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roly_voya
25-01-08, 00:14
Anyone know if it is possible to do this as a distance learnig course or a centre where I can just turn up for the exam? I need the licence by June but cant afford the time off to do a 4 day course. Also seems a bit steep at 3-350 + accommadation for something I can easily do from a book plus practice on my own set (with dummy arial).

stingo
25-01-08, 05:51
PM sent and then the forum crashed, so it you don't receive it, let me know.

Jonny_H
25-01-08, 08:13
PM Sent - I'm doing this at the moment.

Jonny

douglas_family
25-01-08, 09:11
Can you post up info or PM me too please

Roberto
25-01-08, 09:44
yes please could you post info here or add me to your PM

thanks
r

oxman
25-01-08, 09:59
Same question! - I need to do the long range exam - any correspondence courses available?

stingo
25-01-08, 10:04
Okay, okay, here is a link to help you cram for the exam. Sorry, no course available.

http://www.stingo.co.za/downloads.htm then look under Tutor, then right click on the Ham Exam link and Save Target As.

Paw Paw
25-01-08, 12:31
I really wonder why you are doing the course? For the most part the course does not teach you how to operate the set... All the safety issues that are addressed are very straight forward and you should not forget that HF radio is an out of date and little used medium of communication except by a few deep sea fishermen and lots of yachties... Many if not most yachties using SSB will not have an operators licence but will have included the set in their list of fixed radio 'stuff' to be licenced.

The Americans have effectivly done away with operators licence and I suspect Europe and the rest will give it up as well shortly... In my opinion (having learned to use the SSB myself and never having had a licence in 10 years of daily communications sometimes via the shore telephone radio stations which hardly exist now) the course is a waste of time and money unless you like collecting qualifications..
Michael

airborne1
25-01-08, 17:56
All that MichealM has just said is very true.
Having been a professional Radio Officer in the MN for 12 yrs, before the monkeys on the bridge took over, I enquired about the course with the only "school" that seems to train people in the UK "Icomm" in Soton, I was less than impressed.
I hold a Government License to operate a Marine Radio station with unlimited power (used to use 400w to 3Kw USB transmitters) but have been unable to contact any authority who even recognises the license let alone will convert me to a RYA license.
If I was contemplating using a long range transmitter at sea , which I will be when I get to go blue water cruising, I would contact the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) and get a Ham license, which CAN be taken via correspondence courses and a single evenings exam. This will allow you to operate in the ham bands and chat to very enthuiastic operators ashore as well as other yachties.
The site is www.rsgb.org (http://www.rsgb.org) but they publish a fantastic book and other docs

roly_voya
25-01-08, 19:30
Thanks all looking into all your suggestions

Michael; Its very simple as a matter of principle I prefer to opperate within the law not because of the risk of getting cought but because it is the right thing to do. The LRC radio licence is a legal requirment for opperating a marine SSB set on a British flagged vessel. The ham licence alows you to opperate a marine mobile station from on board in the amateur bands but not the marine bands so if you want to use ham frequencies you need both licences. It not difficult to do the course but my problem is that I do 12h shifts 7 days a week with one weekend in tree off. I still have some woodwork to finish on the boat and the nav systems to install before going to brest so I simple can't take 4 days off. Also I don't strictly need the SSB set till next year but would like to make sure its all working and get some use out of it this year, mainly getting used to interpeting WFax

KellysEye
25-01-08, 20:38
>I prefer to opperate within the law not because of the risk of getting cought but because it is the right thing to do.

Well said, I entirely agree. Any other route is a slippery slope.

airborne1
25-01-08, 21:25
Roly_Voya, if its WFax you are after then you don't need any license of any sort. Just buy a HF3 from Nasa and they supply software with it for receiving Wfax.
You do not need a transmitter to get weather info from anyone. The license is to allow you to Transmit.
If you have a Charting program on a PC that can overlay weather maps then download the program from Grib.US and that will give you isobars, wind and precipitation maps for anywhere in the world. Then all you need is the PC and an internet connection and you don't even need the HF3
The site for the Grib.US is
http://www.grib.us/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
PS I have no commercial interest in either Grib.US or the Nasa HF3

Anonymous
25-01-08, 22:09
The seafish authority run a distance learning course and can arrange the exams. I haven't found definitive web page but you will probably find it from here...

http://www.seafish.org/upload/file/training/Pricelist_Catching_pdf.pdf

I agree about staying legal. Where do you draw the line when deciding to break the law?

beneteau_305_553
25-01-08, 22:18
Roly

I would suggest the amateur radio route if its for your own boat.

The licences are cheap to get (3 at 15 GBP each) and the radios ( eg ICOM 718 + AH4 ) are also much cheaper and perhaps better (where's the tuning dial? )

Send emails free via winlink and get gribs as attachments. Brilliant.

starfire
26-01-08, 09:10
Can I have a PM as well ?

Looked into this, asked lots of questions, I am a qualified UK & US Radio ham, a past radio tech.

asked several firms doing the courses if I could just take the exam as I don't want to spend 4 days going over stuff I already know.

only response I got was 'totally different, you have to do the course' well they would say that, at 3-400 a pop.

Thaumaturge
26-01-08, 20:11
With Jonny's help I sourced the distance learning LRC course from Seafish.

