Cruisers Forum
 


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 04-03-2019, 17:26   #31
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Boat in Puerto Lucia, Ecuador, Body in SE Australia, Heart in Patagonia....
Boat: Westerly Sealord
Posts: 6,119
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oohla View Post
The question of Marine vs HAM radios was not raised in my query, but it has reared it Hydra head. Thankfully no has perservorated on antennas and grounding - yet.

Assuming one has the necessary licenses see https://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/i...=46923.25;wap2 regarding comments and legality of using Marine radio on HAM bands, and using HAM radio on Marine bands. It seems that an opened up Marine radio can be used on HAM band, but once opened no longer on Marine bands, but perhaps no one would ever notice. But HAM can use any frequency in an emergency. So think about it: a HAM on a boat transmitting on the Marine has no reason to do so other than an emergency.

So, having a Marine SSB with it's multiple channels of diminishing utility would be nice (because the more radios is always better), but having an opened up HAM radio would suffice, and bugger the rest.

That said I appreciate the comments on one's favorite radio. That's what I wanted to know and now I do. I had not expected ICOM to be so popular. I did not know about SEA radios. I did not check deeply, but they seem pricey and look a little, excuse me, Soviet.
I had a quick look at that Eham link... all I got out of it was a headache.

Simply put .... on the Ham bands you can ... assuming you are licenced .... use any radio you like.... you can even make your own from the ground up if you so choose... tin cans... string... whatever.
It appears to imply in that link that you need a ship station licence for a ham station on board your yacht... you don't.

For the Marine bands yes you need a ship station licence... I'm sure many people don't have them but if you want to use Sailmail you will need one. I have a UK one which involves a one off lifetime payment of something in the order or 15UKP..
Many cruising nets are on the marine bands but one thing you very rarely hear being used is callsigns.

Now... it is illegal to use a radio that is not type approved on the marine bands ... so -legally- an 'opened up' Ham set can not be used.
However this law dates back to when HF SSB was used by the world's merchant fleets and coast radio stations such as Portishead in the UK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portishead_Radio would have dozens of operators on duty at any hour of the day or night. Last thing they would want would be some bloke with a bit of homebrewed kit getting underfoot.

Today the marine bands are essentially dead apart from DSC.

I do not think you are going to get into trouble if using a ham radio on the marine bands.... the jails would be full if it was policed.
El Pinguino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2019, 17:39   #32
Registered User
 
Simi 60's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Australia
Boat: Milkraft 60 ex trawler
Posts: 2,950
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Following with interest.
If we are going to get this old girl north of Cooktown and further afield something better than a vhf and mobile will be needed.

Thought a 2nd hand sat phone would be the better option but looking at the ICOM 718 prices that may be the better alternative.
Was originally looking at a Barret 250 with all the bits out of a trawler but it went fast.
Simi 60 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2019, 00:26   #33
Registered User
 
Viking Sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: Fantasia 35
Posts: 1,226
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

If you are going to open a Ham radio for emergency use on the marine bands it should have a Temperature Controlled Crystal Oscillator (TCXO). This will insure that your radio will have the frequency accuracy and stability needed to operate with shore and shipboard stations.



These stations often have operators in command centers communicating with you and directing the emergency response. While technicians are located in an equipment room where they are responsible for setting up and adjusting radios as required by the command center. So, if your radio drifts off frequency the operator would need to request a technician to constantly monitor and compensate as required. This is a bad thing!
Viking Sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2019, 18:30   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Montreal
Boat: Dufour 39 Frers
Posts: 316
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

IC-706-MKII-G and an old IC-M700 Pro.


M700 is bullet proof, but takes so much space, that I replaced it with the 706.
Emouchet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 09:09   #35
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego
Boat: Union 32 cutter.
Posts: 39
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Kenwood TS50S for HF. It's been modified to TX on marine SSB, however I have been told it's illegal to do so. I haven't found the rule for that yet, but I suspect it's true. Regardless, it will be used if needed. My back stay is insulated and used as a long wire. I had a AT-120 tuner, but decided to change it for a LDG tuner with a home brew un-un to match the long wire. I like the small footprint of the LDG and TS50S. Currently I have copper sheet for a ground plane in the bilge, but that was installed by a previous owner. I'm thinking of changing it to a simple sea water to metal connection somewhere. I haven't thought that through yet.

