Pactor PTC-IIe Modem (Updated V. 4.0 Firmware)
Click here to see full photos and documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Pactor%...0Cables/Pactor
This Pactor Modem was upgraded in 2015 by Farallon Electronics, the US Distributor of Pactor modems. After a full checkout, it was upgraded to an equivalent of the Pactor III functionality via installation of the Version 4.0 firmware. It comes with the receipt of the full checkout performed at the same time.
It had regular offshore use when we were out of range of either WiFi or cellular connections.
For example, during our offshore passage from FL to Portland ME, I wrote my daily logs, and, through this modem, mailed them to my son for posting to my log distribution as well as social media. I also corresponded with several others individually, including the friend who’d sail out to meet us as we approached the Portland channel! (Once we got close we shifted to VHF radio contact!)
It also had regular use in fetching weather features: Gribs (visual indications of weather features in a given locale), NOAA reports, and communications with Marine Weather Center, our custom forecasting subscription with Chris Parker (mwxc.com), were daily events.
We used an Icom IC-M802 high freqency radio with this modem, so this package includes a 12’ Icom 9091 audio cable for signal processing using the Airmail program on that radio during emailing. Over the years I used Airmail, I became a Ham (Amateur Radio Operator) after I’d first used it over SSB, so I used both Sailmail (the SSB bands) and Winlink (the Ham bands) at various times. If you have some other radio, the appropriate cable is available from Farallon: Farallon Electronics 415-331-1924
If you happen to have a landside Ham Shack, it also comes with a 12VDC power converter (you plug it into an AC outlet). However, the usual use is aboard a boat, which usually will have 12VDC power; I’ve provided a new 12V connector and wire for that application.
As well, it speaks to the computer over a serial port. You COULD use a common DB-9 serial cord, but I used a USB-to-Serial (RS232) adapter. Just to be sure, in addition to that original adapter cable, I also include a new, unused, USB-Serial Adapter cable and its driver disk. That connection enables the automatic station changes using the itsHF programs for both Sailmail and Winlink. ItsHF includes tables of propagation (likely signal strength) from all the sources you might connect to, and the times and strengths of the signal available at those locations. Selecting a particular station would, through the Serial interface control cable, automatically shift the marine HF radio to the proper frequency.
As this was removed from the boat I don’t have in-use pictures in place. However, I did connect the AC power converter and show its power-on check lights, as well as its seeking light (if you’ve used one, you’d recognize it; if not, the light bar moves left and right until it sees the signal through the Serial port - when it’s transmitting or receiving, that bar flickers).
The complete manual for all applications of this modem is available for download here:
Sadly, I’m no longer cruising. Make this yours, for your boat, for only $375, shipped in the continental US. Or, pick it up in Vero Beach FL, or nearby, if you’re on a boat, for only $350.