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Old 30-05-2015, 10:52   #16
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Looks like the next broadcast from Greece is at 8:45am tomorrow. I'll give it a try.
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Old 30-05-2015, 11:04   #17
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I've been using the iPad app "pocket gribs" and Nobeltec for the iPad and the expensive (but excellent) PC version for three years; that's why I haven't looked into the Weatherfax until today. I guess it's kind of like messing with an antique.
If you really want Navtex weather, there is an inexpensive iPad app for this where you just sit your iPad next to your HF radio tuned to the Navtex station and it downloads. Or you can connect your radio to the iPad with a patch cord into the mic input.

It is made by Black Cat Systems, but I don't remember the name of the app.

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Old 30-05-2015, 11:09   #18
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If you really want Navtex weather, there is an inexpensive iPad app for this where you just sit your iPad next to your HF radio tuned to the Navtex station and it downloads. Or you can connect your radio to the iPad with a patch cord into the mic input.

It is made by Black Cat Systems, but I don't remember the name of the app.

Mark

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Old 30-05-2015, 11:12   #19
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
If you really want Navtex weather, there is an inexpensive iPad app for this where you just sit your iPad next to your HF radio tuned to the Navtex station and it downloads. Or you can connect your radio to the iPad with a patch cord into the mic input.

It is made by Black Cat Systems, but I don't remember the name of the app.

Mark
Thanks Mark,

I already have the iPad app, and will check its function tomorrow at the same time. Too many toys.

I keep looking at my weather data via pocket gribs, accuweather via the Internet, and the projected forecast looks like sunny warm days for the next two weeks. My neighbor here in the shipyard keeps telling me "it's going to rain tomorrow" nearly every day.... It never does. I wonder where she's getting here information? Maybe she has her location set to Germany instead of Sardinia?

Ken
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Old 30-05-2015, 15:27   #20
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Just a note - these wefax machines often don't work very well in marina's or crowded anchorages because of all the surrounding RF noise - you get shitty or no picture. They always worked better out at sea. But they have really become pretty obsolete, generally replaced by gribs.
Is there a way to get grib files by SSB?
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:03   #21
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
How does it work? Does it burn the image onto the paper? I'm not being a smartass... I really don't know. Can I still buy the paper?
I have and use a FAX-207. I by thermal paper from STAPLES: 8-1/2" wide, 1/2" core. The roll is a bit too thick and I have to tear of a couple revolutions to make it fit.

Staples® Thermal Fax Paper, 98' roll x 1/2" core | Staples®
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:08   #22
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

I don't think Gribs have rendered Wefax obsolete.... fax are the 'professionally-generated charts ' refered to below in the warnings laid out by Sailmail.

There are still plenty of fax products available covering most if not all of the planet. Just check that NOAA list that Nigel posted to see whats available.

The beauty of fax is that you can receive them on a sub $100 radio and decode with a free or at least very cheap computer program.

"Notes & WARNINGS:

This grib file is extracted from a computer forecast model. While such computer data can provide useful guidance for general wind flow, there are limitations which must be understood. What you are receiving is a weather prediction generated by a computer run by NOAA/NCEP (GFS, WW3 models) or the US Navy (comaps, nogaps) and downloaded and processed by Saildocs (a service of Sailmail). The network is complex, and any computer network is subject to hardware and software failures or human error which can effect accuracy or availability of data. In particular, if our servers were not able to download a current data file then the grib-file may be based on old data. The file information is shown above and also contained in the file itself.
Also remember that grib data is not reviewed by forecasters before being made available. You are getting a small part of the raw model data that the forecasters themselves use when writing a forecast, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the data is consistent with your local conditions and with the professionally-generated forecasts (e.g. text bulletins and weather-fax charts).
Grib data also has limitations along shore, where local effects often dominate and may not be adequately modeled. In addition these models cannot provide adequate prediction for tropical systems, frontal activity or convergence zones. For example, while global models can provide useful data on the likely track of hurricanes, they grossly underestimate the strength of hurricanes because of their small size compared to the model grid. For hurricane/cyclone forecasts, carefully monitor the appropriate warning messages and do not rely on grib data from any source.
That all said, grib data can provide useful guidance not available elsewhere. Understand the limitations and use the data carefully. Grib data should be considered supplemental to other forecasts, and not be relied upon in lieu of professionally-generated charts or forecasts. "
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:11   #23
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Weather fax is not obsolete, in fact it is the preferred way to get weather information at sea without using costly satellite phones. Without a dedicated weatherfax machine, one can simply plug a shortwave receiver into your computer and decode it with a program such as Seatty or Jvcomm. Grib files are nice, but be aware that grib files are the direct output of a computer model such as GFS or SHIPS, whereas a weatherfax is a forecast prepared by a meteorologist using information from ship reports, satellite imagery and other sources as well as the output from the computer models.
For wfax in the Mediterranean, try the German weather service http://www.dwd.de/bvbw/generator/DWD...fax_022013.pdf
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:19   #24
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