SV Ma Kai
San Diego (KD6XU)
SV MAKAI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 10:13   #36
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 5,031
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Only receive but loving the latest Openplotter on a raspberry pi can now cope with a fun cube dongle pro plus running on GQRX. The Pi onboard has a hifiberry amp piggy backed so over VNC & a tablet you can control form anywhere onboard & receive from 150kHz-240MHz and 420MHz-1.9GHz, listen to am, fm, usb, lsb, great fun
Very good for wetherfax as well, save as a wav file then decode in fldigi or jvcomm on a win laptop.




conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 11:20   #37
Registered User
 
GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44 Ofshore
Posts: 2,385
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV MAKAI View Post
Kenwood TS50S for HF. It's been modified to TX on marine SSB, however I have been told it's illegal to do so. I haven't found the rule for that yet, but I suspect it's true. Regardless, it will be used if needed. My back stay is insulated and used as a long wire. I had a AT-120 tuner, but decided to change it for a LDG tuner with a home brew un-un to match the long wire. I like the small footprint of the LDG and TS50S. Currently I have copper sheet for a ground plane in the bilge, but that was installed by a previous owner. I'm thinking of changing it to a simple sea water to metal connection somewhere. I haven't thought that through yet.

SV Ma Kai
San Diego (KD6XU)

Yes, it is illegal to transmit on Marine frequencies with that radio because it is not type accepted for Marine use. So you call for help when your boat is on fire, and the FCC takes away your cute lil radio that saved your ass. Okay, I will take that tradeoff. OTOH you work a coast station or a Marine band net and it comes to light that you were transmitting on Marine frequencies with an illegal transmitter, and the Feds decide to make an example of you, I think you might have some regrets. Nothing illegal about snipping a diode in a HAM rig, that does not degrade your sigs in any way. Its the using of it. Now technically it is perfectly okay to initiate comms on any frequency with any equipment necessary, in an actual emergency. However having modded the radio, they could say that you had prior intent to use it that way.


I had that rig when it first came out. It was a real game changer, in its day. Dead simple to mod, yeah. I just think the key jack should have been in front.


Best way to go, have a legal Marine SSB, and also a HAM radio. There are a lot of really compact HAM rigs out there, even on the used market. Share the antlers and tuner and power supply with the Marine set. The space and weight of the HAM radio is insignificant. Set up your Marine channels, and spin your VFO dial on the Amateur bands. Both radios will be doing what they were designed to do and what they are allowed to do. If you just cant help yourself and simply MUST use your open HAM rig on Marine SSB, at least you have a Marine radio you can point to, in your station, that you can say was used, in the absence of a thorough radio forensic investigation.


Bottom line, if you do everything correctly, nobody should notice unless you are boarded and no Marine SSB can be found. The other part of the bottom line is maybe nobody will really care. The other lower down bottom line is having legal radio equipment for both services can make things go much more smoothly if some pocket protector propellerhead radio zealot tries to raise an issue.
__________________
GrowleyMonster
1979 Bruce Roberts Offshore 44, BRUTE FORCE
GrowleyMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 11:45   #38
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2017
Boat: Retired from CF
Posts: 13,304
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

And be aware that in many jurisdictions where leo and military get most of their income from bribes, any excuse will do to add to the extortion bill.
john61ct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 19:35   #39
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Thayne, WY
Boat: Balboa 20
Posts: 5
Images: 4
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Well been reading all this stuff for a while and I figured I would chime in. Any of the modern "HAM" radios are fine.. the MARS/CAP mod opens up transmit across the board. Legally you are not "supposed" to use them for marine SSB but I am sure lots do. That being said, the ICOM M802 is an awesome rig that works LEGALLY for both! The features on that rig are very good. I have been a HAM for 28 years and that is what I am getting. I own an FT991a, FT817n and an FTDX1200. All three are great rigs and the first two also include UHF/VHF. I am also MARS and therefore have the MARS/CAP mods in the 991a and the FTDX1200 (FT817n is a QRP rig low power). Though I could use them for marine SSB I decided on the 802 for it's specific marine features (DSC, made for marine environment and installs nicely in a boat as well as HAM RADIO!) It also works in VFO mode so it is great for ham use. No it doesn't have all the individual knobs and buttons that a HAM rig has but do you really have the time to use them on your boat? Not really... I am always solo and there just isn't much time to play radio except in a dock (which you can't do in Mexico anyway since they don't reciprocate anymore) So for me the M802 is the best option (unless you have A LOT more money to play with... in which case you have a bigger boat than me and maybe a crew and therefore could have both the 802 and whatever HF ham rig you wanted (just not supposed to be installed in the same 'station' as your Marine radio station.



