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Old 05-23-2008
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Looking for HF Radio Forum for Sailors

Hi,

I am restoring a Pearson Triton and plan on sailing offshore in the near future. I have my Ham License and will be purchasing a HF (high frequency) radio soon that I will use on land and will eventually install in the boat. I would like to communicate with cruising sailors all over the globe that are using their HF radio.

Thx,
Rick
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Old 05-24-2008
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HF Frequencies

Hi Rick,
I am also looking for used frequencies. I seem to scan the ssb freqs but seldom hear anything. I do know there is a active net on 14.300mhz usb that is called the maritime service net. But other than that not much heard. If you find anything let me know!
w1luc
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Old 05-24-2008
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Hereare some weather nets for the Atlantic..both sides and the Caribe Often, conversation and discussion between cruisers is held before and after the nets...making contact on these frequencies and shifting to others for conversation.
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...tml#post266718
## link is not working...go to seamanship forum and advanced search function for SSB as keyword and MY screen name and you'll be able to navigate to the post.
Marine and amateur radio net details, times and frequencies on SSB, Ham, HF and VHF for cruising yachts.
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Old 06-20-2008
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Hey Rick0000 and Texomobile. Saw your post while doing a search. There are a lot of nets on both sides of the country. On the east coast they are mostly in the Caribbean, and on the west coast they are mostly in Mexico. There is a mix of SSB and ham. The people at Dockside Radio has an excellent list on line. Just plug the name into your favorite search engine and their website will come up.

I have found that I get more contacts via ham then SSB. If you have your general license and have access to ham (like the ICOM M802 allows), you may want to give 20 meters a try.
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Old 06-20-2008
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Where are you? I can provide the times and freqs for the PNW boaters net.
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Old 06-20-2008
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Plumper, are you on SSB or Ham? Seems like I get more contacts on the ham frequencies.

I grew up in Federal Way, and moved out of the PNW years ago to California. Sailing is a lot drier down here.
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Old 07-23-2008
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hf radio channels

regarding the channels most used by cruisers for listening, etc. i suggest you go to Caribbean Compass Homepage as they often publish a list of current frequencies popular with those at sea. to get started let me suggest 8104 at 8-9:00am ast or 12359 at 9am or 4pm.
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hf (ssb) radio installation

preparing to install an ssb on board my sailboat & the information i am coming up with is very controversial.
i have accessed articles from gordon west, west marine, icom, on sailnet, etc. & spoken to an icom factory authorized marine engineer. the more i read the more confussing it becomes. one article says to run ground via 3" copper foil to the keel, prop strut. rear railing, & engine. another says to avoid all those items & run to the through hulls. another says to use only one ground to water such as a single through hull. one says it is best if through hulls, etc are bonded whereas another says to avoid them. the engineer says to never run ground to any item people might contact as electrical current is generated at ground when the mic is keyed. sgc does not recommend ground plates (dynaplates) as they loose effectiveness when coated by marine growth. i would prefer to avoid drilling holes to mount dynaplates if i can figure out proper proceedure for grounding otherwise. can anyone shed some light on this?
westerly84@yahoo.com
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Old 07-23-2008
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Westerly, et. al...

It is confusing, isn't it? Lots of opinions, some from "experts", which seem to conflict with one another.

A few notes.

1. There are TONS of posts on these issues on the SSCA Board and on Cruisers Forum, among others.

2. I have done a lot of these on the subject of RF grounds, antennas, appropriate radios, licensing, etc., etc. (I do this for a living these days). In particular, you may want to see my posts on "RF Grounds in the Marine Environment" and on inexpensive ham radio setups.

3. Just a word of caution: be very wary of anyone who tells you the very tired stuff about "100sq feet of copper", or that you need external ground plates. It just ain't so. There are lots of ways to fashion an effective RF ground system; some are referred to in the post noted above.

4. There's LOTS of activity on both the ham and the marine SSB nets. I participate every morning on the Waterway Net on 7268LSB at 0745. This net provides offshore weather and other services for boats from NovaScotia to the Caribbean, and it's been on the air every day for forty years or so. See the website: Waterway Net Web Site

The MM net on 14300USB is active much of the day. The Cruisheimers Net on 8152USB (marine SSB) begins at 0830 EDT every day. There are many others. The lists on Gary Jensen's website is very good: Pactor-II/III Radio Modem sales/support, FCC License filing, Marine SSB & HAM Radio Net schedules/frequencies.

5. IMHO, it's well worth it to get your ham ticket, since it opens a world of fun and utility, not just when afloat but wherever you are. There are over a million hams worldwide, so there's always someone to talk to. English is the lingua franca in ham radio, though you'll sometimes hear other languages. As was suggested, 20 meters is the workhorse band for long-distance communications, year in and year out. If you take some pains with your installation and if you practice your radio skills a bit, you'll be able to reach out and touch someone a long ways away with regularity, even when propagation sucks.

Bill
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Old 07-24-2008
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I concur with Bill's points. There isn't a huge amount of overlap on the 'net between ham radio and sailing. As Bill noted, there is a good deal of discussion on SSCA and Cruiser's Forum boards, but it tends to be people asking "what do I DO...?" with a range of answers that aren't all equally well-based.

Bill is one of the bright spots in terms of competent counsel. I like to think I make the odd contribution from time to time as well.

Gary Jenson's Dockside Radio web site ( Pactor-II/III Radio Modem sales/support, FCC License filing, Marine SSB & HAM Radio Net schedules/frequencies. ) has a quite complete list of nets on both marine and ham frequencies. The HF Radio site ( Welcome to H.F. Radio On Board ) also is a good resource.

There is lots of room for experimentation and creativity with antenna and grounding systems. Unfortunately there is a lot of opinion without much basis as well and it can be difficult to sort out truth from wishful thinking. Even Gordon West, great as his contribution is, has been known to stray from technically based recommendations in this area.

Do get your ham radio license, at least General class. You will find it makes a dandy complement to your marine SSB.

sail fast, dave
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