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Old 20-01-2020, 14:32   #1
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Single Side Band Info

In the spring I'm sailing from the Northeast to Puerto Rico via Bermuda and the Bahamas. My question is concerning an on-board SSB radio. There are many in the $1,000+ range and then there are 'crystal-less' radios in the $150 range. I'm interested in weatherfax downloads and communicating with boats in the area in which I'm entering.
What's your recommendation?
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Old 20-01-2020, 15:21   #2
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Re: Single Side Band Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan33 View Post
In the spring I'm sailing from the Northeast to Puerto Rico via Bermuda and the Bahamas. My question is concerning an on-board SSB radio. There are many in the $1,000+ range and then there are 'crystal-less' radios in the $150 range. I'm interested in weatherfax downloads and communicating with boats in the area in which I'm entering.
What's your recommendation?

I am not trying to be rude here at all, but from your post I can tell you are missing a great deal of knowledge about radio communications. No problem, that is why we have forums
I will STRONGLY suggest you read these ASAP and then ask more questions.


https://www.amazon.com/Marine-SSB-Ra...8&sr=8-1-fkmr1


https://www.amazon.com/2018-2022-Tec...on+West+WB6NOA


You currently are not at the point to be able to ask the right questions. There are a lot of ways to spend money and a lot of ways to use the gear wrong or not ever get it working.

You need the basics from these books to know what to even ask about.
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Old 20-01-2020, 15:27   #3
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Re: Single Side Band Info

You may also think of moving this post, this section is not for SSB radio and many may not see it.
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Old 20-01-2020, 15:39   #4
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Originally Posted by Coquina View Post
I am not trying to be rude here at all, but from your post I can tell you are missing a great deal of knowledge about radio communications. No problem, that is why we have forums
I will STRONGLY suggest you read these ASAP and then ask more questions.


https://www.amazon.com/Marine-SSB-Ra...8&sr=8-1-fkmr1


https://www.amazon.com/2018-2022-Tec...on+West+WB6NOA


You currently are not at the point to be able to ask the right questions. There are a lot of ways to spend money and a lot of ways to use the gear wrong or not ever get it working.

You need the basics from these books to know what to even ask about.

Uh, isn't the point of this forum and his question so that the OP doesn't have to go buy and read a bunch of books just yet?
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Old 20-01-2020, 15:45   #5
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Re: Single Side Band Info

Ssb is a complicated piece of equipment
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Old 20-01-2020, 16:01   #6
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Originally Posted by Leviathan33 View Post
In the spring I'm sailing from the Northeast to Puerto Rico via Bermuda and the Bahamas. My question is concerning an on-board SSB radio. There are many in the $1,000+ range and then there are 'crystal-less' radios in the $150 range. I'm interested in weatherfax downloads and communicating with boats in the area in which I'm entering.
What's your recommendation?
The $150 SSBs are receivers such as the Tecsun 880 .. fine for receiving weather fax.

If you want to also transmit and join cruisers' nets you need to make a choice... Ham or Marine... or both.

For ham there are plenty of sub $1000 transceivers around such as the Icom IC 718.

If you want to go down the marine road you could consider a second hand Icom M710 . With tuner you should be able to pick one up for under $1000.

One way or another you are probably looking at a $1000 spend.

So what exactly do you want to do?
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Old 20-01-2020, 16:13   #7
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Uh, isn't the point of this forum and his question so that the OP doesn't have to go buy and read a bunch of books just yet?
Sort of, but the OP is at the level of "can you explain how to fly an airplane", not "which radar picks up ground details best in map mode in the Bahamas". I used to install HF gear for a living and I gave my customers the same advice. You need a solid understanding of the basics to know even what to ask.
Just using a few forum posts to get a tiny bit of info is IMHO insufficient for the cost involved.
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Old 20-01-2020, 16:18   #8
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Originally Posted by Coquina View Post
Sort of, but the OP is at the level of "can you explain how to fly an airplane", not "which radar picks up ground details best in map mode in the Bahamas". I used to install HF gear for a living and I gave my customers the same advice. You need a solid understanding of the basics to know even what to ask.
Just using a few forum posts to get a tiny bit of info is IMHO insufficient for the cost involved.
73 de N3HGB
Exactly. One needs to start with at least a basic understanding of a subject to know what questions to ask, forget understanding the answer. Part of asking the right question is not asking something so broad and open ended that it would take a page long reply to narrow down the issues.

Like asking someone to explain Calculus when you haven't even learned multiplication.
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Old 20-01-2020, 18:55   #9
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Exactly. One needs to start with at least a basic understanding of a subject to know what questions to ask, forget understanding the answer. Part of asking the right question is not asking something so broad and open ended that it would take a page long reply to narrow down the issues.

Like asking someone to explain Calculus when you haven't even learned multiplication.
And where do you get that basic knowledge? By asking questions is the normal way.
I have no problem with the OP's question .... it simply remains to discover what he really wants to do and then guide him down the correct path.