John S


KN6LL

The Joanna/WDL2067
kn6ll100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 22:12   #40
Registered User
 
GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44 Ofshore
Posts: 2,385
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kn6ll100 View Post
Well been reading all this stuff for a while and I figured I would chime in. Any of the modern "HAM" radios are fine.. the MARS/CAP mod opens up transmit across the board. Legally you are not "supposed" to use them for marine SSB but I am sure lots do. That being said, the ICOM M802 is an awesome rig that works LEGALLY for both! The features on that rig are very good. I have been a HAM for 28 years and that is what I am getting. I own an FT991a, FT817n and an FTDX1200. All three are great rigs and the first two also include UHF/VHF. I am also MARS and therefore have the MARS/CAP mods in the 991a and the FTDX1200 (FT817n is a QRP rig low power). Though I could use them for marine SSB I decided on the 802 for it's specific marine features (DSC, made for marine environment and installs nicely in a boat as well as HAM RADIO!) It also works in VFO mode so it is great for ham use. No it doesn't have all the individual knobs and buttons that a HAM rig has but do you really have the time to use them on your boat? Not really... I am always solo and there just isn't much time to play radio except in a dock (which you can't do in Mexico anyway since they don't reciprocate anymore) So for me the M802 is the best option (unless you have A LOT more money to play with... in which case you have a bigger boat than me and maybe a crew and therefore could have both the 802 and whatever HF ham rig you wanted (just not supposed to be installed in the same 'station' as your Marine radio station.



John S


KN6LL

The Joanna/WDL2067

Totally agree on the M802. Ideal radio for sailors in small boats who are also HAMs. And not too shabby even for those who are not HAMs. For HAMs who are not sailors, there are better rigs but this can work.
__________________
GrowleyMonster
1979 Bruce Roberts Offshore 44, BRUTE FORCE
GrowleyMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 23:23   #41
Registered User
 
AA3JY's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kimberton,Pa.
Boat: Cabo Rico 34
Posts: 580
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Pricey but very robust for the marine environment ...SEA (USA made)marine HF and VHF radios..you’ll see them commonly on commercial fishing vessels in Pacific NW..see them on the tv series ‘Deadliest Catch’...

My old SEA 322 ( with HAM fregs)radio and tuner must be close to 30 years old and still functions fine...bet you’ll won’t find that longevity with non-marinized radios
AA3JY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 09:47   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Thayne, WY
Boat: Balboa 20
Posts: 5
Images: 4
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

I did take some time to look into the SEA radios. Very plain looking and their budget model (transceiver only) is $2997! No tuner no nothing. I didn't even continue to pricing their tuners. The M802 is $1800 and the tuner is $450. The head separates and mounts nicely in a panel with the main body somewhere else (of course it's built like an ICOM) I am a Yaesu guy mostly because the ICOM are more for what you get function wise. But the ICOMs are built like tanks. I actually 'studied' the manual (not just skimmed over) and watched every youtube video I could find before I decided on it. If I did want to use a HAM rig specifically for my boat I think I would go with the IC7200. It's a tank made for taking with you. I think they discontinued it but I'm sure you can find a new one somewhere (they were still making them until recently). They were around $800 bucks and made for field operations so they could hold up in the marine environment. I'm sure the SEA radios are great... they are just too ugly and expensive for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, for the right price I could deal with ugly but a grand more than the icom? NOPE. Also if you are looking at only price, even though the M802 is expensive, You are not going to get that much MORE for that price in HAM equipment unless you are really lucky and stumble into something... just a few more knobs and convenience features.




John
kn6ll100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-10-2019, 10:04   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Marina del Rey
Boat: Hunter 31
Posts: 1,153
What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

The SEA radios are no longer manufactured, I believe. There is available stock and they repair them - the high price reflects that. Many used ones are available on eBay. The SEA235 was the first microprocessor/DSP SSB radio (circa 1998) and an exceptionally good one. Most current radio design is based off theirs. It does not have DSC, so that could be a concern. You can add DSC via software (painful) or use alternative signaling (Codan, ALE), whatever you like.

They are very easy to control via software and you can use any of the top ham programs. They do not have a frequency dial but once you figure out how to scroll the frequencies with a mouse in your PC, you never want to go back.
Pizzazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2019, 17:40   #44
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,459
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Okay, as Oohla (George) started this thread asking "What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial Ham?", way back in March....I'm sorry I missed this! (and since I've been using, and deigning/installing, HF comm systems for both maritime and ham use for ~45 years, both on-board and on-shore....I'm sure I can still contribute something useful)


George, here are some quick and specific answers...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oohla View Post
I am interested in hearing what HAM/SSB/Marine radios CF followers have and use on board. Would like to know if with or without automatic tuners. And are you happy?
Using an Icom M-802 and AT-140 (remote tuner), since 2004....and very happy with it.
I own three of them (two on-board).


