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Old 28-09-2008, 06:15   #1
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Weather, SSB, satellite phone---which is best

We have lived aboard for only a few months. Too many times, we can't get weather from the internet, due to distance, security or being too far off shore. We have radar, but that is too tactical.

I have looked at SSB, weather fax and many options and they all seem to get to about $3,000. Before we spend that kind of money, what opinions are there about which is the best and most economical?
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Old 28-09-2008, 18:37   #2
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I'd get a wideband reciever; a good one costs $100. You can hook up a modem to your laptop and get weather fax for free. The next time I go offshore I'll get a sat phone for emergencies / urgent stuff.

There are more elaborate options, but the price (as you noted) goes up accordingly.
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Old 28-09-2008, 18:40   #3
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For years our only source of weather info in remote places was our Icom, Pactor modem, and laptop with appropriate software. Now there are many options all costing money.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:35   #4
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Has anyone heard about the systems from ocens and cruisenet where you can get unlimited access to the internet via your computer for about $60 per month. My concern is that there will either be no coverage in the leewards and windwards or there will be incremental roaming charges.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:47   #5
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There are repeaters in some of the islands that rebroadcast on VHF the US channel out of Puerto Rico as well as local weather. We use Max Sea and download 7 day forcasts by Globalstar sat phone by email. I have used this system for 4 years offshore and close to islands in the Caribbean and have found their forcasts as good as any subscription service. Their forcasts are macro but micro-local forcasts can be obtained on AM-FM or VHF. Global star service drop-outs have not been a problem and until they launch their new satellites, the monthly unlimited service is cheap. Many islands also offer WiFi service - free or subscription- so weather downloads can be obtained off the internet.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:07   #6
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I have been playing with a setup, and I must say again playing. I bought a HF radio off of e-bay for under $200 USD and downloaded a program called JVCom32 -+- JVComm32 FAX SSTV RTTY SYNOP NAVTEX program -+-

I have been able to view weather faxes on the NOAA frequencies.

My next move will be to upgrade my antenna set up.

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Old 05-10-2008, 10:15   #7
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Get a short wave radio for a hundred bucks and listen to Chris Parker and the other ham weather guys daily in the Caribe.
Here's a list of what you can get!
http://www.caribbeancompass.com/ssb_radio08.pdf
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:57   #8
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A great SW radio is the old Kenwood 450. Used one for years and If I buy another that will be it. Reliable and it was usually the best transmission in the harbor. This begs the question: If you are receiving only, is there a simpler antenna than the usual backstay etc? I found the ham nets and wx fax to be the most useful. If I remember right, I got the wx fax through HF pactor...
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Old 05-10-2008, 14:17   #9
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Cheech...a lot of receive only radios come with a small "roll up" antenna.


You can also use a good portable to receive weather fax by connecting the headphone jack to your PC mic jack and getting some weather fax software like this.
CombiTech - home of Mscan Meteo (weatherfax) and Mscan SSTV
You can download it for a free trial.
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