Wanted - unloved/Used SSB

mjsouleman

Member III
Preparing for 2020 Caribbean trip and searching for unused SSB to provide me with long range communication

Amnyone?

MJS
 

frick

Member III
Are you a HAM

Preparing for 2020 Caribbean trip and searching for unused SSB to provide me with long range communication

Amnyone?

MJS

As a Ham Radio Guy, I would go with a cheap Chinese HF rig, or a very small sub 900 HF VHF portable radio.
Rick NN2S
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
There have been some amazing deals on SSB gear on Ebay and Craigslist. People are dumping them perhaps in favor of sat phones or perhaps just don’t want to learn to use them. It just takes a little patience. Really, if you want to use one in 2020, you probably need it right now to have realistic time enough to install and learn to use it.

Edit - I mean it takes patience to wait for the deal to come along. The other stuff requires RTFM.
 
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mjsouleman

Member III
I have a crew opportunity this coming Spring from Abaco (Bhamas) to Chesapeake Bay. The boat has an SSB that I will be trained to use during the return trip.

This hands-on training and the inexpensive cost of an SSB vrs sat phones is leaning me toward adding an SSB to my inventory.

If I were to go with the Sat phone, I would follow Christians lead and rent the thing, where the SSB will be a permanent addition.

MJS
 

wynkoop

Member II
I am unclear, are you looking for a new unit? If so they are easy to come by from several makers. Your title says Used, but your body says unused.

If you are looking for a used unit I have an older Icom pulled from a boat when the owner upgraded. I also have the matching antenna matching unit.

If used is what you are looking for I will pull it out of the closet, put it on the bench again and make sure it is still operational. It was when I put it away.

If you are local or not a horrid distance from NYC I can even do the install for you. I do have the needed commercial license.

Understand if you are going with using rigging as an antenna it will mean a trip to the rigger to get insulators installed before the radio is installed. Most sailboats tend to use insulated rigging. On a sloop it is normally the back stay, but I have seen other arrangements on ketches and schooners.

If you do get your back stay insulated have the rigger give you the most space possible between insulators. It will make a big difference on the lower frequencies. Many folks go for 22 feet because that is the normal size of whips used on power boats, but trust me bigger is better.
 

mjsouleman

Member III
Hi Brett,
Wow, I didn't expect an answer. Well you found me out, I know nothing about SSB's and from my limited reading, I thought a used unit that functions would help with cost. After the original posting, I got lost reading about SSBs installation and requirements, and so on.

Short answer, Yeah I would love the unit and in Washington D.C. but travel up 81 to 84 where Pennsylvania crosses into NY.

I am also having my rigging updated this year and your advice about backstay insulators is great timing.

I will follow up with a PM soon to continue this discussion.

Mark "Souleman" Soule
 

wynkoop

Member II
I may not have time until the weekend to do anything about posting info on the unit. To have a marine SSB operate correctly it is important that it be installed by someone that knows what they are doing.

On the legal front the person needs a commercial general radio telephone license, and to operate it you will need both a ship station license and an operator license.

 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
While studying, also ask yourself if a satphone is better.

Zero installation. Weather files, texts, emails easy when paired with a laptop. Emergency use far better than SSB (you can phone the USCG from the liferaft). Oh, and not "permanently installed."

I am so glad to be rid of single sideband I will include this defense to balance myself out:

 

fool

Member III
See if you can find a copy of Icom IC-M802 Starting from Scratch by TL Sparks Commander USN Retired.

Self installation is quite possible following his advice and by not taking shortcuts. He also makes note of incorrect installations he's encountered along the way.

I use a KISS ground plane below decks and GAM/McKim Split Lead Antenna on the backstay. Picking up signals in Baja and on the Pacific Net is quite possible even in the canyon that is the marina where I live. Timing and patience are key. It takes commitment to lurk on SSB, let alone get licensed.

Satellite communications are a valid alternative and I humbly suggest doing an indepth cost analysis to see which will give you the best run for your money. I could easily afford to rent a satellite unit with subscription for what I've spent on a used SSB. Although having and using a SSB is quite entertaining if a learning curve is your thing.




Cheers,

Max
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Max, is a Ham license necessary? I studied for the stinking test for months and nearly flunked it, whereas my companions paid for a one-day course of cheater shortcuts and breezed through like a Stanford sailing team applicant.
 

fool

Member III
Hello Christian,

No license required to lurk and listen or broadcast in the case of an emergency. Otherwise, to speak into the mike you'll need to take the kinder gentler federal test, morse code is no longer required. I highly recommend any of the current Gordon West books with current questions. The question base changed last year for General Class, and the year before for Technician Class. If you just want to test the waters the Ham Radio License Exam link in the above post allows a free trial.

Thanks for asking...
 

frick

Member III
Find your local Ham Radio Club, and ask for help. Hams love to help folks to get their tickets and to get started.
Rick
nn2s
 

wynkoop

Member II
Let me correct some misinformation. You do not need a Ham license for marine SSB. You do need a ship station license and a commercial radio telephone license, the lowest class being the restricted radio telephone permit. I already provided the links to the info for this.

Now if you want to shoot the bull with random folks then by all means study for and get a ham license at at least the general class, but do not expect to use the radio to speak to commercial coast stations, or other ship stations, or the USCG.

Do not expect getting a ham license to provide you the ability to use a radio effectively. For that you will have to actually apply some of what you studied and practice on a regular basis. I would strongly suggest if you get a ham ticket expect to set up a home station and HF antenna system and start learning both the technical aspects and the procedural aspects from the comfort of your home.

A young lady I mentored to her ham ticket recently has been licensed for about 9 months and has only spoken to one person in that time because while she wanted the license for emergency communications purposes she has not devoted any time to "playing radio" and becoming comfortable with both her radio and operating procedures.
 
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