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Single Side Band

Old 08-24-2017, 07:27 PM
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Default Single Side Band

Anyone actually use SSB anymore? I have not heard of anyone using it for year just curious because they still sell them and they are not cheap.
Old 08-24-2017, 07:40 PM
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Used by those who go way offshore for a long time, guys who have big boats and want every gadget, people who spend considerable time out of vhf range, commercial boats, transoceanics, or guys who are just radio heads. Also by distance blow boaters, they use the backstay as an antenna. Range of course is the big deal.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeedaddle View Post
Used by those who go way offshore for a long time, guys who have big boats and want every gadget, people who spend considerable time out of vhf range, commercial boats, transoceanics, or guys who are just radio heads. Also by distance blow boaters, they use the backstay as an antenna. Range of course is the big deal.
I totally get the long range deal and a few junky's but outside of commercial boats just don't see a usefulness as not really anyone listening? Does USCG monitor SSB?
Old 08-24-2017, 08:49 PM
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Yes depends on what area you live in.
Originally Posted by Savannah296 View Post
I totally get the long range deal and a few junky's but outside of commercial boats just don't see a usefulness as not really anyone listening? Does USCG monitor SSB?
Old 08-24-2017, 09:08 PM
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I believe the USCG no longer monitors SSB. Those 23' antenna that you see on big yachts can be SSB, or to extend VHF range. SSB is somewhat like ham radio, it's own "web". Used to be useful for connecting with high seas operators to put thru land phone calls
Old 08-24-2017, 09:20 PM
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I googled it. They monitor 4 KHZ and higher. So no to 2182.
Old 08-24-2017, 09:32 PM
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I believe SSB can send email. Also seems like it's duplex, can have a two way conversation like a phone, but need someone else to check in on that one.
Old 08-24-2017, 09:43 PM
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I have one on the tug that is older then I am and I have tried using it a few times with no success. I have been able to get the time clock tick on it and pick up some Spanish music stations down in the Carribian but that is it. When I really need something I pick up the sat phone.
Old 08-24-2017, 09:45 PM
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Sounds like SSB is older tech, like LORAN, or SATNAV.
Old 08-25-2017, 05:50 AM
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I use it flying a lot. Over the North Pole is about the only place I can't get someone on SSB.
Old 08-25-2017, 07:31 AM
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Hello, SSB is old tech but it is useful tech, you can send email via SSB, it really comes into its own when really properly far offshore, you can use it to summon help and also receive long range weather forecasts. Hope this helps.
Old 08-25-2017, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Skeedaddle View Post
Sounds like SSB is older tech, like LORAN, or SATNAV.
Isn't Satnav just GPS?
Old 08-25-2017, 07:49 AM
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Marine SSB has much more capability than VHF.
The different frequencies propagate differently. Solar activity changes the propagation.
The lowest frequencies should give you very consistent communications with others who are 200 to 400 miles away.
Some of the other bands will give you the ability to talk to anyone in the world, depending on propagation. I used to talk to a friend in Australia daily while driving home from work on the ham bands.

It may not be popular but it could gain if more people used it. You have to get a license from the FCC to operate there which may be one of the reasons its not used as much. That plus they cost thousands instead of hundreds of dollars.
Old 08-25-2017, 07:59 AM
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I was always surprised over the years how few big yachts had nothing but VHF radio gear, granted they have sat phones aboard too which solves their way-offshore comms need. Being a licensed HAM I just assumed among all the radio gear aboard most would carry at least one SSB/HF rig too, but I haven't seen it on big motoryachts / sportfishers.
Old 08-25-2017, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bpevans View Post
I was always surprised over the years how few big yachts had nothing but VHF radio gear, granted they have sat phones aboard too which solves their way-offshore comms need. Being a licensed HAM I just assumed among all the radio gear aboard most would carry at least one SSB/HF rig too, but I haven't seen it on big motoryachts / sportfishers.
There were a few European manufactuers who used to install it on their large models, Ferretti is one brand that comes to mind, very handy in certain areas, like parts of Greece or heading towards Egypt where SSB long range forecasting was more common, less VHF land based stations, that was on boats made in the late 90s.
Old 08-25-2017, 08:34 AM
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Is ssb still limited to 12 watts?
Old 08-25-2017, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonWhalerSeaHunt View Post
Isn't Satnav just GPS?
NO, satnav predated GPS. It was a LEO sat system using both VHF and UHF (399. MHz); doppler based, died about 1990.
GPS is MEO 3D sat system. 1.2xxGHz/1.5xxGHz ephemeris data based, many more sats for continous coverage.

Originally Posted by Thalasso View Post
Is ssb still limited to 12 watts?
NO; manufacturers support up to 1000 Watts maritime mobile. But, most units are 150 W PEP.
Old 08-25-2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
NO, satnav predated GPS. It was a LEO sat system using both VHF and UHF (399. MHz); doppler based, died about 1990.
GPS is MEO 3D sat system. 1.2xxGHz/1.5xxGHz ephemeris data based, many more sats for continous coverage.


NO; manufacturers support up to 1000 Watts maritime mobile. But, most units are 150 W PEP.
Old 08-25-2017, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Skeedaddle View Post
I believe SSB can send email. Also seems like it's duplex, can have a two way conversation like a phone, but need someone else to check in on that one.
Email, YES, Full duplex: NEGATIVE; many freqs were (are?) assigned to coast stations for phone calls. These had different Tx and Rx freqs, but the user didn't use full duplex, like a phone. Mobile equipment didn't support that. Called semi-duplex. All duplex channels are therefore somewhat obsolete, or at least, due for re-purposing, since the high seas coast stations have gone away in the 1990's
Old 08-25-2017, 10:07 AM
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We install a few per month, most recently 2 going down to Turks and Cacos. Mostly international maritime rescue operations folks.

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