I’ve recently taken an interest in our SSB radio and would like to learn more about using it as a ham radio. Every SSB radio on every boat I’ve ever been on has been useless as tits on a bull. Sure, we’re required to have it on 2182 all the time, but can any of you really tell me that you have the volume turned up to where you could hear it if someone actually called you or made a distress call? I’ve never been on a boat where that’s been standard operating procedure. Without digressing too much, the merits and short comings of GMDSS are another conversation for another thread, I figure as long as we have to have the damn thing on board I might as well find a use for it. Why not talk to people?
I watched a youtube video on how to call “CQ” (a general call) on a ham radio but I found that the person in the video had a lot easier time of it because he had a dial he could easily skim across the frequencies with to find either an on-going conversation or an open frequency with which to make a call. On our radio you have to enter the frequency manually on the key pad, which makes the process of traversing the airwaves very laborious and time consuming. I can’t help but feel that the whole process would be easier if I had a set of a handful of frequencies where I knew I could find people.
So who’s had any experience playing with their SSB radios on the boat? Anyone got any good stories to tell? Just today while tuning to one of the frequencies I saw in the youtube video I happened on someone from Sarajevo talking to someone from the US.