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Old 05-23-2015, 07:33 PM   #21
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Ham radio is an interesting hobby. It can be lots of fun. One thing I have noted is that amateur radio operators tend to be older. I am 63 and often feel like the youngest guy out there. There don't seem to be many young people getting into the hobby. I suspect the cost and the easy of communication via cell phone and internet are factors.

The only thing I have seen done that helps to attract more young people is dropping the code requirement for the General class license. The tests are pretty easy, but it can be a bit difficult to find a place to take them.
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:12 PM   #22
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You'll get it. Just be sure and not transmit without a license. FCC seems to cracking down here lately.

You'll need a General class license for SSB but it is not hard. No more morse code required!
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Old 05-23-2015, 09:58 PM   #23
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When I sat for my licenses the local ham group was delighted to see new blood, disappointed when they found our I was another boater who would use the license on the boat but not locally.

Only time this century when I was considered new blood.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:10 PM   #24
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I heard that Morse Code was no longer a requirement. That would help.

The strange thing about Morse Code is that I learned how to read it on a flashing light when I was in the Navy. I was so good that it looked like a steady light to others...but I never could do it by sound. Go figger.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:49 AM   #25
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Our boat came with an Icom M-800. I haven't explored its capabilities or potential uses yet. It does take up a bit of real estate I could reclaim on the lower helm, so I'll need to decide if. It's worth keeping.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:38 AM   #26
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...You'll need a General class license for SSB but it is not hard. No more morse code required!
A General Class license is only required to operate/ broadcast on certain (ham) frequencies not to operate a SSB. All that's required for SSB, is a valid Ship Station license (no testing) and a restricted radiotelephone license. You can apply for a license at FCC: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

There are 3 different ham licenses, technician, general, and amateur extra, and you have to pass the tests in order. Once you have your license (s) they're good for 10 years and you can renew without testing.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #27
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I've been told that I need a General license to operate an AIS A....and I also need something to operate my SSB. Is this correct, and how do I get them. I visited the site on the previous post, but not sure where to go from there.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:29 AM   #28
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Our boat came with an Icom M-800. I haven't explored its capabilities or potential uses yet. It does take up a bit of real estate I could reclaim on the lower helm, so I'll need to decide if. It's worth keeping.

We use our SSB/Ham radio daily. We added a Pactor modem so we can get emails, weather forecasts, grib files and send position reports. When there's no internet, it's nice having the ability to stay in touch with friends and family.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:36 AM   #29
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I've been told that I need a General license to operate an AIS A....and I also need something to operate my SSB. Is this correct, and how do I get them. I visited the site on the previous post, but not sure where to go from there.
You no not need a General License to operate an AIS transponder.

FCC: Wireless Services: Ship Radio Stations: Licensing
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #30
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And that if for an "A" AIS? ie: one the both transmits and receives and goes to foreign countries such as the Bahamas?
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:06 AM   #31
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And that if for an "A" AIS? ie: one the both transmits and receives and goes to foreign countries such as the Bahamas?
Yes. A General License is not required.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:10 AM   #32
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Ok, thanks
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:23 AM   #33
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Most people we cruise with do not have Ham licenses and there are more SSB than Ham nets out there. You can always listen in on the Ham frequencies, you just can't broadcast on them.


I wouldn't worry about getting a Ham license till you figure out if you're going to use it. From a maritime standpoint, SSBs seem more than adequate .
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:26 AM   #34
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I really have no interest in the Ham thing...although, I may listen now and then. But in muddling thru the complex FCC website, I thought I read where you need a license to transmit to any foreign shore station even on SSB...and the website listed the Bahamas as foreign.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:59 AM   #35
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We use our SSB/Ham radio daily. We added a Pactor modem so we can get emails, weather forecasts, grib files and send position reports. When there's no internet, it's nice having the ability to stay in touch with friends and family.
Thanks, Larry. Going to look into it.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:20 AM   #36
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I've been told that I need a General license to operate an AIS A....and I also need something to operate my SSB. Is this correct, and how do I get them. I visited the site on the previous post, but not sure where to go from there.
"
The MMSI # is required for ALL AIS transponders to transmit your identity over the air. If you are a US documented or registered vessel and are required to have MMSI # then you are also required to have an FCC Ship Station License& Restricted Radio Operators Permit.

Ships operating domestically that do not travel to foreign ports (i.e. Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, and British Virgin Islands), do not use marine radio equipment on board the vessel other than Marine VHF radios, EPIRBs or radar (SSB or satellite communications) and do not carry more than six passengers for hire on the Great Lakes, bays, tidewaters or in the open sea are NOT required to have a Ship Station License or Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit. These vessels would be able to legally obtain an MMSI# from domestic outlets such as Boat U.S. or Sea Tow."
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:39 AM   #37
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Dimer:Yep, and after talking to you, that's what I read on the FCC site also. I went ahead and got my FRN number so I could apply online, but when I got to the form 605, about halfway thru the process it was asking for the type/brand of radio and ais eqpt I was going to use. Since I haven't purchased it yet, I couldn't go any further...unless of course, I was applying for the wrong license. Their website isn't totally clear on what license I need for my (future) SSB and AIS system.
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #38
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There were a couple of threads a little while ago that went through the license requirements step by step. I think this is it, if not do a search it was pretty thorough if I remember.
AIS and MMSI question
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:38 PM   #39
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Okie Dokie...thanks Dimer. I successfully completed and paid the ridiculous fee for my MMSI number...I filled out the form 605 SA for ship...now do you or anyone else know if I need to fill out a separate form and pay a separate ridiculous fee for a "call sign"?


Thanks for all your help, and the detailed instructions listed on the previous post were VERY helpful!
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:41 AM   #40
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Years ago only a fine ( $$$) radio was stable enough to capture weather fax charts.

So lots of ham stuff was sold mostly to be receivers, or short wave radios.

Today many hand held portable radios and an APP for a computer can catch the weather fax charts , ay far lower cost.

If you are going off the shelf , weather info is a big help in planning.
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