Radio confusion... SSB? HF? Shortwave? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphoen View Post
I do too! Free and easy.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2008
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Hud...the registered version of JVComm is $110 bucks. Is the initial download (free) disabled in any way or does it "expire" at some point? What do you get for $110??
The software I linked to goes for $40 so I am interested in what the differences are for the price.
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  #13  
Old 04-09-2008
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I don't know if there are any things disabled on the free version but it has worked well for me for years now. In any event, there are others that work as well that are completely free. I have a bunch but stick to JVComm because I used it first.
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There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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  #14  
Old 04-09-2008
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Watch Plumperīs suggestion on different models of HF receivers.
Not all of them are capable of receiving on SSB. As he said, Sony 2010 has a small switch wich turns on and of SSB capabilities.
Regards

F
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This is an excellent one.
Sangean ATS 909

or get the custom modded version for a bit more:
Super Sangean 909
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  #16  
Old 04-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrogers View Post
While ham radio makes SSB (as well as AM, Morse code, and sometimes FM) transmissions, the term SSB refers to a marine band high frequency radio. These can receive everything the shortwave receives and transmit on marine frequencies, and can also transmit on Ham frequencies. Ham and Marine SSB both require a license.
I just want to make a correction/clarification to this. A Marine/SSB is not always equivalent to an HF "HAM" radio. Most Marine SSB's are designed only to transmit on the Marine Band SSB frequencies; and in the USA you must purchase a permit to transmit on the Marine/SSB frequencies. There are a few dual-purpose HF radios; but you need to check to see if they will be fully functional on both HAM and Marine/SSB frequencies. There are "mods" that can be made to standard HAM radios that will allow them to operate on the Marine/SSB bands (but you still need a paid license to transmit on the SSB bands).

A HAM "radio station" (with call sign) license is a different class of license; and you are required to attain a "General" level license or higher to operate on HF most frequencies. This type of license is pretty much free but you need to pass an exam for each license level. The license is good for 10 years IIRC. The FCC has recently dropped the test/requirement to know Morse Code so it is easier to attain the General or Extra license now than it was previously.
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KeelHaulin, You are of course correct. I was intending to refer that an SSB could possibly be used on amateur frequencies, with a license. In the USA it is ok to use a marine or commercial rig to transmit on ham frequencies, but not legal to use a ham rig on marine or commercial frequencies (except in emergencies, etc., etc.).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjrogers View Post
... In the USA it is ok to use a marine or commercial rig to transmit on ham frequencies, but not legal to use a ham rig on marine or commercial frequencies (except in emergencies, etc., etc.).
Correct!

Actually, it is illegal to use a ham rig on the marine or commercial or aircraft bands virtually anywhere in the world, not just in the U.S. The UK, Canada, and the European Union countries all have published standards, as do a number of other countries. See, e.g., Air Waves - Issue 4
(scroll to "News From the MCA").


It's really pretty simple to understand:

If you're a licensed ham, you can use just about any radio equipment in existence -- including your own homebuilt sets -- on the ham bands for which you are licensed. And, only on those bands. The idea is that as a licensed ham you have demonstrated some technical knowledge, and you are responsible for your emissions and must see that they don't cause harmful interference with other stations.

If you're going to operate on the marine SSB bands, you must have: (1) a marine operator's license -- at least the Restricted one; (2) the radio must be type-accepted for use on the marine bands; and (3) you must have a marine station license, covering the use of that equipment.

That a ham radio can be made to operate on frequencies used by other services -- marine, commercial, aircraft, etc. -- is irrelevant as far as the regulations go. With very few exceptions (perhaps MARS/CAP operation, with proper authorization and, of course, in a bona fide life-threatening emergency situation), such operation is illegal. Which is not to say that a number of boats don't do it more or less routinely.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 04-10-2008 at 10:11 AM.
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Right... However there are a few FCC certified dual-purpose SSB/HAM radios; and you must have both SSB and HAM license to operate the radio on all of it's available frequencies. I think the ICOM M-802 has a dual-band version; but I don't think it transmits on all of the HF bands that you would get if you bought a dedicated HAM unit. I think that's part of the reason why HAM operators "open up" the frequencies on a non-Marine unit (via modification) to get the additional Marine bands; so they don't have to buy two radios.
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Gentlemen, I think we digress. The thread started with a request for basic information on the various radio types for listening to weather forecasts, and a basic outline of the different types of radios. As quoted below:

I have been searching sailnet for the best way to keep informed of the weather if you are a budget minded cruiser, but while the topic has been touched on in reference to other issues, I couldn't find it directly addressed. I am under the impression that HF radio is a good way to go, but when I look into those they seem pretty pricey. What I don't understand is why shortwave radios are so much cheaper. Isn't high frequency and short wavelength descriptions of the same type of wave? Could I just buy a cheapish shortwave radio and pick up weather forecasts from the Coast Guard? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I need this one explained. Thanks.

He also stated that this needs to be done on the cheap. Unfortunately, he didn't specify if he was cruising inland, coastal, or blue water. I get the impression what he needs is a $30 NOAA weather radio receiver for coastal / inland use (or perhaps a cheap VHF), but that is a guess. Now we are all discussing WEFAX, type acceptance, and international licensure. Please note the we I'm not trying to flame anybody, I've been part of this conversation, too.

So, that being said, JimmieB. What type of cruising are you anticipating? Do you need something that can transmit, or is a receiver adequate? Knowing that would be very helpful to determine what you really need.

Personally, I use my handheld VHF for inland and coastal. I have a Grundig Yachtboy 400 SSB / AM / FM shortwave receiver (~$200 new) and a Yaesu FT-817 ham transceiver (~$600 new) as well, but the VHF (< $100) gets me what I need easily and quickly. Blue water is a completely different conversation, though.
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