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Suggestions for MF/HF Radio


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Sailor

Who do you want to talk to? Clipped ham radios will talk on SSB radio channels. Now some people will say you should never do it. But people do it all the time.

Not sure how in the police state of Oz if you are danger of flogging if you do it.

We used a used ICOM 718 ham radio and talked on SSB channels to friends with SSB. Worked fine with Pactor III etc. A ham radio is pretty similar to SSB internally but isn't as long lived in the marine environment.

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20 hours ago, Chucky said:

https://www.furuno.com/en/products/radiotelephone/FS-1575

Great Japanese quality, I had an older one in my first keel boat 20 years ago and it was a great unit. Furuno I believe stock all their gear out of Sydney so contact your local marine shop but I would say their HF radios are not cheaper than Icon.

Dude that's an $8k radio in the US. Sailor is also commercial-geared stuff, with a commensurate price. ICOM is the standard for cruisers. We have a clipped 718 as well, arguably no need for anything more advanced than that nowadays with sat gear. 

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thanks for your comments all

but fuck me - if i could have my time again, i'd get in to MF/HF sales!!

i'm open on budget to an extent.  but downunder i was really struggling to find a brand other than icom.  

i have sat phone but passively looking around for a M/HF solution for cat 2/1.

given what i have seen i'm thinking it might be easier to set up an amateur porn site for a few weeks, buy an Icom solution and be done with it.

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Are MF/HF-SSB radios still required for Cat 1/ 2 races?   Transpac for example dropped the SSB radio requirement and mandated sat com & email something like 4 years ago.  Probably some used Icom units available on the US west coast.

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44 minutes ago, DanimalNZ said:

That's interesting, and makes good sense considering the advantages over ssb.

From what I can see, Australian Sailing still mandates a permanently installed HF transceiver for Cat 2.

 

 

I would not be investing in a new HF radio as AS are looking at changing their regulations for race communications to Sat Phones. Here is Victoria (Aus) offshore races allow boats to use Sat Phones only. The Sydney Hobart race is one of the few races in Aus that still require a HF radio!

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On 2/10/2021 at 9:45 PM, crankcall said:

what is a 'clipped' ham radio? 

The Man restricts with frequencies radios can broadcast on. Simple answer, hams can't talk on marine bands and vice versa. You can unlock radios today via software, but in the era of through hole boards, one could "clip" the components.

 

 

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Thanks @penumbra,   I know so little about this stuff . 

So with sat phones becoming fairly 'common' , is there any need for a SSB anymore? or is it becoming nastalgia where cruisers listen to the morning report in harbor because thats what they do? 

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I'd say they're on their way out. If I was heading out again I'd buy an Iridium Go and make sure I had my friend's sailing email addresses.

I'd miss chatting on passage with other folks in mid ocean but I could live with emailing them.

For my Icom 718 ham radio you crushed one tiny, weeny diode and it would then transmit on any frequency you would like. 

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Quote

Transpac for example dropped the SSB radio requirement and mandated sat com & email something like 4 years ago.

Longer than that....   most dropped the SSB requirement over a decade ago.

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13 hours ago, crankcall said:

Thanks @penumbra,   I know so little about this stuff . 

So with sat phones becoming fairly 'common' , is there any need for a SSB anymore? or is it becoming nastalgia where cruisers listen to the morning report in harbor because thats what they do? 

If somebody on the boat wants to participate in the cruiser nets get them headphones or poke out your ears with a knitting needle. 

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20 hours ago, yoyo said:

Thanks - I was just guessing.

Unless the rules have changed GMDSS AREA 4 requires radio 

if I remember correctly A4 is above 70 degrees latitude 

“Sea Area A4

The area outside that covered by areas A1, A2 and A3 is called Sea Area A4 Area. Ships travelling these polar regions must carry a DSC-equipped HF radiotelephone/telex, in addition to equipment required for areas A1 and A2.”

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Recreational vessels do not need to comply with GMDSS radio carriage requirements,  vessels under 300T do not need to comply with gmdss

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On 2/16/2021 at 11:09 PM, Baldur said:

Recreational vessels do not need to comply with GMDSS radio carriage requirements,  vessels under 300T do not need to comply with gmdss

GMDSS regs  are excellent guidelines for small craft 

your insurance company area of operation coverage  may require  that you comply 

without SSB you will have limited communication ability above 70 degrees lat 

to imply   that ssb in no longer needed is not correct

navtex , Weather fax , ship to ship , all ships Communication are valuable assets 

 

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Iridium (and the services that resell it e.g. inreach) has coverage all the way to the poles.

I like HF.  I have HF gear in my basement.  I am no longer certain that it provides a communications capability that is more useful than those available through other services e.g. cellular and satellite.

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4 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

I like HF.  I have HF gear in my basement.  

