Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Dist

John MacDougall
John MacDougall
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Hello to all,

After spending many an hour banging away at the keyboard, trying to help fellow sailors with radio and electronics issues, it dawned on me that while there are people you can hire to install these systems (and a small number of those may actually know what they are doing), people you can hire to repair these systems (mostly just parts-changers, though), and of course no shortage of people who will sell you even more "stuff" / systems to put on-board....
But unless you 're like me (a "radio nut" and electronics professional), you probably haven 't been trained in "how-to-use" these systems, and certainly many fellow sailors/cruisers/voyagers are not well versed enough in these matters to make optimal use of them...

(I hear/read people complain quite often, that this thing or the other "just doesn 't work right" and "I should 've saved my money", etc....and unfortunately for many of them, the only problem is lack of user knowledge/expertise to make the bloody stuff work right!!!)

So, I spent a couple hours, over a couple days, recording some videos of something that I 'm not only very well educated and informed about, but also very experienced with....that is HF Radio Communications, and specifically here, maritime HF comms....and even more precisely the use, operation, programming, etc. of the Icom M-802 Marine HF-SSB-DSC Transceiver, for Voice and DSC communication...

These videos, along with some SSCA Discussion Board threads, should allow anyone to understand how to properly install and use the Icom M-802...

And further reading of specific SSCA disc board threads will show many early M-802 's suffered from the dreaded "clipping issue" (but since both of my M-802 's have been back to Icom for the "clipping mod", I do not have any live examples of this in my videos...:)


For the amount of Icom M-802 radios out there, it 's surprising that there aren 't more "how-to" videos out there....although now there are mine...:)

Check out my Youtube Channel...

Or, click on the topics that interest you...

1) I started with just the basics....on, off, volume, channel knob, group knob, channel keypad, etc...as well as the front panel display features and an overall look at the radio...


2) Then, great detail on the keypad, other buttons / controls, and details on all of the display features...as well as other radio features, RF Gain, NB, headphones, etc...



3) Details of the "VFO Mode", and the "RX/Clar" and "Freq/Ch" buttons....
(VERY important for ham radio users, as well as those desiring to program their radio for easier use / better effectiveness...)


4) Great detail explaining how to choose the correct channel / frequency for the distance you need to communicate, and variations with time-of-day, etc...(including layperson-friendly explanations)
Using real LIVE broadcasts from the USCG and public coast station WLO, and offshore or hi-seas weather forecasts....



5) Live, real-world examples and explanations of atmospheric radio noise...and other radio signals that many will find useful, including weather chart broadcasts (WeFax charts), ham radio communications, etc....


6) Live demonstration of Ship-to-Shore telephone calls....real, live phone call from my boat....and live video showing WLO Radio 's broadcasts....


7) Live demonstration of M-802 User Channels, ITU Channels, User Channel Programming, etc....


8 ) DSC-Distress Signaling, LIVE Demonstration of DSC-Distress Calling ("digital MayDay"), and a real-world explanation of the facts that no vessels are required to maintain an HF "voice" radio watch (since 1999) but all SOLAS vessels ARE required to maintain a MF/HF DSC Radio Watch....
DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Functions.....showing a LIVE demonstration (and differences) of "simple" (single-freq) Distress Call vs. "regular" (six-freq) Distress Call, MMSI#, GPS input, etc.


9) Some Live examples of RFI / Noise that can effect your HF communications...especially man-made noise from shore, while at the dock or anchored close to shore...


10) Description of the GMDSS Voice communications channels (aka "Safety" Channels) and the EXTREME importance of using DSC-Distress signaling....and the proper use of the Voice Safety Channels of 8.291.0; 4.125.0; 12.290.0; 6.215.0; 16.420.0......(note that NOBODY is using/monitoring 2182!!!)


These videos are NOT sophisticated productions!!
It was just myself and an old analog video camera......then loaded the video into my laptop, and then uploaded to Youtube....(no graphics, fades, effects, etc....just my narration, and the front of the radio...)
I used NO script, nor outline, just my own narration on the fly, speaking extemporaneously ...right off the top of my head!!
But, I think you 'll find them to be VERY useful / helpful!!!

Please enjoy!!

Fair winds.

John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110

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HI john
Funny but I did find you on youtube before on here but I / we have a problem and although your post was about using the HF ours is problems created onboard from the RFI can you help have you had likewise problems please see below our post for help!!

We have an Icom MC-802 HF radio fitted with AT140 in the boot we are using the backstay for an areal, we have been updating all our navigation equipment prior to setting off on our adventure but have been having big problems with the Raymarine AIS650 transponder we think the problem is with RFI but wonder if anyone has has similar problems and what they did to solve them.
Thanks in advance
Derek and Carolyn

Hylas 49 Manketti 2HJT4
John MacDougall
John MacDougall
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Derek and Carolyn,
I have some good news for you, and some questions...

1) I have added / improved the videos, and created some playlists that allow you to both watch the videos in logical order, but also allow you to find the exact info you may need!

Please have a look at these:

Maritime HF Communications ("HF-SSB")

HF-DSC Communications

Offshore Weather

Offshore Sailing

Icom M-802 Instruction Videos (the above videos, in order)

2) Secondly, if you have specific marine electronics / communications questions, you can ask here but with the sporadic viewing of the OCC forums, you 'll likely wait months before getting answers...
So, I highly recommend trying the SSCA Disc Boards or even Cruiser 's Forum...and asking your specific questions there...



3) Third, I 'm not clear what your problem is...
I understand that you have a Raymarine AIS650, but not sure what it isn 't doing???
Or is this AIS650 causing RFI to your HF radio (M-802)??
Or, is the M-802 causing problems to your AIS650???

I know of one Dutch sailor who had continual issues with his AIS650 (requiring two replacements)....and have also read of others (2nd hand info) that have had issues with this model...

Further, you didn 't mention where/how your M-802 is wired/connected??
If you do not have the M-802 's 12vdc power connection directly from your house bank, but have it powered thru your breaker panel or bus bar with other systems, this can be a BIG problem with RFI....

Nor have you mentioned what you are using for an RF Ground / Antenna Ground (sometimes called a "Counterpoise")??
ONLY connect this to the AT-140, NOT to the M-802!!! (despite what the M-802 manual shows, connecting the RF ground strap to the M-802, can be a cause of on-board transmit RFI troubles!!)
The best RF ground you can get on a fiberglass boat is the sea water / a wide copper strap connecting to the sea water, via a grounding plate or bronze thru-hull, etc...

And, where/how is your AIS650 connected??

Have you considered the Vesper AIS Watchmate products?? (although I have s full suite of modern Raymarine electronics, I chose Vesper for AIS, as in the regard to AIS, nothing is better, more versatile, more reliable as Vesper...)

4) If you can be more specific on what your exact issue/problem is, and give me details of how everything is wired/connected, I think I 'll be able to help...

I hope the above helps....but please get back to me with clarification of what your problem is, and answer the above questions, and I 'll be able to help more...

Fair winds.


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