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Old 29-04-2010, 12:33   #1
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If Data Connection Is Necessary, What's Best ?

I realize that bits and pieces of the following questions are addressed in other threads, but I can't seem to piece together anything cohesive. So, my apologies for a thread that may be somewhat redundant, but...

What's really necessary in terms of weather info on an extended passage (e.g. Mex to Marquesas)?

I'm looking at SSB/Pactor vs. sat phone vs. Skymate at the moment. Questions are:

1. Am I missing anything? Any other technology you guys might recommend?

2. How dumb would it be to skip the data connection and just listen to the audio weather broadcasts on SSB? How strenuously would a data connection be recommended on a passage like that?

3. Of these technologies (or others perhaps others that may be subsequently mentioned), which would you chose and why?

I like the idea that with a Pactor modem and a HAM license, I can skip the fees. On the other hand, my eyes glaze over just a bit when people start talking about propagation, ionospheric conditions, etc., and just plugging a USB into a sat phone sounds pretty sweet. Skymate seems to be a nice package, but I've heard complaints about the service...

I don't care about email (though I s'pose it'd be nice), but I feel like GRIB files or other weather data is pretty important if we're going to be at sea for a month.

Would love to hear what works or doesn't for each of you.
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:28   #2
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Hi-Seas and Offshore Weather data / forecasts (specifically for Pacific Ocean)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
I can't seem to piece together anything cohesive. So, my apologies for a thread that may be somewhat redundant, but...

What's really necessary in terms of weather info on an extended passage (e.g. Mex to Marquesas)?
I'm looking at SSB/Pactor vs. sat phone vs. Skymate at the moment.

Would love to hear what works or doesn't for each of you.
kb,
A) I'm going to try to write some "cohesive" thoughts for you...

B) And, more importantly I'm going to point you to the "Gold Standard" of Offshore and Hi-Seas Marine Weather Data and Forecasts, the NWS / NOAA Marine Forecasts Home Page.....
National Weather Service Marine Forecasts

A passage from Mexico to the Marquesas isn't uncommon, nor exotic, and the highly accurate "Gold Standard" NWS/NOAA Marine Forecasts would be the choice of everyone I know.....(most effective)
While my personal offshore sailing / ocean crossings are the North Atlantic (as well as Caribbean, Bahamas, etc.), I feel confident that those heading from Mexico to Marquesas would find the NWS/NOAA weather data and forecasts to be the highest quality and most effective.....

These forecasts are broadcast by the USCG (voice, text, and wefax), multiple times each day, from multiple stations, on multiple frequencies.....
And, is in effect FREE!!!! (paid for by our tas dollars!!!)


C) As for what's really necessary????
In fact, mariners have been sailing across oceans for hundreds of years without any weather data, except for their barometers and their own eyes.....
So, in truth, that's all that's really "necessary".....
But, if you wish my opinion on what's "prudent" to have.....that's probably going to be an answer more to your liking....

So, what weather data is "prudent" to have (in excess of an accurate barometer and your own eyes/ears to guage both the wind and sea state as well as reading the clouds).....
a) at the least an HF (shortwave) radio to receive USCG HF Voice Weather Broadcasts from NMC, NMO, and NRV......
b) or, an HF-SSB Marine radio (transceiver) which would allow receiving the above (with better reception quality), as well as provide two-way long range communications.....
c) and, if you wish visual/graphic weather data and forecasts (weather charts and satellite photography), which I personally find VERY useful, then having either a separate dedicated WeFax unit (as I have) or simply connect a laptop computer to your radio's "headsphone" or "speaker" output, and free software (JVComm) which allows the computer's sound card to decode all the weather charts / satellite photography for free from the USCG wefax broadcasts, as well as decoding all the "text" forecasts for free, from the USCG SITOR broadcasts.....

d) Doing all of the above will get you the highest quality voice, text, and wefax weather data and forecasts available for the areas you're interested in......
It is a very reliable way of getting weather data / forecasts.....and unless you have INMARSAT (or Iridium Open Port) internet access at sea, it is still considered the most reliable means of getting weather data / forecasts at sea.....as well as the US NWS/NOAA (and the UK Met Office, and the French Hydro/Met Office), still being regarded as the "Gold Standard" of maritime weather!!!
And, not only is it broadcast for FREE, you probably already have all the equipment need, so you'll not need to spend too much more on this.....


