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Old 01-09-2015, 02:10   #31
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

How do I get a station? I just want to hear one tonight. I have thousands of stations of fuzz. I can kind of, barely hear someone's voice on a couple, but nowhere near good enough to make out.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:23   #32
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

The weather fax plugin for opencpn which will decode from audio input and contains also all the transmitter schedules has several filters. I use with a $40 receiver (tecsun pl600) without an antenna with good results at night time anywhere in the pacific.

I am considering the possibility of using rtlsdr ($8 usb dongle) for weather fax, but it requires a modification to the circuit board to work at these frequencies or, an additional $20 upconverter.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:24   #33
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Are you in a decent location? Marinas can be very noisy...
Try AM first... a simple one to look for is the WWV time signals on5, 10, and 15 Mhz.
Set the local/dx switch to DX
Attach a long wire antenna or at the very least extend the whip.

Go here.. Short-Wave Frequency Schedule for BBC in ENGLISH at 08:24GMT

Drag the red dot from the Gulf of Benin to your location ( Beware, Beware, the Gulf of Benin! Few come out though many go in...' ).
Then select a band on the 'List everything on frequency now' line...
Look down the right hand side under 'remarks'...it shows the expected signal strength for you location there....

Good luck...
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:39   #34
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
The weather fax plugin for opencpn which will decode from audio input and contains also all the transmitter schedules has several filters. I use with a $40 receiver (tecsun pl600) without an antenna with good results at night time anywhere in the pacific.

I am considering the possibility of using rtlsdr ($8 usb dongle) for weather fax, but it requires a modification to the circuit board to work at these frequencies or, an additional $20 upconverter.
Wet noodles work as an ant in the middle of the ocean... simply the purest of places for radio reception.... on par with Campo del Pingo... arrived home today to find my long wire in a heap in the vege plot... the dog having chewed through the uphaul... bored and missing the boss I guess...anyway an hour ago turned on receiver... happily listening to dx broadcast stuff... only just dawned on me that I was using the WOG ( wire on ground) ant...
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:47   #35
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Hmm, so far whenever I go to that list of stations, I just get fuzz, I went to am, but don't have the option to get 5,10,15 MHz. Just skipping between say 216,225,234 kHz and below that it says step 9 kHz but I don't know how to change that. So no am or no ssb. I'm in my house now, it is kinof up in the hills above town but not too bad.

I have the 23 ft. Antenna plugged in and attached to my window like I'm supposed to and the telescopic antenna extended.

I'm missing something, I pictured this as more scrolling through fuzz, yes, but also cool exotic stations from around the world.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:49   #36
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Wait, I figured out how to switch to 10 kHz, now I'm getting am. Apparently it was setup at the factory for Europe which is 9.

Well, none of the maritime ssb weather frequencies work. That's dissapointing, I tried tuning through band 49 which they said was the best nighttime band and nothing, not even close to anything. Very dissapointing.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:09   #37
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

The maritime frequencies work for sure. You may be in a noisy location such as inside a building or near lots of noisy power lines. None of that is a problem at sea. Also, read carefully the frequency instructions supplied by the USCG. For US weather stations you tune to a frequency 1.9kHz below the frequency listed in the official schedule of frequencies. Tell us where you are listening and we can recommend 3-4 frequencies that should work.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:17   #38
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

northoceanbeach,
Please tell us WHERE you are located...what city or general area???
So, we can tell you what freq and time to listen..


You're best chance might be 8764khz (8.764mhz), for NMC (USCG Pt. Reyes, CA) at their scheduled times...(but, not knowing where you are at, means I cannot really answer you precisely)
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.htm

Also, are you in a marina?? or close to houses with plasma TV's?? Or close to commercial businesses???
Etc.?
So, we can tell if you're likely to have lots of noise (RFI)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
How do I get a station? I just want to hear one tonight. I have thousands of stations of fuzz. I can kind of, barely hear someone's voice on a couple, but nowhere near good enough to make out.
And, even more importantly to make the thing work, have you watched the video in post #13?? And, did you read the links to the detailed information in that post #13 as well???
Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

If you watch the video, you'll hear both WLO and USCG's synthesized voice weather broadcasts on various freqs....
Listen at 2:30 thru 5:00 minutes for WLO....and 5:58 thru 10:20 minutes for the USCG broadcasts...(especially 8:15 thru 10:20 minutes, for exactly what to listen for!)
And if you read over the links provided, you'll see not only what stations are available, but also links to other sites, etc...

