WWV has general weather broadcasts every hour that's more than adequate for avoiding hurricanes. You'll need an HF radio
, not an SSB (Single Side Band HF) radio to recieve it. This type of recieve only radio cost from $50 on up. If you want to listen into SSB, radios like the Sony ICF 7600 at around $150.00 is the cheapest with single
side band recieve only radio capability. I like the Sangean 909 but they are about $250.
You can get yourself up and running with an SSB Ham radio for about $1200, or even less, that will give you two way communication as well as a general coverage reciever. You'll need a general class license
to talk but a days study on one of the online crib courses and you should be able to pass it easily. I did and I'm no electronic genius. If you want free internet
, you'll need a Pactor
modem with Pactor
upgrade. New, they run a $1,000 to $1,400. Got my Pactor 2 used for $500 and paid to have it upgraded. A radio like the Icom
718 can be opened up to transmit on all HF frequencies. It is not legal
to transmit outside the ham bands except in an emergency
, however. Have never had a need to use other than the ham frequencies. Understand you can get by without the Pactor Modem for email
with a soundcard in your computer. Have no idea how well it works or how to do it. Searching the archives
here will turn a few threads on doing it.
I made the choice to go with a used ICOM
718 radio, AH4 antenna
tuner and the backstay as an antenna
because of cost. Buying
a SatPhone and paying for the minutes was more expensive than the HF SSB radio and had very limited use.
My costs for the ham setup were:
ICOM 718 that had already been opened up, used $450
Icom AH4 auto tuner, new $295
Norseman backstay insulators (2) off Ebay for $150. You only absolutely need 1.
Copper 2" strips for the ground plane $150
Back in the dark ages, cruised for several years with no GPS
, two way radio, or AIS
. Only electronics
were a knotmeter/log, depthsounder and an HF reciever. Strangely enough, we survived without a problem and had a great time. If I was trying to go cheap
, now, would add a GPS
and a GPS equipped Epirb
to the hf recieve radio, knotmeter/log and depthsounder.