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Old 02-07-2014, 06:17   #1
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Downloading GRIBS

So most of the boats I've raced offshore on have had a way of downloading GRIBs. Usually a very expensive setup too.
I'm looking for the most economical way of setting up my boat to download GRIB's at sea (IE NO WiFi/cell service) and it only has to be a one trip deal.

So, do I invest in a SSB and connect to my laptop? Or is there an easy way to rent a Sat Phone and connect to a laptop?
I suspect there is, I just don't know the technical details.
Or better yet, is it possible to just use a SSB Receiver and connect that to a laptop to download the NOAA broadcasts?
What say y'all?
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:26   #2
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Re: Downloading GRIBS

Sat phone to PC is easy and has become much less expensive in recent years.

SSB/PACTOR is spendy and more complex up front but little or no operational cost depending on service used.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:37   #3
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Re: Downloading GRIBS

SSB receiver and JVCOMM32 with 1/8" mono male to 1/8" stereo male cable is the cheapest way to get synoptic charts over weather fax, way better than gribs. See the SailNet thread on this subject.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:28   #4
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Re: Downloading GRIBS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
SSB receiver and JVCOMM32 with 1/8" mono male to 1/8" stereo male cable is the cheapest way to get synoptic charts over weather fax, way better than gribs. See the SailNet thread on this subject.
Hi

Care to explain this to a "dummy" like me? No pactor modem? Do you have a link to the Sailnet thread?

thanks
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:17   #5
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Re: Downloading GRIBS

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Hi

Care to explain this to a "dummy" like me? No pactor modem? Do you have a link to the Sailnet thread?

thanks

Weather fax (RADIO FAX) charts can be received without PACTOR, but simpler/less expensive software and hardware (in some cases just a PC) is needed. The USCG broadcasts NOAA forecast products multiple times daily.

For more info on Radio Fax products see http://weather.noaa.gov/fax/marine.shtml

There are a number of applications available to receive Radio Fax. I use Xaxero which uses an external demodulator to process the Radio FAX signal. These software/hardware configurations are limited in functionality just to receive Radio Fax so they are simpler/less expensive than PACTOR.

There is even a simple Android App now that seems to work pretty well, but I haven't tested it a lot yet.

PACTOR is a full function RF/DIGITAL modulator/demodulator (MODEM). It can be used to send/receive any type of data. Generalization and transmit capability make it more complex and thus more expensive.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:55   #6
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Re: Downloading GRIBS

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Care to explain this to a "dummy" like me? No pactor modem? Do you have a link to the Sailnet thread?
The current SailNet thread is here. The subject comes up fairly frequently.

You can use any shortwave radio with a beat frequency oscillator (BFO) for weather fax. If the radio can receive single sideband (SSB) it will work. Tuned correctly (see rfax.pdf with particular attention to paragraph 3 under "About this Publication") the received audio can be fed to the sound card of a laptop (thus the cable) where software can do all the demodulation and render the synoptic charts.

I particularly like JVCOMM32 but there are a number of free and commercial software packages that work.

The synoptic weather products beat the heck out of gribs.
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