I am not interested in the issue of marine VHF, DSC, AIS, etc. for this posting.
Okay....just be sure you actually understand the "why's" of DSC (MF/HF-DSC), otherwise your question is sort-of moot....

And let's not talk at length about antennas and grounding. That makes my head hurt.
No worries!
Just be sure to remember that it is the skill/experience of the operator (and their knowledge of radiowave propagation), along with the antenna system, that makes up 95% to 99% of the success of HF comms....except in the case of ham rigs not having DSC capability, the actual radio used is a very minor issue.

I am trying to decide on a common platform(s) for use afloat and ashore.
Unless you are significantly budget-constrained, the decision is almost made for you....'cuz it's the M-802 these days. (costing $1600 new...and usually $800 - $1000 used)


FWIW I realize that Marine radios like ICOM M-802 are channelized while terrestrial HAM radios have a VFO knob,
George, you (and others) may not be aware, but the M-802 has a "VFO" Mode and "Channel" Mode, switching between these two modes with the press of one front panel button...

that radios can be MARS modified,
Due to the poor spectral purity of HF ham radios, they are not very useful on the maritime bands....(details available if you're interested)

that transmitting on marine bands and HAM bands requires different licenses - which I have, etc.
Good that you have those licenses!
Just be aware the old adage that "the (ham) license is only the first step in learning about radio communications"....'cuz it's true!


At present I have ICOM IC-7100 and Kewnood TM-D710GA (for APRS). (And lots of antennas)
Pleased with the Kenwood. Not so much with the ICOM.
The TM-D710GA has a good rep....and for a VHF/UHF ham rig, it's a nice rig!
Not surprised about your experience with the IC-7100....it's not the greatest rig...and those new to HF comms sometimes are surprised by how important the antenna system and reducing receive RFI is.
(see radio details below....and please see the links in referenced threads/stickies, for lots of details about receive RFI, etc...)

Oohla
KC1GXB
In addition the discussion drifted off-topic to discuss "opened-up" ham rigs being used on HF Maritime bands/channels/frequencies....and since this is something I'm not only familiar with, it is something I've been commenting on for decades as well....here again, I'd like to add some useful info...


1) But first, back to the original question....
"What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial Ham?"

I interpret this to be asking literally what is my favorite radio (singular) that is useful/effective for both HF Maritime and HF Amateur (Ham) communications?

Currently, and for the past 15+ years, the short answer (based on my > 45 years experience in this) is: The Icom M-802....(of which I own three! two on-board, one on-shore)
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/marine/ssb/m802/default.aspx

http://www.docksideradio.com/index.html

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall




{I understand that you don't wish to hear that this is the only "affordable" MF/HF-DSC-SSB Maritime radio available....and probably don't want to hear that it is the only way to go these days (in the past 20 years) since the world-wide implementation of DSC (the GMDSS was fully implemented by Feb 1, 1999)....so, I will not delve deeply into that here... }



The somewhat longer answer is:
The Icom M-802 (in addition to being a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Maritime Radiotelephone) is 21st Century design, IF-DSP, hybrid-super-het transceiver, which is type certified under Part 80 (maritime) as well as Part 87 and Part 90 (aviation and fixed/land-mobile) services, for Tx/Rx use in SSB, CW, RTTY/FSK/SITOR/PACTOR1 (and AM Rx only) modes from 1.6mhz thru 30mhz (and RX from 500khz thru 30mhz), as-is/delivered....(and fully-compatible/fully controllable with external PACTORII, III, and IV modems, and Sailmail/Airmail and/or Winlink/WINMOR RMS Express)

As such it has a very well designed transmit PA and and DSP-based modulator (and clean DSP-based SSB Speech Compression, that does not disrupt/disturb any multi-tone data modes), allowing for its excellent transmit spectral purity (necessary to meet the stringent regulations for maritime, aviation, and fixed/land-mobile services) {Please take note that in addition to the legality issue, this is the primary reason that "opened-up" ham rigs are NOT allowed to be used on the maritime bands, and no matter what some "yahoo down the dock", nor some "expert" on-line tells you, there have been NO ham radios made in >40 years that meet the stringent spectral purity standards for maritime service, none! And further, there aren't any "12vdc" ham rigs made that even come close!} The M-802 also as a OCXO (Oven-Controlled-Crystal-Oscillator), which is standard on all commercial/maritime/aviation HF radios....

Hmmm...George...as you're a US licensed ham, please note a few important things here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oohla View Post
So, having a Marine SSB with it's multiple channels of diminishing utility would be nice (because the more radios is always better), but having an opened up HAM radio would suffice, and bugger the rest.
1) Of course, excepting in cases of emergency, it is NOT legal to use an "opened-up ham radio" on any band/freq other than the ham radio bands....except in the case of some specifically NTIA certified ham radios used for CAP or MARS operations on their specific freqs. (and certainly not on the maritime bands/freqs/channels)
Fyi, you jeopardize both your FCC licenses....and while damned unlikely, could find yourself in some hot water from some other country's authorities...
[And, btw....I've never understood the reasoning for any sailor doing this....you know a used Icom M-700Pro can be had for $400 or so....and is a significantly better radio than (the more expensive) Icom IC-7100, IC-718, etc. etc. And, the $1600 M-802 is even a better radio than the IC-7600 (costing twice as much!). And, no ham radio has MF/HF-DSC....
So, what is this fascination for using a modern ham rig on the marine bands?
They cause interference, are usually more expensive (feature-for-feature), have no DSC capability, and are illegal....
So, I just don't get it....never have...and fyi, I assisted in my first Maritime HF install as a adolescent, in 1973....and have been using both ham and marine radios for > 45 years now...so, I'm not some new-kid-on-the-block, nor some "book-learned-yahoo" who doesn't have a clue about the real world!]
2) There are specific technical reasons for this....primarily the need for spectral purity.....as well as inability to increase modulation/distortion, and precise frequency-stability / frequency-accuracy (two different things, btw)
3) There are some sailors that do illegally use ham rigs on the maritime bands, and quite frankly, in many instances make themselves pariahs among their fellow sailors for doing so....(those that splatter across the band in an anchorage, or along a coast, keeping others from using their radios / connecting thru Sailmal or Winlink, etc...are easy to recognize....)
{yes, some have used their ham rigs surreptitiously enough to not be noticed, but these are usually pretty well trained ops, that do their best to keep their signals clean, etc..}
4) The new, modern Icom M-802 (as well as the older, long-discontinued M-700Pro) have excellent "VFO" modes, as well as "channelized" operations....
In the case of the M-802, it is designed like this from the factory and is switched between the two modes with one front-panel button!


Further, this is a very heavy-duty transmitter, whose PA is designed to run 150 watts output PEP, in CW, SSB, and FSK (100% duty-cycle)....and in all other digital/data modes, 100%....and do it cleanly....and do it cleanly and within spec, with supply voltages (at the radio under-load) from 11.5vdc to 15.5vdc....and will continue to work at reduced power/spec at even lower voltages! And, it has 3 selectable power outputs, so you can control your transmit power and energy consumed.
(measured current consumption: 2 to 2.1amps in rec....and 28-29amps peak in transmit at 150 watts output)

Along with its excellent spectral purity (that keeps you from interfering with others, etc.) the folks that you are actually in comms with will love you too.....It has remarkably crisp and clean transmit audio, direct from the Icom microphone....and with the M-802's excellent DSP-based speech compression, you have significant "talk-power" with no distortion, no "processed sound", etc....
I actually get many unsolicited accolades / comments on the high-quality transmit audio...damn near every ham I talk to on the M-802 comments on how great it sounds! (how many times do you experience that with your "modern" ham rig?)

And as designed / tested / certified, the M-802 is also capable of operating on all HF amateur bands, from 1.8mhz thru 29.7mhz, without "modification".....thereby allowing any licensed amateur radio operator to use this radio on the amateur radio bands, without effecting the M-802's maritime type certification.
(translation: the M-802 is legal to use on both maritime and ham radio services/bands/freqs, as-is.)











FYI, I do have an M-802 at home on-shore as well (as a back-up rig)....but not shown in this pic, which shows my ham shack at home...




It also has built-in: selectable CW IF Bandwidths, 2 selectable FSK/RTTY bandwidths, and 3 selecteable "data" bandwidths (which would typically be useful when adding an external modem, such as a PACTORIII or IV modem), as well as a decent AM wide bandwidth or allows use of narrower SSB bandwidths when zero-beating an AM station.

The M-802 has an adjustable receive RF Gain, which is very helpful, especially when in port....and even at sea on lower bands (1.8/2mhz thru 7/8mhz), but also can be of help on 12mhz and 14mhz, in some instances...