One of the more interesting fax products out there is the Kyodo News Service ( listed on that NOAA pdf ) which puts out 'newspapers' - designed for the fishing fleets- in both japanese and english.
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:53   #25
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Is there a way to get grib files by SSB?
Not at that basic level... to the best of my knowledge.

A pactor modem between radio and computer is the normal way..... maybe it can be done with Winmor... dunno about that.
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Old 30-05-2015, 16:56   #26
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Looks like the next broadcast from Greece is at 8:45am tomorrow. I'll give it a try.
In the meantime try spinning the dial on your HF.. you should be able to get either the UK or Germany...maybe the charts aren't much use to you but you will be able to test your stuff.
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Old 30-05-2015, 22:33   #27
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Is there a way to get grib files by SSB?
Unfortunately you can't get gribs using an SSB receiver, you need to be able to transmit as well to do that.
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Old 30-05-2015, 22:46   #28
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
Is there a way to get grib files by SSB?
If you have a ham ticket and a transceiver that can transmit on the ham bands ( ie most SSBs after modification) then the answer is yes.... using winmor.. and you don't need a pactor modem.

from a FAQ pdf....

'Q11070 What is a “WINMOR TNC”?
A11070 WINMOR TNC is a Windows "helper application" that creates a virtual WINMOR HF MODEM (TNC) using a standard PC sound card. It is intended to be used by developers who create complete end user Client or Server host applications. Examples of such programs are RMS Express (Radio client) and RMS WINMOR (Radio Server).
The WINMOR TNC software license is provided in the help files of the downloaded program, and is not in the public domain. Please see these files for details.
All the latest versions of the files for the WINMOR TNC helper application are available for free download from the Winlink FTP site.
The “WINMOR TNC” seamlessly installs as part of the RMS Express software.
........
Q11210 Can I use WINMOR with the AirMail software?
A11210 Yes.
Rob Fisher (WA7RF), with an October 29, 2010 update by John Wiseman (G8BPQ), has written instructions regarding how to accomplish this task:
http://www.felge.us/AirmailWINMOR.pdf'
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:02   #29
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Ken,
I'm going to give you some direct answers here, and while some will have a little opinion in them (only a little, and all based on personal/recent experience), most of this is fact...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Currently getting to know some of the stuff on my boat that I've owned for over three years.

I have an Icom SSB radio and this gadget on the other side if the wall, a Furuno Weatherfax FAX-207. Can someone please tell me if this is normally hooked up directly to my SSB radio? I have two rolls of fax paper onboard, but I'm sure the ribbon or ink is dried up. Can I still obtain printing supplies for this Weatherfax, or is it now considered obsolete?

I'd like to learn how to use it if someone out there has some patience and is willing to teach me.
1) First off WeFax is NOT obsolete, not at all!
In actual fact, as of a 2012 survey (by the IMO/WMO JCOMM) a majority of commercial vessels at sea use HF WeFax daily....(I posted links to this survey here before, have a look)





2) Secondly, if you have decent internet access (which it seems that you do), you can get the closest thing to a tutor/teacher by watching some videos...reading some recent threads....

Have a look here....
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


And, here...
Printer
(about WeFax receivers / printers)

SSB & WeatherFax Shared Antenna


And, of course some answers to your earlier query here...
SSB and Weatherfax Help in the Med.




