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Old 06-12-2015, 17:00   #1
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looking for help with ssb receiver only

A whileback on the forum someone asked about a portable receiver that would receive SSB Bands. The suggested radio was a DE1103 this is a multi band synthesized world receiver. This is not a toy bought at Radio Shack. I will be cruising in Florida and the Bahamas AND would like to be able to receive Chris Parker weather reports on SSB I have not had success when I was in Florida. I had a SSB Icom 710 on my boat in Mexico and the Caribbean for 13 years but have been away from it for a few years. I don't want to go to the the expense of a complete SSB system for my new sailboat and thought this would be the way to go. Any suggestions
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Old 06-12-2015, 18:24   #2
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Re: looking for help with ssb receiver only

I've had decent results with a http://www.amazon.com/Sony-ICF-SW760.../dp/B00006IS4X and an iPAD. I pick up all of the USCG stations and get the weather faxes , and we're south of the Bahamas. I haven't tried to tune in Parker so I don't know how well that works from here but would expect it to work fine. Especially if we were closer up in the Bahamas. Just about every other Sony product I ever bought did.
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Old 06-12-2015, 19:53   #3
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Re: looking for help with ssb receiver only

Have you tried while not in a marina? They are notoriously noisy. Try clipping the external antenna post to a chainplate. Ate you setting the receiver to upper side band?
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:31   #4
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Re: looking for help with ssb receiver only

Arguably the best HF/SSB receiver was/is the Eton E1/XM receiver. Sometimes they come up for sale on Ebay in the $250-400 range, NOS ones are in the $750-800 range but are very rare.

A newer, smaller model that performs nearly as well is the Tecsun PL-880, a remarkable receiver for it's size and price. It's available for about $150 with an extra battery, wire antenna and carrying case from anon-co on Ebay. I strongly recommend them, very fast shipping, excellent service, and the most accessories.

I have 2 of the Eton E1s and 1 PL-880, the PL-880 is almost as sensitive/selective as the Eton E1 using the same long wire antenna. Considering I'm in a very bad reception area in San Diego and have received weather faxes from Pt Reyes, Hawaii, Alaska and New Orleans, (as well as broadcasts from China, Japan, NZ and Cuba) I'm quite sure you'll be able to pick up everything that can possibly be received with just a long piece of wire.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:38   #5
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Re: looking for help with ssb receiver only

jmtindle,
Not knowing exactly where you are at (California?, Florida?, Bahamas?, etc.)...nor whether you are on-board the boat, or on-shore??....nor whether you are in a marina/yacht club/boatyard???....nor whether you are in a quite RF environment or surrounded by lots of RF Noise (RFI), etc...nor whether you have a complete understanding of radiowave propagation....nor whether you understand how-to find and tune-in the various stations at different times and frequencies???...etc. etc. etc...

Not knowing any of these things makes it extremely difficult for anyone here to give you anything but cursory info / recommendations.....
But, I'm going to try to point you in the right direction...


1) First off, just about all the answers to your questions are available in the links in the "sticky" at the top of the Marine Electronics page...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

My guess is that the most important info for you, is going to be the info on RFI and Radiowave propagation, as well as on "SSB Receive Only"...



2) Secondly, no matter where you are, for Offshore Weather you will be much better off trying the radio out by listening to the very powerful (4000 watt) USCG HF weather broadcasts....as well as getting what most mariner consider to be the "gold standard" of maritime weather forecasts/info...directly from seasoned maritime meteorologists, updated 4 times a day...
(whether you are just interested in the Offshore Voice Weather forecasts, or also desire the WeFax/Weather chart broadcasts)

{BTW, if you in California you will not be receiving Chris Parker at all....so, save yourself the frustration...}

Have a look here for the times / freqs...
USCG HF Voice

(for Florida, Bahamas, SW N. Atl....try 8764 and 13089 daytime from NMN....and 8502 and 12788 daytime from NMG....and after dark, 8764 or 8502...and then later at night/before sunrise 6501, 4426, and 4316...)
(if you're in California, depending on WHERE, 8764 and 13089 daytimes but, you may find 13089 to not work....and 8764 or 4426 at night)


And, for even more times/frequencies....remember that coast station WLO broadcasts weather as well 4-8 times a day...
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels

ShipCom LLC :: Marine HF Radiotelephone and HF Single SideBand Email

(And again, for Florida, Bahamas, SW N. Atl....try 8788 and 13110 daytime from WLO....and after dark, 8788....and later at night/before sunrise 6519 and 4369...
Or, if you're in California, you can try WLO on 13110 and 17362 daytimes...or 8788 at night...or KLB on 13101 daytimes and 8731 at night...)




If you wish WeFax charts...and connect a computer to the radio to decode them...
NWS Radiofax
New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links
Pt Reyes Radiofax Schedule with Links
Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links



3) To give you an idea of what voice weather is broadcast, in great detail on various frequencies, you can listen to my Youtube videos, have a look here...
"Maritime HF Communications"
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

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


Or, for just a brief listen, http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.mp3


And, here is just a sample of this morning's broadcast...