The M-802's Voice Squelch is actually damn good....one of the best I've ever seen in any radio! (but alas, I don't use it much)


It's DSP-based receiver noise-blanker is effective for impulse noise (rare on sailboats, or most diesel-power yachts), and somewhat useful in some noise reduction, but is actually a decade behind times in terms of IF-DSP-based noise blanking / reduction circuits....
Although, in actual practice on-board most cruising boats, reducing sources of receiver-RFI is always a better route than trying to use some form of "noise-reduction" in the radio....so, not having the most modern receive noise reduction isn't much an issue. Heck, a good pair of headphones (not expensive "noise-cancelling-headphones") is one of the easiest / cheapest way of understanding comms when signals are weak or laden with noise! Our brains are still better than most DSP units!

It comes loaded with all ITU Maritime channels (simplex and duplex) permanently stored in its ITU channel banks, and has an additional 160 channel "user-programmable" memories, that make ham band changes quick 'n easy....as well as make operating (ham or maritime) when at sea simple!


Channel scan, band scan, etc. are there, but most hams and most sailors seldom use these.

It's big, bright (but dim-able) display is clear and easy-to-read, and its big knobs and easy-to-use keypad, might seem old-fashioned by those used-to smart-phones, but once you've used this rig at sea you'll soon realize why it is so highly regarded!

Overall, the M-802 is not only a great performing HF rig, it is also easy-to-use (even in heavy seas, and/or with wet hands/gloves), and laypersons can be instructed in its basic operations in just minutes of simple/non-tech training.

VFO Mode vs. "channel mode" is switched with one front panel button....

But, of course, even with its selectable CW break-in or semi-break-in keying, with its VFO only moving in 100hz increments this can be frustrating for serious HF CW ham operators (even if using the variable "clarifier"/RIT), as well as the minimum CW IF bandwidth of 500hz....so, if you're a hardcore CW user, then an Eleccraft K3s is what you'd want anyway....(but fyi, the Elecraft K3s is a rather crappy voice-mode / SSB radio...and costs twice as much as the M-802.....so, you'd actually want an M-802 for everything but serious CW work)

And, having a dedicated power button and separate dedicated "volume" knob, as well as one big knob for VFO use (or channel use) makes this rig simple AND effective!

You can extend the remote-head's cabling and place the remote head (or a second remote head) in cockpit should you desire....and/or do as I have done, and simply extend the microphone cable (Icom extension) and headphone cable (my own), allowing me to operate the radio from the cockpit!
{Fyi, the Icom mic has "up" / "down" buttons allowing you to change freq in VFO mode, or change channel in channel mode....as well as a "P" key (which can be programmed to do one of 7 or 8 functions...I have mine programmed to turn voice squelch on/off)....and with the M-802 usually set for "auto-tune", all it takes is a quick blip of the mic's PTT button and your remote auto-tuner has tuned your antenna lickedly-split....so, the M-802, its remote head, its microphone, remote tuner, etc. all combine to make a very versatile HF comms system! }

In addition to the usually "ACC" jack, the M-802 also has other connections/jacks, such as AF/MOD and a dedicated "REMOTE" jack (these allowing both Tx and RX audio, PTT, etc and either NMEA or RS-232 remote operation)....

If you'd like to see the Icom M-802 in operation, LIVE, in the real-world, on a real offshore sailboat (no lab simulations), along with detailed descriptions of each button/knob/function, and live "as-it-happens" / on-the-air examples, please have a look at these Youtube Playlists:

Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


Offshore Sailing

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nbwAGh5DKgTCj15iyl6qoY



And, please have a look at these "stickies", for much HF Maritime Radio info...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/marine-ssb-stuff-how-to-better-use-proeprly-install-ssb-and-troubleshoot-rfi-etc-133496.html



HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/hf-ssb-radio-proper-installation-tips-techniques-etc-198305.html




Icom M-802 dealer:
http://www.docksideradio.com/index.html



2) My "second choices"?

a) Sailor 6300 series MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephones...

b) Or, if you wish to disregard MF/HF-DSC capability:

--- the old venerable RL Drake TR-77 / TR-4310 (maritime/commercial versions of the old venerable TR-7 ham rig, of which I own two! One I bought brand-new in 1978, the other I acquired about 20 years ago....both still working well!) {Fyi, Monaco Radio used to use the RL Drake TR-77's, R-77's and TR-4310's for the HF-SSB Coast Station.}

--- Icom M-700Pro



3) As for some specific radio info (other than the M-802):

Recently there was a thread here from a landlocked sailor desiring to learn about HF comms (both maritime HF and ham HF), prior to buying their dream boat and heading off cruising....and asking about specific radios:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/landlocked-with-chance-to-learn-ham-on-icom-706-a-221856.html#post2960916

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/landlocked-with-chance-to-learn-ham-on-icom-706-a-221856.html#post2947988

There is a LOT there (probably more than you imagine!)
Please have a look!


