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Old 31-10-2004, 15:06   #1
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Weather Fax and SSB question

Hello from Florida.

A friend donated a weather fax demodulator called ICS FAX4, to yours truly today...Brand new in the box, but from 1999.

I have the SSB radio, just need a printer to complete the package.

Does anybody have experience with these things, or is weather faxes done on lap-top computer these days?

Searched E--bay and found a suitable 12 Volt printer for around $50.00.

The deal is almost too good, to not install and use, but I have sailed for quite a few years without one of these fax thingies and not sure that it is the future, being dependent on paper and ink cartridges and such instead of just getting a used lap-top for a few hundred and have e-mail in addition. (With added Pactor modem)

Undestand that weather fax is a good idea, perhaps essential for crossing big oceans in style and comfort, but not sure that I will cross them oceans in the near future.....Again, hmm, the price is indeed right.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:31   #2
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Dont bother with a printer unless you really want to, much better to load the data directly to the laptop screen, which you will have to do anyway and view it directly. The interface between the SSB and the laptop will depend on the specification of your laptop. Provided you have a soundcard in it, you can take the sound directly from the receiver and with a bit of software decode the isobar charts as they are sent.

Here is a site with lots of data about the subject.

A lot of people in UK use JVFax Software (probably cause it is free)
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:56   #3
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much better to load the data directly to the laptop screen, which you will have to do anyway
Thanks for the response Mr. Talbot.

Well, this gizzmo, the FAX 4 weather fax demodulator does not need a laptop...It connects between the printer and the SSB.

Yes, a lap-top would certainly be a more uh, modern option, it is also a matter of cost.
I don't own a lap-top PC right now and a good one would cost me several hundred dollars used...Or pre-Owned as they say these days.

To hook up and complete this Weather Fax system, I only need a 12 volt printer, found one at e-bay for $33.50 or so plus shipping.

Thanks for the links, I will surfe the sites.
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Old 01-11-2004, 15:32   #4
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You dont really need a good one for this task. The laptop I run my boat stuff from is an old 200MHz system, and I know one guy who has his weather charts running on an old 486 computer. These are available for very little money . Would recommend at least a 200MHz . My laptop also has masses of pilots, enroute charts, music, and a full navigation system using GPS.
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Old 01-11-2004, 18:36   #5
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Aye, Mr. Talbot.

Thanks for the post.

Yup, a laptop can be had pretty cheap these days...

Hmm, I am a bit torn..I have the space at the nav table for the fax demodulator and the small printer without making any big mods.
It wil still be tidy and clean..(And old-fashioned.. )

With a laptop however, I am looking at 5 times the money and twice the space...Don't have the space for a permanent installation and don't wan't to plug in and un plug anything just to get a fax up and running.

Don't have the money either...Been un-employed for a year and all the boat funds are dried up.
Here in the colonies we go from feast to famon and back in a hurry.

The first 5 years I owned this old boat, I spent $40 000 fixing her up.....Then I lost my job....Twice...Now down to sand paper and oil-changes for maintenance.

The budget is pretty slim, no lap-top, but maybe a used printer if I don't tell the wife.....$50.00 max...The de-modulator was free remember?

So, uh what is a guy to do?

Strange day today:

Got 2 job offers:

Deck hand on a 265 feet research ship locally, and / or captain on a B-747 airliner based in Europe.

The money is 4 times as much for the flying job, but hey, money ain't everything...Although I could buy a fancy lap top if I go fly..

Confused in Florida
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Old 01-11-2004, 19:29   #6
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CSY,

Which scares you most? Hurricanes or suicide bomers?
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Old 01-11-2004, 19:55   #7
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Which scares you most? Hurricanes or suicide bomers?
He-he..Ya are kidding right?

After 4 'canes here in Florida this year, I'd take the wind anytime.

At least ya can prepare for it.

Not so crazed rag-heads...

Sad times indeed
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Old 02-11-2004, 02:51   #8
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CSY Man once whispered in the wind:
[Don't have the money either...Been un-employed for a year and all the boat funds are dried up.
Got 2 job offers:
Deck hand on a 265 feet research ship locally, and / or captain on a B-747 airliner based in Europe.
The money is 4 times as much for the flying job, but hey, money ain't everything...Although I could buy a fancy lap top if I go fly..
Confused in Florida [/B]
I wish I had your problems! I have only had 50 days work in the last 2 years, and son has just started at University!
I have bid into two jobs, one in July and they are "still considering it" others have been rejected, so there is some hope yet.
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Old 02-11-2004, 07:09   #9
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I wish I had your problems!
Nah, ya don't wish ya had my problems.

I am burned out on flying and have my hearth set on crusing.
The boat is as ready as can be.

So am I.

Problem is wifey: She ain't going to live on no boat and either I get divorced and go cruising, or I get my arse back to work to keep the wife.

Hmm, not any happy choices there...

I will sure miss her..

(No kids involved, no obligations except to the mortgage company)
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Old 20-11-2004, 17:58   #10
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Weather fax

Hi,
Weather fax & printer introduces 2 more items of hardware to go wrong on you, not to mention space. Connect output jack of radio to mic. jack of computer go on the net find & download software to decode radio weatherfax signals, weather charts will display onscreen & can be saved on hard drive.
Hope this helps, Glen
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Old 20-11-2004, 19:22   #11
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Good one Setia, except I ain't got no computer on the boat, lap-top or otherwise....
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