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Old 06-06-2008, 15:48   #1
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weather fax

greatings all.. i have just bought my first yacht and am currently readying myself to cross the pacific(panama to Oz)i have an icom 707 ssb and have no idea how to recieve the weather fax's with a laptop.. please help me in the simplest trems with info on free(or payed) systems to download to my laptop for decoding. thx..
luke
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Old 06-06-2008, 17:24   #2
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Some weather-fax information:
Marine Radiofax charts
Marine SSB Weather broadcast times - Weather Fax and RTTY

And some “Good weather links” as provided by Talbot:
http://www.franksingleton.clara.net/...ial_sites.html - speaks for itself
Page Title free download of JVFAXhttp://www.hffax.de/html/hauptteil_wxsat.htm selection of different links to weather programmes and comments on them
GRIB Explorer..GRIB Weather Files Grib files
South Bound II VAX498 Herb's weather routing
Ocean Prediction Center These guys know something about the weather.
Dundee Satellite Receiving Station Weather satellite downloads (need to register)
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Old 06-06-2008, 18:55   #3
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You can come out of the sound jack on your Icom into the sound card (mic input) jack and an inexpensive software program can display the faxes for you.
Try this link: Weather Fax 2000 3 Different options to meet your budget
You can downoload a trial copy for free to see how you like it.
Gord's links above will give you time and frequencies to tune to.
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Old 06-06-2008, 19:35   #4
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The fixed low level audio output from your radio is on Pin 5 of the ACC1 socket at the back of the radio (but double check in the manual, it should be described as "AF Detector Output"). The "Ground" side is pin 2 (again double check in the manual).

Connect these with appropriate plugs and cable to your computer microphone input socket - this is easy to make up if adept at soldering else get someone who is to make one up (the ACC1 plug will be the hard one to solder). If your computer microphone socket takes a stereo plug then make the output from the radio to the tip connection on the plug. It is best to use a shielded cable.

I use a very old program called WXSat available at WXSat which is free for non commercial use - it is the only fully functional one that I know is free. It is a very competent program but is a little trickier to understand as it has much flexibility. Many use JVFax as mentioned by GordMay - as far as I know the only difference between the trial and full versions of that is a nag on the charts (maybe the printed only charts??) so is also a good choice (but I have not looked at the current version) and is probably easiest to start with.

Once cabled up and running, and tuned into a fax station, adjust the level into the computer's mic socket using the computer's mic volume control to the level the program help file describes - if using MSWindows, and depending on your soundcard you may need to select the "Microphone 20db Boost" option under the advanced tab of the mic volume control to get enough input.

If tempted to use WXSat, be aware that it does satellite weather pictures as well so for ssb so you have to select the "FM120" option under "Parameters" and set up the width you desire for the received chart - for that one needs to read carefully the section in the help file on setting the "y compression" to get the desired chart width in pixels.
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Old 11-06-2008, 22:19   #5
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I have a Furuno weatherfax on the boat. Have had it for years. It's a stand-alone unit and prints out at the times and stations I preselect. I find that I'd be too busy to adjust a computer connected to a SSB. This way, I can program the weatherfax in port when I can think and obtain the faxes at sea even when it's rough. In retrospect, it was well worth the investment.
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Old 12-06-2008, 13:22   #6
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Airmail has a weatherfax/GRIB viewer, free download, here:
Airmail weather fax
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Old 14-06-2008, 11:58   #7
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thanks guys.. heaps of helpful link and info.. have it sorted now...
all the best
luke
fair winds and smooth sailing
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Old 14-06-2008, 13:20   #8
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Luke,

I've used JVcomm for years .... they have their latest demo version which works just like the real thing (you just have to go thru a pop-up every time you use it) .... if you like the program you can buy a key which erases the pop-up. The program uses your radio and a simple audio cable that connects from the audio out on your radio to the audio in on your sound card. free download of the demo version is available at:

-+- JVComm32 FAX SSTV RTTY SYNOP NAVTEX program -+-

Good luck, Bill A.
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Old 11-07-2008, 23:50   #9
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Thoughts on Weather Fax

The most important thing about weather fax is not how to get it but what you do with the information it gives you. Bit useless having all those pretty squiggles on paper, or screen, if you haven't a clue how to understand what they mean for you down there on the water. Many boats back I had a stand alone fax unit that gave me wonderful images ( better than the new computer versions) But I had not a clue what it all was trying to tell me. Then years later as a tried and trained pilot I found a wealth of useable information in those little arrows and funny shaped lines. Moral is the machine can be working perfectly, but if you are not then you can be in it deep. Get the machine by all means they can be very helpful but also get the knowledge you will need to use the machine. Bye the way the Pactor modem has a great program for downloading faxes and also does your email!
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Old 18-07-2008, 15:14   #10
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"The most important thing about weather fax is not how to get it but what you do with the information it gives you."
Isn't that true for everything in life? I hear that Newton started thinking about gravity when an apple hit him on the head.
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