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post #8 of Old 01-31-2016
SVAuspicious
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Re: License question for hams with SSB

A number of good points, most duplicating my own, and some misleading statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
Certain RF Frequency _Ranges_
Since we are dealing with vocabulary (and I love vocabulary) ranges of frequencies are called bands. Thus "the ham bands," "the marine bands," "the air bands," etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
"Hams"- Amateur Radio Operators. Certain RF Frequency _Ranges_ were set aside from the beginning for Experimentation and "Rag Chewing".
Rag chewing (chatting) came along late in the game. The impetus and continued support for protecting radio allocations for Amateur Radio was experimentation and expanding the state of the art. There are a lot of really cool things we take for granted that came from or were supported by Amateur Radio including SSB, Pactor, even cell phones. Not every ham is pushing the edge of the envelope. There are many who simply provide a market for those who do. Stan Honey, SK Vic Poor, Jim Corenman, and Rick Muething are examples of those who have contributed to the technology that cruisers now take for granted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
Anonymity or encryption was never part of the Ham Culture, and Commercial activity is forbidden.
As I pointed out above, you must use the identification issued to you by your national government (the FCC in the US) for the service you are in which you are operating. You have to abide by the rules of the service. As Erindipity notes Amateur Radio prohibits communication in which you have a fiduciary interest. For cruisers that leads to some interesting dichotomies. You may order a pizza over a local VHF repeater or call ahead on HF for parts to repair your boat (the FCC has determined these do not constitute a fiduciary interest to you) but not call your stock broker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
"Marine SSB"- As above, but on _specific_ Frequencies set aside for _Commercial_ Marine purposes. Boats are licensed; Marine SSB gear can only be used on Land under specific circumstances. Experimentation and "Rag Chewing" are discouraged. To use Marine SSB gear, one must obtain a "Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Permit", good for life, that doesn't require any testing, or indeed any knowledge. Marine SSB gear is simplified to the extreme, so that minimal knowledge is needed to use it, _especially_ in Emergencies.
Vocabulary is important. In the case of marine SSB (granted the misnomer) "commercial" doesn't mean you have to be in a for-profit venture. It is a convenient label. There is no proscription on chatting or "rag chewing." There are a number of social radio nets on the marine SSB bands. I happen to think that the marine-oriented nets in the ham bands are better but the ones on the marine bands are perfectly legal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
These terms are confused and interchangeable these days. When Hams use the term "SSB", they are referring to the Technique; when Boaters use the term "SSB", they are usually referring to the Frequencies and gear set aside for Marine purposes.
Absolutely correct. Too late to fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
Now let's get to the bits that mostly apply to the US:
Not quite. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
The FCC keeps a loose eye on who uses what and where. They issue a "Type Acceptance" for a Transmitter or Transceiver that acknowledges that the Gear operates Legally on permitted frequencies, and that will not bother others too much off-frequency. The Reception parts aren't "Type Accepted" because simple Listening, with certain obscure exceptions, doesn't require Licensing.
No.

In most countries receiving is legal anywhere. In the US there are limitations on receiving cell phone communications. In the UK there are taxes on certain radio reception. In other countries there are outright proscriptions.

In the US there are also specific requirements on electronics including receivers that are tantamount to type acceptance. Look for the little label on the back or bottom of your radio, TV, etc to that effect. For most of us it makes little difference since we are so used to simply buying things off the shelf. Although must hams also buy equipment off the shelf Amateur Radio is the only service to my knowledge (outside of minor ISM applications) that allow you to build and operate your own equipment from scratch without inspection. This freedom is one of the reasons the ham bands are harmonically related.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
There are no Transceivers that are "Type Accepted" for both Marine and Ham usage in the US.
This is disingenuous. There are marine MF/HF SSB(/CW/FSK/AM) type accepted radios that can be "opened" for use on the ham bands without subverting the type acceptance on the marine bands. The Icom IC-M802 is a good example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
This is quite deliberate and is not likely to change anytime soon, because the FCC wishes to maintain the distinction between the two types of Services.
Not at all. The FCC wants to ensure that all radios used in any service meet the requirements for operation in that service. Vertex for example makes a number of multi-service radios.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
That doesn't mean that Ham gear can't be modified, often trivially these days, to operate anywhere in the HF Range in any Mode. It happens all the time, and one has to be really obnoxious for the FCC to take any interest. "Really Obnoxious" is becoming more common as well.
Absolutely correct. Unfortunately, while using marine, air, or military radios in the ham bands is legal using ham radios in other services is not. This is not some bureaucracy run wild. Issues of adjacent channel interference from frequency stability and signal purity on a life safety service (like marine radio) is simply not acceptable.

Your historical perspective on Marconi is a bit off the mark. Selectivity at the time was a real issue (it didn't exist) and the wideband characteristics of spark gap transmitters (remember everything was CW (Morse Code) at the time) were extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
"If you are FCC licensed, do you use your ham call sign, or the ship's station call sign?"
Please see my post above.

An individual may have many FCC licenses and each applies only to the relevant service: amateur, marine, air, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
An Operator's Permit is required to use it. Only one Permit is required; anybody on board can share it.
Also not strictly true. The RP license is not shared. The presumption is that the license holder is supervising operation. This is exactly analogous to the situation with supervised use of an Amateur Radio station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
•Don't Operate in such a way as to offend others, and this doesn't involve just use of Speech, but use of Gear as well.
Courtesy is very important, not only while operating radios but operating our boats. In that respect "gear" is quite inclusive.

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 01-31-2016 at 05:44 PM.
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