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Old 18-12-2010, 23:58   #1
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Receiving Weather Satellite Pictures

i subscribe to a magazine which is about various home diy/electronic projects etc and this month they have an article on how to receive weather satellite pictures in your own home/boat

basically, these weather satellites pass over every 101 minutes and they are continually broadcasting the pictures they capture as a radio signal,if you build the correct type of aerial you can pick up these signals and have instant weather pictures on your laptop.

you need the aerial(home made for about $30),a receiver(bought as a cheap kit)laptop(assuming this is on board) and some free software to convert the radio signal to images and i suppose you need the knowledge to interpret what you are seeing.

a few websites mentioned are-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat...e_Transmission
http://www.wxtoimg.com
http://www.g4ilo.com/qfh.html
http://www.minikits.com.au/kits3.html#eme117
here are the scanned pages-
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Old 19-12-2010, 21:57   #2
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wow,143 views and no replies, i'm no sailor(yet) but i thought this was potentially useful? maybe i was mistaken....
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Old 19-12-2010, 22:28   #3
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VERY interesting. I do wonder about the tuning methods on a vessel underway. I suppose you could tune it in as necessary for updates. I'm really thinking...what a cool little gadget to build and play with! Thanks for posting!!!
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Old 19-12-2010, 23:40   #4
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it would seem to me very useful, but when it comes to electronics I am pretty useless, I am going to show it to a cruiser who understands this better than me.
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Old 20-12-2010, 05:22   #5
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I viewed and printed but when I got to the last page and saw a picture of what I would have to mount on the boat I decided I didn't need weather sooner that badly. But it has great information and thank you for posting it. Wonder what else we can borrow from passing satellites?
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:35   #6
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smaller ant. for use onboard

Weather Satellite Station - Wettersatelliten NOAA Receiver and Antenna, WRAASE electronic GmbH - Hardware - MX-137
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:27   #7
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The pictures are cool but with radiofax (Marine Radiofax charts) you can get the isobars, wind speed, and other surface observations as well as forecast models. It's the same concept though: use a radio to pick up the transmission, a modem to pipe to the computer, and some software to translate it into an image.
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:08   #8
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Rebel Heart, Im looking for an affordable way to recieve and download these weather faxes. Dont have the budget for SSB, but also dont really need to be able to transmit just recieve. Any suggestions?
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:55   #9
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Rebel Heart, Im looking for an affordable way to recieve and download these weather faxes. Dont have the budget for SSB, but also dont really need to be able to transmit just recieve. Any suggestions?
One of these DEGEN DE1103 PLL Digital AM/FM/LW SSB Shortwave Radio on eBay (end time 27-Dec-10 06:44:21 GMT)

a laptop and this software .. JVComm32 - FAX SSTV RTTY SYNOP NAVTEX program

Schedule here .. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

Plug a lead from the headphone out into the laptop mic in and off you go.

Offshore I actually prefer weatherfax to gribs. With gribs I find I start to zoom in on the little wind arrows and believe thats exactly what will happen, with weatherfax it shows the bigger picture, it shows the fronts more clearly plus with a much bigger area you can see what's coming next.
And on the shortwave radio you can listen to as many crazy evangolists as you could ever want
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:11   #10
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I like that idea a lot. Just wondering if the sounds card on my laptop will work. Will just have to try it out I suppose.
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:12   #11
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Rebel Heart, Im looking for an affordable way to recieve and download these weather faxes. Dont have the budget for SSB, but also dont really need to be able to transmit just recieve. Any suggestions?
As mentioned above, you will have a ton of evangelical crazies to listen to if you drift away from the weather frequencies.

An old standby is weatherfax: Xaxero Marine Software - Weather Fax 2000 Sound / PTCII Download

I got the add on longer antenna as well to this thing. It charges on AC, but it lasts a really long time. If you don't have a small plugin-inverter to charge it sometimes, it can be a pain:

Amazon.com: Kaito KA1103 - Portable radio: Electronics

The only knock I'd make against getting weather via the receiver is that you need to leave the laptop and radio on for a while to get the transmissions. If you have a satellite phone with data, it's less than 500kb to send/receive a chart.

Basically you get yourself to the right frequency with a 1/8" male to 1/8" male connector between the headset jack on the radio and the microphone jack on your laptop. The software runs, decodes the signal coming across the wire, and puts the weather chart up on the screen. Badda bing.
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:15   #12
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I like that idea a lot. Just wondering if the sounds card on my laptop will work. Will just have to try it out I suppose.
You can download weatherfax for free and try it out, as long as you have an SSB receiver.
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:17   #13
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Ok so sounds like I should first pick up a radio. Then try the free download. Hmm maybe time left for a last minute gift from Santa...
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Old 20-12-2010, 15:58   #14
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This is what one sounds like....
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:07   #15
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Okay thats cool and all but I think I could do without the volume.... Thanks for all the advice here.
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