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Old 02-25-2011
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Question About SSB Radios

Hi all,

I'm departing for an extended cruise into the Caribbean in a few weeks. While getting the boat ready I realized our old (1980's) Kenwood SSB transciever wasn't working. I considered sending it in for an overhaul but then ran across some of these handheld radios for a buck or two:

Yaesu FT-250R 2 Meter VHF Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver w/ Desktop Quick Charger

Handheld VHF 2 Meter Amateur Radio Tranceiver 5watt, TYT TH-F5 Ham Radio

Yaesu VX-3R VHF/UHF DualBand Handheld Amateur HAM Radio Tranceiver

Handheld Deluxe VHF/UHF Dualband Amateur Radio 2M/440 with Twin Display TYT TH-UVF1

(Sorry I don't have enough posts here to put up a link. I found all these on Amazon)

With shipping costs and time involved in reparing an old radio, I'd rather just get something along the lines of these handhelds. I'm only looking to get weather reports while out of vhf range and have transmitting capabilities incase of an emergency and for cruiser's nets, etc..

My questions: Are these handhelds the same as a SSB or can they monitor the same channels? Will units such as these recieve weather reports throughout the caribbean? Do I even need a SSB? Any real world advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-25-2011
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2 meters is 149 mHz .... and youre not going to find much weather on that band. 2 meters is typically used only for short distance communications or for short distance to a 'repeater'.

Most (reliable) weather in the Carrib. is by private routers ( and they operate on 4 (70 meters) 6 and 8 mHz. beginning with 4.045 mHz USB at ~7:00 EST., etc.

If you only want to 'hear' such forecasts, then probablly the best will be a portable HF / Shortwave receiver with sideband capability ... and then use an EXTERNAL antenna.

This is similar to what I use as a 'backup' for listening: Sangean ATS-909 All Band Digital Shortwave World Band Receiver: Electronics although it has been 'upgraded' by Sangean ATS-909X AM/FM/LW/SW World Band Receiver: Electronics Lots of other such portable 'receivers' available too.

With such a portable receiver, you can also download NOAA Weather Fax signals direct to your mac/pc - requires proper software, etc. (and sometimes special 'sound cards' for WinDoze PCs).

Last edited by RichH; 02-25-2011 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 02-25-2011
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Thanks for the links. I like the weather fax option. I'll put the 909x on my list of potentials.
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