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  #41  
Old 08-18-2007
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This is a revival of an old thread but it is of some interest to me too.

I was recently at sea with an Icom 718 which has a dial-up that allows any frequency to be used. I used this radio largely to communicate with weather people in the US and then, when closer to home, with the New Zealand maritime authorities and Coast Guard.

I simply used schedules and frequencies provided by these folks and had no issues using the radio. Only when I communicated with a person on a HAM frequency did he say to me that I wasn't authorised to be transmitting and I stopped.

What was of interest to me is that we had several "nets" that were supposedly available to yachts but we never heard one of them. Not ever. I believe that they must have all closed down.

It was said earlier in this thread that a HAM is not permitted to talk on marine bands but the weather man I used (some forumites will know of Don Anderson) is clearly a HAM and we talked often and long about things weather and otherwise. I'm sure that if there was any threat to Don from a licence perspective or to me from a legality perspective, he would've cut me short. He said to me that a marine band could be used to discuss anything to with the business of sailing but not for "sharing bread recipes". He also said that HAM was great for bread recipes but not for the sharing of official information like weather.

Anyway, long story short, I got a lot of valuable use on my HF radio and would certainly recommend one to any long distance sailor.

On the flipside - I also had Iridium on board and that has to be the absolutely best way to communicate at sea. Cost is an issue but when you want to talk to someone, you can. No problem.
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  #42  
Old 08-18-2007
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Omatako-
"It was said earlier in this thread that a HAM is not permitted to talk on marine bands but the weather man I used (some forumites will know of Don Anderson) is clearly a HAM and we talked often and long about things weather and otherwise"
That is not correct. Forgive me if say it sounds like someone who is not a native English speaker made a translation error in telling you that, or simply chose their words badly.

A ham is not AUTHORIZED to communicate on Marine SSB bands. (Speaking for US FCC authorized hams operating in the US or elsewhere.) And, no one is authorized to communicate on Marine SSB bands unless they have a license, or they are operating under emergency conditions, where licenses are usually waived.
A ham certainly is PERMITTED to use a Marine SSB radio--if they have the appropriate Marine SSB license. Their ham license does not permit them to use the marine radio, except for certain emergency circumstances, when hams are essentially allowed (at least with a US FCC license and operating in the US) to do anything with anything in order to make essential emergency communications.

There's a big difference between being authorized, or permitted, or prohibited, by and among each licensed service.
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  #43  
Old 08-18-2007
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For the life of me, I can't understand why people find it so difficult to understand that:

1. A ham license authorizes the holder to operate on the ham band segments which are permitted according to his/her class of license. Period. It does NOT authorize any other operation whatsoever. Period, again.

2. Operation of a HF marine radio aboard ship requires two things: (1) a ship station license which specifically authorizes HF operation; and (b) a radio operators license for EACH PERSON who uses that radio. There are several classes of operators license. The lowest class which allows you to operate is the Restricted Marine Radio Operator Permit.

3. No marine or aviation or any other service operators license authorizes the use of a radio on the ham bands; you need a HAM license for that.

4. In a bonafide emergency (life-threatening, not just out of gas or beer), any person can use any radio on any frequency to attract attention and get help.

I'm glad Omatako enjoyed his radio. However, it was ILLEGAL operation both on the marine bands (the 718 is a ham radio and is not type-accepted for marine band use) and on the ham bands (because he apparently doesn't have a ham license).

HelloSailor was right: the WX guy who said ham radio wasn't useful for official WX information was all wet. It's arguably more useful than marine SSB.

Does anyone care about illegal use of a radio? Sometimes. Some places. I don't think I'd routinely want to operate illegally in U.S. waters. Especially, not these days.

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Last edited by btrayfors; 08-18-2007 at 05:07 PM.
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  #44  
Old 08-18-2007
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If you are operating on an amateur radio band without a license, what call sign do you use ? On HAM bands you have to identify all of your transmissions, do you just not do that and start talking on the radio ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
If you are operating on an amateur radio band without a license, what call sign do you use ? On HAM bands you have to identify all of your transmissions, do you just not do that and start talking on the radio ?

Not if you want anyone to respond. Hams are rather sensitive to intruders and will not respond to you unless it is an obvious emergency. In answer to your question, and to state the obvious, if you don't have a license, you don't have a callsign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Not if you want anyone to respond. Hams are rather sensitive to intruders and will not respond to you unless it is an obvious emergency. In answer to your question, and to state the obvious, if you don't have a license, you don't have a callsign
Agreed.

It might not have been obvious, but what I was doing was asking a rhetorical question to the original poster [EDIT - To Omatako I mean], NOT asking the forum an actual question about how I should operate on the HAM bands without a license. [EDIT - I should have quoted what s/he said about using the HAM bands w/o a license]. I'm a licensed HAM operator.

Last edited by wind_magic; 08-18-2007 at 10:18 PM.
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  #47  
Old 08-18-2007
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"If you are operating on an amateur radio band without a license, what call sign do you use ?"
Which call sign would you like to use today? One taken at random? One from the database of unassigned available calls? One from someone who has recently died?
Hams with internet access will often check out a call sign when they hear it (from a live database) and those with offline computers will often have an offline recent copy to work with. But many simply assume the call sign they are being given, is real.
So you can get away without a license for a while. The trick is, once you PO a few hams that way, they'll help the FCC track you down, and then the FCC will send you a demand letter asking for an explanation, a fine of up to $10,000 per incident, and a discussion about incarceration. Some people take the chance anyway.
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  #48  
Old 08-19-2007
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I have read all this thread and my head is swimming, it would seem the Ham operators are defending their territory vehemently.

My question: I am on my boat in the south Pacific I have an SSB and sail mail. I converse with my father in Australia daily by email. My fathers neighbour is a Ham operator and has access to all the marine frequencies. What stops me from having voice contact with my dad on his equipment, or does my dad have to travel 15 miles to a friend’s boat and use his marine transceiver.

We are talking about scheduled contact for a short time each day????? Not some dweeb talking **** and being a PITA.
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Last edited by SimonV; 08-19-2007 at 08:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #49  
Old 08-19-2007
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Simon,

Don't know for sure about the rules in OZ, but in the US your dad would have to go to a friend's boat to talk to you on the SSB. Shore station licenses for the marine frequencies are available, but quite hard to get--you have have a good reason for the station, like running a fleet of tugboats, and it takes a long time to get one.

The ham operators are quite helpful if you work within their system, but are afraid of losing their licenses and/or fequencies if people violate the rules. With the no-code licenses, its easier to get a ham license--even my non-technical wife just got her general ticket. If the Ozzie ham system is still making things hard, all you need to get a US license is a US address for them to send mail to.
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  #50  
Old 08-19-2007
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Simon...if that is your plan...get an SSB with ham frequencies and a ham license and keep your dad legal. Or an Iridium phone!
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