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Old 15-04-2012, 10:30   #1
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I need some advice from the radio pro's

I'm trying to figure out what radio to buy - I'm heading off to who knows where - probably Mexico for a stater. I need long range com's. That means ssb or ham. I dont care about talking on it - just listening for weather and emergency use only. I dont want to spend a fortune doing it either. I jabber on a vhf and cb when I'm in range of who I want to talk to and have gotten along fine without long range radio ever since they outlawed AM sets.
I can buy an icom 725 ham radio w/tuner for $450. I can also buy an icom m700 w/tuner for $250. Or, an icom m700pro w/at 130 tuner for a grand.
Question is - does the ham radio have marine channels?
I'll more than likely get my ham licence again just for the hell of it. When I was as kid I used to hammer away at it pretty good.
Anyway, I'd like to have it all, but don't have the $$$ to buy am IC-802, tuner, modem, etc, etc. just to drive myself nuts listening to the radio - I'd rather invest in a new Zodiak - if you catch my drift!
So, what would YOU do????
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Old 15-04-2012, 11:38   #2
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Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
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Re: I need some advice from the radio pro's

Most ham radios can be easily modified to transmit on any HF frequency. It is not legal to broadcast in other than emergency conditions, however. Apparently hasn't stopped people from doing so, however. There are a couple of lengthy strings on this website about the subject. A search of the archives should keep you reading for quite awhile.

The Icom 725 is a pretty old radio. What tuner is being included. That radio and tuner will work but a newer ham radio like the 718 may be a better choice. Bought mine with the opened up transmit modification for $400. It's a basic radio but that's what I wanted. The tuner is really important part of the equation. I went with an SGC 230 which is supposedly the best there is for something just short of $400. If you go with an Icom radio, they make an AH4 tuner that should work well with it and is cheaper than the SGC 230.

Those are good prices for the Icom marine radios. Might consider them as they will transmit on the Ham frequencies though not sure if it's easy to scan the band with them.

Cruising, you'll probably find that the increased range of an HF radio is really useful. Nice to talk with someone a hundred or a thousand miles away at your next destination to get the skinny. VHF is just too limited in range unless you mainly want to talk to people on a boat that you can row over and swap tales over a beer with.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
'Ms American Pie', Sabre 28 Mark II
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