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Old 28-04-2020, 14:31   #1
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SSB Radio at home?

I've had an interest in radios since my teenage days. I even took ham classes but got hurt before I could finish. Anyway, what I am thinking about is to buy a SSB radio with some type of anntenea cheap, more or less, and just listen to various transmissions. I am currently living in our RV near Puget Sound.

I KNOW I shall never transmit, not even put a mic on it. Or maybe do the same thing with a full ham rig. I don't remember much about it from those old days, lol. SSB is more of a method vs frequency?

I have several reasons for this. I'd like to be able to receive information from operators (prepers?) around the world. Also I hope to use one or both onboard after proper training and certificates. I've not given up on cruising. Still looking for the new house and boat.

Do you folks see any reason not to just listen passively?
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Old 28-04-2020, 14:35   #2
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Listening is perfectly legal and requires no license.
I would not hesitate.
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Old 28-04-2020, 14:41   #3
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

plenty recievers free online already to listen to

websdr.org
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Old 28-04-2020, 15:08   #4
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Thanks, I briefly tried one of the online sites and that serves the purposes of learning to listen. I also want the physical radio, antenna, power supply, etc. for off grid use. It's hard to censor an emf.
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Old 28-04-2020, 15:13   #5
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

I would buy a good short wave receiver, I took one made by Radio Shack with me to first gulf war so I could hear the news.
A whole lot less expensive and if you run a long wire antenna and ground it will receive at least as well as a Marine SSB. The antenna is key, and you can get a kit for likely $10 or so.
It digital tuned just like my 802, it looks like at a quick look that they go for between $90 and $300, but that was just a quick look.

I know nothing about this particular one, but just as an example
https://www.amazon.com/Tecsun-PL880-...8112128&sr=8-4

Maybe an antenna kit like this? More exotic that what I had, what I had was a hundred ft of wire with a couple of insulators
https://www.amazon.com/Portable-shor...8112264&sr=8-8
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Old 28-04-2020, 15:43   #6
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

I have an Icom R-75 receiver at home that I use to, among other things, listen to marine SSB principally Cruiseheimers Net and Chris Parker and also the Waterway Cruising Club's amateur net. The transceiver, an Icom IC M710, is on the boat. It is the only place I transmit.

The Icom R-75 is a better receiver than the Icom M710. The R-75 has more controls and flexibility than the M710. The M710 is easier to use. The R75 has a backyard longwire antenna. The M710 has an antenna tuner and the boat's backstay. Both have solid conventional grounds.

I began as a shortwave listener with a Hallicrafter S-120 in the 1960s, then a Yaesu FRG-7, an Lowe HF-150, and now the R-75. I got my marine operator's licence in the early 1980s, and my ham ticket last. It is a great hobby. You'll enjoy it.

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Old 28-04-2020, 15:49   #7
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Donít need no stinkín radio..

WebSDR.org
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Old 28-04-2020, 15:57   #8
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Freq and time for the waterway guide net please, I haven’t heard of it.
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Old 28-04-2020, 16:10   #9
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Freq and time for the waterway guide net please, I havenít heard of it.
Not Waterway Guide...

https://www.waterwayradio.net/

0745 ET on 7.268 MHz LSB for 45 minutes.

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Old 29-04-2020, 11:24   #10
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
plenty recievers free online already to listen to

websdr.org
That's a great idea and thanks for reminding us of that option. OP, look up "software defined radios" on web. I have often used these sites for checking propagation conditions, esp. when I could not get through to anyone on my Ham or SSB from the boat.

There are differences in the bands they cover, depending on the website setup and their equipment. It isn't quite as much fun as tuning in on your own gear, but it is a good way to start, and to compare your reception to other's.

If he wants the hardware, OP should probably get a dedicated SSB receiver, of good quality, and delay any purchase of a transceiver since he doesn't have a Ham license or apparently a boat, yet. Good quality receivers are quite inexpensive compared to a transceiver.
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Old 29-04-2020, 11:51   #11
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
Not Waterway Guide...



https://www.waterwayradio.net/



0745 ET on 7.268 MHz LSB for 45 minutes.



Bill


Keep in mind that this isnít on the marine bands, itís held on the 40m ham band.
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Old 29-04-2020, 15:03   #12
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Keep in mind that this isnít on the marine bands, itís held on the 40m ham band.
That is what I said in my post --- "I have an Icom R-75 receiver at home that I use to, among other things, listen to marine SSB principally Cruiseheimers Net and Chris Parker and also the Waterway Cruising Club's amateur net. The transceiver, an Icom IC M710, is on the boat. It is the only place I transmit."

The OP needs to know that he can listen to all the spots in the shortwave bands where he can find cruisers. In the US, as far as I know, you can listen to anything on the radio except a few cell phone bands; only transmitting is restricted. In fact, Dockside Radio's listing of times and frequencies would give him an almost unlimited set of places to listen to cruisers. SSB Nets & Frequencies

Another great resource is the Shortwave Listening Post. It is full of projects, receiver reviews, tips, and schedules for the dedicated general HF/MF/FM listener. https://swling.com/blog/

Bill
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Old 29-04-2020, 16:56   #13
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

For an antenna: find a utility pole with an insulated guy wire that's near a chain link fence -- where you can park your RV. Use the fence as ground and the guy wire as the antenna. Make connections with battery jumper cable alligator clips.

Works great across the HF band (3 to 30 MHz).
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Old 29-04-2020, 21:24   #14
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Thanks everyone for the excellent advice. My childhood friends father was a ham operator, k4sdn, and was a great fellow. "What do you hear from Australia, Mr. Ray?"

I currently don't own a boat or a house, having sold both in January. I hope to get another boat this year but the radio is a factor in that.


I can see that I need to do more research and or go back to the ham classes. Wow, there's alot to consider. Anyone want to recommend a good SSB receiver? I did a Google search but it is not clear what to get. Thanks.
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Old 30-04-2020, 08:16   #15
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Re: SSB Radio at home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhands View Post

I currently don't own a boat or a house, having sold both in January. I hope to get another boat this year but the radio is a factor in that.


I can see that I need to do more research and or go back to the ham classes.
I highly recommend getting your ticket.
The tests are not difficult and you will learn about frequencies, side bands, antenna tuning, and so much more in studying for the exams.
Morse Code is no longer required for any license.
Like they say, Just do it.
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