If you're interested in the highlights?
For "learning" and casual-to-serious HF ham operations, it's not the radio that makes the difference, but rather the human operator (their skill, experience, and knowledge of HF radiowave propagation) and the antenna!!!

But, there is info there about many radios, and clear unbiased assessments of some....please have a look....


If you want a taste, please understand that this was a discussion about what ham radio to buy, for "learning" and familiarization....not marine HF radios:


Quote:
5) As for picking a radio?
How about just asking what's the best anchor, or best chartplotter, or best boat to buy?? These would be easier to obtain consensus on!


But, in serious...if you want an HF maritime radio now, the only real choice is the Icom M-802....costs about $1800 ($1600 NOW!) new, and $800 to $1000 used...
Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components

If you desire a cheap 'n easy HF ham radio, and just want to listen to some maritime traffic / receive HF SSB Voice broadcasts and WeFax weather broadcasts, you can find cheaper HF ham radios, used...
Buying a used radio locally is good...especially if you can see it work, and/or actually know the seller...

Although the use of ebay has raised the prices / values of many used ham radios, it is a viable way to buy something if the seller has a 100% feedback rating, as I do...I've been there for 21 years now, with a 100% positive feedback rating, and I only buy from others with the same...

eham.net is also a good source of used ham gear, and while I'm not a fan of qrz.com classified ads, some hams do have good luck there...
When buying from either of these sites ads, only buy from licensed hams that use their ham callsign on that site (and check 'em out, read their postings and other ads, to try to ascertain their honesty and expertise/knowledge), don't buy anything from anyone without a ham callsign displayed proudly (they're hiding for a reason!)


[FYI, I'm a Drake fan!! But, for you and your application, you need to look more modern and more interface friendly!]



--- Any modern Icom HF rig will work similar and allow you to become familiar with their features / controls, etc...and just about every modern 12vdc Icom HF rig (designed so it can be used mobile), interfaces directly to any Icom remote tuner....this means Icom radios and tuners made over the past 20-25 years are compatible with each other....and are all good choices...
Icom IC-756ProIII is about as close to the Maritime M-802 as you can get....(but the IC-756ProII is also good)....even the precursor, the IC-756 is good...

The big/heavy big brother in the classic Icom lineage is the venerable IC-781 (a 28vdc/120vac radio)....and is still used worldwide and considered a top-of-the-line HF SSB ham radio!! (I have friends that own them, and they can afford a new 7851, and won't part with their 781's!!)

If you're looking for older/cheaper, the IC-761 and IC-765 are the forerunners of the 756 series, and the IC-751 was the earlier precursor...of course the IC-706 has already been mentioned (and I place it here at the lower end of the list)...the earlier IC-735 is a good radio, but requires a very rare external interface to use a remote tuner, so might not be a good choice....
Any of those should work for you...


(stay away from the IC-725, IC-730, IC-740, and even the IC-745)...
And, even if you wanted to spend 1000's of $$$$, stay away from the IC-7600 and IC-7700...
The IC-7100, 7200, 7410, etc. have some fans, but are just the modern versions of the bottom of the barrel, steer clear of them, as well....ironically the IC-7200 is one crappy radio for mobile, or maritime, applications, fairly RFI susceptible and software/firmware issues...



The current "hot girl" in the ham radio world is the Icom IC-7300 (and her big sister, the IC-7610)....both are SDR's with knobs....they do work and are nice radios, but are generally not for beginners, and certainly not great choices for "boat radios"!!

But, this is kinda a moot point anyway, 'cuz they're pricey....and if you want to spend that kind of ca$h, buy an M-802!




--- Kenwood's are also nice....but they're not as easy to set-up with remote tuners (read: costly and aftermarket tuners)...although the TS-590SG is a great radio!! And, if you want a great ham rig that you can use at home now, particularly if you just use some coax-fed antenna, the TS-590SG (not 590S) is a great radio!!

But, if you got the cash to buy that new....you might consider the Icom M-802...


A TS-480 is a nice older 12vdc Kenwood radio...


But, if you'll never run the rig mobile or on a boat, the TS-850, TS-930, TS-940, etc...are nice, too.


