but still have ssb and modem for those times away from wifi! works for us, With a 700 and a simple 2 done to a 3 modem! The new radios and faster modems things are a lot faster !! if ya got em they work!
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Old 16-01-2013, 18:38   #5
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That's what I'm hoping for. Add to that underway weather fax data and it makes for safer cruising/anchoring. Will keep looking. Anybody have any leads PM me and I'll shoot you my e-mail to pass on.
Mike
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Old 20-01-2013, 13:56   #6
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Re: SSB system wanted

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Originally Posted by mike160871 View Post
Looking to buy an SSB system for a long trip south to warmer waters. Need e-mail capabilities for my wife's business. Prefer newer models (Icom M802/AT140/Pactor II/III) but am willing to entertain anything if nothing pops up. I live in Southern California and am will pay for shipping if the right deal comes up.
I have some time (8-10+ months) before we leave so if it's something that's on your radar but you need to think about it keep me in mind (PM me). The more warning I have the better.
Thanks,
Mike
S/v Soon Come
Its probably nothing you are interested in, but I just bought a 1987 Pearson 39 that had a Kenwood TKM 707 SSB on it. I had to replace all the standing rigging and decided that the extra cost of putting on an insulated backstay was not worth it as I really don't need SSB. I think it is a1989 model, but I don't know of any reason why it wouldn't work. I have the manuals, installation/wiring diagrams and mounting bracket.

One caveat: I'm not quite sure where it is at the moment, as I stripped everything off the boat this fall and everything is in my garage.

I'll wait to hear if you want more details and/or photos before I start the search through the pile in the garage.
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Old 20-01-2013, 16:08   #7
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Capt. Gary, thanks for letting me know about your radio. As of now I'm going to hold off to see if something a little newer comes along. I'll keep you in mind and in the next month or so if nothing materializes I'll get back with you and see if its still available.
Respectfully,
Mike
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Old 23-01-2013, 19:46   #8
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I'm on the hunt for an ssb system currently. If you locate it, I'm interested. Do you have an antenna tuner to go with it?
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Old 23-01-2013, 20:33   #9
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Re: SSB system wanted

To the OP: I'm in the process of installing an SSB and one of the main reasons for it is to have data comms at sea.

But you should be aware that this system has a realistic throughput of about 300 baud (Pactor III), in ideal conditions maybe 1200. Remember 300 baud modems? It is a lot of work to get a connection, and you have to catch as catch can with propagation, so you are not guaranteed to be able to send that urgent email right now. On top of all of that, your connection time (whether you actually get your messages through or not) is strictly rationed on SailMail. I don't think it's very useful except out to sea where there is simply no other way to get a message out (I'm assuming you've declined to acquire a sat phone).

Also, you cannot send or receive any documents or other file attachments with SailMail (hard to run a business without being able to exchange documents). I think you can send and receive documents and file attachments with Winlink (if you have the patience and battery power for it) but you need a ham license to use that, and they can't be for any business purpose (so no good for your wife).

Sailing coastwise, our main data comms are not WiFi, but over the mobile phone system. I always have a signal within about 8 to 10 miles of any European coast, and the speed is usually better than marina WiFi systems (we usually do't even bother with marina WiFi). With a good signal I can get more than 1mbs of throughput -- I remember not so long ago when our whole company office had a 2mbs T1 connection, shared by 100 people, and we thought it was the bee's knees. Cost of mobile phone data varies by country, but in the UK I only pay 20 pounds (30-odd bucks) for six months of unlimited data (on T-Mobile). If you are anywhere near a coast, you will not want to use a Pactor modem; a mobile phone data system is in an entirely different universe.

As for equipment, all you need is a dongle or, if you want better range and/or want to share the connection among a number of devices, a router like a Globesurfer, which is what we use. We have not even had an antenna on our Globesurfer these last few years and it still works superbly; only just now getting around to putting a proper antenna up the mast. It is quite a lot cheaper, to say the least, than a marine HF radio and Pactor modem.
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Old 23-01-2013, 20:54   #10
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Re: SSB system wanted

Don't know what the west coast of mainland Mexico and south has got to offer with respect to cell activity (maybe someone can chime in) but if the Baja coast is any clue it's patchy at best. My wife had a Mexico (text and phone) phone plan tacked on to our existing plan before we went down last time and she was able to check here and there but it was very sporadic (more often non-existent).
Any leads to an SSB would be greatly appreciated. I'll start another thread but also want a water maker. Just want to be self sufficient.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 23-01-2013, 21:37   #11
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Re: SSB system wanted

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Originally Posted by mike160871 View Post
Don't know what the west coast of mainland Mexico and south has got to offer with respect to cell activity (maybe someone can chime in) but if the Baja coast is any clue it's patchy at best. My wife had a Mexico (text and phone) phone plan tacked on to our existing plan before we went down last time and she was able to check here and there but it was very sporadic (more often non-existent).
Any leads to an SSB would be greatly appreciated. I'll start another thread but also want a water maker. Just want to be self sufficient.
Thanks for the advice.
I am installing SSB/Pactor myself so obviously think it's interesting and worthwhile. Getting even a short plain text email through can be really important sometimes, and if you don't have any other way to do it, this can be worth its weight in gold.

I have cruised the Baja coasts and there are some areas with no coverage (Los Frailles comes to mind), but all the ports and most parts of the coast have mobile phone coverage. The Mexican mobile phone companies are on GSM and the data connections are as good as anywhere. I ran my own business from the boat using mobile phone connections (we had SSB on that boat, a friend's, but never used it). In my opinion, this should be your "Plan A" for data communications.
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Old 23-01-2013, 21:56   #12
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Re: SSB system wanted

Sounds like you want " $$$$ a deal"! Get intouch with Defender.....boatshow specials come up, like now.

Price a M802 + a 140 Tuner then get a Pactor modem fitted and installed by Sailmails best guy in San Diego....forgot his name! Best thing I ever did for my Pacific crossing last year!
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Old 24-01-2013, 03:34   #13
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Re: SSB system wanted

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I'm on the hunt for an ssb system currently. If you locate it, I'm interested. Do you have an antenna tuner to go with it?
Yes I do, but it is still installed on the boat. I am planning on taking it off on my first free day, but at present it is 4 degrees out! I will probably wait a couple of weeks. I can post more info and pictures then.
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Old 31-01-2013, 05:45   #14
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Nobody has any leads?
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:29   #15
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Just picked up my first ssb rig here in Toronto. All I had to do was ask around the local ham radio community and lots of options became available. Personally I won't use it for data, just talking. The cruisers I've spoken to rely on long range wifi antennas and satellite because you get full service internet. Pactor seems obsolete as loran.

Sail mail has a policy against sending business related emails, so the idea of using the pactor to run a business is flawed from the getgo.
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