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Old 21-05-2015, 22:07   #121
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Sorry just scanned through briefly, I know that Getfax with a Pactor Modem is mentioned, but I was surprised to see no mention of OpenCPN.....?

Yes! everybody's favorite ECDIS has a weatherfax plugin, with schedules, and pre-loaded frequencies and times. It can download directly from web pages like NOAA and all the met offices worldwide. It can decode the live broadcast from your SSB via cable or microphone, and it displays the info overlayed on the navigation chart where you have your course laid out.

What more could you want?
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:36   #122
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Hello folks. I have been trying to get weather fax on my laptop for ages, and i haven't seen one yet.
I have windows 10 i useopencpn plugin, tried, rtty and sdsharp with RTL dongle, i do all i can read, i set frequencies right and check the right time, but i never seen one.

I have also a Kaitoka11 sw radio, cnnot get anything , i tried using by back tay as an antenna, no good..

Is there anyone out there who ever succeeded in setting a very low cost system that works? If yes, please reveal me all your secrets... what material do yu use?

Thanks
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:31   #123
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

CapSud,
There is a wealth of very detailed info here in this thread....but unfortunately there isn't much in the way of simple info...

And, yes, although it's been ~ 4 years ago (as a test of my back-up wefax system), I have been able to get good wefax reception using an inexpensive rec and laptop....
So, if I can be so bold to politely guide you thru....here are some brief thoughts/recommendations..


Quote:
Originally Posted by CapSud View Post
Hello folks. I have been trying to get weather fax on my laptop for ages, and i haven't seen one yet.
I have windows 10 i useopencpn plugin, tried, rtty and sdsharp with RTL dongle, i do all i can read, i set frequencies right and check the right time, but i never seen one.

I have also a Kaitoka11 sw radio, cnnot get anything , i tried using by back tay as an antenna, no good..

Is there anyone out there who ever succeeded in setting a very low cost system that works? If yes, please reveal me all your secrets... what material do yu use?

Thanks
1) First off, you should verify you are actually receiving an adequate signal from the WeFax transmitters, and have a good signal-to-noise ratio (meaning that the signal is substantially above whatever noise you are receiving....or even better that the signal is strong and you're not receiving any extraneous noise!!)

To check this, it's quite simple....
At the scheduled times of transmissions, use your "Kaitoka11" radio, clip the antenna to a stay/shroud/etc. or simply string-up a 20' - 30' wire up a flag halyard, etc...tune the radio to the proper frequency (based on the time-of-day that you are doing the test at, and the distance you are from the transmitters)....and simply listen to what you hear...

For the USCG NMF WeFax transmissions, try "9110" or "6340.5".....which means tune the Katio receiver to 9108.1khz, or 6338.6khz....during the times specified that they are transmitting...

If you hear the sound of a WeFax transmission, loud and clear, then you can proceed to check your connections to your computer, your computer's settings, and your software...
If you do not hear anything, hear nothing but noise, or hear a weak and/or distorted signal-----then we've found your problem, and we'll work on that!!!


2) Here is what a WeFax signal sounds like...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.wav


3) Assuming you're in Gaspe Quebec, about 500 - 550 miles from Boston, and wishing to use the USCG NMF transmissions, you will probably find their 6mhz and 9mhz signals to best, with the 9mhz signals to be best during most of the day, and their 6mhz also good early morning or late afternoon, and even their 12mhz signal might be good during the height of midday/early afternoon...with the 4mhz signals being useful only after dark and then possibly only better than the 6mhz signals in the early-morning/pre-dawn hours...

Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links
Quote:
Assigned frequencies are shown, for carrier frequency subtract 1.9 kHz. Typically dedicated radiofax receivers use assigned frequencies, while receivers or transceivers, connected to external recorders or PC's, are operated in the upper sideband (USB) mode using carrier frequencies.
Always try the highest frequency (that can attain the communications) first....which in this case would probably be their 9.110mhz signal....




4) FYI, while using a "dongle" can work....most computers (and especially their power supplies) produce a good deal of RFI (Radio-frequency Interference) which can mask all but the strongest signals...
So, trying the Kaito receiver first is always going to be best...

Also, if you do find you're having trouble actually receiving the WeFax transmissions (can't hear 'em), please let us know, and we'll be able to help you....('til then, be aware that so many things that we think of as "normal" parts of our lives generate significant amounts of RFI....battery chargers, inverters, cell-phone chargers, wall wart power supplies, LED lights, digital clocks/meters, marine refrigeration units, etc. etc....)



I hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:49   #124
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Thanks KA4WJA

This finely detailed, i have read and understood each and every letters of that post BUT ... All this I have done already and never heard anything close to your .wav previously mentioned.

I read every where that is is soooo easy and it works sooo god... That makes me suppose I could be a bit hmmm let's say missing a very simple thing and that i am repeating the same mistake over nad over...

So let's start up from scratch again...

