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Old 12-06-2015, 14:16   #16
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

All you need to study for a FCC (USA) ham license:

AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » General
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Old 12-06-2015, 14:37   #17
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Wow, thanks for these detailed answers!

Here are some answers to your questions:
We are Swiss sailing under the Swiss flag.
My radio licence is from the UK and my wife has a Long Range Certificate given by the OFCOM (Switzerland).
Our shore-based ham operator is in Israel, under tight to moderate budget and same for the antenna.
We will be sailing, first, in the Mediterranean and then probably cross the Atlantic via the canaries.
There are no preferred hours for communication - whenever the conditions are most promising.

Regardless of the SSB option, a sat-phone is on our 'to-buy' list but that will be more for emergency usage.
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Old 12-06-2015, 17:51   #18
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

"All you need to study for a FCC (USA) ham license:
AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » General "


That's all you need to answer the question pool, if you can take the exam before the end of this month, i.e. in the next two weeks. THEN THE EXAM CHANGES.
That also leaves you without the background knowledge which is the main point of a ham license, enough knowledge to at least be somewhat self-reliant with the equipment.


Answers to the new question pool will be available, are already available, from many sources online.


For non-US citizens, sailing outside of US territory, I think a US FCC license would be most inappropriate in any case. As Swiss, in theory a Swiss license would be preferred. There will be a Swiss national amateur radio association that you can contact for details and help, if you can't find it through your OFCOM people.
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Old 13-06-2015, 05:48   #19
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

~~~~~~~~~~~~
EDIT:
I just saw 5nomads post from yesterday evening....not sure why I didn't see it before!!!
But, all below still applies....just a minor correction or two...

(correction #1, you'll use 20m and some 17m, throughout the Med, except for when you are within a few hundred miles of Israel, rather than in the northern Adriatic...)



(correction #2, as distances thru the Med will be similar or longer range, and especially as you head to the Canaries and across the Atlantic, you will not need too much of 40m....and except for far eastern Med, never in the daytime....so concentrate on a high-quality, 20m, 17m, and 15m directional, rotatable, gain antenna....such as a Tennadyne T-8 or T-10, mounted about 50' - 70' above ground....and a simple, coax-fed horizontal loop for 40m...)



(correction #3, see bold type added...)



(correction #4, have your family member in Israel spend 75% of his budget on antennas / towers / rotators....and < 25% on the radio!!....a used (but modern) ham radio transceiver, such as an IC-756, etc. or something less expensive....is a good idea...)

~~~~~~~~~~




Well, my curiosity got the better of me, and I looked at 5nomads other post...and he's from Switzerland!! How cool!

So, 5nomads, here's some info on getting your ham license in Switzerland, and on what bands/freqs and antennas would work well for your family member...

1) First off, most of your daytime and evening HF Ham radio voice communications from Switzerland throughout the Med is going to be on 20m (14mhz), and some on 17m (18mhz)...(except for in the northern Adriatic, where you might be too close for 20m and might find 40m (7mhz) to work, at least in early mornings or late afternoons..)

Most of your nighttime HF ham radio voice communications from Switzerland throughout the Med is going to be on 40m (7mhz), with some still on 20m (14mhz)...

And, as you venture further away, such as the Canaries, and across the Atlantic, etc. these bands/freqs will also work well....however you will use the higher bands/freqs more often...and may end up using 15m (21mhz) occasionally, especially in the summertime...


2) As for antenna recommendations....well, as I wrote earlier, I REALLY need to know how much room/space your family member has to install antennas, AND what his budget would be....
But, until I have that info, here are some generic recommendations...

a) A directional, rotatable yagi or LPDA, for 20m, 17m, 15m, etc...mounted on a tower of at least 40' high, preferably 50' - 70' high....
(in Europe Opti-beam is a popular, hi-quality antenna....and world-wide, Tennadyne T-10, etc. is an excellent choice....as would be any of the M-squared / Hy-Gain monoband antennas....)



