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Old 19-06-2013, 12:25   #1
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HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

Just wanted to share my successful results connecting the BlackCat Systems HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app to my SEA 235 marine/SSB radio and downloading a fax weather chart! This was a fax broadcast from Pt. Reyes CA, 8680.1.

The HF Weather Fax app claims it can use the built-in microphone to receive the fax broadcast. I found this to be a problem with having to position the iPhone/iPad near the speaker and background noise. Each time I tried, the image was blury.

Depending on the radio, there are different options for connecting the audio to the iPhone/iPad. The SEA 235 radio has a DB9 serial interface port, with a 1 volt RMS audio output. This is great for connecting to modems; however, the iPhone/iPad microphone input is in milivolts. An attenuation cable needs to be used to drop the audio voltage to microphone voltage. I used the KVConnections cable, which worked very well.

The app automatically saves the images, so it can be left running unattended. This is useful, so you don't have to supervise the download(s).

As you can see the image is pretty clear. The app supports rotating the image a few degrees, which I should do. I found that while the engine is running, there's additional background noise, which I still need to figure out how to filter this noise from the radio reception.

Anyway, I think this is a great way to receive the various weather fax broadcasts without using a Pactor modem and laptop! The app is $2.99, the cable runs around $30.00, and I did have to make up a DB9 to 3.5mm cable.

Enjoy!
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Old 19-06-2013, 12:50   #2
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

I had surprisingly good results with a nexus 7 across Biscay recently also. Just sitting next to a degen. 1103. An easy low power method of getting weather offshore.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:37   #3
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
Just wanted to share my successful results connecting the BlackCat Systems HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app to my SEA 235 marine/SSB radio and downloading a fax weather chart! This was a fax broadcast from Pt. Reyes CA, 8680.1.

The HF Weather Fax app claims it can use the built-in microphone to receive the fax broadcast. I found this to be a problem with having to position the iPhone/iPad near the speaker and background noise. Each time I tried, the image was blury.

Depending on the radio, there are different options for connecting the audio to the iPhone/iPad. The SEA 235 radio has a DB9 serial interface port, with a 1 volt RMS audio output. This is great for connecting to modems; however, the iPhone/iPad microphone input is in milivolts. An attenuation cable needs to be used to drop the audio voltage to microphone voltage. I used the KVConnections cable, which worked very well.

The app automatically saves the images, so it can be left running unattended. This is useful, so you don't have to supervise the download(s).

As you can see the image is pretty clear. The app supports rotating the image a few degrees, which I should do. I found that while the engine is running, there's additional background noise, which I still need to figure out how to filter this noise from the radio reception.

Anyway, I think this is a great way to receive the various weather fax broadcasts without using a Pactor modem and laptop! The app is $2.99, the cable runs around $30.00, and I did have to make up a DB9 to 3.5mm cable.

Enjoy!
Hey Don,
I have a SEA 322, do you know if I need the same cable as you? I am about to fly back to the boat (it in the Tuamotus) so I have no way of checking if there is an audio output on my 322. I am assuming you last sentence should read you "*didn't* have to make up a DB9 to 3.5mm cable."
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:05   #4
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

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Originally Posted by mrybas View Post
Hey Don,
I have a SEA 322, do you know if I need the same cable as you? I am about to fly back to the boat (it in the Tuamotus) so I have no way of checking if there is an audio output on my 322. I am assuming you last sentence should read you "*didn't* have to make up a DB9 to 3.5mm cable."
Here are a couple of pictures I found of the 322 on the internet. I don't know if there is an rca type output on the back of the box with the microphone??? Will I need to connect to the pin terminals on the transceiver?
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:45   #5
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

It looks like you have the audio output on the left most interface block, labeled 'P4', which gives you RX (receive), TX (transmit), GND (ground) and PTT (push-to-talk). I think you need an audio output connection between RX and GND.

I would do a couple things - do you have the operators manual? If so, there should be a description of the P4 interface block. You need to confirm that this is used for connecting to a modem and RX is audio out. The SEA-235 had internal switches controlling whether the output is via DB9 or P1 block. To quote,

Quote:
"When the switches are in the ON position, the DB-9
connector is configured as a RS232 based SEABUSS interface and is
compatible with the GLOBELINK E -Mail system."
If you don't have the manual, the SEA support people are real helpful. Their website is SEA Marine Communications International - American Technology that talks to the World.

If this is audio out (for connecting to a modem), you'll need to connect a some sort of attenuated mic input cable to your iPhone/iPad. I have the above mentioned KV-Connections cable and it seems to work fine. They might have a cable with male mini plug for iPhone/iPad and wires that you can connect to RX and GND. If not, you'll need a female connector. There are other cables and instsructions on making your own cable on the internet.

Enjoy - this is a fun app! I hope this helps,
Don
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:53   #6
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Agreed, I've been using the app for a couple years and it works great. The patch cord is def the way to go.
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:48   #7
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

I have this app as well but we have always used the HF radio with the pactor modem to pull weather faxes. We are Running an icom802. Looking at the cables supplied as a link not sure how this would work for the 802. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-01-2014, 20:53   #8
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All you need is a cable from the audio out(head phones) on your 802 that will then plug into the mini jack on your mobile device. I use this adapter: Click image for larger version

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It's available at best buy/radioshack etc...
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:38   #9
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

I get excellent images using the same program with my ipad and kaito 1103. Noise is not so much of an issue so long as it is constant like wind, waves, or motor noise... Random noise like loud vhf transmissions make it hard to read.

I really like the new update (new as of a year ago anyway) that helps you tune the channel. Great app!
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:48   #10
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

Thanks "The_Alpine" for the pic and suggestion.

You mentioned needing one cable yet your pic shows two cables.

From what I gather I will need 2 cables. The attenuation cable and a second cable to go from that to the Ipad. Is that correct?

Regards
Chuck
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:11   #11
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Chuck - think of that irig piece as an adapter. You could also make a cable, but it requires some fancy soldering.

For reference:
http://www.blackcatsystems.com/ipad/...x_App_FAQ.html
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Old 21-01-2014, 20:54   #12
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

Alpine,

Seems pretty cool! Do you have a part# for the "IRIG"

Cheers,
Will
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Old 21-01-2014, 21:37   #13
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

I bought this to attach to my iPhone or iPad to the phone out amy short wave radio. It works great.

Amazon.com: IK Multimedia AmpliTube iRig Adapter for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad: MP3 Players & Accessories
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:39   #14
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

the_Alpine the I-Rig works great. Thank you for the information.

Fair Winds
K5NCO es S/V Rhapsody
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Old 09-12-2014, 15:52   #15
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Re: HF Weather Fax iPhone/iPad app

Finally got back to the states for a short stint. Whew I am ready to head back to the boat first day here haha

Question.... I received the iRig in the post and need to purchase an additional cable to go from the Icom 802 headphone jack to the iRig device. One end of the iRig plugs into the ipad and I need a cable with 1/4" plug on one end to fit into the iRig and 1/8" plug on the other end.

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-CMP...1%2F8+to+1%2F4

Many cables that are available are mono to stereo. Will the above cable work for the weather fax?

Thanks

Chuck


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