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Old 21-05-2013, 17:28   #1
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SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

I an interested in peoples experience with the small, portable SSB Receivers [not transmitters] that sell for $50-$150 or maybe more.

Have you been able to get weather reports on them reliably, or even get weatherfaxs.

Have you been able to get weather on them in remote areas, at the times and on the frequencies that you should? How has the reception been?

Have you found that they blow out easily? I've heard this can be a problem.

I am in the Bahamas, and especially wondering about peoples experience with these radio there. And the Windward and Leeward Islands.

Any brands and models you would recommend or not recommend?

Ways to improve reception? [Besides a wire antenna and turning off all the other power sources].

Anyone know where I can get another one of these SSB Receivers in the Bahamas?

Thanks for your input . . . . .
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Old 21-05-2013, 17:49   #2
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

I've had reasonable success with portable radio reception of SSB voice weather, but I've never tried to get weather fax via a portable. However, I noticed this blog post the other day on the subject.
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Old 21-05-2013, 18:30   #3
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

I've received and decoded Weather FAX with the Kaito 1103 (a sub-$100 SSB receiver), using both JVComm and SeaTTY software to decode and display. It works OK, but the tuning is a little touchy, and some people have difficulties receiving a strong signal. This is usually due to antenna issues, local interference (from boat electronics, etc), and not understanding the radio propagation issues.

Here are some discussions here on Cruiser's Forum that you should check out:
Are all SSB Receivers crap, or is it just mine?
SSB Receiver ?
WFAX With a Software Defined Radio -- It Works!

There are other discussions, as this subject comes up frequently. Feel free to ask if you can't get what you want from these earlier threads.
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Old 21-05-2013, 18:58   #4
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

i've got a grundig yacht boy. it works, sort of. i find that i have to spend far too many hours trying to get anything useful out of it. maybe it's me - i'm electronically challenged - but maybe there's so many variables to take into account that it's just a very unrewarding excercise.

if i were in an area where 'normal' weather sources were hard to get i might spend more time on a real ssb setup. but for the usa and bahamas i don't find it necessary.
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Old 28-05-2013, 04:39   #5
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

i had frustratingly toyed about with some of the smaller units then found my heaven...definitely not on the small side, but a used Grundig Satelit 800 if you can find them has excellent performance from its 5ft whip and even more so when i ran an antenna up the flag halyard... clear wefax reception and solid reception of chris parker in bahamas
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Old 28-05-2013, 05:06   #6
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic38 View Post
i had frustratingly toyed about with some of the smaller units then found my heaven...definitely not on the small side, but a used Grundig Satelit 800 if you can find them has excellent performance from its 5ft whip and even more so when i ran an antenna up the flag halyard... clear wefax reception and solid reception of chris parker in bahamas
which smaller units did you try side by side? The degen 1103 constantly gets very good press from the geeky radio crowd. Below the Grundig but about a tenth of the cost

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Old 28-05-2013, 05:30   #7
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

This is likely off topic as the OP was after small.. but me?.i gave up.. i still have, but dont use, the grundig g5, had also tried and returned a sony..(7600 perhaps or similar?) and the sangean 909.

so, i paid $200 used for the '800 about 5 years ago, the others were $100-$120ish at the time.. so to me, that $80 bought a world of difference in reception, useability and sound quality with confidence and reliability...ymmv, but faxes were clear, relatively noisefree and good contrast, and voice reception was excellent..

So, originally purchased simply for weather, the outstanding sound quality from the huge speaker made listing to the world service and other english broadcasts and also local FM a pleasure... to me, the benefits far outweighed the logistic issue of finding a place for it.
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Old 28-05-2013, 05:41   #8
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

Have used the Sony7600 in the Bahamas for the last nine years, before that I had the Sony model that preceded the 7600. Never a problem getting weather (Chris Parker) on ssb. I use only the whip antenna, it doesn't even need the cord antenna that comes with it. The reception is excellent.

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Old 28-05-2013, 05:53   #9
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Re: SSB Receivers - Your experiences with them, please

I have the Sony ICF SW7600GR
its fine.

As others have said the fine tuning is not automatic so you need to know the frequency and then fiddle.

Works fine for mid ocean weather.... But at the price it's really a poor second cousin to sat phone.

As Rick says, it's good for Chris Parker type stuff.
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