{Please take note that a smaller, lower-gain antenna, mounted HIGHER will ALWAYS work better for long-distance communications than a larger, higher-gain antenna, mounted LOWER!!!!
This means that MOST of the antenna budget should go to the tower / support structure....and this is why a small Tennadyne T-8 will work very nicely for this application, when mounted 50' - 70' high...}




b) For 40m: either a 2/3-sized, 2-element yagi about 10' - 15' above the higher-frequency yagi/lpda....or install an Opti-beam with 40m (as well as 20m, 17m, and 15m)....

c) For lower budgets:
String up a wire in a horizontal loop, square, triangle, hexagon, etc.....approx. 140' in circumference (~ 35' on a side, if square), at approx 35' above ground....feed with a remote auto-tuner (such as an Icom AT-140), and it will work well from 40m (7mhz) up thru 10m (28mhz)....if you desire a lower freq operation, the loop should be larger, but making in too big will reduce its effectiveness on the higher frequencies, so I'd NOT recommend it...
This horizontal loop is a decent antenna, but significantly lower in gain and effectiveness than the other antennas I mentioned above!

3) If space or budget restrictions effect antenna choices, I recommend the "family member" utilize an external RF power amplifier, increasing his transmit power from 100-150 watts to 1000-1500 watts.....as this WILL improve his signal to you....
(although will do nothing to improve your signal to him, of course...and this will cost $$$$!!!!, so mounting the antennas higher, or using better antennas is ALWAYS the best, first approach....but if there is no room/space for a tower, etc. then an external power amp can be helpful...)


4) As for ham radio licensing in Switzerland, here are some websites with a great deal of info...
http://www.uska.ch/guestlic/templic.htm

https://www.hb9zz.ethz.ch/en/exam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_..._Wave_Amateurs

Licence for Switzerland? : amateurradio



And, here's an excerpt from one:
Quote:
HB3 allows you to transmit on 70cm and 2 m with 50 W, and on 10, 15, 80 and 160 m with 100 W. HB9 gives you access to more bands and powers of 1 kW (with exceptions).
In order to get the license, you have to pass a two-part exam. The first part is on rules an regulations (Vorschriften), i.e. under what conditions are you allowed to transmit, how do you ground your rig, what about lightnings, the NATO alphabet, different transmission modes and stuff like that. The second part is on technical things (Technik) and covers exactly that. This includes simple circuits, antennas, transceiver topologies, amplifiers etc. For HB9, I've been told that this is not easy if you don't have a professional background, but I firmly believe that anyone can do it with a bit of effort. I don't know about HB3 (I went straight for HB9) but I've been told that it is easier. No CW (morse code skills) is required in any case.
You can go straight for HB9 or start with HB3 and upgrade later. In this case, you only have to do the second part of the HB9 exam as the first one is equal to HB3.
The BAKOM has sample questions for either exam (ask me for links) on their web site. With that, you can assess what is needed; the exam questions are very similar, although not exactly the same. If you don't know where to start, there's also classes. Ask me for recommendations. The BAKOM exam is roughly CHF 100 and the license itself is a yearly fee of about CHF 100. The class fees, if you decide to go for one, vary in price, depending whether it's a commercial class or a class set up by an amateur radio club. There might also be discounts for students. Also, if you do the exam with a good club, not only do they prepare you, but you already have contact to experienced operators. This is something that is extremely important: Once you get the license, you sort of have to start somewhere and already knowing the right people for questions and advice is super handy.
On beginner books: These do exist but are not tailored to the Swiss exam. Of particular interest might be the book by Moltrecht, although IIRC the latest edition is one book for the novice and one for the full license, hence you have to jump between books if you go straight for HB9. In my opinion this is very annoying; I have the old edition. Also note that this book (as any book I guess) covers a lot more than what you have to know for the exam.
I do hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:44   #20
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

After all the posts, it really is simple. To use ham radio bands you have to have a license. For most purposes the basic Technician level is just fine and you can work from the boat without local license. The shore station must be operated by a licensed ham too - licensed in the country of operation.

