Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-11-2017, 19:38   #1
Registered User
 
Jeanneau 45.2's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Marina Del Rey,CA
Boat: 2000 Jeanneau, 45.2
Posts: 244
How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

I would like to listen to Chris Parker weather nets, but do not want to invest in "real" SSB equipment. The broadcasts that I want to listen to are 4.045 USB omnidirectional or 8.137 USB 120T (not sure what any of that means, btw). Can I purchase a =/- $150 Grundig, Sony, etc receiver with one of those built in extendable swivel antennas and get reception in the Bahamas, or do I need an external backstay or whip antenna?
__________________

Jeanneau 45.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2017, 19:57   #2
Registered User
 
TreblePlink's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Kentucky
Boat: 1969 Rhodes 28'
Posts: 307
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Having operated ssb on "HF" since '75, I offer up these points. When signals are strong you can get by with cheaper receivers and smaller antennas. But typically, static and interference make it tough. Generally, antennas need to be at least 1/4 wavelength long at the frequency of operation (feet = 234/MHz)

The backstay is typically the most practical antenna. For further improvement, an antenna tuner is typically used which optimizes the connection to the antenna for each frequency.

The main quality a better receiver will have is narrow "IF" bandwidth so you hear less noise. This should be 3 kHz or less.
__________________

TreblePlink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2017, 21:11   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Whitby 42
Posts: 102
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Yes you can. Get a wire antenna that plugs into the reciecer and hoist it up. And use headphones you will hear it better. I have used it to listen to Chris in the Bahamas. Its noisy but it works fine.
mikeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2017, 22:09   #4
Registered User
 
SoonerSailor's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 766
How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

For receive only, you donít need a tuner or a specific length of antenna. Sometimes a portable radioís whip is just fine, but something longer is usually better. The farther you can keep your antenna from local noise sources, the better. Danfoss refrig compressors, computer power supplies, battery chargers, and some LED lights are common noise sources on boats that will make listening a challenge sometimes.
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 01:00   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: 2020 - Caribbean, currently Martinique
Boat: Amazon 49 cutter, custom steel boat built in Surrey, Canada
Posts: 695
Images: 1
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

When we cruised the Caribbean 20 years ago I did not have an SSB, so I listened to weather (Mechanical Mike) using an inexpensive Radio Shack shortwave receiver with an extendable antenna. I would sit on the cabin top and hold the antenna so it made good contact with a shroud, which greatly improved the reception.

Cheers!

Steve
__________________
website www.orontes2.com
steve77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 02:06   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 1,105
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

As others said, you should have no problem. There is not that much difference in the receive circuits between the HF transceivers and the top rated SSB receivers. The Sony 7600 and the Tecsun 660 are the highest rated at present.

Minimize all RF noise sources, connect via headphones or directly into a laptop and off you go. If you connect to a laptop you will be able to receive weather fax and also use software filters to improve the audio quality. Also, note that the reception in a marina is much worse than it will be at sea, when you are far away from man made noises.

Good luck.
Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 04:05   #7
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,397
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanneau 45.2 View Post
I would like to listen to Chris Parker weather nets, but do not want to invest in "real" SSB equipment. The broadcasts that I want to listen to are 4.045 USB omnidirectional or 8.137 USB 120T (not sure what any of that means, btw).
4.045 and 8.137 are the frequency in MHz. This is what you tune the receiver to. USB is the modulation type, some receivers may have a choice of LSB, AM, or USB, and you choose USB if that's the case.

Omnidirectional and 120T are the antennas Parker is using for the broadcasts from central Florida. Omnidirectional antennas send the signal towards the horizon in all compass directions. 120T is a designation Parker uses for an antenna pointed so that its main lobe faces a heading of 120 degrees off true north.

