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Author Topic: Ham vs Marine  (Read 1458 times)
WCCVB
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Posts: 2




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« on: November 25, 2003, 08:29:35 PM »

I'm currently studying and waiting for the next VE session in our area to take my Technician test and if I can master the code I will take the element 1 test also. Hopefully, I can also pass the General later in the spring. In studying the spectrum for my Tech test I ran across the portions of the spectrum alotted for marine use. I found it very curious that marine ssb transceivers can be legally modified (or maybe they do it without modification) to operate on amateur frequencies, if the operator has the proper amateur license, but it is illegal for an amateur to modify his ham transceiver to operate on the marine frequencies. Is there a reason that the marine frequencies are off limits to amateurs while the ham frequencies are available to marine operators assuming the operator is licensed for those bands ?

I know of people with ham transceivers on their boats that are using them for marine purposes (HF nets etc. NOT on marine bands). Is there some sort of marine magic wand that needs to be waved over the transceiver at the factory before they can be made to access the marine bands or is there an FCC blessing bestowed on the tranceiver before the rig is legal to use on the wet frequencies ?

Just Curious...
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2003, 08:44:34 PM »

<< but it is illegal for an amateur to modify his ham transceiver to operate on the marine frequencies. >>

No. Marine radios must be type-accepted by the FCC for use on those frequencies.

<<Is there a reason that the marine frequencies are off limits to amateurs while the ham frequencies are available to marine operators assuming the operator is licensed for those bands ? >>

Two different services (and sets of frequencies) and two different licenses are REQUIRED - one for the marine radio/vessel and one for the amateur radio operator. A ham can use his marine radio on ham frequencies. Unless the radio is type accepted for marine use, a ham may not use his ham radio  on marine frequencies.

<< I know of people with ham transceivers on their boats that are using them for marine purposes (HF nets etc. NOT on marine bands). >>

Working ham stations on ham frequencies while at sea is perfectly legal and is done all the time.

<< Is there some sort of marine magic wand that needs to be waved over the transceiver at the factory before they can be made to access the marine bands or is there an FCC blessing bestowed on the tranceiver before the rig is legal to use on the wet frequencies ? >>

Yes. See above. Smiley

Lon
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2003, 08:45:24 PM »

PS - GOOD question!

Lon
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WCCVB
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2003, 09:13:15 PM »

Lon,

>Unless the radio is type accepted for marine use, a ham may not use his ham radio on marine frequencies.<

That explains it. I need to do some research on "Type Acceptance" I'm sure this is how ICOM can justify 1,800 USD for a basic marine ssb tranceiver that would otherwise cost 800-900 USD...

PS: That's some kinda' magic wand ! ;-)
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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2003, 12:38:14 AM »

<<  I'm sure this is how ICOM can justify 1,800 USD for a basic marine ssb tranceiver that would otherwise cost 800-900 USD... >>

Keep in mind that marine radios are commercial duty radios and are almost always considerably heavier built than ham rigs. Additionally they are generally salt water and/or corrosion resistant; ham rigs aren't.

That's why they cost more.

Lon
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OBSERVER11
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Posts: 657




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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2003, 02:42:08 AM »

inquiring minds need to ask...

IF it is a requirment for sea going boats to have communications, and if the USCG enforces the laws of the seas inside our waters, do they cite the boat owner if there is no radio?

Which leads to the next question, IF they are required to have radio, and if they do HAVE a radio, is the USCG aware that there is a difference between a IC-756 and a IC-M2? And would they give the boat a pass if all they had was ham gear?

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N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2003, 10:35:35 AM »

<< IF it is a requirment for sea going boats to have communications, and if the USCG enforces the laws of the seas inside our waters, do they cite the boat owner if there is no radio? >>

That would be the logical assumption.

<< Which leads to the next question, IF they are required to have radio, and if they do HAVE a radio, is the USCG aware that there is a difference between a IC-756 and a IC-M2? >>

Another good question. I would _guess_ that they have a list of approved radios and would check against that list.

<<And would they give the boat a pass if all they had was ham gear? >>

Probably not, if the regs call for a radio from a specific list.

