Re: SSB Winlink vs Sailmail
Congratulations on passing the Tech exam. The General isn't hard to get; I'm sure you'll have it next try.
I think the $250 per year charge for SAILMAIL is an incredible bargain. Here's why:
1. faster and easier connects;
2. ability to do business transactions;
3. no need to get a reciprocal ham license when visiting foreign countries; and
4. many/most SAILMAIL PMBO's have Pactor 4 capability....about 2X as fast as Pactor 3 (P4 is not permitted on the ham bands at present).
You said earlier, "if the Pactor goes down". I've never heard of that happening. The SCS modems are extremely robust and reliable.
With respect to item #1 above (fast connects), I believe this to be a function of the dedicated clear marine frequencies and the lower traffic rates. Remember, if the Winlink station you're trying to connect to is working traffic on another of its frequencies, it will not respond to your call. There's no easy way to know, and many calls are carried out while the station is busy elsewhere.