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Old 03-08-2011, 10:49   #1
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Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

Can someone point me to an idiot's guide to getting weatherfaxes?

I've bought a Kaito KA1103 and downloaded an evaluation copy of JVComm32 and want to know how to use them. I have a copy of NOAA's Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile Broadcast Schedules and I'm trying to tune in Pt. Reyes for west coast broadcasts with no luck so far.

One particularly confusing thing in there is the statement "Unless otherwise stated, 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." Does this mean all the frequencies listed have to be adjusted by 1.9kHz?

Any help appreciated, I'm a complete neophyte on this stuff.

Cheers
Paddy
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:06   #2
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB receiver

When Pt. Reyes is broadcasting - which is close to all the time - tune your receiver to the assigned frequency, then try 1.9 kHz off for the carrier frequency, and see which is stronger and go with that one. JVComm32 has a couple of settings relating to whether you want it to start recording immediately or wait until the next fax - try the immediate setting just to see if it works. Usual caveats - is the receiver connected to your computer, etc etc...

Michael
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:10   #3
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And make sure you push the SSB button on the radio.

I usually tune in by ear first To get close to thefrequency (sounds like a dialup modem) then use the fine tuning to get the fax to come through. Same radio and jvcomm as well.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:37   #4
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

G'Day Islander and others,

There is a built in tuning aid in JVComm. If you look in the toolbar at the upper left hand portion of the display, you will find a button for toggling a "spectrum" display on. If you select this, a new small window appears with a live display representing the received signal. When receiving a fax you will see peaks in the display when near to the correct frequency. Most wefax charts are mostly white, so if you adjust the rx frequency up and down a bit you will be able to position the larger peak just at the point labled "white" on the spectrum display. You are now perfectly tuned, and you will find that yes, indeed you are about 1.9 kHz off the listed frequency.

Good luck... it is a great bit of software.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-08-2011, 23:39   #5
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

Thanks guys, good to know I'm heading in the right direction. I don't think I've actually tuned in anything yet, no fax noises from the radio, but I'll keep at it.

One other question about JVComm, fax mode defaults to HF-Fax, is this what I need? There are a number of other options available on the drop-down menu.

Cheers
Paddy
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:20   #6
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I'm not sure about the options, it's been a while since I've tried it (maybe I'll do that today ) but you might need the antenna extension. It's basically just a wire that either plugs in or clips onto the dipole. I think it's around $10 on amazon. I think I will try mine out today and report back. I've only used it home before I even got the boat...
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:57   #7
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

Try to tune to listed frequencies first to hear anything. Usually in urban areas interference would kill all the signal. My radio wont hear anything but static unless I sail 5-10 miles offshore and further I go the better signal gets. When you actually hear wefax on the radio setting up everything else is piece of cake.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:17   #8
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander View Post
Thanks guys, good to know I'm heading in the right direction. I don't think I've actually tuned in anything yet, no fax noises from the radio, but I'll keep at it.

One other question about JVComm, fax mode defaults to HF-Fax, is this what I need? There are a number of other options available on the drop-down menu.

Cheers
Paddy
Yep, HF-Fax is the correct setting for what you are doing. And also, when in marinas there is often such a high noise level that all signals are obscured. However, in most areas, simply getting out of the marina and going to an anchorage that is in a non-industrial area will clear it up enough to allow reception of Wefax. Don't know where you are located, though, so can't really be sure!

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:03   #9
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Re: Weatherfax by SSB Receiver

Thanks again, all good info.

I have the antenna extension, but didn't realize that the signal would be messed up in urban areas and marinas. I guess I'll have to go sailing to get it working!

Cheers
Paddy
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