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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2014
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Ham modem

When we purchased our boat one of the goodies that came along was an ICOM IC-M600, and antenna tuner. We would like to purchase a modem that would be compatible, and would appreciate advice on what and where to buy. Thanks Brian
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

The IC-M600 is basicaly a marine radio and you could use Sailmail with marine license.
In general these radios can be modified to run on HAM frequencies, where you need a HAM license and might use then the Winlink email gateway.
In both cases a SCS Pactor modem will do the SSB modulation.
See the sailmail.com list of radio/modem dealers.
Wilhelm
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnblu View Post
When we purchased our boat one of the goodies that came along was an ICOM IC-M600, and antenna tuner. We would like to purchase a modem that would be compatible, and would appreciate advice on what and where to buy. Thanks Brian
The M600 is a bit of a pain to get set up for e-mail. See Radios and scroll down.

See Farallon.us or docksideradio.com for modems.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

There are a ton of Pactor modems for sale as most people are moving to satellite phones.

The latest version [4] is supposed to be twice as fast but a Pactor 3 will do the job.
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
There are a ton of Pactor modems for sale as most people are moving to satellite phones.

The latest version [4] is supposed to be twice as fast but a Pactor 3 will do the job.
I haven't seen the "ton" of Pactor modems for sale (there's only one used Pactor modem for sale on eBay at the moment....an older PTC-IIe). And, I hope folks haven't been deluded into thinking that sat phones are a good substitute for Pactor modems.

Yes, the P4 modems are twice as fast as the P3 modems, and many report that the P3 connects are also better/faster with a P4 modem.

As Dave said above, the Icom M600 can be made to work with digital modes, but it requires some modification of the radio itself. Further, the M600 suffers from a malady occasioned by potting of the trimmer capacitors which can cause overheating and shutoff. Not a great radio for email, for sure.

FWIW,

Bill
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

"And, I hope folks haven't been deluded into thinking that sat phones are a good substitute for Pactor modems."

Given the way sitcom prices (equipment and airtime) have kept coming down, versus the cost of Pactor modems and the additional issues of the complete marine SSB installation (radio, antenna tuner, antenna, counterpoise, operator training)...

There is something to be said in favor of "Dude, get the phone."

Not that they are the same, but I'd suggest the installation, learning curve, and deployment are all way shorter for the satphone, and for many users and purposes, it will be "enough".

Pactor is blessed or cursed by having only a small potential market, no matter how they measure it, and I expect that will mean their pricing will always be niche (high) pricing. Which in turn keeps their market even smaller, doesn't it?
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Old 01-21-2014
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Re: Ham modem

TQA's post stated that people are moving from Pactor modems to sat phones for data transmission. That implies that they already have a SSB/Pactor setup, so cost of installation/acquisition of equipment is not a factor.

My remark about "delusion" refers to these factors:

1. satphone data links are nowhere near as easy or trouble-free as generally believed;

2. a significant on-the-air cost is attendent to data transmissions via satphone;

3. data transmission via Pactor 3 and, especially Pactor 4 is very likely to be achieved at a higher rate than via satphone, particularly Iridium.

In any case, the two systems are not really comparable.

Bill
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Old 01-23-2014
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Re: Ham modem

As mentioned earlier, check out Farallon, I got one there about 3 or 4 years ago. The PTC modems are well worth the cost and are very robust. Since many are upgrading to the P4 capable modems, you might be able to find a second hand P3 modem. Or just go with a new P4 as it will have all the latest speeds that won't be out of date for quite a while.
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