If you would tell us where you are located, and watch the video / read the other threads referenced, we can get you going in no time at all...





And then....
Once we know your radio is working, you don't have too much noise, you know how to tune it to the correct frequency, etc....then, you can tune in the WeFax frequencies, connect your computer, and receive weather charts/images, etc...





Fair winds...

John

BTW, I'm also a big fan of NAVTEX, but a Furuno NX-300, etc. isn't cheap....and he was asking about "cheap"...
(but, if you have a laptop/tablet to connect to your radio, you can get NAVTEX broadcasts this way....it is cumbersome, but it does work...)
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Old 01-09-2015, 13:37   #39
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Ok, my boat is in San Francisco, but I am up in Oregon for the week visiting family.

I guess it is working because I did finally get one station working last night.

The house I am in now is about a mile south of town on a hill with other houses on acre lots. So not too crowded. But my cell phone never gets more than one or two bars up here. I'm staying in the room up stairs. I have a 23 ft. Antenna that the radio came with that plugs into it. I hooked that to my window like the manual said too.

I guess I expected to tune to the frequencies listed on the websites and they would sound fuzzy, and I would tune it better and then I could hear it. But the stations listed were just fuzz or noise. I have, and I don't know what to call it, but maybe a signal bar? Like on a cell phone, that tell how good of a signal I am getting, but even when it is high, it's just a different sounding fuzz. I'm excited to get this working but I don't understand it, how would a station not work? If they say the bbc is broadcast
I got on 5290 from 0700-0900 why do I tune to it and get nothing? Why do I get nothing from pretty much every station? I thought the world was broadcasting on these radios and it would be full of exotic signals in all sorts of languages.
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Old 01-09-2015, 13:56   #40
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

You are experiencing the reality of the short wave radio world. Just because it is broadcast at a particular time doesn't mean you can receive it. It depends a lot on atmospheric conditions - which vary through the day, week, month, and years. It also depends on the distance and direction to the broadcasting tower. And different frequency bands will be "open" or "closed" as a result. Basically the ionosphere needs to be energized to bounce the signals back down, throughout the path between transmitter and receiver.

It's been too long since I have done it, so I don't remember the bands that are open at what time of day. You might try the 9-10MHz frequencies in the evening after the sun goes down and just scroll through and listen for stations. When a band opens up there will be stations to hear. Good luck.

Greg
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:09   #41
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I'm excited to get this working but I don't understand it, how would a station not work? If they say the bbc is broadcast
I got on 5290 from 0700-0900 why do I tune to it and get nothing? Why do I get nothing from pretty much every station? I thought the world was broadcasting on these radios and it would be full of exotic signals in all sorts of languages.
A place with no cell service is probably a good place to listen for shortwave.

Shortwave radio is broadcast from many countries with specific locations as the intended audience. Not too many broadcasts target the United States for the simple reason that not many people in the US listen. For example, the BBC broadcasts (BBC World Service - Radio Frequency Guide) do not even target North America at all. Most shortwave broadcasts are directed toward countries for political, religious or humanitarian reasons. For example, there is a shortwave religious station in Alaska (Schedule) that you might try to catch since you are not that far away. One thing you notice about shortwave schedules is they usually give times in UTC and you have to convert to your local time.

One reliable broadcast that is designed to cover the US is WWV in Colorado. They broadcast in AM mode on 5000, 10000 and 15000 kilohertz. Depending on the time of day (or night) one of these will usually work. This points out another thing about shortwave radio. The time of day affects where the signal can be heard. So that's why shortwave broadcasts change frequency throughout the day or operate on more than one frequency like WWV. So you have to know what frequency will be best received at your location at a particular time. It isn't the case that you can just tune any time you want on any frequency and get a signal.

