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Old 27-07-2016, 10:40   #1
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HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

I have both ham license and ship station license (both issued by US FCC). Am I allowed to transmit on ham frequencies from my boat while sailing through a foreign country? I kind of doubt it but not 100% sure.
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Old 27-07-2016, 11:16   #2
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

You'll need a reciprocal permit in most countries. Unfortunately, the process to get one varies by country...

Check out this AARL page for better info.
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Old 27-07-2016, 11:28   #3
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

Nobody's listening.
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Old 27-07-2016, 11:49   #4
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

I think the reciprocal license for Mexico, for example, is something like $80US but few people purchase one. I think you would have to talk for a lengthy period of time during the day (office hours) and from the same location before anyone official is going to hear you/look for you and come down for a chat. Expats with shore stations do buy the license as they fit the above scenario.
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Old 28-07-2016, 09:18   #5
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

It's somewhat policed by the Ham community. In quite a few places, Ham operators will not talk to you if you are not properly licensed. It's not so much about officials coming after you, although it can happen. I haven't lived in Mexico for 12 years, but certainly, at that time, if you didn't have the Mexican reciprocal permit (easily obtained) none of the nets would acknowledge you.
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Old 28-07-2016, 11:03   #6
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

Mexican Navy monitors the HF bands sometimes, and if you are close enough to them you may be detected easily. Not adviseable to transmit on Ham bands either with or without the reciprocal license when you are anywhere near them, such as in harbors like LaPaz or other commercial harbors. Even well out at sea, you probably shouldn't attract their attention unnecessarily.

You will not have a problem if you are well outside the harbors and no navy is near. Just sign as [your call sign] Maritime Mobile. US claims 3 mile limit for territorial waters concerning radio transmissions. Not sure about Mexico.

ARRL website has all the info you need.

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Old 28-07-2016, 11:39   #7
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

What's the situation in the Bahamas?
How does a member of the net know if you have a reciprocal license? What about, for example, the Caribbean, do you have to get a new authorization as you sail in succession to each one of the many island nations. Or from Panama to New Zealand by way of New Caledonia
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Old 28-07-2016, 14:30   #8
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

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Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
What's the situation in the Bahamas?
How does a member of the net know if you have a reciprocal license? What about, for example, the Caribbean, do you have to get a new authorization as you sail in succession to each one of the many island nations. Or from Panama to New Zealand by way of New Caledonia
PHD
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Bahamas and most other places require a reciprocal license. If you are outside the territorial limits however you are still a "/mm" maritime mobile. If you want to bend the rules a bit you can sign /mm and state your position as near the Bahamas or near the BVI, etc. It's not legal of course but I'm sure it happens. Don't get caught however.
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Old 28-07-2016, 14:39   #9
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

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Nobody's listening.
Not so. All frequencies are now monitored worldwide, and many nations prohibit use of ham channels if you are not licensed in their nation. Penalties can be very severe. Better to stay with ssb. Some ham channels in eastern africa are used by commando units. Not good to be identified with them.
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:05   #10
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Not so. All frequencies are now monitored worldwide, and many nations prohibit use of ham channels if you are not licensed in their nation. Penalties can be very severe. Better to stay with ssb. Some ham channels in eastern africa are used by commando units. Not good to be identified with them.
Ham channels? What are they?
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:27   #11
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

Since the OP is a licensed ham, and obviously studied ham radio instead of memorizing the test questions, then he already knows that it might be illegal for hams to talk to unlicensed operators. Here or abroad. So there's no need to point out that most hams are simply trying to keep out of jail, and avoid heavy fines, and the permanent loss of their licenses, when they are being so horribly unfriendly about not talking to unlicensed persons on the radio.

If you can't or won't check out the rules, you shouldn't play with things like radio transmitters. Go to China with a pair of FRS radios you bought at WalMart, and you can be arrested and charged with espionage, simply for trying to bring a radio transmitter into the country without government permission. Bring in a high power transceiver, and that likelihood goes up fast.

But this is all covered in amateur radio STUDY materials.
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Old 28-07-2016, 16:59   #12
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

The question was, "sailing through a foreign country".
I take that to mean under way, and not inside another country.
Legal.

Each country has its own laws. Canada allows US license holders to use ones own license, with a suffix to indicate location.

Operating privileges, such as frequency, mode and power vary.
Look up each country, comply with local laws in port. Assume you need operating authorization in each country unless you find out different. Most countries have clubs, look them up. Most clubs will be happy to hear from you. Hams are friendly people.

Comply with US law at sea.
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Old 28-07-2016, 18:04   #13
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

[QUOTE=reed1v;2177092]Not so. All frequencies are now monitored worldwide,

I think there is a space ship over Honduras, maybe it's only a satellite but you can see the red and green nav lights, it stays in one spot all night.
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Old 28-07-2016, 18:57   #14
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

use either radio/on call freq and ask /use station id first and plenty of whiskey in case local ro,s are not able to translate
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Old 28-07-2016, 20:02   #15
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Re: HF transmission on ham frequencies while sailing through a foreign country

I have never heard of anyone being harassed, in Mexico, by the Mexican Navy, or anyone else, AS LONG AS THEY HAD THE RECIPROCAL license. I haven't lived there for twelve years, but many of the Ham net controls were based in La Paz, PV, or even Cabo, all of whom have a Navy presence. In fact, on one occasion, I was a Ham relay with the Mexican Navy on a Mayday, but I had a reciprocal license.
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