Here are some photos of my Nav Station, showing the equipment that I use..... Nav Station
{For weather on the Hi-Seas / across the Atlantic / etc. I use my Icom M-802 as my primary for HF Voice.....and my Furuno FAX-408 is for WeFax.....I also have a back-up M-802 as well as a portable HF receiver.....but, hey I'm kind of a "nut"..... }


D) Please understand that "GRIB's" are computer-generated models and are NOT human-derived forecasts.... they are the "raw" data and "raw" models, that have NO human interaction at all....
That's not to say that they are "bad", but just a reminder that GRIB's require two things of you.....a) "faith" in computer models and b) be your own forecaster to a much greater extent.....
And, while history shows that if you do your own comparisons between different models, using GRIB's can give you accurate forecasts out a few days, it also shows the wide variations and lack of accuracy past 3 - 4 days......



E) Some specifics for you....
The USCG broadcasts offshore and hi-seas weather data and forecasts covering most of the Pacific Ocean.....(for the areas you mention, you'll have coveage out to 160* East and down to 25* South...see coverage details here.... U.S. High Seas Marine Text Forecasts by Area )

Voice Broadcasts from NMC (Pt. Reyes, CA), NMO (Honolulu), and NRV (Guam).... USCG HF Voice
And, you'd simply listen at the broadcast time(s) and pick the frrquency with the strongest signal.....(no radio propagation charts to master, but after a few days of listening in port before you leave, you'll get to know what frequency from which station works best at different times of day for you.....)

WeFax Broadcasts from NMC (Pt. Reyes, CA), and KVM70 (Honolulu).....
NWS Radiofax
http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/hfreyes.txt
http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/hfhi.txt
Text Broadcasts from NMC (Pt. Reyes, CA), NMO (Honolulu), and NRV (Guam).....
USCG HF SITOR
(For WeFax Charts and Text Weather, you'd connect your laptop to your radio, and using free software, you've got the weather charts and text forecasts...)

There is NO need for a PACTOR modem......these broadcasts are NOT PACTOR transmissions....they are WeFax and SITOR (text), and can be easily decoded with any laptop sound card and free software.....
And, since these transmitters produce an average of 4000 watts of power (about 15 to 16 db more than your typical Sailmail or Winlink station) and designed for reception by ships at sea, you can usually hear them quite well....
Even if you do get some occasional static, it only causes a brief and slight loss of contrast to the weather chart....no big deal at all....

And even though PACTOR II and PACTOR III error correction can make weather charts sent to you via Sailmail / Winlink (via saildocs) error-free.....the relatively low-power of those sailmal / winlink stations, means that you "need" this error correction just to get the charts....and sometimes will find connecting to a sailmail / winlink, will take time.... (propagation issues, waiting for others to clear the frequency, etc.)



Also, please take note of Public Coast Stations KLB (Seattle, WA) and WLO (Mobile, AL), operated by Shipcom.... ShipCom LLC :: Marine HF Radiotelephone and HF Single SideBand Email
(and for their freqs HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels )
They also transmit voice weather broadcasts for the Pacific.....and can provide fairly cheap radiotelephone calls ($0.99 / minute to anywhere in USA/Canada), for you while at sea.....and have excellent operators and handle traffic and traffic lists very well......(and they also have data comms, both SITOR/PACTOR I and PACTOR II, and provide unlimited data comms / e-mail, AND 30 minutes of telephone calls each month for $30/month....)
Oh, and Rene and his people are really nice guys!!!!
(I've been a customer of theirs for years, and have always been happy!!!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by KB79 View Post
1. Am I missing anything? Any other technology you guys might recommend?
See above.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by KB79 View Post
2. How dumb would it be to skip the data connection and just listen to the audio weather broadcasts on SSB? How strenuously would a data connection be recommended on a passage like that?
Quite honestly, in my opinion, it's NOT dumb at all!!!

Since once you are a day or two offshore (200+ miles), you're simply going to sail with the weather that you have, you're not likely to be able to outrun any bad weather, the best that you can do is head in the direction that has the "best weather" for your passage.....and make your own decisions based on your VMG on your current course AND what you'd expect your VMG will be in the next few days / week when following the best weather forecasts you have.....

