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Old 24-10-2019, 21:00   #46
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

While I respect Johnís love with the Icom 802 and that was really an epic post! I want to offer a slightly more balanced perspective.

I believe the commercial SSB radios such as the SEA-235, the Furuno 1503, and the Sailor are just as good if not better than the Icom 802. My favorite, the SEA 235 has a really good DSP and the voice quality is excellent. While it is true that they have fewer adjustments than the 802 (I.e, no RF gain adjustment, etc.), this is what the DSP is for, to do these adjustments for you instead of having you fiddle around.

All radios have their issues and the SEA 235 for example can overheat at times and has no DSC. Both these issues are solvable ($10 computer fan for the heating issue and an external software for DSC). The 802 has the speech compression bug, etc.

These are minor issues today. The key features in selecting an SSB radio is clean power, bandwidth and software control. Most ham and marine radios have limited bandwidth of around 2,200-2,400 Hz. This is food for Pactor and MT63 but not enough for the 110A waveforms which allow much faster throughout when conditions are good. Radios that support the higher bandwidth are typically ex-military radios. I suggest eHam.net as a review site.

The other major thing is software radio control. With a little bit of effort you can program your favorite software to scroll through a list of frequencies just by scrolling with your mouse. Gone are the days where you play around with knobs, VFO, etc. So, please check some software apps as well.
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Old 24-10-2019, 22:39   #47
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Pizzazz, et al,
I don't want to delve too deep into differing opinions....but I'd like to clarify a few of my words from earlier, and address some of your thoughts here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
While I respect John’s love with the Icom 802 and that was really an epic post! I want to offer a slightly more balanced perspective.

I believe the commercial SSB radios such as the SEA-235, the Furuno 1503, and the Sailor are just as good if not better than the Icom 802. My favorite, the SEA 235 has a really good DSP and the voice quality is excellent. While it is true that they have fewer adjustments than the 802 (I.e, no RF gain adjustment, etc.), this is what the DSP is for, to do these adjustments for you instead of having you fiddle around.

All radios have their issues and the SEA 235 for example can overheat at times and has no DSC. Both these issues are solvable ($10 computer fan for the heating issue and an external software for DSC). The 802 has the speech compression bug, etc.

These are minor issues today. The key features in selecting an SSB radio is clean power, bandwidth and software control. Most ham and marine radios have limited bandwidth of around 2,200-2,400 Hz. This is food for Pactor and MT63 but not enough for the 110A waveforms which allow much faster throughout when conditions are good. Radios that support the higher bandwidth are typically ex-military radios. I suggest eHam.net as a review site.

The other major thing is software radio control. With a little bit of effort you can program your favorite software to scroll through a list of frequencies just by scrolling with your mouse. Gone are the days where you play around with knobs, VFO, etc. So, please check some software apps as well.
Of course we all have our own opinions....and none are better than another....and there is nothing wrong with balance...so no worries.

But, I'd like to correct a few points here....some of which are my oversights.

a) The M-802 is not my favorite radio....that would be a Drake TR-7 (or maritime version TR-77 / TR-4310)....next would be the Kenwood TS-830s....and then the Icom IC-781....and then?? (quite a few in a top 10 list, and yes the M-802 is there...maybe #4 or #5 or so...) But, as for HF maritime rigs? Yep, the M-802 then moves to the top of my list...



b) "Speech compressor bug"??? I think you may be conflating a couple things here....M-802's used to be shipped from the factory with the DSP-based speech compression turned-On....for the past few years, they're shipped with it turned-Off....and the Icom dealer turns it On....or some sailors buy the $25 cloning software and do it themselves....or some buy their M-802 from sailing communications experts that enable a function allowing them to turn it On from from panel....But, there is no "bug"...

However, some early (pre-2006 versions) of the M-802 had a factory defect in the transmitter APC circuit that caused intermittent voice "clipping" in SSB mode....this took Icom a while to figure out, but once they did, they offered a free service center / factory fix (and still offer this mod/repair as a free-out-of-warranty repair)....

Perhaps the conflation of these confuses some sailors?




c) SEA has a good rep....started by one of the principals from SGC....but they haven't been close to state-of-the-art in decades (not necessarily a bad thing)....and while nothing wrong with some of the older SEA, Sailor, Furuno, Skanti, JRC, etc., or older Icom's as well....some of them were great rigs in their day (some were dogs)....but these older rigs (not the new GMDSS / DSC rigs from these companies, which are of course great...but wickedly expensive....as well as being 24vdc/110-230vac powered), these older rigs are decades behind state of the art, and yes this includes the SEA 235....yep, it's a nice rig, just not really up-to 21st Century....and, in my opinion, the Furuno 1503 is one dog of a radio, the Icom M-700Pro is 10 times the radio of the 1503...

