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Old 08-04-2011, 17:14   #46
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Re: Weather Fax ?

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Does the iPad have an audio input connection...
No external microphone input on the iPad, but there is a camera connection kit that can be plugged in to the 30-pin dock connector and which effectively creates a USB input.

I have to agree - that would be very cool.
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Old 08-04-2011, 17:30   #47
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Re: Weather Fax ?

If your offshore is in the South Pacific, I have posted some reference information that you might be interested in--covers weather receiving while on the boat offshore, and is aimed at French Polynesia and west.

S/V Soggy Paws - CSY 44 - Circumnavigate with Dave and Sherry McCampbell

But most of this is oriented toward an SSB/PTC-2/sailmail type solution, though these is some information on weather fax.
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Old 08-04-2011, 18:49   #48
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Re: Weather Fax ?

To Paul Elliot and Auspicious: Thank you very much. I will set up the Pactor-less system for backup, should the Pactor fail. I was not aware of this option.
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Old 08-04-2011, 18:57   #49
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Re: Weather Fax ?

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I leave my radio and laptop turned on with a scheduler running. The software tunes the radio appropriately (really just a night and day frequency) and captures the wefax as it comes in. Once or twice a day I sit down at the laptop and look at the latest information. I look when I want and don't have to wait for stuff to download at glacial speed.
Yep. That's neat and convenient. The Furuno box is just as convenient. Have to look up if they upgraded the kit so that rather than print we could download the received picture(s) ?

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Old 08-04-2011, 19:15   #50
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Re: Weather Fax ?

i have weather fax with a dedicated furuno fax-- goes with a short wave radio -- grundig did fine---i havent the radio anymore--it burnt itself-- but previous owner used this combo during a sail from san fran to sd 6 yrs ago. he did not have ssb, only short wave...and a cable and the furuno system in the boat.
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:21   #51
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Re: Weather Fax ?

Re antennas: we use plain wire but I have an "active" antenna onboard still in the box - just wondering if it is worth mounting? Anybody with relevant experience here?

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Old 08-04-2011, 19:23   #52
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Re: Weather Fax ?

I post the NOAA schedule right by the SSB, set an alarm, and turn the system on just ahead of the report I want to download. The entire process takes only a few minutes. This saves a lot of power. Between the SSB, modem, and computer it's a significant power drain to leave them on for longer than necessary. Also, use a little Dell mini for faxes and Sailmail which is light on power usage. My inverter, a small pure sine wave unit, puts out a lot of RF interference and must be off while receiving Wfax. Would like to find a way to remedy this.
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Old 08-04-2011, 19:34   #53
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Re: Weather Fax ?

Still, someone has to get up or leave the cockpit.

I checked the Furuno black box and it is there. But the price ...

Any of the SSB receivers will record a preselected broadcast? Or else is there a voice recorder that would start / stop recording at preselected times?

Just thinking aloud.

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Old 08-04-2011, 20:47   #54
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Wrt an active antenna - it will only help a radio with poor sensitivity to begin with. That situation would be better addressed by using a more effective (longer) antenna, since an active antenna's amplifier can introduce noise and distortion products of it's own.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:25   #55
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Re: Weather Fax ?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Still, someone has to get up or leave the cockpit.

I checked the Furuno black box and it is there. But the price ...

Any of the SSB receivers will record a preselected broadcast? Or else is there a voice recorder that would start / stop recording at preselected times?

Just thinking aloud.

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Biggest problem I have with recieving weatherfax is remembering to turn the fridge on afterwards
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:36   #56
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Re: Weather Fax ?

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Wrt an active antenna - it will only help a radio with poor sensitivity to begin with. That situation would be better addressed by using a more effective (longer) antenna, since an active antenna's amplifier can introduce noise and distortion products of it's own.
Yes, but ours is pretty long already. I think the way to know is to mount the active one then swap them and listen to the radio - there should be some difference to the naked ear. Perhaps.

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:06   #57
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Re: Weather Fax

In general "active antennas" can be a good thing, especially in the normal SSB frequencies when you have a short antenna. The amplifier in the active antenna box compensates somewhat for the impedance mismatch inherent in a short untuned antenna.

However, the amplifier can also overload (not too likely on a boat in mid-ocean). A short antenna is also more likely to pick up interference generated by the electrical / electronic gear on your boat. If this noise is significant, amplifying it won't help at all.

Also, many radios are sensitive enough without the amplifier. Here's a test: Listen to the radio with no antenna, or with the whip antenna fully collapsed. Then hook up your external antenna. If the background noise (the hiss) increases noticably, then you probably don't need the amplifier. Try this on all the frequency bands you plan to use -- particularly the higher ones. There are so many variables that you really have to experiment.

If you do have a locally-generated interference problem, there are ways to improve the situation. And for what it's worth, the noise in a marina will probably overwhelm anything else, so it is best to try this stuff out away from other boats, cars, buildings, etc.
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:27   #58
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Re: Weather Fax

If you have a reciever which has fm on 137Mhz then satellite images may be possible as well. I got much too excited today seeing the image below appear.
Bit fuzzy but first attempt and I don't really know what I'm doing
Using an Icom 706mk11 and WXtoImg: software to decode APT and WEFAX signals from weather satellites with a couple of bits of wire hoisted up the mast.
In the middle of London surrounded by tall buildings. Hopefully offshore the reception might be better. Reading up on it a bit I don't think the icom is the best option because of the narrow bandwidth but even so it's



Click image for larger version

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Old 29-05-2011, 18:26   #59
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Re: Weather Fax

Just installed JVCOMM32 on a Win7 64 bit HP laptop and the install went very smoothly. FYI.

Will report back tomorrow (hopefully) re Wxfax when I give it a try on a base station ICOM 746Pro on a land based wire dipole.

I have an Isatphone Pro and I can attest from personal experience that you would definitely want (need) the antenna kit etc to get any kind of reliable offshore data reception. For 60-120 second voice calls and cheap txt messages.....perfect.

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Old 30-05-2011, 17:19   #60
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Re: Weather Fax

Started up my ICOM 746Pro on JVCOMM32 this afternoon and was generally pleased with the ease of installation and startup (once I figured out that when NOAA says the broadcast is on 9110 kHz what they really mean is that the Upper Side Band is at 9110 and the carrier frequency is 1.90 kHz below that.....of COURSE!)

Propagation wasn't great from Boston on either 9.11 MHz or 12.75 MHz so the quality of the fax images was very poor.....but, hey, it worked!

I briefly tried tuning NOAA Low Earth Orbiters on 137MHz but didn't hear anything that JVCOMM32 would copy onto.....will have to let that wait for tomorrow.

Anyone have suggested frequencies/times that seem to have good signal to noise behavior for High Frequency WXFax?

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