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Old 12-04-2019, 07:47   #1
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SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Hi,

now that the OpenCPN weatherfax plugin is working nicely (thanks guys!) I am looking into finding a proper radio to receive.

Best in class seem to be the TECSUN PL-660 & TECSUN PL-880.

The 660 offers a very good performance to price ratio, especially as I could even get a used one, but apparently they have a tendency to die after a year or so (can someone comment on that?)

What they both miss though and what I loved on an old receiver I had some years ago, was the in built timer recording.

That way you could dial in a time and frequency and record a broadcast. Very helpful, especially when reception is bad or when you need a broadcasting and do not want to get up at night to record it.

Does anyone know of a SSB HF Receiver which has this built in and does not cost a fortune?

I know I could use the 880 an attach the line out to a notebook and record with Audacity but that means the PC needs to run permanently which I'd like to avoid.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:42   #2
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Sounds like you need a software defined radio ("SDR") (SDRPlay is one, there are many on YouTube) that runs audio through a PC. Then it becomes a trivial exercise to have the PC wake up and start audio recording, as long as the radio has been left set to the right frequency. And I'd bet some of them have features that allow for the timed recording as well.

In a physical radio though? That might be asking too much.
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Old 12-04-2019, 13:07   #3
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

You could record into one of these DAR-101 : Digital MP3 Recorder

or maybe one of these https://www.tecsunradios.com.au/stor...tecsun-icr100/
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Old 12-04-2019, 13:28   #4
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Thx. Actually the both look like real solutions, unfortunately it's another separate piece of equipment to add. But it is a real option.

Alternatively I can find one of the old Sangean with tape deck which could do it.
Had one of them 15 years ago...
Just thought something like this would exist today. It seems rather trivial.

Guess connecting the PC to line in, setting the radio timer to play the radio at a certain time and instructing the PC to wake up shortly before is what's needed otherwise.

Thx again.
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Old 12-04-2019, 13:33   #5
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Hey, look here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SANGEAN-ATS...8AAOSwhzhcCh5O

:-)

Just need to find a healthy one now...

But El Pinguino what you found is fully digital so might be the better choice. Thx.
The TECSUN has a really fair price tag.
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Old 12-04-2019, 13:46   #6
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

More modern than tape but also out of production..
https://www.radiolabs.com/radio/Kaito/KA1121.php
https://www.amazon.com/Kaito-Synthes...ews/B000MEI592
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Old 12-04-2019, 13:53   #7
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

If you don't mind leaving the radio 'on' then CocoaModem on a Mac may work for you.... it should wake up the Mac at the start of each Tx.

cocoaModem

Its free software so nothing to lose....

No longer supported by the developer but still runs OK on my Mac with Mojave...

Buy the 880 rather than the 660..... heaps better and 'line out'....
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Old 12-04-2019, 14:09   #8
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Hey, yes that's a good alternative, especially as it works with an SD card too.
Easier file transfer to a PC too, and, weatherbands.
Reviews are very mixed, but I guess if one spends some time to figure it all out it should do the trick.

Used ones should be around.
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Old 13-04-2019, 10:29   #9
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hi,

now that the OpenCPN weatherfax plugin is working nicely (thanks guys!) I am looking into finding a proper radio to receive.

Best in class seem to be the TECSUN PL-660 & TECSUN PL-880.

The 660 offers a very good performance to price ratio, especially as I could even get a used one, but apparently they have a tendency to die after a year or so (can someone comment on that?)

What they both miss though and what I loved on an old receiver I had some years ago, was the in built timer recording.

That way you could dial in a time and frequency and record a broadcast. Very helpful, especially when reception is bad or when you need a broadcasting and do not want to get up at night to record it.

Does anyone know of a SSB HF Receiver which has this built in and does not cost a fortune?

I know I could use the 880 an attach the line out to a notebook and record with Audacity but that means the PC needs to run permanently which I'd like to avoid.
If I understand you correctly, you are looking for a device that will automatically turn itself on at the programmed time, dial in the correct station, record the weather broadcast, and then turn itself off. As someone who has undertaken these tasks before in the Pacific, your wish sounds ideal.

The only equipment I know of that will come close to doing that is the Furuno Navtex or Facsimile receivers but I believe they still need to be powered all the time. I began looking at these a few years ago but the total setup (other gear is required) gets very expensive and I quit. I don't know how any of these would dovetail to OpenCPN.

I will follow this post to see what is new.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 13-04-2019, 12:05   #10
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Hi MJH,

yes, the weatherfax receivers for big ships are way to expensive, esp if you can achieve the same with a cheap world receiver and a laptop.

with the old Sangean tape deck it worked.
Disadvantage is you need to scrub through the tape if you look for the recording.
Second disadvantage is that tapes do not like humidity.

I lean towards the TECSUN Pl-880with an SD card recorder which El Pinguino found.

Still, as the Sangean has a line out as far as I remember. So you can either replay the tape (or life broadcast) directly to the OpenCPN plugin (capture mode) or record it on the PC with the freeware audio program Audacity. Than replay that in the plugin for decoding.

In my tests I found that it works best to play the file directly rather playing it over speakers and re-recording with the computer. That's where the line out comes handy.

Go to the plug-ins homepage on the OpenCPN website.
It's really easy to use once you understand the concept.

Alternatively you can also decode with the SeaTTY shareware. This can also decode Navtex by the way.

The neat thing of the plugin is that it does a calibrated overlay of the received weatherchart over the nav charts within OpenCPN. You can even adjust the overlay transparency.

All handy way offshore or in anchorages with bad cell and VHF reception.
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Old 13-04-2019, 12:47   #11
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I found this radio with wake up recording capability.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...SZXLI2RN7CUIKH
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Old 13-04-2019, 13:32   #12
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

I see this as a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, it's a once a day event, set an alarm and tune in and record it yourself........its part of the daily routine, if you can't capture a weather fax with a $150 radio and computer with all the free software tools you have, maybe a house on shore is the solution......if you need multiple weather reports every day minute to minute, pay up and use a sat receiver and a subscription service.....
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Old 13-04-2019, 14:07   #13
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

@nwdiver

If you don't have something valuable to contribute and it's not an issue which you have yourself than just keep your "wise" words to yourself. Thank you.

Apart from that there are sometimes other things to take care of on a boat than running to catch a weather report at a very specific moment in time. Especially when short handed.
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Old 13-04-2019, 15:40   #14
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuljah View Post
I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I found this radio with wake up recording capability.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...SZXLI2RN7CUIKH
Sadly no SSB capability....
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Old 13-04-2019, 15:48   #15
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Re: SSB HF Receiver with timer recording?

If I can get well enough organised over the next week I shall do a test run to confirm that when the fax start tones are sent from radio to CocoaModem it will wake the Mac from sleep.

I'm pretty sure they do but its been some time..... the fax I am interested in come in just before breakfast. Its a pest when you are busy or just plain forget and have to wait 12 hours or more for the next tx.

You can buy old macbooks quite cheaply and they are in many ways better suited to the job than the newer ones.
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