I'm not a fan of the older TS-430 (good radio, but didn't age well), nor are the TS-440, TS-570, TS-870...so, staying clear of them would be good.





--- I recommend against any modern Yaesu radio....any of their 12vdc radios made in the past 20 - 30 years are crap!

Don't let the cheap prices sway you....please steer clear!

(the FTdx-5000 and FTdx-9000 series radios are nice....but, they're big and expensive, and are 50vdc/120vac radios, as are the FT-1000 series...so any small, affordable, Yaesu that runs on 12vdc, is crap!)



--- TenTec made some nice rigs....but like the Kenwoods, some are not good choices for your application...and they can be pricey, too.



--- Elecrraft makes excellent, top-of-the-line HF CW radios (although they do SSB, ironically they are pretty crappy SSB radios)....but even if you decide I'm full of crap, Elecraft K3s is wicked expensive!! (twice the cost of an Icom M-802!)





--- If you were looking for outside-the-box ideas...
And had the money to burn, the Apache Labs ANAN-8000 is a great modern HF ham rig....a full-featured, big, powerful, SDR! (although the Flex-6400 and 6600 radios, and the older 6000 and 6700, are a more "user-friendly", and Flex Radio has excellent customer service....they just aren't up-to the state-of-the-art, compared to the ANAN-8000!)

OR...


Or, if you're looking for the other end / other end of the out-of-the-box idea...a clean, working, and aligned R.L. Drake TR-7 (I own two...bought my original one in 1978, still works great...and still works better than 99% of the modern rigs sold today!!) {this is the ham version of the maritime TR-77 and the commercial/gov't TR-4310}
OR...


Or, just save some $$$ and buy an Icom M-802 (I have two on-board!)....
OR...


Or, for really cheap and easy, if you can find a working Atlas 215x (about $200) it is actually a great little rig for you....but, you MUST watch your SWR and/or have a tuner, 'cuz the Atlas' didn't have a good protection circuit, and you can damage the PA if you're careless...

OR...


Or, an older JRC rig....the JST-245 is a great HF rig....it is the ham radio version of JRC's commercial maritime and commercial/fixed/air-base radios....




Hope this helps?

I know there is a lot here to unpack, but take your time....don't just run out and buy the first reasonably-priced radio, and the most hyped antenna...and DO go and buy the ARRL Handbook and ARRL Antenna Book, even used ones from the last 10 years, are fine!!

Fair winds.

John
I do hope this helps answer the questions posed here, both the original question about what is my favorite radio, and the continued questioning about the horrific practice of using "opened-up" ham rigs on the maritime bands/channels/frequencies....

{as well as just briefly touching on the subject of MF/HF-DSC signaling (remember that except for USCG, Aus AMSA, and NZMA, nobody is monitoring/watch-standing HF maritime SSB VOICE channels/freqs, not since Jan 1999!!) All the 1000's of SOLAS merchant ships plying the seas, > 80 HF-DSC Coast Stations, and > 450 MF-DSC Coast Stations, etc. are capable of using HF SSB Voice for coordinating rescue, etc...but are not monitoring it...rather are monitoring the Int'l GMDSS DSC frequencies 24/7/365....if you're hoping to raise someone on Maritime HF without DSC, you better hope you're in range of and calling during the watchstanding hours of the USCG, AMSA, and NZMA...or you're going to need to call a MayDay on the ham radio bands!}

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=cgcommsCall



Fair winds to all!

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2019, 19:41   #45
Registered User
 
GrowleyMonster's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Bruce Roberts 44 Ofshore
Posts: 2,385
Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Wow what an epic post, John! You said it all!


I have a M-700Pro but an M-802 is on my Christmas wish list! It is a great radio! My previous radios are a Kenwood TS-50, bought it before it was officially released, in fact. And an SEA 222. I stopped renewing my HAM ticket and my 2nd Class Radiotelegraph long ago, but still hold General Radiotelephone, (and ship's radar), GMDSS Maintainer and GMDSS Operator. I am with you on the M-802. The only affordable radio that does it all, out of the box.
__________________
GrowleyMonster
1979 Bruce Roberts Offshore 44, BRUTE FORCE
GrowleyMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marine, 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
Marine SSB Radios Used for Ham Radio Capt.Don Marine Electronics 50 27-04-2020 18:58
Ham radio advice sought - AT 7000 tuner suitable for marine use? (w/ ICOM 706 radio) Jud Marine Electronics 10 27-02-2016 17:40
For Sale: Icom M700TY SSB HF Marine Ham Radio sailvayu Classifieds Archive 0 29-01-2010 12:24

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:29.


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.