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Old 27-12-2016, 08:44   #16
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Not technically legal!?! What you suggest is very specifically ILLEGAL. That's a bit like saying, "While it's not technically legal to kill a person, consider the world's over-population; is it really such a bad thing?"

Okay, maybe that overstates the case some. And you are right that the odds of getting caught are pretty low. Still, what you suggest is illegal. You are advising the OP to commit a crime. Are you going to be there to help him with the legal bills if he happens to be the one-in-a-thousand who gets caught? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Yeah I know im not allowed to broadcast on marine frequencies with my ham license. I am also not allowed to make one way broadcasts, so sending on ham and receiving on marine ssb is out. I am however unsure if my FIL is allowed to make one way broadcasts on marine ssb with me just listening and not responding. The fcc site is very generic in terms of the rules for marine ssb and only listed 4 prohibted communications. A one way broadcast doesnt seem to be one of them.
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Old 27-12-2016, 10:11   #17
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

AgentKnipe,
Setting aside the perceived need to know where they are at all times....
Please read Bill's posting again!
He has given you the answers that you seek!
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
For heavens sake, NO....don't do that (i.e., use a ham radio on the marine bands or just check in without a proper license).

If your father-in-law isn't a ham, or won't be a ham by the time of the trip, then ham radio is OUT. By the way, even if he has a ham license he'd need to get a reciprocal license from the Bahamian government before he could transmit on the ham bands within Bahamian waters.

If he is legally licensed for use of the marine SSB (ship station license AND a marine operator's permit), then he could check into one or another of the marine SSB nets. The Cruisheimers Net operates daily at 0830EST on 8152 and covers the Bahamas very well. Many boats check in from there. The Doo Dah Net operates on the same frequency at 5PM daily.

There are others which operate daily on the marine SSB frequencies: The Caribbean Safety and Security Net, Chris Parkers Weather Net, the Seven Seas Cruising Association Net, etc., etc.

Also, I'd suggest that he get an account with station WLO in Mobile AL. That's the marine operator. They have big transmitters, big antennas, broadcast weather information and ships traffic lists several times a day on several marine HF frequencies, and can allow your in-laws to telephone anyone anywhere. The fee is quite reasonable.

Even if he's not a ham, I'd suggest he listen in daily to the Waterway Net on 7268LSB beginning at 0745 Eastern Time. That's a ham net which has been operational every day for the past 51 years and which covers the entire East Coast and the Bahamas.

Bill
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And, FYI....for those questioning the "cross-band" idea....
It's not really "cross-band" that was being considered, but rather multiband, "cross-service" operation....
One is transmitting using one service (the Maritime Mobile Service) and listening on another service (the Amateur Radio Service), and vice-versa...
This is highly illegal in both services (maritime and amateur radio), not just in the US, but worldwide by international agreement, the ITU...

OR...

Or the other idea was to simply have the sailors in the Bahamas transmit "in-the-blind" (i.e. "broadcast" their position, weather, etc.)....
While it is legal for a mariner to broadcast his position (and intentions) on the maritime mobile service, these are referred to as Securite calls, and are done by vessels to alert other vessels and port operations of their position, maneuverability restrictions, etc...
And while I'm not aware of any specific restrictions on when you could make such calls, it does seem clear in BOTH the US FCC regs and in the international ITU regs, that the intent of these calls are not to circumvent established infrastructure (i.e. shore stations, mobile phone operators, etc.) but rather for direct "bridge-to-bridge" communications....otherwise the entire marine bands would be like CB radio!!
So, this approach is also illegal, in both US regs and international (ITU) regs....(not to mention ridiculous!)



I could go on about HF radio, cheap ship-to-shore telephone calls, the abundance of good cell coverage in the Bahamas, etc. etc...and I will if you desire this info....but, please read Bill's posting again!!
And, then ask for some details and we will happily provide 'em!


Fair winds..

John
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Old 27-12-2016, 11:49   #18
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

+1 to other comments re etiquette.

Radio spectrum can be impacted by just one rogue emitter. This is why the rules are clear. If there's one then suddenly the airwaves are swamped and it becomes useless for everyone.

If the OP is not prepared to get the appropriate radio licence(s) and behave correctly then the Ham option is not an option. It's a binary decision.

I suggest he get a spot, yellowbrick or similar or tell family he will not have comms.

The always on internet culture is either not feasible at sea or too expensive.

As for HF radio dying the stats globally don't support that hypothesis.
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Old 27-12-2016, 13:05   #19
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

Of course there's always satphone. I prefer Iridium. These can be rented or purchased.

Getting a ham license is pretty easy. There are some excellent on-line sites with tests using example questions. I used this one when I upgraded to an Extra license: AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » Amateur Radio Exam Practice
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Old 27-12-2016, 13:23   #20
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

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...or tell family he will not have comms.
Personally, I think this is the best option. As mentioned, there is cell phone coverage throughout most of the Bahamas. Same is true, in fact, for much of the Caribbean in general.

So, tell the family "We are heading out and will be out of touch from time to time, possibly for days at a time. We will contact you when we can, and you should not worry."

I know that others feel differently, but for me half the fun of a journey like that is being unplugged for a while!
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Old 27-12-2016, 14:09   #21
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

Install a Pactor modem and send/receive email. If SSB, then Sailmail, if Ham then WL2K. That will keep the father-in-law busy setting it up!
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Old 27-12-2016, 14:37   #22
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

Does the Maritime Mobile Service Net still send reports to ShipTrak?


If so, the very best option would be for the Father in law to get ham licensed ASAP. That would allow direct comms between the two, but also open up several other nets for the father in law, including MMSN and ShipTrak.


ShipTrak is a simple web site that takes reports from sources, such as the MMSN, and plots those reports on a map. The terrific thing about Shiptrak (at least they used to do this)....they will include a simple message upon request.


This way, they can communicate with anyone, and get messages sent, at least one way.


Just my 0.02


[really should be able to get ham licensed inside two weeks...study and test]
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:18   #23
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

John, et al,
The answer is yes...
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake View Post
Does the Maritime Mobile Service Net still send reports to ShipTrak?

If so, the very best option would be for the Father in law to get ham licensed ASAP. That would allow direct comms between the two, but also open up several other nets for the father in law, including MMSN and ShipTrak.

ShipTrak is a simple web site that takes reports from sources, such as the MMSN, and plots those reports on a map. The terrific thing about Shiptrak (at least they used to do this)....they will include a simple message upon request.

This way, they can communicate with anyone, and get messages sent, at least one way.

Just my 0.02

[really should be able to get ham licensed inside two weeks...study and test]
Fair winds to you all!

John
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Old 10-01-2017, 13:05   #24
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Re: Marine SSB Restrictions

The idea of blind broadasting his position on marine ssb does not really seem feasible to me. he can broadcast just fine, but how would he know if it was received? The vagaries of HF communications are such that what works one day may not the next, and thus the recipients do not know if the data was sent but not received, or if the FIL's boat has sunk etc.

If he checks into a marine traffic net as suggested, he will at least have the benefit of relay stations and a "handshake" showing that at least someone got the message. Should work reasonably well... but I too would just not promise daily updates. A few days of non-communication would give the folks at home some time to ponder just how much they love the sailor, and then have a big rush when the next message comes through! (Only partly kidding).

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