All this will work very well, but it take a bit of practice.

Even if the boat and the short station cannot communicate directly, they will often be able to use "voice relay" using one of the MANY wonderful marine nets. Especially try the hourly marine net at 14.300 megaherz (20 meter band). Listen, checkin, test your stuff. Anyone can listen, you only need a license to transmit.

Oz

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Old 13-06-2015, 07:47   #21
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Thanks a lot for your very informative answers! I guess I've got some homework to do now. I'll also forward your detailed replies to my family member.

I'm glad I joined this forum! You guys are really helpful. Thanks again

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:08   #22
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Oz, AC0IF,
The original poster here is Swiss, not a US-citizen....and his boat is Swiss-flagged....so what you write is not-applicable...


But even worse is, what you wrote isn't accurate, even for US-licensed hams...

As a Technician Class licensee (US license) is NOT allowed any transmissions at all on 20m!!

And, the only HF Voice allocation that a technician class license allows is 28.300mhz to 28.500mhz, with a maximum power limitation of 200 watts PEP....

All other Technician Class HF privileges are CW only (or limited data comms on 10m):
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW Only--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
7.025-7.125 MHz : CW only--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW Only--Maximum power 200 watts PEP



And, for operation in territorial waters of OTHER countries, US licensed hams, will usually need an "Extra Class" license, in order to qualify for a reciprocal license from these other countries...


Yes, the MMSN, Pacific Seafarer's Net, and Intercon Net, all on 14.300mhz are GREAT!!!

Maritime Mobile Service Network
Welcome to the Pacific seafarer's net | Pacific seafarer's net
The BEST 20-Meter Net Going! | A member of the 14.300 mHz net family.
14300.net

But, none can be accessed by a "technician class" licensee...



Please forgive my bluntness, but I didn't want this misinformation to get bandied about as fact...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:12   #23
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

5nomads,

You're quite welcome!!
Have fun reading and watching videos!!

John
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Old 14-06-2015, 02:34   #24
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

I am unaware of the rules in other countries but in Australia HF and VHF transmitters on vessels are supposed to be registered as ships stations.

I worked in the middle east years ago and some countries in the area were pretty paranoid about HF transmitters and required us to have local radio operators.

As well as the individual operators licensing it might be prudent to have the transmitter legally attached to the vessel by some form of ships station registration and have appropriate paper work.
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Old 14-06-2015, 05:47   #25
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I am unaware of the rules in other countries but in Australia HF and VHF transmitters on vessels are supposed to be registered as ships stations....
For the record, there is no longer any requirement in Australia to registered a VHF as a ship's station. As for HF, yes you are required to licence a maritime SSB but AFAIK, no requirement for a HAM mobile station.
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Old 14-06-2015, 07:06   #26
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Oops. I confused threads.
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Old 14-06-2015, 13:37   #27
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozdigennaro View Post
After all the posts, it really is simple. To use ham radio bands you have to have a license. For most purposes the basic Technician level is just fine and you can work from the boat without local license. The shore station must be operated by a licensed ham too - licensed in the country of operation.

All this will work very well, but it take a bit of practice.

Even if the boat and the short station cannot communicate directly, they will often be able to use "voice relay" using one of the MANY wonderful marine nets. Especially try the hourly marine net at 14.300 megaherz (20 meter band). Listen, checkin, test your stuff. Anyone can listen, you only need a license to transmit.

Oz

AC0IF
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozdigennaro View Post
Oops. I confused threads.
Great. So, may I please suggest you edit or remove the confusing thread.
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Old 15-06-2015, 09:54   #28
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

Raymond,
What Wotname wrote: "As for HF, yes you are required to licence a maritime SSB but AFAIK, no requirement for a HAM mobile station.", is correct....

