Vhf/ham - Page 6 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree18Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #51  
Old 03-18-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,848
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
Re: Vhf/ham

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Bill, are you saying that it is technically not legal to release/unlock/transmit on the ham bands on an SSB radio?
Not quite.

If you have a ham license, as said above, you can use ANY radio to transmit on the ham bands. That's clear.

However, in doing so you may technically violate a couple of things pertaining to subsequent use of that radio on the marine bands:

1. the international regulations for shipboard stations requiring they be totally independent of other transmitting equipment; and

2. depending on what's required to "open" the radio, you may also modify the radio in such way as to invalidate the original FCC certification for marine use.

I wouldn't worry too much about these, however.

One good reason to "open" a marine SSB for transmission on any frequency is as a potential for use in an extreme emergency. In such cases, it is OK to use any frequency to attract attention and get help.

Ditto for modification of ham radios to operate on the marine bands. Good thing to do, IMHO, to have the potential...if needed...to transmit on the ham bands in an extreme emergency. Just a couple of weeks ago we used ham radio over a period of several days to get help to a cruiser who had run aground on a remote reef.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 03-18-2014 at 08:33 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #52  
Old 03-18-2014
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 3,187
Thanks: 76
Thanked 87 Times in 84 Posts
Rep Power: 7
smurphny is on a distinguished road
Re: Vhf/ham

Most of the radios are easily "opened" now and don't require reprogramming by a professional. Most people I know are apparently in violation of the law because the SSB gets used on HAM frequencies, as well as the specified marine frequencies. I'm sure very few HAM licensed skippers are aware that they are doing anything wrong when using their equipment to chat on marine nets and later receive Winlink email.
__________________
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #53  
Old 03-18-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,848
Thanks: 0
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
Re: Vhf/ham

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Yes, that is the way I understand it but do you technically need separate equipment as you indicated above? If so, almost every sailboat I know is not in compliance because the same radio is used for marine frequencies and regular ham frequencies.
Yes, technically you'd need two radios. And, if you carried out the letter of the regulations, they'd need to be entirely separate....no sharing of power supplies or transmission lines or antennas. As you say, not many yachts would be in total compliance or even partial compliance.

I have both a ham radio and a marine SSB aboard my boat (see pic below). Not really hard to do, and not nearly as expensive as many believe.

These two very excellent ham and marine radios, together cost less than an Icom M802. They don't have HF/DSC capability (which I don't care about given my cruising grounds), but all the bells and whistles that a ham cares about are there.

NavStn_0140

Bill
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #54  
Old 03-18-2014
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 3,187
Thanks: 76
Thanked 87 Times in 84 Posts
Rep Power: 7
smurphny is on a distinguished road
Re: Vhf/ham

Nice setup. I have just a single ICOM 700pro with an ICOM tuner. It works well but now you've got me concerned about this nonsensical regulation. How do you separate power supply on a boat? Separate house banks?
__________________
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #55  
Old 03-18-2014
hellosailor's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,307
Thanks: 4
Thanked 128 Times in 125 Posts
Rep Power: 11
hellosailor has a spectacular aura about hellosailor has a spectacular aura about
Re: Vhf/ham

Smurph-
"Bill, are you saying that it is technically not legal to release/unlock/transmit on the ham bands on an SSB radio? "
That depends on who you are. For a civilian, with no other status, to tamper with any certified ("type approved") radio, takes that radio OUT OF APPROVAL and it then becomes illegal to use that radio in the approved service.
This is not the same thing as a ham radio operator, who is sanctioned to experiment and build and kludge together anything they please--if they use it only in the amateur radio service, and they personally become responsible for all technical compliance issues.

Unless hams have gotten especially stupid of late, they all know very well that it is illegal to modify equipment and use it willy nilly. They all know that using a modified marine radio as a ham radio, and vice versa, violates FCC regulations, which mirror international accords. We also all know that as a practical matter, the USCG has no authority to regulate these matters, only the FCC does. And since the FCC has no high seas patrol vessels, as a practical matter the FCC will ignore the matter unless a complaint is filed.
In which case they can and will attempt to find the offending vessel and start issuing fines in the four and five figure range while confiscating equipment.
Has this ever been known to happen? Probably not, but it is the law. In the 70's many commercial fishermen used Drake radios, made for the State Department and government services and sold to hams as well. They were milspec radios in every way and a real steal compared to marine gear.
And anyone who had a shortwave set could tell you which radio a fisherman was using, because the audio quality is so very different, partly because the bandwidth is different, which is partly why it was and is illegal to use the equipment in the wrong band. That creates splatter and adjacent 'channel' interference and degrades radio communications for everyone.
But with more modern equipment? "Everyone knows" that if you don't create interference, the FCC is not going to send anyone offshore looking for you. If you're in the harbor or inside territorial waters...a great deal more discretion is advised.
Somehow, you missed the memo. Memorizing the question pool and passing the exam does not qualify you for good operating practice, it only opens the door. There's lots more reading and exploring to do.

