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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012
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ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

Hi,
We are considering purchasing this component (ADSP filter kit) for quilting the noise on our ICOM SSB radio. We just finished installing the radio and really do not know how to use it yet. We got it primarily for Sailmail and talking on the morning SSB nets as we are going cruising in a couple months. While playing with the radio it seems noisy and the voices seem hard to hear through the noise.

As for interference we have our refer powered by shore power while at the dock (now ) and there are no electrical components by the radio. We use solar to charge the batteries so there is not any charger or inverter running while the radio is on.

We do have a fair amount of electrical cables running by the radio.
We do have ferrets on all the radio cables and the ICOM AT-140 Automatic Antenna Tuner and it is working.

My question is do you think it is worth it to spend the money on this component or is this problem corected by something we have not done?
There is one for sale here and it has sample sounds.
DSP Speakers
Thanks,
Chip

Last edited by SanDiegoChip; 08-09-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

They work well, but I haven't seen the need for one. I too get a lot of noise from the refigerator, freezer and the inverter/charger system. I just shut off the sources while on the radio and the noise level drops down. You would also need to take a look at the solar, as the controllers also can generate a lot of interference. And also keep in mind that the noise level in your marina is going to be high from all the other sources around you, as well as all the masts on the other boats.

You can always give me a call for a signal report, as I'm just up the coast in San Pedro.
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Old 08-09-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

Chip,

I'd hold off on the ADSP speaker. You may find that it's not needed.

First, be sure to track down and catalog all noise sources on the boat. Turn off EVERYTHING. Then, switch circuits on one-by-one while listening on the frequency you generally listen to (net freq. probably). There are many sources of noise: alternators, electric motors, computers, pumps, friges, digital readouts, inverters, chargers, etc., etc.

Also, if you can, do this at anchor. A marina is often a very noisy environment for RF.

Pay attention to the power source for your radio. It should draw its power directly from the house batteries, not from a circuit breaker on the panel. Use AWG6 wire for runs up to 20', AWG4 for longer runs. A suitable ANL or MRBF fuse should be located close to the batteries on both the positive and negative cables for the radio.

Good luck,

Bill
WA6CCA
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Old 08-09-2012
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Kibosh that and get a KISS SSB ground plane; problems solved. You've got a ground loop. Follow the install instructions from KISS as they're counter intuitive, but it works. Further, you cannot run an ICOM SSB on shore power without issues.
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Old 08-10-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

Yes we are at a marina.
We were not looking at the speaker but the box. The same type of thing though.
We are not sure what we will be listing too yet though. Probably Amigo net and SouthBound nets at least. We will try listing to these while at anchor here in San Diego and see how it goes.

We wired the ICOM 802 SSB directly to the hose batteries using the cables that came with the radio and even shortened them and it came with a fuse installed in the power wires.
We are still applying for our Station License and then we will sign up for Sail Mail.
We will hold off on the purchase and try all the suggestions first.
When we get a bit of knowledge on the SSB we can call out for the signal report.
Thanks,
Chip
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Old 08-10-2012
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ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

I'll listen for you. Another net you can try is the Pacific Seafarers' Net. It is on 14.300, which is one of the programmed frequencies on the 802. I believe it is #154 or close to that. The PSN usually starts around 0300 utc (8 pm local) with a warm up and then takes reports around 0325 utc. Might not be a lot of boats on now, but usually you get at least a few. Will give you an idea about your receive function and how well it's working.
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Old 08-10-2012
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One thing, the disconnect the ground wire between the radio and the tuner. They should be grounded separately to the DC negative not the ships ground or bonding. Turn your inverter and fridge off and unplug any shorepower if at the dock while using the radio. This will give you the best signal. Again take a look at the KISS SSB kit as it isolates the radio ground plane from the ship's grounding system. Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

Since this is new to you, I assume you're not too familiar with SSB communications. Because of the type of modulation and frequency range used, it is highly subject to atmospheric noise, both natural and man made. This is primarily from thunderstorms (even at great distances) as well as local man made noise sources. Your used to that nice quiet VHF-FM radio which is totally different. One very effective and little utilized (operator ignorance) method of reducing this noise yet still allow communication is to reduce the RF gain. That's what the control is there for. The default setting on this radio is maximum gain (level 9). Play around with the settings to get a feel for how it affects the noise and signal you are receiving. A setting of around 5-7 will significantly reduce noise while still allowing the intended signal through.

Eric
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

"We do have ferrets on all the radio cables"
ROFL. I see a Hallmark Moment there and have to thank you for it. (Yes, little things really do amuse me.)

Ferrites can only do so much, and then only if they are also matched/tuned to the frequency of the interference. I'd suggest as others have, that you look into finding the noice sources and seeing it you can attenuate them, or just shut them while using the radio. You may also find that away from the marina, the noise goes way down.

An added bonus to learning how to chase down noise, is that sooner or later you will be "out there" and hit by noise, and then you'll have a better idea of how to find it and stop it. Noise reduction accessory circuits would be the last step.
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Old 08-15-2012
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Re: ICOM SSB and ADSP filter kit?

We do have a KISS SSB ground and bought the SSB 802 kit online with a Pactor modem. We have it all set up but for SailMail and the computer. We are currently setting up the SSB to GPS (chart plotter) function.

The kit said to not connect any other ground on the antenna tuner and so we did not. Also we I think we did not ground the radio either.

We did not disconnect anything. We have shore power plugged in etc. This will be our next test, un-plugging shore power and turning everything off.
Perhaps tonight we can try the “Pacific Seafarers' Net.” And hear if there is a noise reduction using the RF gain.
My wife Debbie has gotten the FRN number and is now applying for the ships license. We just had first grandchild born and so that put thing on hold.
Does the “noise’ affect the email?
Thanks,
Chip
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