I willpost here if i get anything, even just noises :-)

I should have 18:30 (6:30 pm) 24 hours surface forecast in a few minutes here in St.John's actually 16:30 (4:30 pm)

Thanks again
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:51   #125
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

I have been able to get the fax using my Sony radio. With a strong signal I have been able to hold the radio up to the mic on my PC and get the fax. If you use a cable from the radio earphone output to the PC mic jack do not use a stereo cable.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:58   #126
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Thanks for your reply

It probably is a celestial conspiration against me... Every one seems to be able to get their faxes that easy but me.

I even kept my radio connected to my backstay and open on the right corrected frequency for hours... just to make sure i grab the right transmission.

I am now in St.John's Newfoundland , so, -2:30 UTC

Not hard of a calculation...

All i get is noises...

Thanks
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Old 12-08-2015, 13:27   #127
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

CapSud,
Well, if you're not hearing anything close to that WAV sound....then you DO have a reception problem...
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapSud View Post
All this I have done already and never heard anything close to your .wav previously mentioned.

I read every where that is is soooo easy and it works sooo god... That makes me suppose I could be a bit hmmm let's say missing a very simple thing and that i am repeating the same mistake over nad over...

So let's start up from scratch again...

I willpost here if i get anything, even just noises :-)

Thanks again
BEFORE you go any further....if you have decent internet access (and watch some standard-resolution Youtube videos), please do yourself the favor and watch these videos, where you'll see exactly how easy it is to receive wefax!!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

If you don't have good internet, just take my word for it...


Now, if you're in St. John's Newfoundland.....please ignore most of my frequency recommendations!!! (those were based on being on Caspe...specifically forget trying 6mhz during the day!!!

---- Try their 12mhz frequency FIRST!!!
12mhz will be best during most of the day.....with 9mhz best from sunrise to 1100-1200z, and then again late at night....6mhz being usable nighttime only...
Although looking at the NMF schedule, you'll be using the 12mhz daytime and the 6mhz at night....(although you may hear the 9mhz signals, the 12mhz signals should be better during the daylight hours and the 6mhz better at night...once you get used to this, it WILL become very easy....but 'til then, have a listen...)

Tune your receiver to 12748.1khz from 1400z thru 2239z and you should hear the WeFax signals!!!
Using 9108.1khz and 6338.6khz at most other times...
If you look at the schedule, you'll see that most charts take about 8min to 10min to transmit....with typically only 30 - 90 seconds between charts....so the wefax signals are there MOST of the time, during their scheduled transmission times!!!
They are LOUD....they use 4000 watt transmitters, and even the small 3' whip antenna on a cheap portable radio receives them well....BUT....but, you must redice your RFI (both from on-board sources and elsewhere) to obtain excellent reception...


Have a look at the pages where RFI is discussed.....use this thread here as the source...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)


And, I've also got videos explaining RFI, etc....
But, as I wrote above....BEFORE you go any further, watch those videos!!! (it's going to save you a LOT of frustration!!)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


If you don't hear the Wefax signals, you're never going to get the computer to hear 'em!!!
And, it isn't the receiver's fault....it is all of our crap in our lives that pollute the airwaves with noise!!! (a better antenna helps, but reducing the noise is best!!)


Fair winds...

John





Fair winds...

John






P.S. Here are some more videos, showing RFI, etc...






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Old 12-08-2015, 13:29   #128
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

FOLLOW UP:

Just tried 18:24 UTC Cyclone Danger Area and 24 Hrs Wind/Waves forecast... I tought I heard a rythm in the noise, I was connected to my back stay and the signal comes from 1/10 to 9/10 but i winder how long does those faxes sounds last?

While writing i just made another try... I THINK i could hear the fax sequences BUT the noise is MUCH louder then the signal itself... So should i presume that the Kaito KA11 is more a noise grabber then a support for my weather faxes?
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Old 12-08-2015, 13:34   #129
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

FOLLOW UP 2:

Since I am deep in the port of St.John's Newfoundland, may i presume that since I am surrounded with containers and metal structure buildings and steel fishing boats... That is have all the necessary to cover the fax sounds.

I will take my scooter and go on the country side, a quiet place to see if any differentce and let you know.
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Old 12-08-2015, 13:51   #130
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Sorry to say, NO....
The containers and fishing boats don't help....but they don't "suck up the signals" neither...
(oh, they may be a minor issue....say 10% of the problem.....but, I suspect that > 75% of the problem is noise, and the remaining % is not knowing what to listen for, when to listen for it, and on what frequency, and what noise is "natural", what noise is "bad" vs. "good", etc. etc. etc....

It typically is the NOISE that is being generated (and the lack of experience about noise and radiowave propagation) that is most likely the cause of these troubles...but, I suspect you haven't watched the videos yet, and I don't have the time to go thru this point-by-point this afternoon....

