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Old 05-12-2013, 00:33   #1
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Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Can you pick up the NWS radiofaxes with a portable SSB and interpret them with SeaTTY? Anyone out there cruising with a non broadcasting SSB?
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Old 05-12-2013, 00:49   #2
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Shouldn't be a problem, what radio are you planning to use? I've used an assortment... my choice just now would be a Sangean 909 or .....with as much bang for a lot less bux..... a Tecsun 660. I haven't used seaTTY though but it sounds OK
Weather messages decoder - RTTY, NAVTEX, WEFAX (HF-FAX), NWR SAME software
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:15   #3
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

I hadn't really put any thought into it but either one looks good. It seems like a cheap and dirty alternative to the 8k+ you might spend on a fixed install. I already have SeaTTY and have used it to great effect on boats with fixed installations but my current boat doesn't have one and I honestly don't foresee getting myself one. I would rather rent a sat phone for emergencies and use the portable to download weather charts and listen to cricket matches.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:16   #4
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Pinguino, please feel free to add the 909 to my Christmas wish list...many thanks!
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:29   #5
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

I'd go for the 660... I've posted this pic before.....

These are good people to deal with .. Tecsun PL 660 Silver AIR FM SW MW LW World Band Radio | eBay

but I would avoid g8hkshop ... there is a big difference between 'Brand New' and 'new, never used'.... they burnt me once...
Also good to deal with are Anon-co ... I've just ordered one of these...Tecsun PL 880 PLL Multi Conversion AM FM Longwave Shortwave SSB Radio Receiver | eBay they may be of interest to you.

Bit more info on the 880 here ... The SWLing Post | shortwave radio news, pirate radio, numbers stations, interviews, shortwave radio reviews and more

Cheers,
Frank
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:36   #6
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Quote:
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Can you pick up the NWS radiofaxes with a portable SSB and interpret them with SeaTTY? Anyone out there cruising with a non broadcasting SSB?
Yes and yes.

Degen 1103 works great as a reciever and jvcomm does the decoding for free.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:34   #7
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Pinguino, Conachair,

Could you please offer any specific tips on:
- Your antenna choice
- Minimizing RFI
- Connecting radio to PC (or you just use your PC mic?)

Reason I ask is I tried a Tecsun PL 660 (bought new on Amazon) in San Francisco last fall with very limited success on SW frequencies, particularly USB. I tried both the built-in antenna and the basic 5m wire antenna, but mostly got garbled reception. For example, I could only passably hear the Colorado WWV time tick, and only a few times heard Hawaii WWVH despite trying different times, frequencies, etc. Also on SW, I could hear Radio Havana very well, some evangelical stations, and often heard Chinese/Japanese/Southeast Asian commercial stations. But heard next to nothing on USB, including none of the USCG HF voice broadcasts (whether nearby or not), none of USCG radiofax signals (even after 1.9kHz offset), etc.

I was listening from rooftop of a midsize apt building on top of a hill, so I imagine RFI was one of the problems, but still not sure if i also needed a better external antenna or there was operator error. I tried turning off my phone, staying away from power cables, etc to minimize my nearby RFI, to no avail.

A friend later tried the exact same unit in the Philippines on a boat during a passage and heard nothing on USB either (including no UCSG Guam), but again heard some commercial channels on AM, including Guam. Should have been less RFI there (he tried from the foredeck).

Long story short - we never figured out how to tune in to any available weather source (voice or radiofax). Searched CF for tips but couldn't find anything that helped, other than return to stone age and disconnect all electrics/electronics (which clearly isn't always practical).

Your tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:09   #8
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

First off....I would just try using the wire ant that it came with.
RFI.. a bit more awkward... take it out bush would be my best advice... do you really have RFI or just not receiving anything? How is it on MW and FM? Do you have the Antenna gain switch set to DX?
I just take the sound out of the Headphone 3.5mm Jack and plug into the side of my Macbook.
I would start on HF by using the ATS (see Page 14 of the handbook) in the early evening.
SSB is a bit more difficult.... and a bit more location specific. For your friend in the Phillipines he could try downloading the Australian fax and voice frequencies and schedules for VMC in Queensland VMC & VMW Radio Fax Schedule Schedules for HF Marine Radio Voice Services ... not sure where you are or what to suggest.
Good luck
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Old 05-12-2013, 15:47   #9
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Last time I really used it "in anger" was a crossing from Caribbean to UK, this was before knowing anything about rf. I had Croc clips and wire connecting the audio radio fm masthead antenna to the antenna in on a degen 1103, then line out to line in on a laptop running jvcomm. This was fine all the way, first new orleans, then Boston then Northwood UK stations. Interference - worst problem was remembering to turn on the fridge again laptop was a bit noisey with the charger but fine off it's own battery.

Actually, the same radio was used this summer across Biscay - wooden boat so just rested the radio antenna against a chain plate down below. Using an android tablet running HF weather fax just sitting next to the radio picking up the audio through the tablets inbuilt mic, worked surprisingly well.

Getting good reception on land or in marinas has always been a bit hit and miss.
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Old 06-12-2013, 19:04   #10
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Thanks everyone for the tips. Sounds like I should give it another shot, from an offshore location with less interference...

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
do you really have RFI or just not receiving anything? How is it on MW and FM? Do you have the Antenna gain switch set to DX?
I suspect RFI as I did receive on MW, FM and some SW (e.g. Colorado WWV and some commercial stations, particularly Havana Radio, evangelical stations and occasional Asian stations). I'll need to check the gain switch DX setting - I can't remember, but I do think I had it on DX...

Good tips again, sounds like more patience / testing needed!
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Old 06-12-2013, 20:16   #11
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

We use SeaTTY with an old HP laptop to receive Navtex and FAX weather. We have used three radios; a Lowe HF-150, a Icom R75, and now a Icom IC710. When using the radio's earphone output, the attenuating circuit shown in the SeaTTY help seems to make things a little better by reducing the signal strength into the laptop's microphone jack to its expected microphone input. When receiving we turn off the nav instruments on the boat because the NMEA 0183 loop makes a big racket on the radio. Our antenna is the insulated backstay that was on the boat when we bought it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 22:11   #12
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticair View Post
Thanks everyone for the tips. Sounds like I should give it another shot, from an offshore location with less interference...
Good tips again, sounds like more patience / testing needed!
No probs.... for shoreside use this may be of interest Combatting AM (And SW) Interference | radiojayallen

Afloat I get a scratching noise from I think the gps... and any chargers or inverters are a prob as are lcd screens if they are close enough to the radio. In marinas just forget about it.......
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:25   #13
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Yes and yes.

Degen 1103 works great as a reciever and jvcomm does the decoding for free.
Cheapest radio on the market. Do you have anything to say regarding the unit's reliability?
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:28   #14
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Cheapest radio on the market. Do you have anything to say regarding the unit's reliability?
The one I've got came off eBay 4 or 5 years ago and has been onboard all the time, quite a few thousand miles, many offshore, during that time and is still work working fine so that particular little box has lasted well.
Though that is in a heavy dry steel boat where all the electronics seem to last extremely well.
When I was looking around for a reciever there were lot of reviews praising the high utility of output for the money online, maybe now the might be some more re reliability.
But I'll certainly get another as a spare before heading offshore again.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:35   #15
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Re: Portable SSB and SeaTTY

Plenty of people are happy with them Degen DE1103 Product Reviews
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