You can try to listen to either Pt. Reyes or Kodiak Alaska. Look in the schedule of broadcasts here (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/rfax.pdf) for the time and frequencies (don't forget to subtract 2kHz from the frequency listed). Then for single sideband you have to adjust the fine tune to hear voice clearly. When fax pictures are being transmitted all you hear is a warbling "noise" because it is just 2 different tones broadcast for black and white dots.

But these stations do broadcast at certain times in voice. The schedule is here: USCG HF Voice

Times are in GMT (aka Zulu) so once again you have to convert to local time. For your location I would try Pt. Reyes first or possibly Kodiak but they only have one frequency and time per day. Notice that Pt. Reyes transmits on 3 different frequencies at the same time. That is because the signal reaches a different distance for each frequency. So they try to cover the maximum possible area with 3 frequencies. You can try all 3 frequencies to see which one works best for your location and time. During daylight hours try the highest frequency first. At night try the lowest frequency first.
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:14   #42
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

One further point: Shortwave radio is not FM or CD quality. It is noisy a lot of the time and the signal will fade often. This is the nature of the beast. But there is no other way to send radio signals that can be received with cheap receivers for thousands of miles without a satellite. There is considerably less noise at sea than on land which helps a lot.
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:28   #43
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

A couple of points.... changing it from 9kHz to 10 kHz is for the Medium Wave section...up to about 1600 kHz.... your local AM stations.
Above that, within the broadcast band, the tuning step should be fixed on 5kHz.
In SSB the step is 1kHz.

Try with AM MW first to make sure your radio is working....
Then try broadcast SW... the manual that came with the radio gives very good advice in that area.
Then when happy with all of that try SSB.
Don't expect all this to happen in one day...

Softly softly, catchy monkey.....
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Old 01-09-2015, 14:34   #44
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

When you do start trying the SSB bit that site mentioned by Transmitter Dan USCG HF Voice would be a good resource.... remember to tune 1.9 below the listed frequency.... on your radio that most likely means tuning 2.0 below and then using the fine tuning to come back up the 0.1.
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:59   #45
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Re: Cheapest weather information for out of vhf range?

Okay, now that we know where you are, and what you're trying to receive, we can point you to success....or at least something!
Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Ok, my boat is in San Francisco, but I am up in Oregon for the week visiting family.

I guess it is working because I did finally get one station working last night.
As others have written, SW broadcasting just isn't what it used to be...
1- VERY FEW stations target N. America...(and except for some religious SW stations that you can receive in the US, by accident, SW broadcasters in the US are prohibited from broadcasting to the US, they must direct their signal outside the US....for this you can thank the radio industry / NAB, etc. David Sarnoff, etc...)

2- Analog voice SW broadcasting is dwindling...

3- SW broadcasting in general is VERY expensive....


Now, as for what you CAN receive, and how-to do it...
Use what I wrote earlier, to start with...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
You're best chance might be 8764khz (8.764mhz), for NMC (USCG Pt. Reyes, CA) at their scheduled times...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.htm
Depending on where in Oregon, and depending on the vagaries of the ionosphere, try the late afternoon / 2230z broadcast on 8764khz...(also try the 1630z broadcast, on 8764...)
And, also try 4426khz at 0430z and 1030z....(and also try 8764 at these times as well..)

You will need to use the SSB switch and use the fine tuning...
And...
Please have a look at the video...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
If you watch the video, you'll hear both WLO and USCG's synthesized voice weather broadcasts on various freqs....
....Listen at 5:58 thru 10:20 minutes into the video, for the USCG broadcasts...(especially 8:15 thru 10:20 minutes, for exactly what to listen for!)

Once you hear what to listen for on the video, and know what times and freqs to tune to, the rest is just practice and mother nature!


BTW, don't worry about antenna length, or orientation....it matters not!!
But, getting the antenna in the clear and getting away from offending radio noise (RFI) is key...
(I have other videos about noise, etc...but start with the one above first!)


fair winds..

John
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