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Old 23-05-2014, 07:53   #1
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Problem With Boats SSB Radio

The SSB that came with the boat will no longer power up. The radio was out of the boat and as part of the refit was recently reinstalled. I started the radio and it appeared to work fine. The unit was not hooked up to the antenna and the ground wire was not hooked up and I initially keyed the mike and am wondering if that has somehow caused a problem.

I opened the unit and all the internal fuses are fine and no visual sign of any damage, this is the extent of my ability, can anyone make a suggestion as to what I might look at next?
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Old 23-05-2014, 08:06   #2
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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Originally Posted by cburger View Post
The SSB that came with the boat will no longer power up. The radio was out of the boat and as part of the refit was recently reinstalled. I started the radio and it appeared to work fine. The unit was not hooked up to the antenna and the ground wire was not hooked up and I initially keyed the mike and am wondering if that has somehow caused a problem.

I opened the unit and all the internal fuses are fine and no visual sign of any damage, this is the extent of my ability, can anyone make a suggestion as to what I might look at next?
Keying the mic (without speaking into it) will not damage the radio. It's a SSB, and virtually no power is output by just keying the mic, so no damage.

What make/model radio is it? How are you getting power to the radio?

I'd check all the power connections first; make sure they are clean and tight and...very important...that the polarity is correct (positive to positive, negative to negative).

Bill
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Old 23-05-2014, 08:26   #3
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Keying the mic (without speaking into it) will not damage the radio. It's a SSB, and virtually no power is output by just keying the mic, so no damage.

What make/model radio is it? How are you getting power to the radio?

I'd check all the power connections first; make sure they are clean and tight and...very important...that the polarity is correct (positive to positive, negative to negative).

Bill
Bill,

I went through the basics yesterday, used electrical tester and am hot to the radio, model is a SEA222, pretty sure polarity is correct but will check again.
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Old 23-05-2014, 10:06   #4
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

The SEA 222 is a pretty robust older marine SSB.

Are you seeing the Test notes when you turn it on, or is it completely blank?

If the latter, I'd check all the power connections once again, including polarity, and the fuses.

I don't have the shop manual for that radio available, and the Operators Manual doesn't give any details re: fusing, etc. If it worked before you removed it from the boat, can't imagine why it isn't working now unless one of the fuses is gone, possibly resulting from a momentary reverse-polarity situation.

Bill
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Old 23-05-2014, 10:27   #5
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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Keying the mic (without speaking into it) will not damage the radio. It's a SSB, and virtually no power is output by just keying the mic, so no damage.
What if you do speak into it, or have loud background noise at the time? Could this reflect power from the disconnected antenna terminal that might harm the radio?

(I don't know - just asking.)
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Old 23-05-2014, 10:54   #6
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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What if you do speak into it, or have loud background noise at the time? Could this reflect power from the disconnected antenna terminal that might harm the radio?

(I don't know - just asking.)
Unlike a VHF/FM radio or a radio in AM, RTTY, and some other modes, an SSB radio in the SSB (single-sideband) mode does not transmit when you just push the mic button. It needs some noise -- voice or heavy background noise or whatever -- in order to actually transmit a signal.

The full name for SSB is "single-sideband suppressed carrier". The "suppressed carrier" means that the intelligence is all in the sideband (upper or lower) and the center frequency carrier is greatly attenuated (suppressed).

SSB has been around for six decades or more. Many radios use it...marine, ham, military, aircraft, land-mobile, etc., etc.

Unfortunately, "SSB" is typically used by sailors to mean MARINE HF/SSB, conveniently ignoring the fact that many other services, including hams, have and use SSB transmitters.

Bill
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Old 23-05-2014, 11:05   #7
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

Contrary to others opinions I always viewed these SSB's as a budget unit with less than stellar performance.
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Old 23-05-2014, 12:55   #8
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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Unlike a VHF/FM radio or a radio in AM, RTTY, and some other modes, an SSB radio in the SSB (single-sideband) mode does not transmit when you just push the mic button. It needs some noise -- voice or heavy background noise or whatever -- in order to actually transmit a signal.
Right. So if you do key the mike and provide voice or noise so that it actually transmits with no antenna hooked up, could that be a problem?
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:15   #9
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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Contrary to others opinions I always viewed these SSB's as a budget unit with less than stellar performance.
Gleaned from an article written on Boats.com

But if you are looking for a slightly more advanced workhorse radio — simple, strong, reliable — the SEA 222 has proven to be a favorite among professional yacht captains and long-term cruising folk. The radio was designed from the ground up as marine transceiver. It has 358 pre-programmed ITU channels and 100 programmable channels — all you’ll even need for sailing the world. Mode and channel selection are via a moisture-proof, touch-key pad that has numbers and legends printed large enough for easy selection, even at night. Available through the discount houses forles than $2,000, this be an excellent SSB for those who want a simple high seas telephone.
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:20   #10
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

There is simply NO point in buying a marine HF radio that does not have DSC.

Ham , yes of course , but for Marine HF you'll end up talking to yourself. Kawja and I are at one on this aspect

Dave
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:37   #11
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

Polarity is correct, fuses were not blown when inspected
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:41   #12
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

Yes I read your post taken from a mag article but my personal experience was that they were not great radios and several of my friends purchased them because they saved a few bucks but later regretted their decision. Icom set the standards way back then and still do.
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:46   #13
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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There is simply NO point in buying a marine HF radio that does not have DSC.

Ham , yes of course , but for Marine HF you'll end up talking to yourself. Kawja and I are at one on this aspect

Dave

Dave,

Well you may be, but I'm definitely NOT. And, I doubt that John is either, given his extensive knowledge of what really goes on.

Marine SSBs without DSC are still extremely useful, and there are several reasons why one might be satisfactory for your needs.

You don't need HF/DSC to:

1. participate in the several marine SSB nets, including weather and safety nets;

2. communicate with other boats (e.g., those in the various rallies, where SSB schedules are typically set up);

3. obtain WX information;

4. call the USCG for help (they maintain a watch on several HF frequencies);

5. use the ham bands for emergency calls, even if you doin't have a ham license;

6. call the (few) coastal stations which are still operational (Brunei Bay Radio, WLO maybe); and

7. listen to traffic on the ham nets to obtain weather, navigational info, etc.

I don't have HF/DSC on my boat (though I have just about every type of communication known to man), and I don't plan to fit it, either. Maybe...maybe...if I were to be operating in the Med for awhile I'd think about it. But there's a big non-DSC world out there, and you shouldn't feel/believe that you can't live without DSC.

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Old 23-05-2014, 14:03   #14
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

John has repeatedly laid out the advantages of DSC HF.

I don't think we need go over it again. I see no point

Many marine HF sets cannot access ham frequencies.

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Old 23-05-2014, 15:22   #15
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Re: Problem With Boats SSB Radio

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John has repeatedly laid out the advantages of DSC HF.

I don't think we need go over it again. I see no point

Many marine HF sets cannot access ham frequencies.

Dave
My point, Dave, is that there's a hell of a lot of useful things which can be done WITHOUT HF/DSC. And, there's a huge base of installed HF radios which don't have DSC. Some of those, like me, don't miss it at all.

Would you care to list those HF sets which cannot access ham frequencies? I don't know of any which cannot -- or cannot easily be made to -- operate on the ham bands. The OP's SEA 222 often doesn't have LSB, so can't work on the amateur 40-meter and 80-meter bands. But, it can be made to....I talked with a ham yesterday on 40 meters who'd just got his 222 to work on 40 meters.

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