Not just tell him to foxtrot oscar and read a book - which may or may not address his needs - and while he is at it learn CW... and then come back

The skill levels he requires - based on his original question - involves arithmetic rather than calculus....
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Old 20-01-2020, 19:12   #10
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Re: Single Side Band Info

I think the part I have problems with is this part of your post...


You currently are not at the point to be able to ask the right questions. There are a lot of ways to spend money and a lot of ways to use the gear wrong or not ever get it working.

You need the basics from these books to know what to even ask about


Probably could have just said, “read these to learn some more in addition to what you will learn here.”
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Old 20-01-2020, 19:19   #11
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Originally Posted by Leviathan33 View Post
In the spring I'm sailing from the Northeast to Puerto Rico via Bermuda and the Bahamas. My question is concerning an on-board SSB radio. There are many in the $1,000+ range and then there are 'crystal-less' radios in the $150 range. I'm interested in weatherfax downloads and communicating with boats in the area in which I'm entering.
What's your recommendation?
A) Skip the $$$$ transceiver for this trip

B) To receive weather, this 10 minute video reviews methods/costs/equipment needed for the different options. Receive-only system is ~$300 plus a laptop.
https://youtu.be/l1QyDVgclto

I've not looked into it, but presumably a ~$25 SDR receiver (plus ?$$ antenna) could be set up instead of a $300 Sony to receive weather (again, using a laptop), but a standalone receiver seems more prudent (if having a SDR as a backup given low-cost, and something to fiddle with).

C) While in CT, google when/where the next ham radio meetings are in your area and go plug in. They love new blood and they won't shove a book in your face (but will tell you which books will best suit your needs).
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Old 20-01-2020, 19:25   #12
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
And where do you get that basic knowledge? By asking questions is the normal way.
I have no problem with the OP's question .... it simply remains to discover what he really wants to do and then guide him down the correct path.

Not just tell him to foxtrot oscar and read a book - which may or may not address his needs - and while he is at it learn CW... and then come back

The skill levels he requires - based on his original question - involves arithmetic rather than calculus....
Not intending to blow off the OP or belittle his question. Nor was I myself recommending a major course of reading but instead just a little basic preliminary research on this forum or one of the many sources of information on the net.

For me the normal way when trying to learn something about a subject where I'm starting from zero knowledge (which covers a lot of subjects) is to start with at least basic reading and research from existing resources. Again for me I find it's much more efficient and productive to do this as it gives me a much better idea of what it is exactly I need to ask.

Starting from zero and asking extremely broad, open ended questions usually brings extremely broad, sometimes vague answers that may or may not answer what it was I was trying to figure out.
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Old 20-01-2020, 19:44   #13
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Re: Single Side Band Info

Hello L-33,
The second and fourth sticky in the sub-forum for comms are about 'SSB'
Marine Electronics - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Alll the best,
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Old 21-01-2020, 05:23   #14
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Re: Single Side Band Info

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Not intending to blow off the OP or belittle his question. Nor was I myself recommending a major course of reading but instead just a little basic preliminary research on this forum or one of the many sources of information on the net.

For me the normal way when trying to learn something about a subject where I'm starting from zero knowledge (which covers a lot of subjects) is to start with at least basic reading and research from existing resources. Again for me I find it's much more efficient and productive to do this as it gives me a much better idea of what it is exactly I need to ask.

Starting from zero and asking extremely broad, open ended questions usually brings extremely broad, sometimes vague answers that may or may not answer what it was I was trying to figure out.

I *really* was not trying to be rude, but it is hard to tell when you cannot see someone. A month of reading random stuff on forums won't come even close to the knowledge you can get from a couple of good books written for someone starting out from scratch.
When I did seminars on SSB acquisition and use it was split into two pieces. We were a good hour explaining what HF radio was and what it could do before we got into specifics of what to buy and how to install it.
For one example of why uninformed reading of random stuff can be bad, someone suggested $25 SDR radio dongles. The OP likely does not have the vaguest clue what an SDR radio even is, or that those dongles are not very good radios, or that they can be quite tricky to set up, or that they do not work on HF. I have 2 or three of the things in my shop right now and none of them can equal my ordinary VHF gear and they all start around 25 MHz or higher. NFW would I try and use one offshore to get SSB weather.
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Old 21-01-2020, 05:45   #15
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Re: Single Side Band Info

I understand the OP wants to communicate with other boats on SSB/shortwave. As to my knowledge, you have to get a license for both possible ways (ham or marine) the OP should get such a license first. When I did my marine long range license, I received lots of information. Same for the ham license.
If it is just about receiving weather fax, that can be done without license and just with a cheap receiver (there are SDR receiver capable of short wave receiving). For more you need a transceiver, either for ham bands or for marine frequencies and an antenna/counterpoise system.

Regards,

-Richard (VK4WRS)
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