3) Next, the Furuno FAX-207 is an older model WeFax receiver, but as long as it is working it is still a very useable and effective receiver....certainly not an antique, just a "classic"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I've been using the iPad app "pocket gribs" and Nobeltec for the iPad and the expensive (but excellent) PC version for three years; that's why I haven't looked into the Weatherfax until today. I guess it's kind of like messing with an antique.
Although replaced by the FAX-408, your FAX-207 isn't "obsolete"...
And, I buy my paper directly from Furuno....a 6-pack will last you a long time...






4) As you learned from the manual, this is a standalone MF/HF receiver designed for dedicated WeFax (and NAVTEX) reception, and does not actually connect to your HF-SSB radio (although it CAN be used as just a Wefax decoder/printer with an external receiver, but this is VERY rare)....and I listed the stations and frequencies in my answer to you in the other thread...
SSB and Weatherfax Help in the Med.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I now know what this is and have downloaded and read the first dozen pages of the owners manual. Does anyone know of a Weatherfax channel here in the Mediterranean near Italy that I can tune into, in order to see if this Weatherfax works?
GYA from the UK, and DDK from Germany are your best stations (not sure how reliable the Greek station is)...

As I wrote last week:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Ken,
Andrea gave you the link to the definitive listing of worldwide WeFax transmissions....
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/rfax.pdf

1) Depending on exact time of day, I'd try DDK3 on 7880 and DDK6 on 13882.5 (and late at night maybe 3855)....and try GYA on 8040 and 11086.5 (I get GYA here in S. Florida > 4500 miles away, so I know it works here...)

Always try the higher frequencies first...




5) Please read what I wrote here last week....it will save you a lot of time and hassles...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
BTW, as I wrote above.....always try the higher freqs first....and watch the videos that show / explain this clearly...


And, FYI....the 2 biggest issues most cruisers have with HF radio ("SSB" or WeFax) are:
a) limited understanding of how HF radio works / radiowave propagation..
b) too much radio noise / interference on-board (or nearby, such as in marinas and yacht clubs).....this is know as RFI (Radio Frequency Interference)..


{ switching off / removing power from many devices/systems on-board can be an eye-opening experience when using an HF radio...}
Although Evans wrote a similar post right here...understand that WeFax transmissions are typically very strong (assuming you understand radiowave propagation, and choose the correct station/frequency), and I have no problem receiving WeFax charts in port, at anchor, or at the dock!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Just a note - these wefax machines often don't work very well in marina's or crowded anchorages because of all the surrounding RF noise - you get shitty or no picture. They always worked better out at sea.
Understand this applies to all HF radio communications, but WeFax transmissions are usually very strong (from transmitters with 1000, 4000, 10,000 watts output....versus the typical 100 - 150 watts of WINLINK/Sailmail, and other boats, etc.)...













6) As Andrea posted less than an hour after your query, this is the current, up-to-date listing of WeFax stations, frequencies, and schedules...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/rfax.pdf

And, if you read the Furuno manual, as well as read over the threads I referenced above, and watch the videos, you'll quickly see what your FAX-207 is, how it works, how best to use it, etc., as well as how HF communications works, etc...

Not sure where else you're planning on sailing....but you will find the US NWS/NOAA WeFax transmissions (from USCG) to be very good for the N. Atlantic, Caribbean, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, or Tropical Pacific....the US NWS/NOAA provides (via USCG transmitters) very detailed weather charts / satellite images....including upper air charts, as well as forecasts out to 96 - 120 hours....

Also, for the eastern Atlantic, North Sea, Med, etc. the UK and German Met offices (via GYA and DDK) as well as Greece (via SVJ), transmit charts for these areas...

And, for the S. Atlantic, rest of the Pacific, Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, the Arctic, etc...there are Aus, NZ, Chile, S.
Africa, Brazil, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Canada, Russia, etc.


Click here for detailed schedules and more info...(depending on where you are sailing, print out the detailed schedules of some of the stations...)
Marine Radiofax charts
NWS Radiofax


For example the Boston and New Orleans stations are the ones that I use for Atlantic crossings, etc...
Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links
New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links





I do hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:37   #30
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Re: Furuno Weatherfax Obsolete?

Edit:
I made a slight error...as the 7mhz and 13mhz DDK transmitters are 20,000 watts!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
WeFax transmissions are usually very strong (from transmitters with 1000, 4000, 10,000 watts output....versus the typical 100 - 150 watts of WINLINK/Sailmail, and other boats, etc.)...

Fair winds...

John
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