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Old 11-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #61
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I think HAM is dying a slow death .
As is most everything that takes any effort or skill to obtain/operate.
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:01 PM   #62
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... I think HAM is dying a slow death due to the internet and cell phones, but still fun.
You might be right but some younger hams, who are into technology, are taking amateur radio into new areas with Winlink 2000 and The Amateur Radio Safety Foundation (ARSFI).

"Winlink 2000 (WL2K) is a worldwide system of volunteer sysops, radio stations and network assets supporting e-mail by radio, with non-commercial links to internet e-mail. These resources come from Amateur Radio, the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), government agencies, and non-government volunteer organizations. The system provides valuable service to emergency communicators and to licensed radio operators without access to the internet. The all-volunteer Winlink Development Team (WDT) is committed to continuous improvement using modern computer technology with the most effective radio modes and digital protocols for local, regional and long-distance applications. You must hold an Amateur Radio license or be a member of a supported organization or agency to use the Winlink 2000 system. Usage and software is free for all who qualify."

http://www.winlink.org/

"The primary purpose of the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation is to provide for the formation, training, maintenance, and testing of volunteer licensed amateur radio emergency services and networks using state of the art communications technology. These services and networks to serve the general public by facilitating emergency, health, or welfare communication in times of disaster or other communications emergencies."

Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.


Lena, KCY7WW
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:12 PM   #63
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Can't speak for ham radio on shore except to say when I sat for the exam I was greeted with open arms by the local ham club. They were disappointed that I intended to use the license solely on a boat.

As to marine hams. I am finding more and more license holders among the cruisers. Ever since the requirement of morse code was dropped (at least in the United States) more and more cruisers are getting a license. When we were in Georgetown, Exumas, the cruisers had a class going for those interested in getting a license.

I find the ham frequencies to be useful on a cruising boat in that friends frequently assume you have a license and leave a message to meet up at a certain time on a ham frequency. If I remember from last season (its been eight months) certain cruising nets are also only on ham frequencies.

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Old 11-30-2013, 01:39 PM   #64
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Thanks Lena, I'm going to check on that.

I also used to have my weather fax on HAM radio. I think I paid a one time fee of $15 for the program. All you needed was a HAM radio and printer.

Twisted: Sometimes I get too carried away with my descriptions.
Here is a simplified version - HAM radios and SSB radios are essentially the same. HAM radios are designed to transmit on HAM allotted frequencies and not Marine frequencies. SSB radios are designed to transmit on Marine Frequencies only. They both pretty much receive the same stuff.

Marty: ...."I find the ham frequencies to be useful on a cruising boat in that friends frequently assume you have a license and leave a message to meet up at a certain time on a ham frequency. If I remember from last season (its been eight months) certain cruising nets are also only on ham frequencies." Seems like things haven't changed much over the last 20 years. This is surprising good news.


Thanks all for the info
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:47 PM   #65
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Garmin has a weather service (Sirius) that gives a radar with realtime weather, tides and marinas around you. Great technology!
But check coverage to make sure you can get the weather product you want where you will be cruising: Data Service Pricing | Marine | XM WX Satellite Weather | SiriusXM
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:32 PM   #66
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Much has been written about HAM service dying. While it takes a very little effort to get a license, you are rewarded with a very useful and free service that is without equal.

Any "cruiser" that leaves the bosom of cell phone coverage without a HAM license and a working radio is a poser (def: one who pretends to be someone he is not).
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:51 PM   #67
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[QUOTE)

Any "cruiser" that leaves the bosom of cell phone coverage without a HAM license and a working radio is a poser (def: one who pretends to be someone he is not).[/QUOTE]

Wow ..thats a bit harsh..
I have sailed my own boat across the pacific and up and down both coasts....had a marine ssb that could also do ham frequencies but no ham license...

I must be the ultimate poser..



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Old 11-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #68
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[QUOTE)] Any "cruiser" that leaves the bosom of cell phone coverage without a HAM license and a working radio is a poser (def: one who pretends to be someone he is not).
Wow ..thats a bit harsh.. I have sailed my own boat across the pacific and up and down both coasts....had a marine ssb that could also do ham frequencies but no ham license... I must be the ultimate poser.. Hollywood[/QUOTE] Your doing it all wrong
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:55 AM   #69
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HAM? , HAM ?


You gotta be kidding , has anyone met a ham they would bother talking to face to face for over 30 seconds??

WE Don need no stinking HAM license!
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #70
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Sorry my post missed the mark. I did not mean to be so harsh.

The point I was trying to make was: Because it is now so easy to get a HAM license and the radios are relatively cheap compared to other boat stuff, as a cruiser you really should consider HAM as yet another system to have on board. I have experienced it's usefulness and unique ability to get through when you are off the usual grid.

As far as FF's comment: HAM operators are indeed an interesting breed, over the radio is often better than face to face.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:27 AM   #71
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I don't know the demographics today but 10 years or so ago, most HAMs I talked to were old WW II radio operators and a lot of shut-ins. I think HAM is dying a slow death due to the internet and cell phones, but still fun.
Unfortunately, I have to agree. I've been a ham (N4JOY) since the age of 15 and, at age 38, I'm still a kid on the air waves. It is a running joke that the old timers like talk about their health problems.

There are some new amateur radio technologies (e.g., D-Star) that are promising. I will be installing a 2 meter transceiver on the boat for repeater operation or maybe a low power (QRP) HF rig so I can check into the Maritime Mobile Service Net on 14.3Mhz.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #72
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As far as FF's comment: HAM operators are indeed an interesting breed, over the radio is often better than face to face.
Yep some of them make the SETI types seem down right "normal"!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #73
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Still lots of interesting things in ham radio for people who are interested in tinkering. Probably the OP has more than enough information now to decide what he wants to do, though! Don't want to drag him into one of the discussions perhaps better suited to one of the ham forums. :-) Getting my 50-year ARRL pin next year, by the way. Never dreamed back in 1964 that the technology would be where it is today.

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Old 12-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #74
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Actually, if you look at the statistics, the FCC has been issuing an INCREASING number of amateur service licenses over the past decade or so, pretty steadily. Ham radio is very definitely NOT dying. What it is doing is evolving. More people using digital modes, APRS, and the like.

And while I certainly wouldn't criticize anyone who chooses NOT to get a ham license, I would say that it is so easy and cheap these days that I can't see a reason for not having one.

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Old 12-01-2013, 12:27 PM   #75
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Interesting call. Good friend of mine, Bob Suding, was W0LMD, and was also from Denver (or close to it anyway).
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:28 AM   #76
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Didn't realize how many HAMs were on here until this thread started.
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