Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-10-2012, 20:25   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Berlin/Denver
Boat: 36' Bruce Roberts Ketch
Posts: 53
Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Hi all. PLEASE forgive this question, but I couldn't find an answer through search.

Aside from all arguments about cutting costs, I understand one can receive weatherfax information with an ssb receiver (saving me thousands on buying a full ssb). What I don't get is this: crossing oceans w/out a sat phone or the like, my understanding was that if one can receive weatherfax info into one's laptop one can still get the (arguable) information one needs. But with these cheap ssb receivers I am seeing for a hundred bucks or so I don't see how they hook to your laptop, and consequently, how that magical weatherfax info shows up on my laptop...

Very confused, electronics confound me Thank you for any help or links (willing to read if it's already been said before).
__________________

__________________
Work to live, not live to work.
sentientcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 20:32   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Berlin/Denver
Boat: 36' Bruce Roberts Ketch
Posts: 53
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

with jvcomm, if that makes any difference.
__________________

__________________
Work to live, not live to work.
sentientcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 20:35   #3
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,256
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

You have to have the ability to tune into the USB (Upper Side Band) mode. The inexpensive portable units are problematic because many can't tune in small (10mz) steps necessary. Kinda like trying to thread a needle with inch-thick rope.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 20:50   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 10,964
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Ok, now that the wise guys have answered, here's the real story. You tune in the wefax signal on the receiver which produces a strange sorta warbly audio tone. You take a signal from the headphone jack of the rx and input it into the microphone input in your computer. You have resident there a program, of which JVcomm32 is an example, and this software converts the warbly tone into the picture on the screen, one line at a time. Takes about 10 minutes to download a complete MSL chart.

Getting the exact right frequency is important, so that less expensive receivers may not have fine enough tuning steps (10 Hz, not 10 Mhz, Bash) to get it spot on.

Does that fill you in ok?

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II Back afloat, stooging around Moreton Bay for a while
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 20:53   #5
Registered User
 
drruss's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Boat: Tayana 48
Posts: 17
Nice answer Jim.
__________________
drruss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 21:13   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Berlin/Denver
Boat: 36' Bruce Roberts Ketch
Posts: 53
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Great, thanks so much for the responses. I'll do a search for preferred AIS Receivers to hopefully find one with the tuning specificity you mention.

Much appreciated!
__________________
Work to live, not live to work.
sentientcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 21:31   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 10,964
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Quote:
Originally Posted by sentientcj View Post
Great, thanks so much for the responses. I'll do a search for preferred AIS Receivers to hopefully find one with the tuning specificity you mention.

Much appreciated!
Whhooops... don't think that you really mean AIS, do you?

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II Back afloat, stooging around Moreton Bay for a while
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 21:38   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Berlin/Denver
Boat: 36' Bruce Roberts Ketch
Posts: 53
SSB rec, not AIS. Trying to figure these two things out is burning a hole in my brain.
__________________
Work to live, not live to work.
sentientcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 21:47   #9
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 3,783
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

It took me a while to get the weather fax working but it does work. The receiver has to be SSB. If you are listening for NOAA weather fax this is a link to their information:

Marine Radiofax charts

Other governments have similar schedules posted on line.

One thing I learned that I wish I had been told. The software uses your computer's sound card to digitize the warbly tones. The sound card is not precise in how many times per second it samples the warbly tones. But the weather fax software needs to know this to a fairly high precision. Read the instructions that the software provides on how to manually adjust for the sample rate variation. My computer just made a picture of random dots until I fiddled with the sample rate parameter in the wefax software. After getting that to work I have very clear weather fax displayed on the computer.

Dan
__________________
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 21:49   #10
Registered User
 
Dsanduril's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oakland
Boat: Cross 40
Posts: 1,404
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

I've had reasonably good luck playing around with a Tecsun PL660.

Amazon.com: TECSUN PL660 Portable Radio FM/LW/MW/SW/SSB/AIRBAND PLL World Band Synthesized Receiver, LCD Display, Dual Conversion: Electronics

Or try Ebay for a used Ham radio. Just because it can transmit doesn't mean you have to. If you have room (the cheap ones are usually kinda big) you can get a good SSB receiver that way.
__________________
Dsanduril is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-10-2012, 23:48   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably and anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 3,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by sentientcj
Great, thanks so much for the responses. I'll do a search for preferred AIS Receivers to hopefully find one with the tuning specificity you mention.

Much appreciated!
Search eBay for a degen 1103. Works fine receiving wfax, great little radio. Then download jvcom (free) and you're off. I had no problem receiving wfax from Caribbean to UK with that setup into a laptop.
__________________
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2012, 01:34   #12
Registered User
 
Ozbullwinkle's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Caringbah, Sydney, Australia
Boat: Farr 44 Ocean Racer - Pit crew & backup helm.
Posts: 593
Images: 16
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

I'm not trying to create thread drift but just throwing another option into the mix for your consideration.

Instead of buying a SSB receiver which will be useless to you in an emergency have you looked at the Iridium Extreme Satphone which not only gives you worldwide communication ability through the Iridium network but it also gives you the added very valuable feature of yacht tracking to enable those on shore like family and friends to keep track of your progress and current position. If you also add the Accesspoint accessory this will give you WiFi access to onboard equipment like laptops & iPads etc so that you will have full internet access for weather reports etc.

We have just purchased one of these satphones after looking at all of the options in the marketplace. If we had not also required long range communication functionality for a forthcoming Pacific crossing we would have gone for the Delorme inReach which is very impressive and cost effective but this only gives you yacht tracking with SMS ability and a SOS function.
__________________
Ozbullwinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2012, 02:13   #13
Registered User
 
Ozbullwinkle's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Caringbah, Sydney, Australia
Boat: Farr 44 Ocean Racer - Pit crew & backup helm.
Posts: 593
Images: 16
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Further to my post above I meant to post the link so here it is:-

Home - Iridium Extreme
__________________
Ozbullwinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2012, 03:47   #14
Registered User
 
aboutgone's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Marathon, Boot key harbor
Boat: CSY 44 w/o hull# 158 S/V Leighward
Posts: 252
Re: Awfully Stupid Question re SSB Reciever/WeatherFax

Weatherfax - Make Your Own | YachtPals.com
__________________
Never start vast projects with half vast ideas
aboutgone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-10-2012, 05:33   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Berlin/Denver
Boat: 36' Bruce Roberts Ketch
Posts: 53
Thank you Dan, that will be extremely helpful once I have all these pieces in place. So if different gov'ts issue these, who's do I look to say mid-Pacific/Atlantic/Indian Ocean or does each gov't tend to issue a world map of weather instead of just local?

Ds I'll take a look at both those options. Have plenty of room, but since now just the mentioning of "ham" has scared me off. Will have to do some research!
__________________

__________________
Work to live, not live to work.
sentientcj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ssb

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.