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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-27-2006
Frank Campbell
 
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Email Using SSB

I have just purchased a new Icom Pro700 SSB. I have heard you can get email at sea using my computer and SSB. Is this costly and how well does it work? Leaving soon for the islands i hope! Thanks, Frank in Ft. Lauderdale.
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Old 10-27-2006
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You should RTFM, as the Icom M700 is supposed to have data capabilitles built into it. I believe it requires an FL-100 filter if you're going to use it for e-mail. Whoever did the installation should be able to help you with configuring it to work with your computer and e-mail.

BTW SSB radios, at least in the United States are required to be installed by someone with an FCC technician class license IIRC. If you've installed it yourself, you may find yourself in legal problems in the future with the FCC... YMMV.
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Old 10-27-2006
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The ham approach to e-mail has a lot to recommend it (and it is FREE). I have used it all over the Caribbean. And now ham licenses are very easy to get. I believe that most of the commercial SSB e-mail systems are based on the methods developed for ham radio.
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Old 10-27-2006
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Frank,

A real expert in HF email is Gary at Dockside Radio in Punta Gorda, FL:
http://www.docksideradio.com/

Give him a call. He's a gentleman, and will steer you right.

Bill
S/V Born Free
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Old 10-27-2006
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Frank...The "normal" method for obtaining E-mail from an SSB is to add on a Pactor modem and subscribe to SailMail.com's service. The Pactor will run you about a grand and sailmail is $250 annually. I think Mike's electronics has a good reputation there in Ft. Lauderdale for these kinds of installs. If you do it yourself like I did .... may I suggest you try:
http://www.farallon.us as they were very easy to work with...had all the adapter cables and walked me through the entire install on the phone and exchanged e-mails with me to test the system. Nice folks!
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Old 10-28-2006
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Sailmail costs Winlink is free you just need a ham licence. As GC mentioned Ham licences are much easier to obtain because there is no longer Morse Code requirement.
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Old 10-29-2006
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hello i am a ham radio operator call sign KI4OIM the morse code requirement is still in effect you only have to be able to decode 5 words a min so that is not all bad they are talking about doing away with the requirement but have done so yet this is like year 7 for this
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Old 10-29-2006
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EBS...I know the FCC has been going to drop the code requirement but was under the impression that this has not actually happened yet. Did they finally get around to doing it?
FLCapt...Note that while Winlink is free, you may not conduct any business over it. If you need e-mail for business purposes, then SSB/Sailmail is the radio option.
I would note that I would NOT use SSB/Sailmail again if going down island to the eastern caribe. I would use a Globalstar phone as:
1. A phone is 1/2 the price of a pactor modem AND serves as an emergency device as well.
2. Very affordable pricing plans exist for the US/Caribe which work out to about 24 cents a minute. This makes it the most affordable way to call home from the islands as well as an excellent way to receive data.
3. There are no propogation issues and the speed is much greater.

There is nothing wrong with Sailmail...we had both...and outside of the caribe Globalstar is NOT such a good deal. Just found that we didn't need both in the Eastern caribe. Would definitely go with SSB or Ham for weather, security and comunication nets and Globalstar for voice, data and emergency needs were I to do it again.
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Old 10-29-2006
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Globalstar is only an option in areas it has coverage, which is fairly limited at this time.

The restriction on Ham Radio and its limitation to non-commercial traffic is a big problem for many sailors, as they may need to order parts and such over e-mail. It is also one that many seem to forget about...I'd imagine the fines can be pretty stiff, but I don't know what enforcement is like.

A lot of what will make sense depends on what region of the world you're going to be sailing in. The southern pacific doesn't offer much in the way of inexpensive coverage, at least in the way of satellite phones. SSB is very useful there.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-29-2006
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enforcement is usually pretty good for example if coast guard is boarded your boat and looking over you they will ask for your license info they will not do any other than that at that point then you will get a notice from the FCC asking you to provide them with the required info if you can't do that they will assign you a fine may be a warning to 5000.00 and could seize your boat until matter is closed
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