In the book they give a list of examination centres that will allow you to just take the test. I haven't, as yet, found out how much the exam is, but the course literature with an audio cassette cost 28 including delivery to me in Spain.

KellysEye
26-01-08, 21:40
Make sure you get a book of the course otherwise you'll get a very nasty surprise when you turn up for the exam. Very little of the course is technical so a ham qualification doesn't really help.
Subject headings are:
- General knowledge of radio communication in the maritime mobile service
- Detailed practical knowledge and ability to use equipment
- Operational procedures of the GMDSS and detailedd practical operation of GMDSS subsystems and equipment appropriate to non-SOLAS vessels
- miscellaneous skills and operational procedures for radiotelephone communications

There is also a satellite section (optional but needed if you intend to use Inmarsat kit and worth having anyway)
- the general principles and basic features of the maritime mobile satellite service relevant to non-SOLAS vessels
- Operational procedures and detailed practical operation of ship earth stations in the GMDSS appropriate to non-SOLAS vessels

Out of interest the leaders of the "lets waste bandwidth by pointless and inane chat when trying to contact somebody" are the Americans. As somebody pointed out they don't have to take a course or exam and it shows. In fact it drives me mad.

starfire
27-01-08, 09:17
Exam about 83, seafish seems to be the way to go, thanks for your help gentlemen.

Jonny_H
27-01-08, 11:36
I called South Tyneside College (a few miles from me) - they said 83 for the exam, plus 40 for a half day 'equipment familiarisation' - they also said to call them if we have any issues with the course material - seems very reasonable to me.

The only trouble we've had so far is finding a cassette player! All on CD these days!!! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Jonny

airborne1
27-01-08, 22:59
May add something which seems to be a misconception on this subject.
The "Marine Bands" title that everyone seems to use is somewhat misleading. It should rightly be called "the Marine Commercial Bands". The reason I say this is that those frequencies which are reserved for Marine use only were established by the ITU for the use of Marine Commercial ships wishing to send and receive radio traffic whilst at sea.
These messages can only be handled on-shore by radio stations established in most of the worlds marine nations (one in the Uk, Germany, Capetown etc). As such they charge for handling these messages and also add on land-line charges for passing them from the station to the addressee. As such these messages are not free and every vessel using the the system must have an accounting authority who will settle these bills on an international basis. Therefore there will be another charge for this service. To contact the radio station all ships have to compete for the stations attention. Since cargo ships have all the power they need they use transmitters in the Kw power output range. This means that you are competing using probably 400W's with them to get the stations attention. It can be done but needs one hell of a lot of experience and patience.
Somehow I don't think this is a service thats a small yacht, possibly single or short handed would want to be involved in.
On the other hand, the "Ham Bands" are free to all users who have the requisite license and call-sign. It is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts who will be more than glad to communicate with any call-sign which will allow them to add to their "QSl" (QSl= I acknowledge your message) lists, sort of a tick list for "bragging rights" with their peers (my apologies to any hams reading this who may feel offended)
Get a Ham license and join the world-wide free society of people who like to chat to new freinds. They will also be more than happy to pass on non-commercial messages to third parties and there are some who actively assist yachties with weather forecasts, yacht bound e-mails, etc
Its easy to get such a license with a little effort and commitment and the gear is cheaper than commercial band sets.
Anyone who wants to PM me are most welcome for an in-depth discussion on this.

whipper_snapper
28-01-08, 11:24
[ QUOTE ]


The "Marine Bands" title that everyone seems to use is somewhat misleading. It should rightly be called "the Marine Commercial Bands". The reason I say this is that those frequencies which are reserved for Marine use only were established by the ITU for the use of Marine Commercial ships wishing to send and receive radio traffic whilst at sea.
These messages can only be handled on-shore by radio stations established in most of the worlds marine nations (one in the Uk, Germany, Capetown etc). As such they charge for handling these messages and also add on land-line charges for passing them from the station to the addressee. As such these messages are not free and every vessel using the the system must have an accounting authority who will settle these bills on an international basis. Therefore there will be another charge for this service. To contact the radio station all ships have to compete for the stations attention. Since cargo ships have all the power they need they use transmitters in the Kw power output range. This means that you are competing using probably 400W's with them to get the stations attention. It can be done but needs one hell of a lot of experience and patience.
Somehow I don't think this is a service thats a small yacht, possibly single or short handed would want to be involved in.

[/ QUOTE ]

Rubbish!

There are very few commercial HF shore stations left any more. But even when they were commercially important to shipping, there were plenty of 'marine' HF frequencies available for long-medium range boat-to-boat chat. They are still used for that. They are also used for Sailmail, an HF-based email system intended for small yachts and very widely used.

airborne1
28-01-08, 14:14
Sorry Whipper_Snapper, so Sailmail is not a commercial station and does not charge a fee. Strange, when I chatted to them about their service they seemed to have an annual fee.
I stand corrected.

whipper_snapper
28-01-08, 15:54
I suspect you are deliberately misinterpreting! Of course sailmail is a commercial setup, and it is of great interest to small yachts. That is not remotely the same as the old shore station system that you describe and which is now almost completely unused - in fact it may even be completely defunct, not sure.

I don't know why you are suggesting that marine HF is only for ships! That is just not true.