And like Bill says, this (expletive) has been discussed to death online for at least 20 years and the answers haven't changed. It is really TOO EASY to just RTFM. The regs are all published, all online, all actually written in something very close to Ynglitch.

The FCC sends out notifications of violation every week, every month, for every service. Often for four figures and even six figures. Sometimes to stores that have been openly selling modified CBs, or illegal wireless phones, or sometimes...just to ham radio operators who have been breaking the rules. They are pretty damn close to the IRS, in terms of saying "Pay up, or else."

Last edited by hellosailor; 03-18-2014 at 09:05 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #56  
Old 03-18-2014
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 3,187
Thanks: 76
Thanked 87 Times in 84 Posts
Rep Power: 7
smurphny is on a distinguished road
Re: Vhf/ham

I've looked through the records of FCC fines which they publish and know they do issue fines but usually after warning notices of some obvious repeated infractions. It seems to me that installing completely independent systems to separate marine and HAM frequencies on a small boat is impractical and maybe technically impossible. How do you separate ground planes? power source? Will do some research on this to determine the exact verbiage in the regs. Interesting.
__________________
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #57  
Old 03-18-2014
hellosailor's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,307
Thanks: 4
Thanked 128 Times in 125 Posts
Rep Power: 11
hellosailor has a spectacular aura about hellosailor has a spectacular aura about
Re: Vhf/ham

smurph, consider the question you are confronting. How can you install separate ground planes? Ground planes? Dunno, what's that? Counterpoise, sure, just run two separate wires, same way that you will run two separate antennas. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, as Monty Python would say.)

On the other hand, it is technically impossible to run two fully isolated GROUNDS. Remember, all grounds return to earth, so unless you're on another planet, or running without a ground, the regulations can't ask you to do the impossible.

Similarly, a little common sense says that if the two radios are on separate runs back to the battery or ship's power...that is as good as it can get, and no one will bother you over it.

The purpose of marine radios is SAFETY. Safety of lives and ships at sea. And that's why the FCC and IRU don't want some experimenter or hobbyist screwing around, crossbreeding the highly certified and regulated MARINE SAFETY OF LIFE radio, with the anything-goes ham set, which is expected to be having technical difficulties and equipment failures from time to time. "Ham" grade equipment is simply not commercial grade, it is a step below commercial. Just as military is a step above.

So as Lou Reed said, you don't pull on Superman's cape. A little discretion, a little respect, a little common sense...and most importantly, if no one has reason to complain, no one is interested in prosecuting.
smurphny likes this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #58  
Old 03-18-2014
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
trakker is on a distinguished road
Re: Vhf/ham

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
I have both a ham radio and a marine SSB aboard my boat (see pic below). Not really hard to do, and not nearly as expensive as many believe.

These two very excellent ham and marine radios, together cost less than an Icom M802. They don't have HF/DSC capability (which I don't care about given my cruising grounds), but all the bells and whistles that a ham cares about are there.
Bill
Bill, I am a total newb to this. Could you please share SSB and HAM radio models that you have in your setup?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #59  
Old 03-18-2014
smurphny's Avatar
Over Hill Sailing Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Posts: 3,187
Thanks: 76
Thanked 87 Times in 84 Posts
Rep Power: 7
smurphny is on a distinguished road
Re: Vhf/ham

Yes, and it makes sense that the FCC would want more people to get involved in this science and avoid discouraging folks with draconian, Catch-22 type enforcement. HAM radio is a real safety tool, one that seems to be dwindling in the age of instant communication. Here's another question for you experts: If I string an antenna off a tree and hook my boat radio up at home, using HAM frequencies only, am I breaking any rules? Would be fun to see if I can get any propagation here in the boonies.
__________________
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #60  
Old 03-18-2014
Bene505's Avatar
Glad I found Sailnet
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3,807
Thanks: 14
Thanked 51 Times in 50 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Bene505 will become famous soon enough Bene505 will become famous soon enough
Re: Vhf/ham

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
...If I string an antenna off a tree and hook my boat radio up at home, using HAM frequencies only, am I breaking any rules? Would be fun to see if I can get any propagation here in the boonies.
I'll save Bill a reply:

"If you have a ham license, as said above, you can use ANY radio to transmit on the ham bands. That's clear."

SM -- I intend to do what you describe, if only to practice before heading offshore. (That and to talk to other Sailnetters, if we can arrange a meeting frequency and time.)

Regards,
Brad
davidpm likes this.
__________________
.
.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
.
The best minds discuss sailing (and a little bit of politics). I don't know why. It's a mystery!
.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:47 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.