Personally, ANYONE who goes outside the Intercoastal Canal without the proper MARINE HF radio aboard is a fool. There are numerious stories of such people trying to sail to Bermuda and the Caribbean with only the little 25w VHF port and inland waterway radio aboard. A ham rig is simply additional insurance - presuming a ham license to go along with the radio exists. Smiley

Lon
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2003, 06:37:09 PM »

I don't mean to stir the pot, and I agree that you can not legally use a modified Amateur Radio on the Marine frequencies.
   But perhaps some legal beagles out there can answer this:  IS IT legal to use the Marine transmitter on the Amateur Bands if it tunes there???

    ยง97.11(b) states that "The (Amateur) station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship (or aircraft) excapt that a common antenna may be shared..."
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KG6TEP
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2003, 06:56:27 PM »

I know the marine rig salespeople tell their customers to get their ticket so they can use the amateur bands on their marine ssb, which by the way are not disabled in any way. It does seem to be a one way street to some extent. Of course you can't use the marine bands unless it is for a marine purpose. The marine mobiles would have to be somewhat legal for use in a land based station as that's how the sailmail (marine version of airmail) service is provided. So, if you were providing net control for a marine band hf net would you be legal operating your marine mobile from your land based station ?    
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N2ERN
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Posts: 238




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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2003, 10:34:27 AM »

There is no requirement for a pleasure boater (non-commercial, and not carrying passengers for hire) to have a radio of any type on board.

The rules DO permit unlicensed operation on any frequency when there is imminent danger of loss of life. That's why most marine MF/HF rigs are general coverage transmit right out of the box.

No license is required for non-commercial marine VHF radios installed on boats (no shore stations) operating within the waters of the U.S., but there IS a license requirement for  boats having HF/MF radios (which may not be used when the boat is within VHF range). A pleasure boat carrying only a VHF radio must have a license if traveling outside the U.S., and many foreign customs officers will ask to see the license when a boater "checks in."

A marine license is for the boat and not the operator, and the same license is used for all MARINE radios, including EPIRBS that are aboard.
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KF4ZTO
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2003, 06:34:40 PM »

Well, this is an interesting topic.  Many ships (many third-world container ships) use older (modified) ham gear for the MF-SSB and HF-SSB bands.  About  95% of these stations stay on the marine bands are are perfectly legit, or the ship's radio operator is also a ham anyway.  As far as I know, not many USCG people know (or care about) the differance between a $2000 Marine HF rig and a $750 ham HF rig.  The US Coast Guard is looking for the safety aspect of it (i.e. transmission on the emergency frequencies [i.e. 2182.0 kHz] as well as the "working" duplex frequencies).  Because many Marine MF/HF radios are sold with the ability to transmit and receive from 1.8 to 30 MHz continous, and they are then programmed with the marine frequencies that the operator desires.  Sometimes this creates a problem, with the ability to use any frequency, many people ignore the marine bands and use whatever frequency they want.  This could be a frequency that is ment for ham use(for example, listen to 160 and 80 meters at night, esp. near the West Coast) or any other frequency (i.e. the CB "freeband" from 26.000 to 28.000 MHz is filled with stations operating from ships using marine equipment).  Ham radio has long been an asset to marine radio services, and it should always be.  As long as the radio is being used for what it should be used for (I personnaly think that if a ship's radio operator uses a moded. ham rig for operating on the marine frequencies, its fine).

well, theres my two cents.

KF4ZTO
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13576




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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2004, 05:04:46 PM »

I know of at least one case where the USCG and FCC
together visited a number of fishing boats in one port
and removed several Icom and Kenwood HF ham rigs that
the boats were using on the marine channels.  This was
some years ago, and the newer rigs may be better, but
the Marine Operators were said to be able to tell the
non-type approved rigs by their frequency offsets.

Needless to say, this was rather expensive for the boat
owners.  Not only did they face fines and the seizure
of the equipment, they were stuck in port until their
license issues were resolved and they had installed
approved equipment and had it inspected.

Ham equipment is not required to be type accepted, so
we can use any type of gear we can get to work on our
frequencies (including the old AM radiotelephones or
stuff we build ourselves.)  But the rules for Marine
or Commercial services are different.
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N6HBJ
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Posts: 136


WWW

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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2004, 01:22:20 PM »

..."I don't mean to stir the pot, and I agree that you can not legally use a modified Amateur Radio on the Marine frequencies.
But perhaps some legal beagles out there can answer this: IS IT legal to use the Marine transmitter on the Amateur Bands if it tunes there???"...

 Yes it is. Hams have built their own gear from other used radio parts for years. Soyou can use a marine radio on the Ham bands - but not vice versa.

 Mike
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