Just so everyone understands what we are all talking about is:

A licensed "ham operator" owner, skipper, crew, etc., of a pleasure boat (not a vessel operating under GMDSS requirements, such as a SOLAS vessel), equipped with a maritime HF radiotelephone (i.e. "SSB"), using this maritime HF radiotelephone on the "ham radio bands"....
This is entirely the purview of the "Amateur Radio Service", and is governed both by the ITU and individual country's (both the country that you are licensed under AND the country's waters that you are sailing in) Amateur Radio Service rules/regs...

With pleasure boats flagged under most of the world's nations (all 1st world nations), there is no specific "ship's station license" requirements for the Amateur Radio Service....

[for GMDSS and SOLAS vessels, the US (and perhaps some other countries) does have specific rules under the Amateur Radio Service, regarding keeping any licensed "amateur station" separate from the ship's required maritime station....but this does NOT apply to us...]

[Although there are some developing nations and some 3rd world nations, whose amateur radio licenses do not allow them to used "maritime mobile" (i.e. outside of the their nation itself)....with most of us here either being citizens of, or having our vessels flagged under, US, CA, UK, EU, AUS, NZ, etc....this does NOT apply to us, either....]


If you have a maritime HF Radiotelephone on-board, you WILL already have it licensed under the "Maritime Mobile Service", by your nation's radio authority....and if you desire to use this radio (or any other radio) on the "ham radio bands", then you (the individual) MUST also have an Amateur Radio License, but there is NO Amateur Radio "ship's station license"...

And, since all vessels that make international voyages or use their radios to communicate internationally, even with just a maritime VHF radio, ARE required to have a maritime ship's station license (and appropriate operators licenses)...even those vessels without a maritime HF radiotelephone most likely have a maritime ship's station license anyway...

But, FYI....
If you do NOT have a maritime HF Radiotelephone, but you DO have an HF ham radio that you use on the ham radio bands, then all the authorization you need to use that HF ham radio is the appropriate ham license (Amateur Radio License) from your nation's radio authority....


So, as long as you have the appropriate licenses, as I write above, then there is no need to worry about paranoid officials.....they may still be paranoid, but you'll not need to worry about them!



Bottom line:
--- If you want to use the ham bands, no matter what radio you have, you MUST have a ham license...but this does NOT authorize you to use any maritime bands/frequencies....(and NO ship's station license is required)

--- If you already have a maritime HF radiotelephone (i.e. "marine SSB"), then it MUST have the appropriate ship's station license AND you must have the appropriate operators license....(but this does NOT authorize you to use the ham radio bands/frequencies)



--- Just because you use the same radio for both services, doesn't mean that you can use the same license for both....if you wish to use both services, you MUST have the appropriate licenses for BOTH services...





I hope this clarifies things...

John
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Old 15-06-2015, 10:49   #29
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

John-
Isn't there an additional monkeywrench in that some countries require a ham station and a marine ssb station, both aboard the same vessel, to be fully separate in all equipment except for the ship's power supply?


(Mainly a concern for paranoid officials, but still available for their concern.)
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Old 15-06-2015, 10:56   #30
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Re: Using SSB Radio to Talk to a Shore Ham Operator

In international waters, you can use Ham radio without a license. HAM radio licenses are only necessary for transmitters within the jurisdiction of a country.

ARRL disagrees, but cites no statute except the FCC and international agreements, but the FCC (which licenses ham radio operators) has no jurisdiction outside the U.S., and no country has transmission jurisdiction for the high seas. Even the ITU, which is the UN body that manages international spectrum allocation, does not claim international jurisdiction, rather it leaves all licensing and enforcement to the member nations, none of which have jurisdiction in international waters.

Here is their opinion: Maritime Mobile Operation in International Waters, "Unscrupulous yachters... are often are of the mistaken opinion that, because they are on the high seas, the rules somehow don't apply to them."

That's because they literally don't apply. Unlicensed operation at sea is not illegal, even for flagged vessels.

However, you will piss off HAM operators if you use the spectrum without a license.

And let the flaming begin!
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