OK, here is the sequence of events:
- 2013 installed a new ICOM M802 SSB radio complete with SCS Pactor Modem. This included a GANS split lead antenna and a KISS ground plane.
- Try as I might, the operation of the radio was very poor.
- Fast forward to 2017 and finally we decided to get some advice from ICOM. They recommended a person (e-mail us for the contact info). He recommends replacing the split lead antenna with a real isolated backstay, and then once that was done, give him a call.
Paul from Ocean Rigging Up the Mast
Removing the Backstay
Adding the Isolators After Cutting the Stays
- After the stay was done, I called my ICOM contact again and we set a time to do the grounding.
Installing 100' of Continuous 3" Copper Foil
the Hull with 3M 4200
- So now we have the radio and grounding done (it took 2 weeks to do the foil). Reception improved dramatically. Now to get the whole system running:
Installing Airmail and Configuring
- We tried RMS Express, but it was so complicated and the documentation so difficult, we abandoned that and went with Airmail for HAM use through Winlink.org
- After 3 weeks of playing with this to no avail and the participation of tow very knowledgeable people, we find that the simple inclusion of one item of information was the piece that stymied everything!!!
- We set up the radio and Airmail configuration. It is under the Setup Wizard under Tools in the menu. If you leave it there you will NEVER CONNECT.
- Now the little piece of info: go to TOOLS>OPTIONS... There you will see a window for your call sign and below the PASSWORD. Without this password, nothing works. This password is the one you use for your Winlink account access when you enter that online. When we entered that, it connected right away and we were no sending e-mail via pactor modem.
Once we had this operational, we requested a GRIB file and downloaded it (keep the area you are requesting small and in the vicinity of your boat - no rests for the entire Pacific Basin - or you will regret it!!!). Weather faxes work well, and of course we can send e-mail.
Many Thanks to: