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Old 13-05-2011, 18:33   #31
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Re: Short Wave Receiver reviews...

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post

I would expect that not being able to get a good weather forecast when in a remote location could be a major problem.
Yes, I can't imagine that a AA battery portable could possibly duplicate all the engineering that went into the ICOM SSB setup. What would be the reason for ground planes, twin lead antennae, rf chokes, tuner, and all the rest of the expensive wires and connectors that make up a good SSB setup? Did I spend $3000 for nothing? A lot of the technology is probably for the transmit function but it's hard to believe a $100 portable radio could do an equal job on the receive side. Near shore, power is not an issue as the boat is usually motoring enough to keep batteries up. It's just in those remote places/offshore, as you noted, when saving on power draw would be a plus and a small radio would not work. Has anyone here actually used a portable radio successfully to download Wfax away from land, say 200 miles offshore?
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Old 14-05-2011, 00:30   #32
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Portable Short Wave radio...

My weatherfax test was conducted using my Lowe HF150. It's portable and runs quite well for a short while on 8 AA rechargables. Sadly, no longer made.

On the boat I'll use the 12V house bank.

I got a good signal from WMC, Charleville, Qld. for long enough, that's close enough to 1000 miles away.

That was with a short length of wire dangled out the window. A proper aerial on the boat away from interference should be better.

The reviews suggest that some of the cheaper short wave radios perform quite well. Where they run into trouble is durability. Not very fixable.

There are very few good quality HF receivers made these days.
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Old 30-12-2011, 19:20   #33
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

I had used my little Kaito KA1102 to receive weather fax, probably using demo version of SeaTTY while on vacation in St. Maarten. Back in the Annapolis area it barely works indoors due to low signal/high interference, but outdoors it enables clear weather fax reception. I was trying SeaTTY, JVCOmm32, and MultiPSK. I needed more time to get familiar with the different softwares, but MultiPSK worked fine, but it was tedious to find the various functions on a busy GUI. My homemade audio cables were mono, but the radio is stereo and it turns out the mic input on the laptop (Toshiba) is also stereo. A mono plug will short out one of the stereo channels. I made attenuation with resistors when I made the cable. Changing to a stereo plug out of the radio made it work better. Using stereo at both ends would require a more complicated resistor network. The resistors match the radio output to the microphone input. The small radio does drift in frequency, but stabilizes after a while. It could be the temperature change from indoors to outdoors.
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Old 30-12-2011, 19:46   #34
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

i just use a normal mono cable and jvcomm32 may be you are over complicating things,the signal is analogue so stereo or mono wont make a difference.
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Old 30-12-2011, 19:54   #35
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

Two years ago, I used my laptop, running JVComm32, a mono cord, and my SONY ICF-SW7600GR receiver to get weather faxes with no power or reception issues.

I now have a Icom 802, and not that I know alot about the subject, but it has been my limited understanding that all of the ground plane, Twin lead antenna, chokes and the like have more to do with getting a signal out properly when one transmits than just receiving a signal through the air. I'm sure it helps on the receiving end as well, but I did alright with the less expensive radio.
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Old 30-12-2011, 20:56   #36
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

OK, you have to match your radio audio to your sound card audio input. The levels are different and an attenuator resistor might be necessary. I've seen laptops with both mic and line inputs (lifebook) and mono mic and stereo mic inputs. I was using a cheap Kaito 1102 with stereo audio output and going into a Toshiba laptop which turns out to have stereo mic input. You can check your radio with a pair of stereo headphones. If you only hear one side, it's mono. It makes a difference if you don't have the correct cable.
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Old 28-02-2014, 06:33   #37
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

Neither my new Lenovo nor my girlfriends old Air Mac have distinct mic input lines. My Lenovo has an icon next to the headphones socket that shows headphones with an attached mic (like a headset). We both have USB ports to spare. This is for use with our new Kaito 1103 receiver. Suggestions?
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:16   #38
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

I think the connector is called a combo 3.5 mm. There are adapters available online that break out to two female for mic and headphone.
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:19   #39
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

Check you Audio control panel. Many give you the option to choose the function of the port. If you google USB to audio adapter you'll find a number of adapters that will give you mic and headphone jacks.
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:26   #40
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

I just went through the problem of getting a good computer to receive Weatherfaxes. The new Lenovos are fantastic but they don't belong on a boat. Too delicate. Buy a waterproof, drop proof, daylight viewable second hand, windows 7 laptop like the panasonic tough book with a dedicated mic port and buy a good battery to go along with it. I fluffed around for ages with the new combo mic/headphone jacks on all the new computers and in the end decided I could get a better all round solution for less than $500 on ebay.
If you do use your Lenovo on your boat, make sure it never sees the light of day.
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:30   #41
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

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Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
Neither my new Lenovo nor my girlfriends old Air Mac have distinct mic input lines. My Lenovo has an icon next to the headphones socket that shows headphones with an attached mic (like a headset). We both have USB ports to spare. This is for use with our new Kaito 1103 receiver. Suggestions?
Try this link. Hope it helps...LL

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/R-L-Ser...a/ta-p/1035227
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Old 28-02-2014, 17:54   #42
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Re: Weatherfax - USB Audio Capture Device

You can get a simple cheap usb sound card like this. As far as connecting your radio to your PC, you should isolate it and match the impedance. This is a simple, and cheap device designed just for that purpose. It uses isolation transistors that also match the 8 ohm spkr output with the typical 1000 ohm mic input.
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