If you have a few weather charts in you hand (or on your laptop screen), they will give you a fairly easy understanding of the weather.....and they are still considered the best way to do route planning and determine your course to your destination when at sea on long passages.....and I do use them.....
BUT, they are NOT mandatory....and using just the USCG voice broadcasts will get you there.....

However, the "Hi-Seas" Voice weather forecasts (for areas past 250 miles offshore, out across the oceans), broadcast by the USCG cover very large areas and, while accurate, this means that there can be differences in these forecasts versus what you experience in some small region within these large areas......

So, while decidiing to go with only the Voice broadcasts isn't really "dumb", I'd recommend at least rigging some way for getting some reception of WeFax Charts......
a) using your laptop, with JVComm software, connected to your HF radio....it's cheap to hook-up....just a few feet of shielded wire, such as audio cable....and JVComm is free....so, I can't think of a reason not to do it...
b) buying a used (or new) standalone WeFax unit......

kb79, it is VERY hard to answer these questions specifically and in great detail, since I have no knowledge of how you're boat is equipped, nor where else you're planning on sailing......but, I'm doing the best I can....

Using some assumptions.....if you already own a laptop (or netbook), you're probably going to take it with you...and if you don't own one now, I suspect you will be buying one to take cruising with you.....




Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
3. Of these technologies (or others perhaps others that may be subsequently mentioned), which would you chose and why?
See above.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
I like the idea that with a Pactor modem and a HAM license, I can skip the fees. On the other hand, my eyes glaze over just a bit when people start talking about propagation, ionospheric conditions, etc., and just plugging a USB into a sat phone sounds pretty sweet. Skymate seems to be a nice package, but I've heard complaints about the service...?
See above for a good deal of info.....and as you see there is NO need for a PACTOR modem.....

But, I think you're making a mistake not getting your ham license.....
Nowadays it's just a couple of written tests, that you can take in an hour or two (after a few weeks of studying).....
Get your ham license, you'll find it invaluable!!!!
(And this has NOTHING to do with Winlink.....)

Now, specifically regarding sat comms.....wow, that's an entire post in itself....

Seriously, there's no need for a PACTOR modem....and if you've equipped to receive both voice and wefax HF transmissions, there's no need for sat comms at all....
{please take note that I've made my living (25+ years) owning/opearting my own satellite communications firm.....so, I'mNOT even close to being "anti-satellite"......to the contrary, I love satelliet comms....but for most sailors / cruisers / voyagers it's simply not necessary....}

But, if you should decide on getting sat comms, I recommend Iridium......but, I don't think they're needed at all.....(I sail across the Atlantic without any sat comms....my first crossing was in the pre-GPS days 30+ years ago.....and my latest crossings were in 2007.....and still I don't have any satellite comms.....just not needed....)


As for Skymate....it is a good system for what it does..... you just need to understand what it does, and understand its limitations.....
I won't bash Skymate, since it does work.....
But, if you do decide you want sat comms, go with Iridium....


Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
I don't care about email (though I s'pose it'd be nice), but I feel like GRIB files or other weather data is pretty important if we're going to be at sea for a month.?
See above for details....
But, in general, yes having some weather data when offshore for a month or so is recommended......although I don't use, nor recommend, GRIB's as your primary weather data.....there simply are much better / more accurate, more reliable, and cheaper weather data and forecasts....(again, see above for details...)



I do hope this answered your questions pretty well...if not, please give more info as to how your boat is equipped and what your exact plans are, when asking more questions....

John
s/v Annie Laurie


P.S.
And, there are a few threads that might also be of help to you....
HF SSB Radio Frequencies for South Pacific, SE Asia and Australia

SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - shortwave marine weather forecasts in english?
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Old 29-04-2010, 20:40   #3
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Hi John,

Great reply and a lot of very useful and specific information. Cleared up a lot of questions I had myself.

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Old 29-04-2010, 23:23   #4
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What's really necessary in terms of weather info on an extended passage (e.g. Mex to Marquesas)?
Trade wind areas in the correct season are pretty fine.
In that area we just listen to HF reciever to Hawaii, but that weather is so short and generalised that its pretty useless.
The rest of the world there are very few stations.
Between 20 north and 20 south do you need weather reports?