Yeah.  I'm a "ham", and have HF stuff at home and will probably put my old SSB on the boat.  Some day.  Its a fun hobby and it's an interesting thing to bounce signals off the ionosphere to somewhere else in the world.

....but if I really wanted to reach out and get someone's attention, like my life depended on it, I'd reach for a satphone.  

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10 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Iridium (and the services that resell it e.g. inreach) has coverage all the way to the poles.

I like HF.  I have HF gear in my basement.  I am no longer certain that it provides a communications capability that is more useful than those available through other services e.g. cellular and satellite.

With radio You have the ability to communicate with other ships

if your budget allows ssb , do it 

 

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:24 PM, slug zitski said:

GMDSS regs  are excellent guidelines for small craft 

your insurance company area of operation coverage  may require  that you comply 

without SSB you will have limited communication ability above 70 degrees lat 

to imply   that ssb in no longer needed is not correct

navtex , Weather fax , ship to ship , all ships Communication are valuable assets 

 

I never implied anywhere that ssb is no longer needed. Just that there is not a legal requirement for recreational craft to carry. Personally I think SSB is almost at the level of MUST HAVE. But ultimately it's an option for cruisers.

You posted official regulations that apply to commercial traffic over  300GT. "must carry" is what you posted, without clarifying it does not apply to this audience.

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The Furuno 1503 is a great radio.  Super easy to use and really simple to open up to all freq,. You hold down a seq of keys with it off then turn on that's it. They are standard on alot of gmdss packages so you might have luck picking up a cheap used one from a commercial marine electronics shop, that has never been used.  You need to add a card for a modem and they aren't as easy to setup as a Icom for that but not horrible.  For a budget new radio you won't get a better deal than a Yaesu.  There's no reason to go with marine unit either.  They are well made, but the ham sets are fine for inside a boat.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:24 PM, slug zitski said:

 

without SSB you will have limited communication ability above 70 degrees lat 

 

This is incorrect - in two ways:

Iridium provides 100% coverage, including right at the N and S pole.

AND

HF/SSB radio starts to have sporadic propagation issues at higher latitudes affected by geomagnetic and ionospheric conditions.  So, In fact, vessels heading thru the NWP who want reliable gribs will install iridium, even if they 'normally' use hf/ssb.

 

But in addition, this 'above 70 degrees' issue is also mostly irrelevant for 99.99% of cruisers.

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:06 PM, 2airishuman said:

Iridium (and the services that resell it e.g. inreach) has coverage all the way to the poles.

I like HF.  I have HF gear in my basement.  I am no longer certain that it provides a communications capability that is more useful than those available through other services e.g. cellular and satellite.

The HF on a sailboat argument is often oversimplified, especially in context with it being a one or the other with sat comms available.

Pretty much every commercial ship has one and outside of the first world they are still used fairly regularly.  If you take out the email and data side by side comparison to sat service and go back to looking at it as a radio with exceptional range then it starts making more sense on Cruising boat. We use ours regularly.  When buddy boating with a group of boats it's pretty nice to not be limited to vhf range and cell coverage to communicate.  Being able to listen to a port captain give a local weather report a few hundred miles out etc. On any given night I can get someone clear as bell on 20 meters sitting in front of a computer with a broadband connection.   I think to often the HF Pactor bundle and instal costs can get shoehorned into a easily cut item when looked at via the either or argument.  You can do a HF radio on a boat for pretty cheap now and I think it is still very much a benificial piece of equipment on any long range cruising boat. 

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  • 3 months later...

So, it seems that the new Australian Sailing Special Regulations do not now mandate a HF/MF transceiver, and allow a Sat phone as an option.  

Good news for the wallet.

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I don’t disagree that satellite coms is the wave of the near future.  But HF is still the only way to be free of the endless monthly subscription fees, if that’s a concern for anybody.  Given so many people dumping equipment that they don’t know how to use anyway, a little patience will yield a relatively affordable set listed on flea bay or the like.

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HF kits are apparently so obsolete as to be not worth the cost of shipping. I have several times tried to give away my complete working kit for the cost of shipping or tailgate with zero takers. It is all headed to the local e-waste tip. The roll of copper ground plane foil is worth more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Borracho said:

HF kits are apparently so obsolete as to be not worth the cost of shipping. I have several times tried to give away my complete working kit for the cost of shipping or tailgate with zero takers. It is all headed to the local e-waste tip. The roll of copper ground plane foil is worth more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gotta be a local HAM who would jump at it 

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On 2/9/2021 at 8:25 AM, DanimalNZ said:

Looking around in Australia.  What is available other than icom?

Do the fishermen all still use Codan's

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The only other marine HF brand available in Australia that I'm aware of other than ICOM and Furuno is JRC. I bought a secondhand JRC off a commerical fishing boat a few years back and its been a great unit. TMQ in Queensland stocks them new. But used HF radios do turn turn up on eBay etc if you're vigilant - much more cost effective!

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