This is part of a series describing some of our common boat systems and their operation.
We refer to these often not only for our own use, but also when asked specific questions about systems on Denali Rose, and when participating in discussions on various forums.
We aren't implying our choices are the best or only way to go; they just happen to be the decisions we made [...or sometimes what came with our boat...] and we try to explain why...
And since we are talking about electronics, in the future our choices in this post may become dated and/or obsolete, so we will endeavor to keep this information current regarding what we have and use, and what we are researching/considering for the future.
––––––––– Updated 21-Jan-2018 [by Bill] –––––––––
Marine SSB / HAM [long distance] Radio
Despite having a HAM operators license, I'm no radio expert, but learned everything I needed to know when I installed our ICOM M802 [replacing a functioning ICOM M710] from the following book:
Icom IC - M802 Made Simple for Cruisers: by T L Sparks CDR
This book also contains a useful section on how to use the DSC function for non-emergency communications; Like you may do now with VHF DSC. [In addition to emergency comms of course...]
For our boating friends with DSC capable SSB/HF Radios:
- We are using the Global MMSI numbers [VHF and HF/Marine SSB]
- We have also set-up and programmed our ICOM M802 HF Radio to receive non-emergency, unscheduled [ad-hoc] DSC calls from friends using their identically configured HF radios with DSC capability per these parameters as modeled and defined by a generous HAM operator (and sailor.)
- The above linked book also covers this topic in depth: Icom M802 Made Simple for Cruisers
- A contact schedule is helpful as we don’t always keep the M802 on, nor are we always within listening distance...
- e.g., Send us a Sat SMS or an eMail.
- Sat comms require prior permission granted to access our private Contact Info
- Or: Send us an email via Contact Us at the bottom of the sidebar =>.
Among many, other good resources include:
- Good general explanation of Marine SSB vs. HAM SSB [Practical Sailor]
- Made Simple for Cruisers [Lots of qualified, expert information, and books...]
- Farallon Electronics [Who also have a good installation guide on their site.]
- SSB Communications [Paper by a fellow cruiser and retired electronics engineer]
- Dockside Radio
- Brunei Bay Radio
- Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / properly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)
- Read this post for details about proper operation
- Non-Emergency Data Comms, Offshore and Onshore [Cruiser's Forum Post]
- Great explanation of DSC with examples [Cruiser's Forum Post]
- Worldwide Search & Rescue Contact Information
- USCG Safety Alert: Know your communications equipment [Aug-2017]
- USCG DSC Distress Frequencies and MMSI numbers
- Decision Tree: What kind of call to make?
- World Group MMSI numbers for DSC calling from VHF or HF radios
- Americas West Coast Cruising Nets
- Noonsite list of Pacific Radio Nets
- Terry Sparks' list of Pacific Radio Nets [Maintained spreadsheet]