Quote:
AMZ101-102100- SYNOPSIS FOR THE SW N ATLANTIC INCLUDING THE BAHAMAS
358 AM EST THU DEC 10 2015

.SYNOPSIS...LOW PRES OF 1012 MB LOCATED E OF THE BAHAMAS NEAR 27N74W WILL MOVE NE CROSSING NEAR BERMUDA THIS EVENING...WITH THE TRAILING COLD FRONT EXTENDING TO THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS. THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE FRONT WILL BECOME NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE SE WATERS BY FRI WHILE DISSIPATING BY SAT. HIGH PRES WILL PREVAIL ACROSS THE REGION SAT AND SUN. A TROUGH IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP E OF THE BAHAMAS BY SAT AND WILL DRIFT WWD BRINGING AN INCREASE IN WINDS AND SEAS. EXPECT ALSO INCREASING SOUTHERLY WIND FLOW OVER THE NW WATERS SUN NIGHT INTO EARLY MON AHEAD OF THE NEXT COLD FRONT FORECAST TO ENTER THE FORECAST AREA LATE MON. $$




SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

AMZ117-102100- BAHAMAS INCLUDING CAY SAL BANK-

358 AM EST THU DEC 10 2015

TODAY W TO NW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT...SHIFTING TO N TO NE IN THE LATE MORNING AND AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS.
TONIGHT NE TO E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS.
FRI NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS.
FRI NIGHT NE TO E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
SAT NE TO E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
SAT NIGHT E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
SUN E TO SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
SUN NIGHT SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
MON S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
MON NIGHT E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS.
4) Of course, if you're actually cruising Florida, as well as crossing the Gulf Stream, you're never out-of-range of the NOAA VHF Weather broadcasts, 24/7....and these include the current position (within last 3 days) of the Gulf Stream...
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE PRODUCTS VIA NOAA WEATHER RADIO
NOAA Weather Radio




5) FYI, here is some info, and some reviews, of the DE 1103 receiver...


Degen DE1103. Review of the radio-receiver.

Degen DE1103 Product Reviews



6) If you haven't seen Chris Parker's site, here it is....as you see the coverage he has (and weather info he provides) is designed for just Florida/SE US, Bahamas, and Caribbean....so in California, you're out-of-luck...
https://www.mwxc.com/marine_weather_services.php





7) Some more specific radio and weather info/advice...

Some specific info on SSB Receive Only...
SSB Receive Only

SSB Receiver Only? Is it practical?


And, some info on weather....
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

National Weather Service Marine Forecasts


General info on radiowave propagation and SSB use...
Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)

HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..



Here are some discussions which deal primarily with RFI and radiowave propagation, despite what their titles might suggest...
Testing a SSB/Ham radio - poor reception

ICOM 706 MK2 G optimization.

Icom M802 in fresh water

How to reduce RFI from an Airmar depth sounder?



8) At the least, please have a look at these videos.....where you'll see a real-world, live demonstration of Offshore Marine Weather broadcasts...and examples of both natural/atmospheric noise and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference)....









9) Some specifics in red...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtindle3 View Post
A whileback on the forum someone asked about a portable receiver that would receive SSB Bands. The suggested radio was a DE1103 this is a multi band synthesized world receiver. This is not a toy bought at Radio Shack. I will be cruising in Florida and the Bahamas AND would like to be able to receive Chris Parker weather reports on SSB I have not had success when I was in Florida.
Please see all of the above for details...


I had a SSB Icom 710 on my boat in Mexico and the Caribbean for 13 years but have been away from it for a few years.
In the last decade and a half, there has been an explosion of devices generating a tremendous amount of RFI....which in addition to making HF comms on board difficult until you've eliminated/reduced your on-board RFI, these are effecting lots of radio users worldwide (COSPAS-SARSAT and the IMO have raised serious concerns and complaints about rising radio noise levels, particularly in/near land masses in Asia and the EU, which are effecting the reliable reception of EPIRB data/info....even though the 406 to 406.1mhz band is "protected" internationally, it is the vast amount of devices manufactured in Asia without concern for maintaining any radiation standards, that are in fact radiating an increasing amount of "radio noise" / interference well away from what you'd think possible....our "cheap consumer product-driven lifestyle" is beginning to bite us in the rear-end, in more ways that we could ever have imagined!)


I don't want to go to the the expense of a complete SSB system for my new sailboat and thought this would be the way to go. Any suggestions
Yes, SSB receive-only is very doable and many hve great success with it (and is my 3rd back-up)....but it DOES require some knowledge, expertise, and time/effort to learn how-to do it (and do it right!)

As for "suggestions"....
Use the USCG and WLO broadcasts....and follow my advice/steps above....and you'll be in good shape...


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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