The final chapter of the Geeky stuff: The Signal Side-Band radio (SSB) is working ~ I think.

I spent some time last week getting the SSB working. Ed, my H.A.M. friend, gave me a bunch of stuff. He also gave me awesome advice. Ed is retired Coast Guard and rebuilds vintage aircraft radios for a hobby. I think he sort of knows what he is doing when it comes to this fancy radio stuff ~ unlike me.


Edward W. Stewart III

Edward W. Stewart III


Ed provided me with coax cable that was better shielded than the stuff iCom suggested in their instructions. I pulled out the coax I previously installed and routed this new fancy coax down a different path so not to interfere with the other electronics on board. I installed ferrites. I’m not sure what they are or how they work but, I now have them. They look nice. I installed a low pass filter. Again, I’m not sure how it works or why I have it, but it’s there doing something very special. And, it looks nice! Per Ed instructions, I used a two-way Bird Watt meter. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. I think it is to check for returning something or another power. While, I wasn’t really sure what I was checking, the numbers were within what Ed said they should be. That’s good enough for me.


I can now hear other people talking on the radio. When I transmit, my AIS no longer crashes. My computer doesn’t randomly reboot. These are all good things. I tried to get a radio check by transmitting on some of the non-emergency channels. No one answered. However, there are a lot of buildings around us and other sailors in the marina tell me they have trouble getting a good transmission out while at dock. And, we are next to a huge mega yacht so, that can’t help. Next time we are away from the dock, I will be below deck on the SSB. Keep your ears on good buddy. Cream Puff is on the air.


Mark on SSB

Mark on SSB


This  weekend project started in November 2013. Granted, I did take some sanity breaks to rethink my mental well-being. The jury is still out on that. Well, I guess it could have been worse. On the bright side, I didn’t electrocute myself. And, you don’t have to read about this SSB anymore.

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