We have sat phone for emergencies and SMS and we are looking at Skymate. I wouldnt buy HF transceiver and pactor due to cost/hassle and such few people using it and its not viable in emergency imho. But in a perfect world whith lots of money we would have everything

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Old 30-04-2010, 00:05   #5
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Hi Mark,
I've been watching your progress with interest. Enjoyed your website, and great photography!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
We have sat phone for emergencies and SMS and we are looking at Skymate.
I know sat phone has a pricey rate/min ... is there an anual subscription too?
Is SMS also costly on sat phone, and do you just pay for sending, or for receiving SMS too?

Vic
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Old 30-04-2010, 02:16   #6
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Hi Mark,
I've been watching your progress with interest. Enjoyed your website, and great photography!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I know sat phone has a pricey rate/min ... is there an anual subscription too?
Is SMS also costly on sat phone, and do you just pay for sending, or for receiving SMS too?

Vic
Vic,

The Satellite Phone was given to us as a pressie by a CF member I can tell you there hasn't been a better present on this boat
Its locked to Thuraya which does Aisa, Africa and the Med.

The SIM card from the agent in Singapore was about $70 (I don't remember exactly) and that may have included some credit.
Top up credit is by visa card. Its prepaid, topups valid for 1 year (NOT just a month)

SMS is 50 cents but the shore person can SMS the phone for free via the website. This we havent found very reliable. Some SMS from the website seem to get lost.

We don't have the data cable for it.

The Voice call rate is high: about $4 per minute. The only voice calls we have made were once emergency call less than 4 mins and it was about $16. But for important calls the cost isn't high. I know the old Mum needs a phone call on her birthday She needs to be able to ask if I have cleen undies on!

I can't find the cost per call information on the Thuraya website. Doesn't that suck when companies hide the vital information. Cheats!

See if you can find it. http://www.thuraya.com/

Anyway they are available somewhere
BTW Be very careful because one sat phone is MUCH more expensive.. one of the irridiums? Inmarsat? anyway one is about $10 per min.


Skymate does not do the Gulf of Aden so we couldnt go with them. But may look at them for the Caribbean and Americas. One of their good things is a twice daily position report for free. But there is no voice communications. http://skymate.com/user_groups/recreational_boating.html


If buying you need the Skymate 200 not the cheaper 100. The 200 has the internal GPS and thats needed... damn, I've forgotten why... ah yes and email froom their boss:
  1. <LI style="COLOR: blue; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2" class=MsoNormal>You can use your boat’s GPS if it is coming directly into Skymate via the Auxiliary port. Splitters have been problematic and unsuccessful. We also supply the Skymate 200 that provides it’s own GPS
  2. Skymate Service Plans are monthly. There is no fee for changing.
So you can get a cheap monthly plan and move it up a grade if you need to.

I like the instant voice coms of a sat phone in any weather, any time, no propagation problems.

The best would be to have both A sat phone thats prepaid but never used, and Skymate sat email, weather etc.


The one thing that sat phone and sat email doesn't include is the HF radio nets that some cruisers use. We love being at sea and prefer not to use those nets We find the ocean a wonderful safe, relaxing place to be and gives us plenty of time just the 2 of us for those that love those nets HF is the only way to access them.


I hope this helps

Mark
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Old 30-04-2010, 07:56   #7
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Just to really briefly summarize ka4wja's post, all you really need for weather reports and weather faxes is a $90 radio like one of these...


...almost any sort of computer manufactured since the end of the 486 era, some free software (as mentioned, JVComm is very good), and an $8 patch cable like this one...


Put it all together and--VOILA!--you're receiving weather faxes and broadcasts just as good as the guys with tens of thousands of dollars invested in electronics.

(By the way, the radio is available from www.universal-radio.com, the patch cord is from Radio Shack, and you can find JVComm at www.jvcomm.de)
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Old 30-04-2010, 10:24   #8
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Don-
Most laptops (at least in the US) no longer come with a "Line Input" socket, they have "Mic In" only. So, in order to plug in the speaker output from the weather radio you'll also need a "USB sound card" or other external sound adapter that has the Line Input socket on it. (Yes, if you turn the volume down real low, you can often get away with running into a mic input---or, suffer lots of distortion and then blow out the computer's audio circuits. Not worth the risk when a USB sound adapter is $10-50.)

