Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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If you are interested in getting your Ham license, it would make sense to get a MF/HF radio that is type accepted for both Marine SSB and Ham use, like the Icom 802. There are certain restrictions on Ham radio content, which do not apply to marine SSB radio IIRC, so having both licenses is a good idea.
Cutting and insulating the backstay is something that I would personally try to avoid. I would rather install an antenna in parallel with an existing backstay than cut the backstay. Modifying the rigging, and adding possible points of failure into it is generally unwise on a sailboat IMHO.
Also one last point on SSB radio use... most marine channels use the Upper Side Band, and most ham frequencies use the Lower Side Band IIRC. I believe this is one reason that many marine SSB units can not be used for Ham radio transmissions.
As for whether there is a significant difference in the construction of the marine radios vs. ham radios. Most marine SSB radios will have a conformal coating of the circuit boards, to help prevent problems with moisture and corrosion. They will often have better seals around control panels to help prevent the ingress of water/dust. Modifications like this are not going to be apparent from the exterior of the unit.
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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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 02-26-2007 at 07:25 PM.