Now, if you're talking about the Furuno FS-1575 / FS-2575, or the Sailor 6310 / 6320 / 6350, well then they are nice radios (as are the new JRC's), but they cost 3 to 4 times the price of the M-802....not exactly apples-to-apples comparison...



d) DSP substituting for RF gain? In a really nice direct-sampling / SDR radio, sure no problem (if well designed)....but there are no maritime direct-sampling/SDR radios...so, while ANAN's, Flex, and even the IC-7300 and IC-7610, do use their software for gain control (they also have input attenuators), DSP substituting for RF Gain isn't possible in super-het / hybrid super-het receivers...

Don't forget that even in direct-sampling / SDR's input attenuation (adjustable) is necessary in order to keep the A/D converter from being overloaded....fyi, adjustable input attenuation is the SDR version of "RF Gain"



e) I've seen some tout using an external computer and software for MF/HF-DSC operation? And, while this can be SOP for commercial coast stations, this is not really a viable approach for us...I mean, when in open ocean, who runs a computer 24/7? (few, if any)....but even more on-point, who's going to run a computer 24/7 just to run DSC software for your radios? (nobody)....

And, using a computer and radio-control software to run your radio at home is fine....but, at sea? Not really a viable approach for most of us....(now if you're on a Mega-yacht, well that's a different discussion)

I know, I know....this is just your opinion....but when someone on a small/mid-sized offshore sailboat, is trying to decide what radio to buy, I personally feel (my opinion) that it is poor seamanship to recommend such an approach, along with an older non-DSC radio....or worse, recommend an HF ham rig with its poor spectral purity, etc., and then say "don't forget a TCXO" and "run some software for DSC", like these band-aids are a "fix" for buying a radio that isn't suited to the application....just seems like bad advice to me...

Please understand I'm not saying someone needs an M-802....but, if they can afford a new smart phone every couple years, or a new laptop every few years, etc. then they can afford the couple hundred dollars additional that a real MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone costs...

If some wish to play with external software-control of older marine radios (or non-maritime radios), that's cool...especially if on-shore....but, recommending this approach as viable for offshore sailing? Not a good idea, in my opinion...



e) FYI, although in USB and LSB the M-802's DSP-IF bandwidth is 2400hz.....contrary to the manual, the M-802 does have a wider bandwidth....the "wide" data (J2B) is 2800hz...."medium" is 2400hz (or 1000hz?? don't remember exactly)...."narrow" is 500hz....(I've measured it myself many years ago....and when I questioned Icom America, they said "huh?"....a few weeks later got a translated email from Icom Japan that confirmed this, although I was told that there may be a few M-802's that left the factory with the very early DSP firmware which they said had "different figures"....no fooling that was their words)



f) eham as a "review site"? Well, to each their own....
I've been a member of eham for a long time (20 years??) and they're great guys....but most of the "reviews" there are not very "scientific"....of course neither are qrz reviews, etc...





I'm not going ramble on much more tonight....just wanted to add a list
(HF ham rigs: I've used in contests, field days, club stations, or owned personally....Collins 75A-4 / KWS-1 32S-3/75S-3...RL Drake TR-7, Drake TX4B/R4B....Kenwood TS-520, TS-120, TS-130, TS-430, TS-820, TS-830, TS-940...Icom IC-701, IC-735, IC-781, IC-706MkIIG....Yaesu FT-101, FT-1000 Mark V....Tempo One... ~~~~ Marine HF rigs: Icom M-700, M-710, M-700Pro, M-800, M-802...SGC SG-714 Intercontinental One, SGC-711, SGC-2000....SEA 235....Furuno 1503....Ray 152 (JRC)....ITT/MacKay 8000....Sailor 5000...)

Out of those, my favs: Drake TR-7, Kenwood TS-830s, Icom M-802, Icom IC-781....(#3, #4, and #5 positions might trade places depending on application, and my mood....



Fair winds...

John
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Old 27-10-2019, 10:20   #48
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

I have an old M700 with a 120 antenna tuner that seems to work remarkably well. It out performed a friends new M802 during this summer's cruise in both transmitting and receiving though that must be due to installation differences.

Even though it's primitive and cumbersome it seems perfectly adequate for most casual cruising needs.
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Old 27-10-2019, 12:09   #49
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

710 and AT-130 tuner. Left over SG-230 after the install. The Caribbean is a funny place. Reception varies like crazy. I listen to Chris Parker in the AM for Caribbean weather. He fades by the time cruisers are invited to call in. Cruisers on Coconut Telegraph are clear or impossible. Varies every day. Oh well, it works better than itís predecessor.
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Old 27-10-2019, 12:46   #50
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
I have an old M700 with a 120 antenna tuner that seems to work remarkably well. It out performed a friends new M802 during this summer's cruise in both transmitting and receiving though that must be due to installation differences.

