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View Poll Results: Your HF usage in the past year
I sail offshore and use HF/SSB as my primary means of over-the-horizon, two-way communications 11 19.30%
I sail offshore and use satellite as my primary means but find two-way HF/SSB useful also 14 24.56%
I sail offshore and use satellite as my only means of two-way over-the-horizon comms 10 17.54%
I am a coastal cruiser and find two-way HF/SSB useful 8 14.04%
I use RECEIVE ONLY HF/SSB for weather, time, or news and don't have or don't use transmit capability 10 17.54%
VHF, cellular, and EPIRB are all I need 13 22.81%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-01-2022, 08:53   #1
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It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

So, serious question. Who's still using HF? What are you using it for? Are you glad you have it? Is it worth it?
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Old 05-01-2022, 10:30   #2
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

It's deep winter here in BC ("deeper" than usual this year), so not on boat.

During Summer, we use our HF-SSB daily (Ham nets). And when in places with poor/nonexistent VHF coverage (deep fiords, for example), we use HF email to get weather.

Recently purchased Zoleo satellite communicator; I don't expect it will replace HF-SSB.
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Old 05-01-2022, 12:20   #3
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

We have an IridiumGo and an ICom 802 with Pactor etc. We use both but for different reasons. Email and weather are much easier and connections are more dependable via the IridiumGo but we use Sailmail not Iridium Mail. We use Sailmail because up until relatively recently, Iridium Mail could only be accessed via the Iridium system whereas Sailmail can be accessed via HF, Iridium (and other satellite providers) and land based internet connections.

The HF/SSB is however super useful for local weather and other nets which provide access to many people in real-time. For example, in the Sea of Cortez, Sonrisa net was the best source of weather information - better than PredictWind, at least in my experience. Plus it was possible to know what the real weather was in various locations around the Sea when participants did their check-ins.

We will keep and maintain both systems.
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Old 05-01-2022, 13:53   #4
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

Ask Celestial what happens if you donít listen to your HF (and VHF) during the Hobart!
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Old 05-01-2022, 22:38   #5
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisJHC View Post
Ask Celestial what happens if you donít listen to your HF (and VHF) during the Hobart!

I do not believe they had HF. They had a satphone and VHF.


I am reminded of my youngest child who, while a teenager, never had the ringer on her phone turned up loud enough so that she could hear it.
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Old 05-01-2022, 23:23   #6
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

All boats on the Hobart had to have VHF, HF and satphone.
Twice daily skeds were all done by HF.
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Old 05-01-2022, 23:34   #7
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

In 2020 when covid happened, I was in Mexico in an anchorage with a number of other boats with no cell signal. I and one other boat had HF and would talk on the morning nets to get info and we were able to rely what was happening to the other boats in the anchorage.

It was pretty useful (plus listening to the morning HF nets were fun, and it was interesting hearing the weather from other places in the sea of cortez). I also used it for gribs and email down there and up in Northern BC (no cell service), but you could do that with a sat phone a lot easier, it just costs money.

Around half the boats that were going to do the puddle jump that year had HF too, and had set up informal scheds.

For what it does, there is no replacement.
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Old 06-01-2022, 00:18   #8
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

Have Irridium Go and PredictWind, Around Australia I find the biggest use of HF is downloading the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Weatherfaxes when we were out of ranger of cellular. When crossing the Great Australian Bight we found it very useful having access to the actual and forecast MSLP charts.

Have also occassionally listened in to the BOM HF voice weather broadcasts

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Old 06-01-2022, 07:37   #9
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

We have SSB (ham+marine) and Pactor. Use it daily on passages, and in the deep fjords of SE Alaska for weather and sometimes for chatting with other boats. But, I’ve been a ham for decades and enjoy tinkering with radios and building antennas. And I already own the gear. If I were outfitting today would probably skip it and go satellite.
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Old 08-01-2022, 16:54   #10
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

Thank you all for the participation. I hope more people will still vote.


From the responses so far, it's clear that quite a few sailors are still finding HF to be a useful thing to have aboard, even in the satellite era.
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Old 09-01-2022, 14:46   #11
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

I have used Icom 802 with ham license since 2005. I was to be able to use airmail and send emails succesfully from many parts of the world. Now, it seems to be difficult. Often I test by trying to send an email over sailmail. They cut me off, but I know my system works. I speculate that many of the amateur stations are not as active as they once were.

I just purchased an Iridium go. Before that I had an Iridium sat phone which I used sparingly.

Still use SSB for nets and weather faxes.
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Old 09-01-2022, 16:39   #12
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

Good question. I have used ssb to get an idea of how many sailboats are in the anchorage at Gt Exuma this month. Since we r headed there soon and i know no one there to call.
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Old 09-01-2022, 17:39   #13
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

I've a Garmin InReach Mini. It has limited sat capabilities, ie send/receive texts, receive weather forecasts, tracks/sends position to nominated web sites. Quite a few cruisers where I am use these, plus VHF and AIS receiver.

I'm thinking that the poll 'satellite' means a fully functioning sat phone?
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Old 09-01-2022, 17:44   #14
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

The poll needs another choice. I am a coastal sailor and don't use HF/SSB. VHF and Cell are adequate.
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Old 09-01-2022, 18:01   #15
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Re: It's 2022. What have you used your HF (SSB) for lately?

I use a flashlight to send morse code to passing ships...

For long distance, I scribble a note and tie it to my pet homing pigeon...
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