FWIW.
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Old 30-04-2010, 10:58   #9
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i'm continually humbled by (not to mention thankful for) the care and effort that's taken by this community when responding to these posts.

thanks guys. john in particular - that's basically all the information i've been looking for in one place
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Old 30-04-2010, 12:48   #10
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Hi-Seas and Offshore Weather data / forecasts

kb79,
You're very welcome....

1) I only wish you'd have shared details on how your boat is presently equipped and what further plans you may have, that way I could have been a bit more specific in recommendations......

2) And, as MarkJ paralleled my eariler comments
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
the "Hi-Seas" Voice weather forecasts (for areas past 250 miles offshore, out across the oceans), broadcast by the USCG cover very large areas and, while accurate, this means that there can be differences in these forecasts versus what you experience in some small region within these large areas.....
, the "Hi-Seas" Voice forecasts can be a bit unintentionally vague, since they cover very large areas......
Which is why I specifically recommend some addition weather data/forecast reception, such as WeFax.....

3) However, while detailed offshore and hi-seas marine weather "Voice Broadcasts" (in English) are not too prevalant across some wide sections of the Pacific and SE Asia, they actually ARE there....
In addition to the USCG broadcasts from California, Hawaii, and Guam....there are broadcasts from Aus and New Zealand, Brunei, Port Morsby, etc.....(and if you speak other languages, there are other broadcasts as well..)
I won't bother to repost all the details here....
But, for details of English language voice broadcasts for the Pacific and SE Asia, please read over this thread....
SSCA Discussion Board &bull; View topic - shortwave marine weather forecasts in english?


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 30-04-2010, 13:19   #11
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the only communications equipment i've got onboard currently (other than VHF) is an icom 735 HF transceiver with a tuner. it came with the boat, and i haven't really experimented with it much, but from what i can tell, it's working.

we'll have two PC's and a mac with us as well.

plans are to leave san francisco in january and spend a few months in mexico. leaving mexico in april to do the milk run through french polynesia and new zealand, returning back via HI sometime in late 2012.

from what i've gathered on my own and what you guys have offered here, we'll definitely dig into the SSB and couple that to a computer based wefax program of some sort. sounds like i'll be skipping the pactor, and skymate. both would be nice, but as i've been compiling our lists of equipment, the "would be nice" stuff is falling by the wayside

i'm waffling on the sat phone, but i'll probably end up springing for that - seems pretty valuable under certain conditions.
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Old 30-04-2010, 17:10   #12
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I hope this helps

Mark
It sure does Mark.
Thanks.
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Old 30-04-2010, 20:42   #13
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Hi-Seas and Offshore Weather data / forecasts

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the only communications equipment i've got onboard currently (other than VHF) is an icom 735 HF transceiver with a tuner. it came with the boat, and i haven't really experimented with it much, but from what i can tell, it's working.
kb79,
1) The IC-735 is a fine little rig.....actually in my experience, one of the best rigs Icom produced in the 1980's and still to this day (assuming it's in good shape and calibrated) can perform as well as any "mid-sized" / "entry-level" HF ham rig being produced today, and better than most....

The only 2 things to be aware of:
a) has anyone "messed" with it internally??? (probably not)
b) it is a 20 - 25 year old rig, and if it's spent much of that life on-board a boat, it may develope some troubles....(but, if it's working well now, use it and enjoy!!!)

{I used to have an IC-735 on one of my shelves in the shack (as a spare/portable rig).....I loaned to a friend for Field Day 15+ years ago, and I think he's still using it......and I installed a couple IC-735's (with the AH-2 tuners) in mobile installs back in the 80's as well....}

As for using this rig with one of your laptops......if you don't have a "line input" to the sound card, you can buy a $5 - $10 "Line level to Mic level Attenuator" from Radio Shack, etc....and use the fixed AF output from Pin 5 (AF Out) and Pin 2 (ground) from your ACC 1 jack (accessory 1, 8-Pin DIN jack) on the IC-735's rear panel......

Also of note is that you can use these rear panel jacks to wire up digital modems (PACTOR, etc)....should you ever decide to go that route....


2) I assume you have the AH-2 remote auto-tuner (and the tuner control module, whish is outboard of the IC-735)......if so, all you need to check is the antenna itself (GTO-15 wire, and connections / attachments) and your antenna couterpoise / RF grounding system....




Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
we'll have two PC's and a mac with us as well.

plans are to leave san francisco in january and spend a few months in mexico. leaving mexico in april to do the milk run through french polynesia and new zealand, returning back via HI sometime in late 2012.

from what i've gathered on my own and what you guys have offered here, we'll definitely dig into the SSB and couple that to a computer based wefax program of some sort. sounds like i'll be skipping the pactor, and skymate. both would be nice, but as i've been compiling our lists of equipment, the "would be nice" stuff is falling by the wayside
3) Well, since you're going to be in the SF Bay area for another 8 months or so, you've got a great oportunity to play around and get aquainted with both your IC-735, and HF radio propagation.....
And, most importantly get familiar with the USCG Voice Weather Broadcasts (and their wefax broadcasts as well).....before you spend even $1 on anything else.....even if you're not living on-board fulltime, you can a lot of experience and gain a lot of knowledge from just leaving the radio on, tuned to a few specific freqs, while you're on-board working on boat projects, etc....

Have a listen or two....and I think you'll get an idea of what's what....
Since Pt. Reyes is only about 25 - 30 miles from the Bay, try 4.426mhz USB first, for the Voice Broadcasts....at the scheduled times....
And, once you get used to what you're listening to, tune around to all the other frequencies and signals, from all the other stations, at their scheduled times.....
USCG HF Voice
NWS Radiofax
http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/hfreyes.txt
http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/fax/hfhi.txt
USCG HF SITOR
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels


4) Once you get that down......
Listen to 14.300mhz in mid-mornings thru to the evening......That's the Maritime Mobile service Net (MMSN) Maritime Mobile Service Network

5) After an hour or two of that.....
Study for your ham license..... American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources
Remember that the IC-735 is a ham radio, not a marine radio....although it will tune the marine frequencies, it is not a marine radio....

6) If you're looking for someone in the Bay area with HF maritime experience, get a hold of Don at HF Radio On Board....
Welcome to H.F. Radio On Board



Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
i'm waffling on the sat phone, but i'll probably end up springing for that - seems pretty valuable under certain conditions.
7) There's quite a few that believe a Sat Phone is a substitue for good HF comms, but I don't agree.....although, I have no time to argue the point now.....without at the very least easy-to-use, preprogrammed HF frequencies / channels, and preferably HF-DSC comms, an Iridium phone is a good secondary comm system.....


I hope this helps a bit more......ya' see how "cohesive" my answers are when I get some details in the questions.....


John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:02   #14
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Location: Ocean Grove Aus
Boat: adams 40
Posts: 70
Interesting info thanks:

I'll set up SSB with my 735 and the Codan again for our next cruise although I think I will also go the Sat phone way per MarkJ. Free SMS is very tempting if it can be relied upon - but it seems not with Thurahah which is one of cheapest around. One could get a friend with a trustworthy understanding of weather!! to send a personalised SMS coded weather report eg bad weather here go left.

It would still be nice to be able to plot the grib file etc on opencpn. Until sat call rates come down or a cheap paxtor comes my way -price too exorbitant to buy new- I might go without and retain the phone for emergency use.

I hear what others have said - that in tropics weather reports are of limited use anyway and you go with what you have. Except perhaps for cyclones but why would you be there at that time anyway.


KB79 : Re IC735 I recollect that to get the out of ham bands you had circumvent the factory band restrictions by snipping a wire inside . If you can't get all bands let me know and I'll see if I can track this down again.

I have manual and circuit diagram etc I could scan if anyone needs it.

John: Concur - I used my 735 on cruise to Solomons in late 80's and it was great- still got it. I've fired it up very occasionally to keep the electrolytics stable but havent used on air - licence ran out. From memory the only dislikes were the electrical driven rotary band changer (reliability?) and the fact that to use the in built swr meter you had to fiddle with knobs under an access hatch.
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Old 04-05-2010, 14:35   #15
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alright, i've been playing with my rig and have a question that i'm sure is stupid and easily found elsewhere, but i'm apparently too dumb to find it:

what's the difference between USB, LSB, FM, AM and CW modes? if i'm tuned to any specific frequency, i can select any one of these modes, but i don't get it - isn't a frequency a frequency?
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