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Old 06-05-2016, 13:41   #1
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Portable HF radio for weather reports

Hi,

Could someone make a good recommendation for a portable HF radio to receive Chris Parker forecasts on a delivery from St. Maarten to Miami/FtLaud?

Something with built in antennae?

Thanks,
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Old 06-05-2016, 14:41   #2
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

Tecsun 680/880, Sangean 909, or Sony 7600GR. The Sangean 909 or 909X are excellent but need at the very least the little bit of longwire that they come with.... deaf on HF without it.

Lookee ( and) hear ..
Mega Review: the Tecsun PL-880, PL-660, Sangean ATS-909X, and Sony ICF-SW7600GR go head-to-head | The SWLing Post
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Old 18-05-2016, 01:29   #3
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

Piece of wire hoisted up the halyard makes a TON of difference for my Tecsun, too. Can't get legible weatherFAX without it.
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Old 18-05-2016, 07:40   #4
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

I use the Sony every morning for the last two months. Works very well except in marinas, or with motors running, or other sources of interference. Has direct tuning instead of a knob, but as the only thing i listen to is Chris Parker, I don't change channels anyway. There is a fine tune dial that works well. The wire roll-out antenna does not improve reception. A friend has a large Ssb whip and full transceiver, and we've listen to them side by side and reception is similar.
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Old 18-05-2016, 08:46   #5
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

I have a PL-600 at home and can't get weatherfax reception, even with the supplied wire antenna. Trying 518kHz from Stockholm, which is about 200 NM from here. Not sure if a proper long wire would make a difference, or what the problem is?

Edit: sorry for slight off-topic, maybe it's relevant to the OP . Love the PL-600 for the price otherwise, but don't understand why I can't get Navtex ( I suspect operator error).
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Old 18-05-2016, 10:19   #6
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

If you can hear the transmission strong and clear, but your software doesn't, then you may be tuning to the exact frequency specified in the schedule, rather than ~2 (1.6, iirc) kHz below that. Look up SSB and "upper sideband" if you want to understand the rationale.

Your WeatherFAX software should have a spectrum indicator to help you tune it right. Put the fine tuning dial on the middle position, dial in a frequency 2 kHz below what you read, slooooowly move the fine tuning dial up until the spectrum thingie looks right.

The other thing that I had to deal with figuring WeatherFAX out was gain structure. Tecsun's line output is actually for headphones, which means it's too loud for a line input. On my laptop, I have to put both Tecsun's volume and mic/line input gain fairly close to zero, or else there is distortion.
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Old 18-05-2016, 17:01   #7
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Re: Portable HF radio for weather reports

I don't mess with weather fax. Mostly listen to Chris for his commentary and forecast. Realize he is covering four large region s - abacus, north exumas, Georgetown, and then southern Bahamas. Also get 72 hour - in six hour increments - forecast of wind and waves from ocens service thru the delorme inreach. This is for whatever lat and long we request. Finally, use windyty app as recommended by active captain. Still testing that one. Between the three, seem to have it covered. Weather is a big deal here. That said, we have spent the day stuck at chub cay waiting for rain and lightening to clear out. Tomorrow planning first leg of two day run to Bimini. Spend the night anchored on the banks. Not enough wind forecast to sail there in a day.
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