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Old 19-05-2010, 10:11   #16
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Actually a good powered external USB antenna I use is only US$170. See: ¤RadioLabs || WaveRV Marine - Wireless antenna
In fact I have two - one for me and one for the wife. You can Google to find web links to build-it-yourself seriously powerful 1 watt (1000mw) USB antennas (they use an additional power source beside the USB port) for about US$150 or US$200+ assembled.
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Old 19-05-2010, 11:39   #17
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John, I think you'll find many sailors and others in the "Greater NY metropolitan area" refer to the NOAA weather service as the "know-a-nothing man" because the forecasts are so often simply WRONG.

They tend to be overconservative, which might be a good thing for safety but if you called off a sail every time they called for small craft warnings, you'd probably find you'd lost half a season over nothing more than light overcasts.

I don't know why this is, and I do listen to NOAA, but I can tell you that the natives don't place bets on it. If you're familiar with the way wx moves in the NY area, and you look at the wx charts, you can put a fairly decent probability on the NOAA forecasts, i.e. "there are three systems coming together, NOAA can't guess the outcome" as opposed to "Here comes the Canadian front from Chicago, just like a freight train." But the broadcasts won't tell you that up front, they won't say "Well, really, an occluded front means we have no idea what's going to happen."

In other places where the wx systems are different, maybe they're more reliable. Like in Florida, when NOAA says thunderstorm warnings, they've usually actually got them on the map. Then again, two weeks ago I was in FL and heard heavy thunder outside, unexpected. Looked at the NOAA wx radar site--and there was nothing shown, nothing listed, but clear skies and zero precip.

The "know-a-nothing" man strikes again: Window 1, NOAA zero. Go figure.
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Old 19-05-2010, 14:17   #18
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
John, I think you'll find many sailors and others in the "Greater NY metropolitan area" refer to the NOAA weather service as the "know-a-nothing man" because the forecasts are so often simply WRONG.

They tend to be overconservative, which might be a good thing for safety but if you called off a sail every time they called for small craft warnings, you'd probably find you'd lost half a season over nothing more than light overcasts...
In Canada, a Small Craft Warning describes: Sustained wind speeds in the range of 20 to 33 knots inclusive, as defined by Atmospheric Environment Service, Environment Canada.

Meteorological Service of Canada defines these weather forecast phases as:
a) light winds : wind speeds less than 15 knots
b) moderate winds: wind speeds between 15 and 19 knots
c) strong winds/small craft warning: sustained wind speeds between 20 and 33 knots
d) gale warning: sustained winds speeds between 34 and 47 knots
e) storm warning: sustained wind speeds between 48 and 63 knots

In the USA, a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY describes: An advisory issued by coastal and Great Lakes Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) for areas included in the Coastal Waters Forecast or Nearshore Marine Forecast (NSH) products. Thresholds governing the issuance of small craft advisories are specific to geographic areas. A Small Craft Advisory may also be issued when sea or lake ice exists that could be hazardous to small boats. There is no precise definition of a small craft. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. Other considerations include the experience of the vessel operator, and the type, overall size, and sea worthiness of the vessel. There is no legal definition of "small craft". The Small Craft Advisory is an advisory in Coastal Waters and Nearshore forecasts for sustained winds, frequent gusts, or sea/wave conditions, exceeding defined thresholds specific to geographic areas. A Small Craft Advisory may also be issued when sea or lake ice exists that could be hazardous to small boats.

Eastern (ME..SC, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts ranging between 25 and 33 knots (except 20 to 25 knots, lower threshold area dependent, to 33 knots for harbors, bays, etc.) and/or seas or waves 5 to 7 feet and greater, area dependent.

Central (MN..OH) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet.

Southern (GA..TX and Caribbean) - Sustained winds of 20 to 33 knots, and/or forecast seas 7 feet or greater that are expected for more than 2 hours.

Western (WA..CA) - Sustained winds of 21 to 33 knots, potentially in combination with wave heights exceeding 10 feet (or wave steepness values exceeding local thresholds).

Alaska (AK) - Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 23 to 33 knots. A small craft advisory for rough seas may be issued for sea/wave conditions deemed locally significant, based on user needs, and should be no lower than 8 feet.

Hawaii (HI), Samoa - Sustained winds 25 knots or greater and seas 10 feet or greater.

Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands - Sustained winds 22 to 33 knots and/or combined seas of 10 feet or more.

“Frequent gusts”are typically long duration conditions (greater than 2 hours).
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Old 19-05-2010, 15:05   #19
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"In the USA, a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY describes:"
In simple terms (and for the what is it, 90% of recreational sailors who are on vessels under 32' OAL?) it describes a day when the drinks may spill, the hair may get messed, and lunch will have to be served below decks or postponed for a while.

Point being, the NOAA-man says you'll have a better time going to the movies or bowling, and he's often wrong about that. Damn few movies are as good as a bad day on the water.<VBG>
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Old 19-05-2010, 15:16   #20
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... Point being ...
Seemed more like a pointless rant, to me.
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Old 20-05-2010, 12:12   #21
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Pointless rant, as opposed to a diatribe on the varying definitions of "small craft"? You must havce had a hard day, here, have a beer on me.
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:35   #22
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bearware wifi booster

I just picked up one of these based on the reviews I'd read, and for $45 its amazing. The unit is made primarily for Macs, and I've been able to pick up wifi spots with decent signal strength a good 1/4 mile offshore.

More as I play with the thing.

BearExtender n3 - Mac USB Wifi Adapter - Home
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