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Old 21-09-2015, 20:05   #1
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How do I....Simple language please

Hi fellow CF members, well its time to go forth from what has been mostly coastal trips to longer hall passages.

I have an old Barrett SB 250 (may be 20 years old) in good working order and I had the tuner replaced last year.

I am keen to be able to download weather faxes (I assume these are just pdfs?), and I would like to get email if possible -Both on my macbook air.

Firstly, what add-ons (I have heard the words pactor modem banded about) do I need and cables etc?

Secondly, how do I do the downloads and send/receive emails?...Is there some software or a web site I go to etc

i am not electronically minded,but I am sure it is pretty simple.

I would appreciate the help.
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Old 02-10-2015, 17:01   #2
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Re: How do I....Simple language please

Mendana,
Sorry I missed your post here....but with that title it didn't originally pique my interest...

Without knowing where you're planning on sailing/cruising, and exactly what you wish from the HF radio, I cannpt be precise....so, enjoy the generalities!!

First off the Barrett 250 was an okay radio back in its day (late 1980's), but has been out-dated now for the pat 20 years or so...

But, if you want to use it, so be it....let's see if we can help you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendana View Post
Hi fellow CF members, well its time to go forth from what has been mostly coastal trips to longer hall passages.

I have an old Barrett SB 250 (may be 20 years old) in good working order and I had the tuner replaced last year.

I am keen to be able to download weather faxes (I assume these are just pdfs?),
These are "received" and "de-modulated", into a usable form (on a computer screen or onto paper), but are not downloaded...
Here is the worldwide lists/schedules:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

Here is the AMSA info:
HF Marine Radio Services

HF Marine Radio Services

https://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-r...adio-services/

https://www.amsa.gov.au/search-and-r...hfdsc-network/


Here is a great sticky, where you'll find a wealth of HF Marine Radio ("SSB") info and reference materials..
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

And, here you'll find videos explaining all of this....and showing LIVE real world use of these systems, obtaining weather (receiving a Weather fax chart, etc.)

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

Maritime HF Communications
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

HF-DSC Communications
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX



and I would like to get email if possible
Usable e-mail, with decent data rate (2.4kb to 8kb), is available via Sailmail ($250 USD / year), using a PACTOR modem (~ $1200 - $1800 USD)


-Both on my macbook air.
Not a Mac guy, but there are programs that will work on Mac's....



Firstly, what add-ons (I have heard the words pactor modem banded about) do I need and cables etc?
A PACTOR modem is ONLY needed for e-mail, NOTHING else...
(and if you could tolerate slower data rates, and less reliability, and were a licensed ham operator, you could utilize WINMOR, and save the $$$ and not buy a PACTOR modem...)


Secondly, how do I do the downloads and send/receive emails?...Is there some software or a web site I go to etc
Everything you could ever want to know about e-mail via HF radio is on the Sailmail site....(you'll use Sailmail and "Airmail" software, and a PACTOR modem, to utilize e-mail worldwide..)
But, you may not "need" e-mail at sea at all....maybe you do, maybe you don't...


i am not electronically minded,but I am sure it is pretty simple.
"simple" is a relative word!!!
It isn't as simple as the guys selling the stuff will make you believe....but, 1000's of sailors do it, so it ain't rocket science!

I would appreciate the help.


I do hope this helps!!

fair winds...

John
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Old 02-10-2015, 17:13   #3
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Re: How do I....Simple language please

Since you have asked for some specific things, I would recommend an Iridium Go.

Yes SSB with Pactor would do what you want and has other benefits, but I think its price and complexity would disqualify it for you!

The Iridium Go requires nothing but a laptop, cell phone or tablet. It has a range of different plans (for different prices) and provides tracking services. I know at least 3 circumnavigators using it.

Google is your friend. Everything you wanted to know is out there!
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Old 02-10-2015, 17:24   #4
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Re: How do I....Simple language please

Mendana,

We have some friends who are using an old Barrett, don't know the model number. That particular one has been back and forth Australia a number of times for fixes. While it might not be the very best in the whole world, stick with it, here, and the radio experts will come out and offer some help. Lots of them prefer modern technology. The guy in your area who can most help you is probably a member of the local ham radio club.

The guys from the US base their advice on the prices and availability there. As you will be aware, it is different in Australia.

Ann
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Old 02-10-2015, 19:40   #5
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Re: How do I....Simple language please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendana View Post
........
I have an old Barrett SB 250 (may be 20 years old) in good working order and I had the tuner replaced last year.

I am keen to be able to download weather faxes (I assume these are just pdfs?), and I would like to get email if possible -Both on my macbook air.

Firstly, what add-ons (I have heard the words pactor modem banded about) do I need and cables etc?

Secondly, how do I do the downloads and send/receive emails?...Is there some software or a web site I go to etc....
First up I'm not familiar with the Barrett but it would appear that you can program in the Wefax and Sailmail frequencies.. so far so good.
However whether you can hook them up to a Pactor I know not. When funds become available I would be thinking of moving up a bit to -at least- a second hand IC-710 ...that would make life a bit simpler.

Moving right along Weather fax by HF using you macbook air is simple.
Idealy you can connect radio to computer by connecting and using 'line out' on the radio and 'sound in' on the mac. Failing that just put computer near the radio speaker... not perfect but will work.

Then download CocoaModem2 cocoaModem ... free ... and away you go... tune up a Charleville(VMC) frequency HF Marine Radio Services at the appropriate time.. run program...job done.
In Melbourne you will always be able to receive at least one of the VMC transmissions... but be aware that there are quiet periods between the end of one fax transmission and the start of the next. http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/radio-s...schedule.shtml

For Sailmail on your macbook you will need something like VMware Fusion Run Windows on a Mac: VMware FUsion Features | VMware Australia that can run Windows which in turn will let you run the Sailmail software SailMail

Given the cost of a pactor modem I would also be looking at a new radio once you get that far....


I just found this... interesting stuff at many levels.. Planning the 1st voyage | Berrimilla

Ping

Edited to add..... you will need to tune your radio 1.9 below the listed frequencies..ie 13918.1 on the dial to receive 13920.... just the way it is...
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