Even though it's primitive and cumbersome it seems perfectly adequate for most casual cruising needs.

VERY casual. As in not much use for emergencies, since there is no DSC capability. But as for getting a strong signal out and getting a weak one in, yeah, installation is everything. A QRP HAM rig with good ground and good antlers well matched to the radio on the frequency used, with good cables and connections, will always outperform a 100 watt full bells and whistled radio poorly installed. Your friend should probably have a knowledgeable person optimize his station if the difference is noticeable. Not saying the M700 is useless, at all. I have a M-700 PRO and if I don't get myself an M-802 pretty soon, it is going in my 44' Roberts. Just remember, lack of DSC is a big black mark against it, compared to the M-802.
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Old 03-11-2019, 17:49   #51
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

I have a complete Icom M802 system available is anyone is looking..price is $1295 plus shipping.. contact is jefflw2003@gmail.comClick image for larger version

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Old 11-03-2020, 17:38   #52
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

ooooooooooooo...these threads get long.....


An amateur radio is not legal to operate on marine channels although most can be modified to do such.

Anything can be used on amateur radio frequencies but you are responsible for what it puts out. (purity of signal, etc.) and you need an amateur license.

The legal stuff. I still get confused often when most talk is over USA regulations, etc.

An ICOM IC-78...geeezzz don't know of anybody even selling them ? They are not illegal but for example a USA retailer probably can't sell them just like CB amplifiers, etc.

My big question is WHERE..WHO...ANYWHERE ???? that one can get an ICOM M710 opened up for amateur radio ? (yes..I have a license)

I have a little pile of them and hate to trash them. I hear you need DOS and a program and all kinds of weird things.(obsolete serial ports)

References to Yahoo Groups ? They are dead and gone.
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Old 11-03-2020, 18:55   #53
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

A HAM license is not required for a marine SSB.
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Old 11-03-2020, 19:16   #54
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

I have an Icom M710-RT which is old school, but Iíve been trying to outperform it with other radios and never managed. Not in Rx and not in Tx. Not even when the other radio had more power and a better antenna... not even with DSP filters, optional xtall filters etc.

The other radios have gone and my most favorite, the Kenwood 480 died... the 710 is still going
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Old 11-03-2020, 19:28   #55
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

I'll chime in here..

So tje OP appears to be in the US, and on a 40-ish ft boat. If you can only have one radio on the boat, and you want access to amateur bands, it should be an M802 or M803 since the Icom M802/M803 are FCC-certified Marine SSB radios with temperature controlled crystals, DSC/Distress functionality, and can be used on Amateur bands as well. The M802 is no longer legal to sell or install in the US, so the M803 is the model to buy if you are buying a new radio. It has all the features of the M802, plus last call audio record/playback, built-in GPS, color screen with red night mode and several other nice features.

If you are planning to have multiple radios, then get an M802(used) or M803(new) and add any other Ham radio you want. Just be aware that land amateur radios aren't really designed for the marine environment and may not be legal in some places. Plus most amateur radios can't be made to work on Marine bands, while the M802/M803 Marine radios CAN be made to work on Amateur bands.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:24   #56
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

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That being said, the ICOM M802 is an awesome rig that works LEGALLY for both!

Once you modify an M802 (or any other marine radio) so that it can transmit on other bands, its type acceptance is void and it is no longer lawful to use on the marine bands in areas under U.S. jurisdiction.


I am not aware of any recent FCC enforcement actions against marine vessels for anything related to HF transmissions. I would be surprised if they would become involved unless the installation was creating repeated and ongoing interference to other licensed users.


But technically, under the regulations in place today, it is not possible for a single radio to be used lawfully for both the amateur and marine services.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:27   #57
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

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Once you modify an M802 (or any other marine radio) so that it can transmit on other bands, its type acceptance is void and it is no longer lawful to use on the marine bands in areas under U.S. jurisdiction.
Keep in mind, that for both the M802 and M803, there is no "modification". With the M802, it's a menu setting. With the M803 it comes from the factory open to Amateur bands.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:36   #58
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Re: What is your favorite radio for Marine SSB and Terrestrial HAM?

Personal experience..prefer Marine HF(includes Amateur freqs) radios over Amateur Radios in a marine environment.. Seen to many corroded amateur transceivers.. My old SEA 322 (25+ years) is still working..
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