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Old 19-02-2013, 22:14   #1
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Weather forecasts

We'll be sailing from NZ to Newcastle, Australia in April. What weather information systems are people happy with these days? I can carry a dedicated laptop, iPad and/or other recommended devices. The boat currently only has a SSB receiver but we'll be upgrading.

I'll bet this question has been asked many times already but, as a new forum member, I can't find much on weather `management', so please don't hesitate to refer me to other threads!

Rick
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Old 26-02-2013, 13:34   #2
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Hi, I too am new to posting on forums and have been searching the same topic for the best solutions. Here are some of the ideas so far and I would be interested in hearing if they have any issues.
1. Ipad app called HF Fax. The IPad listens to the weatherfax data/screaching on your SSB and loads a Copy ( just like a Fax) on to your ipad screen.
2. SSB with Pactor Modem connected to a PC using an email compression program like sailmail . We used this system on the delivery trip , emailing away and receiving GRIB files to open up in a PC application of your choosing ( we used Max Sea ) , we emailed away several times a day and it was excellent.
3. Iridium Sat Phone. This is still in its box on my chart table.... I also bought the Iridium AXcess point- a satellite Ph wi-fi accessory. I hope to use this with my Ipad, reducing the need for the power hungry PC to be powered up. I believe this will be good for asking for Grib files from my Ipad and opening them in INavx or other apps.
4. I love the ipad Weather app PocketGrib and Weather Track. Both allow downloading of smaller size files but I have you to prove these to be reliable on the iridium/Ipad.

Does anyone out there have experience that can save me a lot of time / frustration and Airtime.
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Old 26-02-2013, 13:44   #3
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Re: Weather forecasts

Have you looked in the Weather (sub forum) under Seamanship and Boat Handling? Also when you do a search use the Google Custom Search box, not the search box at the top of the search dialog box.

Edit: Just a tip, search under Weather Routing and Weather Service.
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Old 26-02-2013, 16:09   #4
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Re: Weather forecasts

Check our voice forecasts for your area first. Plain ssb receiver will do.

Aus radiofax stations are very good. You need laptop and ssb receiver for that.

Grib files are fine if you can get emails with attachments.

Online sources are great but you need Internet access (normally broadband marine from e.g. Inmarsat).

b.
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Old 26-02-2013, 19:42   #5
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Re: Weather forecasts

My understanding of this remains very basic. I have an iPad and I have a laptop but I'm not too keen on running the laptop if I don't have to due to the power it'll use with the inverter. But I'll use it if I have to. I do like the idea of connecting the iPad to the HF radio for weather data as the iPad runs on 12v and doesn't use much power as far as I know. I found an app called HF Fax from Black Cat Systems. According to the info with this system, the best way to connect the iPad to the radio is:
with the Camera Connection Kit, you can plug a USB sound input device into the iPad, and use a patch cable between it and the radio's audio output.
That sounds logical but, what is a USB sound input device and what is a patch cable? I've contacted Apple stores (yes, I know that was pretty optimistic!!) and general electronics suppliers and they have no idea what's available.

Can anyone advise?

By the way, I tried looking up threads on this but had no luck just searching through. And please forgive my ignorance but I can't find any Google Custom Search box either!

Rick
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Old 26-02-2013, 23:25   #6
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Re: Weather forecasts

If you click on the search button above the thread you should see a drop down box with a list of options. One should be "Google Custom Search".
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Old 26-02-2013, 23:47   #7
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Re: Weather forecasts

Ah! Too simple - thanks!

Rick
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Old 27-02-2013, 07:10   #8
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Re: Weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfnk View Post
(...)

- with the Camera Connection Kit,
- you can plug a USB sound input device into the iPad, and use a patch cable between it and the radio's audio output.
Do you have the Camera Connection Kit?
Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit - Apple Store (U.S.)

Do you have a patch cable?
The Working iPad - How do I... - Record Analog Audio via 3.5mm Line-out or Microphone Jack into the*iPad

Start by receiving a sample sound from any radio before you start experiments in receiving wx fax.

Then receive faxes as per instruction manual for the fax software.

BTW I might be slightly off track as I do not have any iThing. But I believe the clues are out there, just google them out.

BTW check out the VOICE forecasts available on HF. They may suffice.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 28-02-2013, 01:27   #9
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Re: Weather forecasts

If you have Internet connection whether by satellite phone, HF/SSB marine networks or Amateur radio, the most cost effective way of getting GRIB output is to use the email service provided by Saildoc.com. See SailDocs GRIB Service/ Franks-Weather | The Weather Window and associated pages.

If you carry a PC and can get Internet connection the zyGrib is the most comprehensive service. If you are able to use a Tablet then there are several Apps. See GRIB Files for iPhones, iPads etc/ Franks-Weather | The Weather Window.

Use whichever service you prefer in terms of ease of access and presentation. Take time to decide. They all give the same data so there is not any difference between them.

I prefer not to use browser type services. There is nothing wrong with the data but saving for later viewing offline is not a feasible possibility.
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