Quote:
Can I purchase a =/- $150 Grundig, Sony, etc receiver with one of those built in extendable swivel antennas and get reception in the Bahamas, or do I need an external backstay or whip antenna?
That depends on your expectations. Under good conditions you can get away with just the little builtin antenna. You may be able to secure the radio to the backstay or a spreader and get good enough performance. The better your antenna system, the more reliable your reception will be when propagation conditions are poor.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 08:06   #8
Registered User
 
Jeanneau 45.2's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Marina Del Rey,CA
Boat: 2000 Jeanneau, 45.2
Posts: 244
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to provide thoughtful answers. Amazon will get an order from me later today. Alan
Jeanneau 45.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 08:43   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 373
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

It might be worth checking with someone local to see if they have anything that works. I have a Tecsun 660, and it seems to be a fine radio, but there is so much RF interference where I am that it is useless for HF.
bill352 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 08:46   #10
Registered User
 
Vasco's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore"
Posts: 7,497
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Buy a Sony ICF-CW7600CR. I've had two of these over the past 27 years and they work fine. The first one rusted out ( I think) after 15 years. The Grundig is not as good. Some say Sangeans are good. I also have a Sangean but it eats batteries. You'll not regret getting the Sony.

Most of the time the extendable antenna works fine but you also get a wire antenna that clips onto the extendable and this really works well. I always use the wire antenna now as my extendable won't stay up anymore. No funny remarks please.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 10:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Arizona
Boat: Morgan Catalina 45
Posts: 38
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

For what it is worth, I have a Tecsun PL 600 and tried to use it for exactly what you are asking. during a 1 month cruise of the Abacos and Berries during May / June. I tried every suggestion mentioned so far. Often could not hear at all or if he could be found barely understandable. I have still not decided for myself what to do. I am leaning towards a full system. Also I have heard some talk about the conditions for reception being poor lately, Solar reasons I think.
Bill
Seriously Slow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 10:53   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: St Michaels, MD
Boat: Cal 46-3, 46' ketch
Posts: 219
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

LED lighting, battery chargers, dimmer lights, flat screen TVs, cellphone chargers, PC power supplies generate ix up & down the radio spectrum. Itís getting worse. While you can turn everything off on your boat, you donít have much control of other boats near you... and itís nearly impossible to get good reception from short antennas in a Marina where there are soooo many power supplies/ chargers. Also be aware that HF signals donít just fade away linearly with increased distance. You can actually be too close to a station since the ionosphere is involved in reflecting the signal to you. Not that youíre going to sail 50 more miles further away to get better reception(!) l, but often changing frequency to another band or using another wx forecaster located farther away can result in going from poor reception to very good reception. ) Time of day/ season also very much affects HF propagation, so if there are multiple broadcasts try to listen at different times to get a feel for when itís best for your location. Good luck!
W3GAC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 16:42   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: The Whitsundays, Australia
Boat: Catalina 350
Posts: 65
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Buy a Sony ICF-CW7600CR. I've had two of these over the past 27 years and they work fine. The first one rusted out ( I think) after 15 years. The Grundig is not as good. Some say Sangeans are good. I also have a Sangean but it eats batteries. You'll not regret getting the Sony.

Most of the time the extendable antenna works fine but you also get a wire antenna that clips onto the extendable and this really works well. I always use the wire antenna now as my extendable won't stay up anymore. No funny remarks please.
I think the above model has been replaced by the Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave World Band Receiver with Single Side Band Reception. It's on Amazon for 199 but nil stocks.
Seas the Day is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 16:56   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The boat - New Bern, NC, USA; Us - Kingsport, TN, USA
Boat: 1988 Pacific Seacraft 34
Posts: 931
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

There are reviews of the portable shortwave radios mentioned here, here...

https://swling.com/Radios.htm#PortableRadios
wsmurdoch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2017, 17:02   #15
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 10,866
Re: How to listen to SSB Voice Radio

Lots of good advice above!

FWIW, when I sold my Icom M802 SSB, I replaced it with a Tecsun PL-880 for receiving SSB weather etc.

I have found the PL-880 to be every bit as good as the M802 receiver.

Very occasionally I have had to use the supplied long wire external antenna and I just clipped it the backstay or sometimes to a cap shroud but this was rare - the internal antenna was very good.
__________________

__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
radio, ssb

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEW SSB Radio NET in Europe (preARC radio Net) Yf2013 Marine Electronics 1 25-09-2014 11:26
SSB Radio and Amateur Radio RDW Training, Licensing & Certification 20 10-02-2011 12:45
OpenCPN Won't Listen to My GPS Data Ima Winner OpenCPN 5 09-09-2010 15:23
JUST GO, DON'T LISTEN. livingstone Seamanship & Boat Handling 25 03-03-2008 07:23
HeyyyyyGord !! Yo Boy. Others listen up 29cascadefixer Construction, Maintenance & Refit 21 10-12-2003 22:04

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:35.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.