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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a friend said you can use a CB antenna with a ship to shore radio... "because they have the same modulation". i don't know much about radios and antennas, but, i don't think "same modulation" has anything to do with it. and the questions are, will it hurt the radio? how would it effect the transmit and receicve? Thanks in advance.
 

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Don't do it! Modulation has nothing to do with it. Even if it did CB uses AM amplitude modulation and a VHF ship to shore uses FM frequency modulation.

Antennas are designed to work within a certain frequency range.
CBs are around 27 MHz and marine vhf I believe is in the 156 MHz range. You WILL damage your radio if the antenna is mismatched by that amount and you transmit. Receive will be degraded but will not harm the radio.

I would just buy the marine antenna. They are not that expensive compared to a fried radio.

You may also contact Distant Horizon on this board. He is in the electronics communication biz.

Boater2be
AKA
KC8HNQ (armature radio operator)
 

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Exactly right boater2be...

CB and marine antennas are incompatible.

They are designed to work on vastly different frequency ranges. Modulation on narrow-band AM, SSB, and FM two-way radios has no bearing on the antenna design.

Even if you designed a suitable matching network to allow the impedance of the CB whip to correctly match the marine radio, you'd be sending all of your radio energy at a high angle into the sky and not along the horizon where it is needed. Your receive will also have very limited range.

Get a proper gain marine antenna, and install it and your radio correctly. These antennas are also made to withstand the constant spray and corrosion present in the marine environment. Most land mobile antennas aren't.

Also, make *sure* you know how to properly install a coaxial cable connector. That is the number one weak link in most di-it-yourself installations. Get a professional to show you how in you are unsure.

Using a CB antenna with a marine radio will cause damage to the radio. That damage will be expensive to repair.

Remember, you may need your radio may save your life someday.

Let me know if you have any further questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
that's more or less what i tried to tell him. of course in my unprofessional garble. i hope he takes the time to read this. you can buy a marine antenna on line for a little as $20. now it's up to him. and Thank You both for the input! you all have quite a web site!!!
 

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Keep in mind the $20 antenna wont do NEAR as good a job as the $100 one. Buy the best.....get the best (service).
 

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What Hammer said. Been there, done that. Works not just for radios, but anything marine. You may able to get by with the "best deal" for things you use on shore, but it doesn't work that way on a boat. Buy the best that you can afford, for anything when it comes to your boat. Period.

I used to boat in New England, on the Atlantic. And let me tell you, when your off shore, it's a long way to France, if your engine(s) quit. Get the best possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sure don't want to beat this posting to death... BUT (with me there's always a "but"). when i'm fishing in lake st. clair (about 20 miles by 20 mile) the last thing on my mind is ending up in france. the $20. antenna i was referring to is a Shakespeare the same model that came installed on my boat new in 96, the one on my house (same model) has been up there for over 12 years. (the one on the house has been through all the winters in those "over 12 years"). i send and recieve better than 20 miles using either. talk to the wife at home from the shipping channel clear as a bell some 20 miles away, 10 over water, + at least 10 miles from the lake over land. and that's with the radio also circa 1996. the friend is on a tight budget, he could always call the coast gaurd on his cell. he wants the ship to shore to converse with fellow fisherguys from his used 19 foot boat. a $100. antenna would be over kill in this case. there's no insult intended by what i just wrote. i just happened to think, i might have come off as a "buy the cheapest" kind of guy. i'm a "look for the best price" kind of guy. when it comes to safety i want a good, brand name product. to me Shakespeare is a respected brand name.
 

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FYI. If I am not mistaken it is illegal to transmit from land on the marine band without a special license. Marinas and tow services that use the marine band in there business all have to buy the license.

Don't get caught, ticking off the FCC isn't cheep.
 

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You're correct Boater2be... transmitting on land is illegal.

A marine Utility Station License is required to transmit from a land based location. This license is valid for a hand-held radio only.

Quote from the pertinent FCC regulation-

You must have a special license, called a marine utility station license, to operate a hand-held marine radio from land -- a ship station license IS NOT sufficient. You may apply for this license by filing FCC Form 601 with the FCC. To be eligible for a marine utility station license, you must generally provide some sort of service to ships or have control over a bridge or waterway. Additionally, you must show a need to communicate using hand-held portable equipment from both a ship and from coast locations. Each unit must be capable of operation while being hand-carried by an individual. The station operates under the rules applicable to ship stations when the unit is aboard a ship, and under the rules applicable to private coast stations when the unit is on land.

Further quote-

WHAT COMMUNICATIONS ARE PROHIBITED?

YOU MUST NOT TRANSMIT --

False distress or emergency messages.

Messages containing obscene, indecent, or profane words or meaning.

General calls, signals, or messages on channel 16, except in an emergency or if you are testing your radio (these are messages not addressed to a particular station), or

When your ship is on land (for example, while the ship is on a trailer).

To transmit from land, as a poster described he did, a Coast Station License is needed. More info regarding coast station licenses can be found on the following URL:

http://www.popular-communications.com/Radi...July.%2003.html

Note that this license is normally not available for uses as suggested by the previous poster, i.e. calling home from the lake.

Don't get caught. The fines can be heavy. And, I wouldn't advertise that you are violating FCC regulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
since we're on the law and vhf radio... what if my wife contacts me using the handheld from our well to tell me to pick her up after work, what if she's in the car when she calls, will they find us then? or is that ok to do? are handhelds only to be used when you're out on the lake? i always felt that since they did away with the requirement of getting a license to operate a vhf from the boat, it's nothing more than a 25watt cb. with all the radio checks i hear everyday, it is a cb. and i know that doesn't make it right. but it sure is nice when she lets me know what weather is on the way to the lake when it's storming at home and headed in my direction.
 

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Yes, it is illegal to use a marine VHF radio on land without one of the special licenses.

This includes a boat on a trailer, and not in the water.

On the boat - it's perfectly legal (as long as the hull is in the water), in the car on land- illegal, at home with a marine base antenna or a handheld- illegal.

Will you get caught, who knows. If you are though, you'll be fined very stiffly. Lots of folks do it and they don't get caught.

I am not trying to be hard on anyone here, what you do is between you and the FCC. The intent of my answers is to be informative, nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thank you Distant_Horizon, espeially for the info. on the handheld. that i've always wondered about. i do appreciate any and all the information i can get. if i ever come off as a wise a$$ it's not intended. as i said, i like this site alot... and i don't want to wear out my welcome.
 
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