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Old 17-03-2012, 13:53   #1
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Decode Wefax

I have a program that will decode weather fax (all wefax from most all sorces us and foreign) directly from my SSB or (for satellite) a UHF rig and am confused about what a pactor 3 will provide.
I can also get GRIB files via email.
Can anyone explain what pactor would give one?
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Old 17-03-2012, 14:21   #2
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Re: decode wefax

What are you using to get your grib files?

The Pactor modem has a well-performing wfax demodulator, as well as demods for many digital modes that are used for weather and safety broadcasts. You can do this with software (as you have done), but the Pactor modem does integrate pretty seamlessly with many SSB rigs, and works very well. For SSB email, Pactor III provides a faster connection than most (any?) software modems. The difference in speed between Pactor III and the older, slower formats is pretty significant.
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Old 17-03-2012, 14:24   #3
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Re: decode wefax

Pactor is usually used for linking with land based stations for email. Usually limited to short messages with text. Attachments are possible but because it's over the radio it can be time consuming.
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Old 17-03-2012, 17:36   #4
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Re: decode wefax

Thanks all, I get the picture. I guess I'll just have to stick with SSB and the computer. Those pactors are pricey and you all know about boats and money!
tnx all... oh yes... Paul, I use the net now as I am in port but am trying to figure out what to do during passage when a person really needs that GRIB info. I am putting up a bullit for a little longer distance reception, but one can't depend on that can one?
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Old 17-03-2012, 17:53   #5
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Re: decode wefax

Misty, if cost is the issue, you can certainly get along without the GRIB files. GRIBs are great, but WFAX gives you the forecasts out to 96 hours (wind, pressure, waves, fronts, etc). When you are well out of sight of land, your communications choices are marine SSB, ham radio, and satphone. WiFi and cellphone aren't going to do it.
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Old 17-03-2012, 18:15   #6
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Re: decode wefax

Right Paul, That was my thinking. I do like to have the wind on the first 3 or 4 layers (their are 64 layers total) and for me the 2-10 up to the 50 foot level. those are something that I like to have. Chris Parker to figure that stuff out. I just want to be my own back-up if for some reason communications are out. I like to have a back-up for everything that is safety oriented... like paper charts. Thanks Paul
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Old 17-03-2012, 19:20   #7
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Re: decode wefax

Ive never used a pactor unit or gibb files, or any other electronic system for weather, but have used both ham and ssb for weather forcasts for years, never had a problem yet! and besides the weather stations, there are a lot of local weather sites on ssb that can give ya good insite to the weather conditions where ya are at!! always have been able to dodge bad weather or at least be ready for it !! Just my 2 cents from a low budget cruiser with a bunch of miles un der the keel
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Old 17-03-2012, 19:34   #8
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Re: decode wefax

Hey Bobconnie, looks like we are neighbors. I didn't know about ham forcasts. Thanks... If you could PM me with some freq.s That would help cause I to am a budget cruiser. I am looking to make it to Cartagena via the leewards and hang for awhile.
So again thanks
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Old 17-03-2012, 23:16   #9
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Re: decode wefax

Hello Misty, I am in roughly same maturity level as you. Have SSB and Satellite eqpt and WX fax software, but need a Freq guide to the WX stations. Noted that NOAA no longer provides a guide on this for the Caribbean on their website. I am in Tortola, heading to Grenadines and then to Panama. Would appreciate anyone reading this thread to provide location for listing WX FAX stations.
Thanks,
Ben
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Old 18-03-2012, 03:48   #10
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Re: decode wefax

Here's a good link for the the Caribbean broadcasts..

http://www.caribbeancompass.com/radio2005.pdf

I found Eric's net to be particularly good.
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Old 18-03-2012, 04:01   #11
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Re: decode wefax

Try this for frequencies.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

Last updated Feb 10, 2012
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Old 18-03-2012, 15:17   #12
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Re: Decode Wefax

Hello Dan_78 and Hud3,

Thank you for your kind replies. Will give these both a shot. A friend I have who lives on Little Cayman Island recommends and is active on Maritime Mobile Service, 14300, noon to 9pm for general communications.

Smooth sailing,

Ben
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