So, please watch the videos....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapSud View Post
FOLLOW UP 2:

Since I am deep in the port of St.John's Newfoundland, may i presume that since I am surrounded with containers and metal structure buildings and steel fishing boats... That is have all the necessary to cover the fax sounds.

I will take my scooter and go on the country side, a quiet place to see if any differentce and let you know.
Sorry, I don't have the time to go thru this in detail today....that's why I recommended that you watch the videos!!!


John
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Old 12-08-2015, 14:06   #131
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

First move.... ditch the dongle and all the SDRsharp stuff.... good fun when everything is working but not the place to start.

Second move....

I see nothing in the Kaito 11 specs that suggests that radio can be used for SSB reception A shortwave with 1,000 memories, KA11

So... what I would do... buy another radio.... in your situation I would get either a Tecsun 660, 680, or 880.
The only failing of the first two is that they have no 'line out'. They work perfectly well using the headphone socket but that means you cant hear the signal while recording.
The 880 is the most expensive but would be the one I would choose ( I own all three so know their strengths and weaknesses - all receive equally well).

That done download either CocoaModem 2.0 if you have a Mac or JVComm32 http://www.jvcomm.de/index_e.htmlif a PC.
JVComm works with 7 so I assume works with 10......

Download the NOAA fax info http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/marine/rfax.pdf

Connect radio to computer via the line out/sound in plugholes......

Put radio in SSB mode.... select frequency and then adjust with BFO/fine tuning knob.

Reception using a Tecsun 680 and a simple long wire antenna in a household environment the other day.....
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Old 12-08-2015, 15:37   #132
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

CapSud,
A big thanks to El Ping!!!

I had assumed you were referring to the Katio 1103 (which is a well known and respected radio amongst cruisers)....
Dual Conversion Shortwave radio with side Band, SSB Radio, Kaito KA1103

But, if you are actually referring to a Katio KA11, then BINGO!!!
This is your problem!!!
This radio will NOT work for this application!!!
(it has no BFO, and hence cannot receive SSB, RTTY, Fax, etc. signals!!!)

And, while I don't know the specs for your dongle, I've yet to see one work reliably on-board connected to a laptop...so, as I wrote earlier, forget the dongle as well!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
First move.... ditch the dongle and all the SDRsharp stuff.... good fun when everything is working but not the place to start.

Second move....

I see nothing in the Kaito 11 specs that suggests that radio can be used for SSB reception A shortwave with 1,000 memories, KA11
I think El Ping has hit directly on your problem!!



And, if you look at the referenced thread from earlier....
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)
You'll see there are a few pages of info on "SSB Receivers", etc. which are directly on-point!!!


And, here are even more...
Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea

SSB receiver recommendation for Pacific

SSB Receivers

Newbe to ssb, anybody help me with some basic info?

Best Way to Receive Weatherfax?

SSB Receive Only

SSB Receiver Only? Is it practical?




Fair winds...

John


P.S. Just wondering who recommended this radio??? We had another regular Cruiser's Forum member who also bought the wrong radio, due to erroneous info/recommendations from other forums, etc....so just wondering...
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Old 12-08-2015, 16:44   #133
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Thanks to all for your precious informations, I am sure there will be othere readers with the same problem in the future.

I will go shopping tomorrow for a REAL SSB Radio and keep my Kaito for local fm stuff... :-)
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Old 12-08-2015, 17:19   #134
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Two other radios to consider the Sony 7600GR Sony World Band Receiver ICF-SW7600GR Product Reviews and the Sangean 909X Sangean ATS 909X Receiver Product Reviews

Both good radios with 'line out' .... general tuning on the Sony is a bit of an issue with me.... push button up/down.... can't 'spin the dial'....
Buying Tecsun on line I would buy from Anon-co ... good people to deal with
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Old 24-08-2015, 06:53   #135
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Re: Weather Fax on SSB

Hi again great people.

I received a new radio, a Sony ICF-SW7600GR with SSB capabilities.

Before to write again to this forum, i took all my notes again and started all over from start... I have switched the radio to SSB Upper side band... frequencies are 4,235 Khz, 6,340 Khz, 9,110 Khz and 12,750 Khz... fine tune up and down to make sure id do not miss anything.

I have tried different options on te radio, synclock, att sort of a squelch.

I have a 30 feet wire hooked to my radio antenna and raise vertically to my spreader.

I am srtill in the port of St.John's Newfoundland...

All i hear is the white noise...

I have set my local time to UTC so i do not make any timing mistakes...

I have the full timing list of different faxes..

Nothing works again.. I presume it is not the radio this time

I have read all the previous forum postings, i have looked all videos submitted... I am not quite desperate, because i need that stuff to work before the week end as we go offshore for 2 weeks... yes i know in hurricane season... But with good weathers... we should survive...

If anyne of you is able to contact me through skype, we could have a walkthrough or a happy talk around all this...

skype: chweedeleebop

Thanks
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